President Donald Trump is meeting games industry executives today to discuss claims that computer games are encouraging violent behaviour in children and teenagers, following the Florida school shooting in February.
Trump believes that violent video games played a role in encouraging a 19-year-old boy to open fire on at his former high school in Florida, killing 17 people.
"I'm hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people's thoughts," said Trump following the shooting.
Last week, referring to his 11-year-old son, Trump also tweeted: "I look at some of the things he's watching, and I say, how is that possible?"
Entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the US has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation
The White House confirmed that the president will be conducting a string of discussions with business experts, activists and politicians. Florida Senator Marco Rubio will also attend.
Executives from major games development companies Take-Two Interactive Software and ZeniMax Media will be there, according to Reuters. The former runs Rockstar Games, while the latter is the owner of Bethesda Softworks.
A spokesperson for the president said that the the government will work with the industry leaders "to discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children".
Trump said the gaming industry and government should develop a new ratings system for games. He believes that current mechanisms are not doing enough to prevent children from accessing games with sexual content and violence.
Dan Hewitt, from Entertainment Software Association, confirmed that the company's CEO will be attending the discussions. Addressing recent shootings, he said: "Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States."
It's a 12+ game and she's letting her 10-year-old son play so the responsibility is on her, another example of parents failing to accept responsibility and transferring blame. What difference is increasing the rating that is clearly being ignored in this household going to make?— Max Walker (@maxjwalker) March 7, 2018
However, he is skeptical that video games and violent acts are connected. "Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the US has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation," added Hewitt.
But there are many parents who are concerned that violent video games are affecting their children. Speaking to This Morning, one mother said her son became aggressive and less sociable due to gaming.
She blamed the free-to-play 'battle royale' game Fortnite for her son's anti-social behaviour.
Commentators online, though, were quick to point out that the particular game he was addicted to, Fortnite, has a 12+ age-rating, while her son is just 10.
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