“You don’t scare me, Communist piece of shit,” Chief Petty Officer Joseph Bowman tells his captors — just before a Spetnaz operative bashes his head in with a pipe in a violent rage.
That’s a scene from the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops, part of a montage video played by the President of the United States on Thursday for a group assembled at the White House to discuss new regulations on the gaming industry.
It was the latest in a series of listening sessions held by the president in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida — and featured a gaggle of Republican lawmakers, conservative critics of the gaming industry as well as video game executives assembled for a private meeting to discuss the impact of violent games on children.
The video played by the president was subsequently released by the White House, and features a montage of some of the more infamously gory scenes from a variety of video games. The gruesome compilation includes a solider throwing a knife into an enemy’s eye socket; a man hacking a woman to death with an axe; a police officer getting impaled on a large hook; a machine gun massacre at an airport; a slow-motion decapitation; and, of course, plenty of headshots.
The Washington Post reported that the president opened up the meeting himself, by presenting the montage to his guests.
“This is violent isn’t it?” the president asked, according to Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from Missouri.
Trump has himself placed a focus on video games in the weeks since the Florida shooting, as WaPo noted, arguing they are “shaping young people’s thoughts.”
While critics of the industry attending the meeting urged Trump to explore new restrictions on violent games, a number of video games executives — including CEO of ZeniMax Robert Altman, CEO of Take Two Interactiv Strauss Zelnick — made the case that there is no connection between video games and violence.
Brent Bozell, president of conservative think tank Media Research Council and a longtime critic of violence in games (he once bemoaned Mortal Kombat for allowing players to “[rip] out the still-beating heart of an opponent with bare hands), also attended the meeting.
“I think he’s deeply disturbed by some of the things you see in these video games that are so darn violent, viciously violent, and clearly inappropriate for children, and I think he’s bothered by that,” Bozell told the Post of Trump.
Bozell said that he advocated that violent games “needed to be given the same kind of thought as tobacco and liquor.”
[image via screengrab]
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