In an entirely predictable series of events, United States President Donald Trump has indirectly declared that he will meet with video game industry representatives in the near future.
It’s a vague follow-up to equally vague suggestions Trump made last week that video games might in some way be linked to the horrific mass shooting that took place at a Parkland, Florida high school on February 14th.
The comment regarding the meeting was made in response to a question from the Associated Press today at the White House briefing. Reporter Zeke Miller asked why the president was unable to get legislators to “bend to his will” on matters of gun control.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily about ‘bending to his will,’” Sanders said. “I think it’s about an ongoing discussion about the best pieces of legislation that they can put forward. Yesterday was certainly an important part of that.”
This meeting comes after various announcements that elements of the legislature would not seek the passage of new bills aimed at any substantive response to mass shootings. So no new gun control legislation, and no attempts to remedy systemic violence like police brutality.
It must be pointed out that this isn’t the first time the White House has initiated this kind of response. The games industry has always been the target of reactionary attempts at legislation that are often grasping at straws. Some figures and publications have argued against even attending these meetings, saying that appearing under these circumstances is like an admission of guilt of the supposed link between video games and violence. A link that hasn’t been definitively shown to exist.
And it would seem that the characteristic chaos of the Trump presidency has affected this announcement as well. Speaking to various publications, the ESA said it had not received any such an invite from the White House.
“ESA and our member companies have not received an invitation to meet with President Trump,” a representative from the Entertainment Software Association told Poygon, Gamasutra and others.
The representative also provided a statement about the erroneous connection between video games and violence, writing that “the US video game industry has a long history of partnering with parents and more than 20 years of rating video games through the Entertainment Software Rating Board. We take great steps to provide tools to help players and parents make informed entertainment decisions.”
Overall, it would appear that the Trump presidency is making the usual moves of public grandstanding in lieu of a satisfactory response to gun violence, as has been the case for U.S. politicians for decades.