The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has denied reports of the Donald Trump administration reaching out to them for a meeting about the video game industry and violence in video games. This includes the ESA members, involving some of the most highly-regarded developers in the world from companies such as EA, Bethesda, Ubisoft and the likes.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that Trump was set to meet with figureheads of the gaming industry. “The president has met with a number of stakeholders,” she said in a press briefing. “Next week, he’ll also be meeting with members of the video game industry to see what they can do on that front as well. This is going to be an ongoing process and something that we don’t expect to happen overnight, but something that we’re going to continue to be engaged in and continue to look for the best ways possible to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect schools across the country.”
However, in a statement to Polygon, the ESA had this to say: "ESA and our member companies have not received an invitation to meet with President Trump.”
Describing itself as a trade association, ESA stated it was "dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of companies that publish computer and video games.” This includes lobbying activities with the US government on behalf of its members in the global game industry.
Echoing the sentiments of many who believe that Trump is focusing on the wrong issues regarding gun violence, ESA added that "the same video games played in the US are played worldwide, however, the level of gun violence is exponentially higher in the US than in other countries. Numerous authorities have examined the scientific record and found there is no link between media content and real-life violence."
They also made mention of ESRB, saying 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.”
Nonetheless, there is still time for the Trump Administration to contact ESA, but if they do, what will be accomplished by it? We'll just have to wait and see.
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