The ESA confirms it will attend White House meeting about violent games

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Are we seriously doing this again?

The White House said last week that US president Donald Trump would meet with executives from the videogame industry to discuss violent videogames in relation to violent real-world behavior. At that time, though, the Entertainment Software Association had not received any invitations to the supposed meeting, and government reps said later that invitations would be sent out this week. That has since happened, and the ESA confirmed that it will attend. 

"Video games are enjoyed around the world and numerous authorities and reputable scientific studies have found no connection between games and real-life violence. Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States. 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," the ESA said in a statement. 

"The upcoming meeting at the White House, which ESA will attend, will provide the opportunity to have a fact-based conversation about video game ratings, our industry’s commitment to parents, and the tools we provide to make informed entertainment choices." 

There were suggestions following the White House announcement last week that industry representatives should take a pass on the meeting to avoid lending any appearance of legitimacy to the theory that violent games cause violent behavior. Clearly the ESA feels that there's value in representing the industry—and in being seen doing so—that outweighs the potential downsides, but I have no doubt that there will be some very vocal disagreements with that position. 

The game industry meeting at the White House is scheduled to take place on March 8. It's not currently known who else will be attending. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.