Culture |Emerging

‘This is violent, isn’t it?’ Trump holds video game violence meeting

U.S. President Donald J. Trump met with video games company representatives and games critics to discuss potential links between electronic games and real-life violence.

The hour-long meeting on Thursday began with attendees watching an edited video of violent scenes taken from games (Rolling Stone) and the president listening to comments afterwards. After watching it, Trump said “This is violent, isn’t it?,” according to Republican Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (The Washington Post).

This video (warning violent content) was later posted on the White House’s official YouTube account and is featured below:

The trade association of the U.S. video games industry, The Entertainment Software Association, released a statement after the meeting that said (The Verge): “We discussed the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between video games and violence.”

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Meanwhile, Brent Bozell, the president of the conservative Media Research Center, who was also present at the meeting, told The Hill that Trump “was clearly concerned about some of this imagery that you’re seeing in these ultra-violent video games that are being watched by children.”

Bozell told The Verge: “I don’t think there should be any government control over it.” He added: “But there is some programming that contains just absolute mind-boggling violence … could the industry listen to the better angels of their nature and say, we just don’t want to do it, on a voluntary basis?”

The White House said Thursday’s meeting was the first in a series of ongoing discussions to address gun violence.


Trump previously spoke about the links of violence in electronic games and movies with real-life actions, during the recent meeting on school safety at the White House, which involved survivors of February’s Florida shooting (New York Times). He said: “I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts.”

Trump is not the first U.S. president to question links between violence portrayed in video games with real-world bloodshed. After the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, which was the deadliest mass shooting at either a high school or grade school in U.S. history, President Barack Obama said: “Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds.” (USA Today)

Academic debate about games links with violence remains controversial and unclear.

Questions we’d like to explore, include:

  • What is the history of previous shootings followed by criticism of video games?
  • What have U.S. president’s views on video games and violence been?

Please help us report on the debate on the influence of video games


Talk (6)

Brandy Pech

Brandy Pech

"Sorry for the delay, didn't see a not..."

Dan Marsh

"Perhaps it is the wording, and I've m..."
Harry Ridgewell

Harry Ridgewell

"Hi Dan. To me at least, the Wikipedia..."
Harry Ridgewell

Harry Ridgewell

"Hey Brandy. We have updated the artic..."

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Harry is a masters graduand from Cardiff University, with a diploma in Magazine Journalism. He has an interest in politics and science, having previously studied Geography at Aberystwyth University. Follow Harry on Twitter @harryridgewell

History for Story "‘This is violent, isn’t it?’ Trump holds video game violence meeting"

Select two items to compare revisions

09 March 2018

12:49:58, 09 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → formatting)
12:41:25, 09 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → )
11:29:41, 09 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → adding in comments after meeting)

08 March 2018

21:41:02, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Brandy Pech (Updated → Trump previously spoke about the links/ Trump previously linked)
16:14:57, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → tweaks)
15:53:05, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → headline)
15:44:47, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → summary)
15:42:25, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → version issues resolved)
13:09:59, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → added summary)
13:08:46, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → change picture)
13:08:37, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → change picture)
12:54:29, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → headline tweak)
12:52:50, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → publishing)
11:50:11, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → )
11:46:48, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → )
11:46:19, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → minor changes)
11:42:41, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → wrote stub)
11:39:30, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → )
11:32:50, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → )
11:31:46, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → )
11:28:50, 08 Mar 2018 . .‎ Harry Ridgewell (Updated → )

Talk for Story "‘This is violent, isn’t it?’ Trump holds video game violence meeting"

Talk about this Story

  1. Other

    The last paragraph says:

    “Academic debate about games links with violence remains controversial and unclear.”

    Yet the source Wikipedia article seems to be making it clear that there is no link to real world violence and video games, quite the opposite.

    It may be that I have missed something, but I have never read anything that makes a case for a link between video games and violence.

    Also, movies and TV programmes show far worse than any video game.

    1. Rewrite

      Hi Dan. To me at least, the Wikipedia article seems to say links between violence in games and actual violence are unclear, but if the majority of users believe it comes to a different conclusion or Wikipedia changes what it’s saying we will change it.

      1. Rewrite

        Perhaps it is the wording, and I’ve misunderstood.

        If you’re saying that there is no clear link between games and real violence, then that would be about right. I think.

  2. Rewrite

    My rewrite suggestion is for paragraph 3 to read:
    Trump previously spoke about the links of violence… (may need to play with the hyperlinks)

    My thought process/justification is:
    The current draft suggests what the next paragraph counters, which is that “Trump linked” these two phenomena. Obviously, he was not the first person nor President (as the article mentions) to question or try to understand this. The rewrite better highlights the newsworthy story, which is that prominent people (at least Trump and reps from both sides of the aisle) are talking about this link (perhaps it’s their first time, but not for others) and are having a (or another White House) meeting. The rewrite puts Trump’s recent words and the meetings at the forefront, which is the “news” here. This is a more NPOV, as I understand it, because it focuses on what is new, factual/verifiable, and suggests its relative weight in the larger debate.

    The links were well done in placement and balance to allow the reader to form their own opinion. Thanks for the article.

    1. Rewrite

      Hey Brandy. We have updated the article. Hopefully it addresses your concerns. What do you think?

      1. Rewrite

        Sorry for the delay, didn’t see a notification and just checked back in. Thanks for addressing my concern here.

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