President Trump’s Thursday summit about video games and violence will probably achieve no concrete policy goals or further public safety. And while we don’t know what tone the meeting will take, we can hazard a guess based on who’s showing up and the fact it is intended to discuss “violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children.” Here are the invitees (some might be referred to as “experts”) who Donald Trump has summoned to explain video games to him.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida)
Rubio doesn’t seem to have much of an opinion on video games, but Parkland, of course, is part of the state he represents, and he’ll presumably be there to keep their concerns front and center. (It’s not clear whether Rubio will actually attend.)
Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri)
Hartzler, elected in 2011, holds typical views for the GOP. After Sandy Hook, she put out a newsletter stating guns shouldn’t be legislated and has said in the past she believes video games cause children to be more violent.
Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take Two Entertainment
Take Two, which pioneered open-world shooters like the Grand Theft Auto series and the Mafia series, is a long, long veteran of this fight. Notably, Zelnick was the repeated unwilling foil of anti-video-game crusader Jack Thompson, whose behavior in Florida courts became so obnoxious and erratic, and his attempts to use the court to harass various video game executives including Zelnick so repeated, the state bar took the unusual step of disbarring him. Thompson has not been confirmed to be attending the meeting.
L. Brent Bozell III, Media Research Center
If the name sounds familiar, this clip is probably why:
Bozell is part of a right-wing political dynasty, which is why he’s back; he’s William F. Buckley’s nephew and son of influential conservative L. Brent Bozell II. When he’s not getting himself in trouble on air, Bozell is one of the most vocal advocates for censorship in American politics. He’s well known to wrestling fans for having to pay the WWE $3.5 million and apologize for claiming that imitating a wrestling move had killed a child. Bozell is also part of the chorus attempting to blame video games for the Sandy Hook murders.