President Donald Trump is scheduled to discuss video game violence Thursday at a White House school safety meeting with industry leaders and their critics, as well as a handful of Republican lawmakers.
One of the companies that is slated to be represented at the meeting counts Trump’s younger brother as a board member.
The meeting, scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, comes in the wake of the February massacre of 17 students and adults at a South Florida high school.
Days after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Trump suggested that some violent video games may be partly to blame for such tragedies. “I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” he said at the time.
Trump has suggested a ratings system for video games. The president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which assigns ratings to video games, is listed as one of the meeting’s participants.
Trump will lead a conversation about “violent video game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children,” a White House spokeswoman told CNBC.
The gaming industry’s representatives will include CEO Strauss Zelnick of Take-Two Interactive, publisher of the popular and notoriously violent “Grand Theft Auto” franchise.
The meeting also appears to include a contingent of critics concerned about the impact of video game violence on young minds, such as retired Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of “Assassination Generation: Video Games, Aggression, and the Psychology of Killing.”
The CEO of ZeniMax Media is also scheduled to attend. ZeniMax, parent company of the developer of the “Fallout” and “Elder Scrolls” franchises, has Trump’s younger brother, Robert S. Trump, among its board of directors.
Here’s the full list of participants:
- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
- Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.
- Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala.
- Strauss Zelnick, CEO, Take-Two Interactive
- Patricia Vance, president, Entertainment Software Rating Board
- Mike Gallagher, president and CEO, Entertainment Software Association
- Robert Altman, chairman and CEO, ZeniMax Media
- Retired Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author, “Assassination Generation: Video Games, Aggression, and the Psychology of Killing”
- Brent Bozell, Media Research Center
- Melissa Henson, mother, Parents Television Council