Skip to main content

Pence to Join Trump at Video Game Violence Roundtable

Vice President Mike Pence will be joining President Donald Trump in the White House's Roosevelt Room Thursday afternoon (March 8) for the meeting with both members of Congress and representatives of the video gaming industry.

The White House also invited a reprsentative of the Parents Television Counsel, according to the group, which has been pushing the President to look at violence on broadcast network TV.

The roundtable, which is open to the press, will be to talk about media and societal violence in the wake of the Florida school shootings.

Pence is a former member of the media (a talk radio host) and congressman (from Indiana).

In the wake of the killing of 17 students and teachers by a former student wielding a semi-automatic weapon, the President said such a conversation was needed.

In a meeting with state and local officials about school safety, the President talked about the internet and gaming and movies, though not broadcast or cable TV.  The meeting is not scheduled to feature anyone from the movie industry, according to the White House schedule of events for the day, which describes it as "a roundtable with members of Congress and video game industry leaders."

"We have to look at the Internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds, and their minds are being formed," he said. "And we have to do something about maybe what they're seeing and how they're seeing it. And also video games. I'm hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people's thoughts. And then you go the further step, and that's the movies. You see these movies, they're so violent. And yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn't involved, but killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that."

There are actually already rating systems for video and film, which include violence warnings.

"[T]he fact is that you are having movies come out that are so violent, with the killing and everything else," he continued, "maybe that's another thing we're going to have to discuss. And a lot of people are saying it, you have these movies today where you can go and have a child see the movie, and yet it's so violent and so disgusting. So we may have to talk about that also."

Also participating in the meeting will be Melissa Henson, program director of Parents Television Counsel, according to PTC, which has been pushing for the White House to look at network broadcast TV violence as well. A PTC spokesperson said the White House extended the invitation to participate.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.