“Video game violence and glorification must be stopped – it is creating monsters!”
Six years after Donald Trump tweeted his views on video game violence, it seems he is looking to take action.
In a White House briefing following the Florida school shooting, when press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the president’s policy on gun control she said Donald Trump will “be meeting with members of the video game industry to see what they can do on that front”.
Ms Sanders response has been widely discussed on social media, with some criticising the president for pointing the finger at fictional guns, rather than actual firearms.
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Some people wondered if they had inadvertently stumbled into the past, as the relationship between video games and violent behaviour has long been debated in the media.
Columbine happened when I was a freshman in high school and we had to go through the whole rigamole of “Is it the Matrix? Is it goths? Is it videogames?”. I am glad to know that in ALMOST TWENTY YEARS, the conversation barely moved forward one jot. https://t.co/00AUAr1scy
— Amanda Wong (@amandawtwong) March 1, 2018
End of Twitter post by @amandawtwong
One person asked why the White House was discussing video games, saying that Trump “has plenty of ideas for ending mass shootings, except gun control”.
While artist and director Rob Sheridan, known for his work with music group Nine Inch Nails, wondered if game industry executives might suggest similar measures.
This was followed by Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane pointing out that “other countries without America’s gun problem also have video games”.
And one person tried to find the funny side of things, re-writing Australia’s 1996 gun ban for comic effect.
But some people praised Trump for taking action, with one person saying the president is “doing more and engaging more than Obama did”, and another applauding Trump for addressing the “surrounding issues” of guns.
Meanwhile, Twitter users have begun to question exactly who it is that Donald Trump intends on meeting.
Video game journalist Jason Schreier tweeted that the Entertainment Software Association, whose members include many of the largest game publishers in the United States, says neither the ESA nor its members have been invited to a meeting.
And if a meeting does happen, one person wondered how the meeting could go ahead without causing contention.
Who is he going to meet with? Activision? EA? ID? Bungie? Valve? Nintendo?
Also, since the video game industry has spent literally DECADES rejecting the idea that they’re to blame for violence, this sounds like a pretty contentious meeting in the making. https://t.co/YD5J1ejsnr
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) March 1, 2018
End of Twitter post by @jackmjenkins