President Trump revives old debate accusing video games of real-world violence
Since 17 people were killed last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida, many people have been debating how tragedies like this could be prevented. Thursday afternoon, in a closed-door meeting, President Trump met with members of Congress and video game industry leaders. The president has brought back the debate on whether violent video games can trigger violent behavior.
While some research suggests that playing violent video games can increase aggression, the violent crime rate has fallen as video games have grown in popularity. According to the American Psychological Association, or the APA, there's not enough evidence or research to link violent video games to criminal violence.
"I think it's a useful conversation to have but we've also had the conversation before,” said the President & CEO of a Columbus gaming company called “Multivarious,” Chris Volpe.
Volpe said his company creates action games and a wide array of games that do a lot of good too.
"Most of our work is actually in health care and education,” said Volpe. “We make games, apps, we're working on a therapy app right now, a virtual reality therapy app for upper extremity injuries. We work with Nationwide Children's with kids with muscular dystrophy."
But some parents still blame violent video games for violent behavior. These gamers disagree.
"Both the sales of video games in the US and the number of people who claim to be gamers in the US has increased dramatically in the 90's, while violent assaults and crimes have decreased steadily since the 90's,” stated Volpe.
Since last month's Florida school mass shooting it's raised a national debate on what or who is to blame? President Trump is exploring all avenues, including the gaming industry and he sat down with top gaming execs on Thursday. But some medical experts say gun violence is just a complicated issue to solve in one day.
"I think that if the President can use experts in the area and look into where the areas are of need: the American Medical Association, for example, supported the need for federally funded research for to look into gun violence,” said Dr. Louis Kraus, the child psychiatry chief at Rush University Medical Center.
Some of the video game industry leaders President Trump met with included the creators of "Doom," a first-person shooting computer game and the creators of "Grand Theft Auto." The game "Doom" gained notoriety after it was used by the teens who committed the Columbine High School Shooting.