President Donald Trump on Thursday will be meeting with executives from the video game industry about his claim that there is a link between violence in video games and real-life violence.
“The president wants to continue the conversation in every different area that we can to help promote school safety,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
Sanders added that violence in video games is “certainly something that should be looked at.”
According to Reuters, the meeting is expected to be one of several, and will also be attended by members of Congress and conservative activists. After the Florida high school shooting, President Trump said that video games are to be partially blamed for the increasing gun violence in the U.S.
Last week, Trump said that he was struck by violence in the media consumed by his 11-year-old son Barron and that it’s “hard to believe” that such simulated violence doesn’t have an impact on at least some young people.
“I look at some of the things he’s watching, and I say, how is that possible?” Trump said.
Trump’s suggestion that there is a connection between violence in the virtual world and the real world goes back years.
“Video game violence & glorification must be stopped – it is creating monsters!” Trump wrote in a 2012 tweet.
However, Dan Hewitt, a spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association, denied Trump’s accusation that video games are driving violent behavior in real life, noting that while other countries also have even more violent video games, the U.S. still has a higher rate of gun violence.
“Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States,” Hewitt said. “Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the U.S. has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation.”