(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is set to meet with representatives from the video game industry at the White House Thursday after the president has pointed to violent games as a contributing factor to school violence in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. high school shooting.
Since the shooting, the president has repeatedly suggested that reforms may be in order for the gaming industry as part of a broader package of preventative policy steps to prevent gun and school violence.
“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” the president said during a meeting with state and local officials on school safety a little more than a week after the Parkland shooting.
The president again pondered the role violent video games play in shaping young minds during a freewheeling meeting with lawmakers last week on how to strengthen school safety. When Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn told the president she hears from concerned parents about the ratings system for video games and movies, the president agreed and said it’s a concern he shares as a parent.
“I think that’s a very important point,” the president told Blackburn. “The video games, the movies, the internet stuff is so violent. It’s so incredible. I see it. I get to see things that you wouldn’t be – you’d be amazed at. I have a young – very young son, who – I look at some of the things he’s watching, and I say, how is that possible?”
“It’s hard to believe that, at least for a percentage — and maybe it’s a small percentage of children — this doesn’t have a negative impact on their thought process. But these things are really violent,” he continued.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders would not elaborate on what the president hoped to accomplish with Thursday’s meeting with video game leaders, except to say that it is intended to be part of ongoing discussions the president is having as he explores specific policy solutions.
“The President wants to continue the conversation on every different area that we can to help promote school safety. And I’m not going to get ahead of the discussion that they’re going to have tomorrow, but we think it’s an important discussion to have and one that the President looks forward to,” Sanders said.
The names of the executives coming to the White House were not immediately available.
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