In the interest of pretending to care, President Donald Trump promised a meeting between video games industry leaders and lawmakers to discuss what can be done to make everyday activities safer for the nation’s children. This meeting is taking place today and will be attended by ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman, Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, and ESA head Michael Gallagher. The lawmaker contingent will be represented by Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri and Brent Bozell, founder of the Parents Television Council, and others.
Hartzler has been a long time critic of the video games industry and has a history of blaming games for school shootings, as she did after the events at Sandy Hook Elementary. If you were expecting this meeting to have attendees that may be open to an intelligent discussion on the matter, then you must be unfamiliar with the current White House administration.
As with all things handled by this administration, the planning for this meeting could accurately be described as haphazard. After the meeting was announced last week by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the ESA issued a statement that neither they or any of their members had received any invitation or been contacted about any such meeting. To be fair to the White House, every month since the President’s inauguration has been marred by firings or resignations of staff. It’s possible that there aren’t enough people left in the administration to properly organize a meeting.
Unnamed games industry sources spoke with The Daily Beast and expressed concern that the representatives from the industry are likely walking into an ambush. It would not be surprising if this were to occur, as Trump would rather have a “Gotcha” moment rather than work towards any sort of real solution to the problem of violence in our schools.
Expect more on this story following the meeting, which is scheduled for 2PM eastern.