Trump Gathering Video Game Execs to Discuss Link to Gun Violence

President Donald Trump is meeting with video game executives on Thursday to discuss the potential connection between violent games and gun violence, following the recent tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

While the meeting alone likely won't hinder the massive video game industry, Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin said game makers could face additional regulations or limits in the future.

Executives from gaming giants such as Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., (TTWO) maker of Grand Theft Auto, and ZeniMax Media, which makes first-person shooter Doom, will be attending the meeting, according to reports

Trump has voiced his disapproval of violent video games in the past, and White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told Reuters that the purpose of the meeting will be "to discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children." 

Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2012

Playing violent video games has been linked to increased aggression, according to a 2015 American Psychological Association report. However, the organization said there is not enough evidence to show that the games cause violent behavior.

The U.S. video game industry is booming, having generated a record $36 billion in revenue last year, according to data from The NPD Group and video game trade group the Entertainment Software Association.

One political meeting might not change gamers' behavior, Bajarin said, but it could lead to companies adopting additional or stricter ratings systems than the ones already in place -- which may not even stop kids from getting their hands on the games anyway.

Video games are currently regulated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which assigns age and content ratings such as "Everyone," "Teen," "Mature," and "Adults Only" based on whether games contain violence, sexual content or strong language.

"We already know how [ratings] worked with the movie industry," Bajarin said. "Kids find a way to get around it."

Investors will be watching the gaming industry closely over the next couple years to see whether new ratings and regulations on games are adopted, and what impact they could have on sales, Bajarin said.

Take-Two stock rose 1.2% to $112.25 as of 1 p.m. ET Thursday. Since the beginning of this year, shares have increased 2.3%. 

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