While the attendee list of Thursday’s White House meeting with video game industry heads has not been officially released, the Washington Post has obtained the names of several people attending, and it does not just include people from the the gaming industry.
The publication names Robert Altman, the CEO of Zenimax, parent company of Bethesda; Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two; and Michael Gallagher, the leader of the Entertainment Software Association as three of the people attending the meeting at the White House.
The meeting is not just structured for the president to discuss the issue of violent video games with the president, however, as the White House has also invited vocal violent media opponent Brent Bozell, the founder of the Parents Television Council, and Representative Vicky Hartzler, a Republican Congresswoman from Missouri.
Bozell is likely best known for a lawsuit involving World Wrestling Entertainment, where the Parents Television Council and Bozell falsely claimed that a wrestling move killed a six-year-old girl, and were in turn sued by the WWE. The PTC settled and issued a public apology. After recent shootings, Bozell has harshly criticized the Democratic party for trying to enact gun control when media presented, to him, a much more obvious and ever-present threat that deserves as much or more attention than the National Rifle Association.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler represents Missouri’s 4th congressional district since 2011. After the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, Hartzler penned an op-ed for Politico specifically naming violent video games as a societal contribution to violent behavior.
[Source: Washington Post]
It has been well documented that Trump likes people to argue in front of him to compete for who can best convince him, so this structure is not unexpected. That said, I can’t imagine this meeting produces anything fruitful and the best case scenario for the gaming industry is a return to status quo.