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Week ahead: Trump seeks meeting with video game execs about violence

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Week ahead: Trump seeks meeting with video game execs about violence

President Trump plans to meet with representatives from the video game industry to discuss school violence in the coming week, the White House said on Thursday.

“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,” said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“This is going to be an ongoing process and something that we don’t expect to happen overnight,” Sanders added. “But something that we’re going 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.”

The meeting is in response to the shooting last month at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people. The gun debate has consumed Washington since the shooting.

At a White House meeting this week with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, Trump toyed with the idea of supporting stiffer gun control measures in response to the violence, baffling Republicans.

But he also expressed concern about violent video games and movies, which he suggested may be a cause of mass school shootings.

“I’m hearing and people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go one further step and that’s the movies. … Maybe they have to put a rating system for that,” Trump said.

Video games and movies are both currently subject to rating systems.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), one of the biggest trade groups for the video game industry, pushed back both on the notion that video games are linked to real-world violence and said they had been given no notice of a meeting.

“ESA and our member companies have not received an invitation to meet with President Trump,” said spokesman Dan Hewitt in a statement. “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.”

A White House spokesman did not offer details on the proposed meeting.

Both the House and Senate will be in session in the coming week and there are a slew of tech-related hearings on Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on protecting online consumers from counterfeit products at 10:00 a.m.

Across the Capitol that day, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold an oversight hearing of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at 10:00 a.m. NTIA chief David Redl, who was appointed by Trump, will testify.

Also on Tuesday, the House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the White House’s infrastructure proposal at 10:00 a.m. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will testify.

At the same time, the House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on rural broadband and small carriers.

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on emerging technology in the retail industry.

At the same time, the House Science Subcommittee on Space holds a hearing on NASA’s budget request for fiscal 2019. Acting Administrator Robert M. Lightfoot Jr. will testify.

At 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment will hold a hearing on the “future of transportation fuels and vehicles.”

Later that day at 2:00 p.m., the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on artificial intelligence and the federal government. The hearing comes as experts warn the U.S. is losing ground to China in the development of AI technology.

Also on Wednesday at 2 p.m., the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing on two bills that would beef up data breach notification rules.

 

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