Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Trump spurns experts for his video game meeting

Trump spurns experts for his video game meeting

Trump has focused on video games as he seeks solutions to deal with the scourge of guns in the wake of the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

Why we care: So far, Donald Trump's main explanation for the abundance of school shootings in America (and only America) is not that guns are ridiculously accessible here, but rather that we have a mental health crisis.

The statement paints a pretty positive picture of the meeting, although another attendee, Media Research Council President Brent Bozell told The Washington Post that Trump was clearly uncomfortable with depictions of violence in video games.

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"He brought a voice of rationality to the White House and was a strong advocate for globalization", said Bill George, a board member of Goldman Sachs, adding that Wall Street was concerned not just about steel tariffs but also a move away from open markets.

"I was left with the impression that this is not the end of the conversation", she said.

The White House made an official statement on today's meeting and the conversation that took place.

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In the USA, opposition to the tariff plans came from business leaders and prominent members of Mr Trump's own Republican Party, who fear they could spark retaliation from other countries and hurt the economy. To discuss the same things, the President - on Thursday - held a meeting with the game executives that went on for about an hour, but failed to arrive at any conclusive outcome, according to Kotaku.

The Entertainment Software Association of Canada takes a similar position. In his book Assassination Generation, Grossman stated that video games "depict antisocial, misanthropic, casually savage behavior can warp the mind - with potentially deadly results". "Blaming video games or the entertainment media for the 90 American lives lost every single day to gun violence is an unacceptable excuse to avoid talking about serious policy proposals".

The video game makers and their lobbyist who were in the meeting did not immediately respond to requests for comment. He discussed the tariffs by telephone on Friday with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia and President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, the White House said. "What's causing shootings is guns are so accessible that when you have an impulse, you can act on it", he said. Years earlier, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., sought to restrict sales of mature-themed video games to minors. That list notably leaves off lawmakers like Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.)-who in a recent interview called out "the societal impacts of people being desensitized to killing" by games like Call of Duty and movies like John Wick-and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.)-who recently called for government regulation of violent video games at a town hall meeting. Chris Ferguson, a professor of psychology and criminal justice at Texas A&M University, made the same argument in Time Magazine following the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in CT.

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As both Kotaku and The New Yorker pointed out there have been research efforts to link violent video games to shootings in the past - but none have. On Thursday, though, attendees at the White House acknowledged the issue didn't really come up.

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