The roundtable was held in the wake of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting at the hands of 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz, who Trump believes may have been influenced by violent video games. "This meeting will be the first of many with industry leaders to discuss this important issue". Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) and Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.).
'I look at some of the things he's watching, and I say, how is that possible?' Trump added last week.
However, a representative of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) stated that there have been multiple studies conducted in the past that disprove the direct correlation of violent video games to real-life application of aggression.
On the day of Call of Duty: Black Ops IV's launch date announcement coincidently, Trump sat with partisans from both sides of the argument that video games are indeed shaping the youth's mind in a violent way.
PTC President Tim Winter told CBN News that violent video games "desensitizes kids to real-life violence, encourages them to resolve disputes with violence and gives them an unfair sense of fear of their environment around them-that it's more unsafe than it is".
For decades, it has been widely debated what kind of impact violent video games and movies have on people, especially children and those with mental health issues.
Parents Television Council program director Melissa Henson was also present at the meeting where she stressed the challenges of keeping children away from such games, a feat for "even for the most diligent parent".
The ESA noted that they discussed how games are protected by the First Amendment so they can't be outright banned (although it seems no one suggested this in the meeting) and that they have a rating system in place that has worked for years.
"Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States", Hewitt said, according to Reuters. While there is a documented link between violent video games and the level of aggression in players, those players may already be predisposed to aggression from other factors in their lives, and feeling aggressive does not necessarily result in acting violently.
In addition to Take-Two and ZeniMax, the association's members include some of the biggest names in the industry such as Electronic Arts Inc, Activision Blizzard Inc, Nintendo Co Ltd, Sony Corp and Tencent Holdings Ltd. The video that was rolled before the meeting was comprised of clips from certain games such as Wolfenstein, Fallout 4, and Call of Duty. Trump's brother, Robert, is on the company's board.
The White House appears to have an agenda that puts the blame of violence and school shootings on video games instead of other, more concrete catalysts like easy access to guns and lax gun control laws and isn't interested in changing its position.