Yesterday saw President Trump meet with US video game executives to discuss possible links between games and violent crimes such as the Florida shooting. The gathering reportedly began with an 88-second montage showing deaths from M-rated games, which caused Trump to comment, “This is violent, isn’t it?”
The meeting was closed to members of the press, but the White House later released the clip on its official YouTube channel. The scenes were lifted from other YouTubers, and in some cases, you can see the watermarks.
According to The Verge, the conversation revolved around age restrictions and voluntary measures that could be put in place by the industry itself, rather than any government restrictions on content, which would be a legal minefield.
The choice of games in the supercut is interesting; it feels as if someone really has it in for Call of Duty. There are several scenes from the CoD series, including Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2. It should come as no surprise to see CoD: MW2’s infamous No Russian mission appear in the clip.
There are a few killings from multiplayer horror game Dead by Daylight, Nazi assassinations from Wolfenstein: The New Order, X-ray cam kills from Sniper Elite 4, and a beheading from The Evil Within 2. There’s also some content from Fallout 4, including a scene where it takes five shotgun blasts to Malcom Latimer’s head before it finally explodes. It seems whoever picked these titles went for more mainstream options, rather than something like Hatred, which, while ultra-violent, was so bad that few people ever played it.
It remains to be seen whether the meeting will result in any actual policies being put into effect. Trump asked the industry “to explore things they can do on their own to make things healthier in society.”
In a statement yesterday, the Entertainment Software Association said: “We discussed the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between video games and violence, First Amendment protection of video games, and how our industry’s rating system effectively helps parents make informed entertainment choices.”
Earlier this week, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), which did not attend the meeting, said games should not be made a scapegoat for the gun violence problem.