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IGDA: Blaming gun violence on games is a distraction, but a chance to educate

March 9, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

"The thing that sets the United States apart is our access to firearms, not the games we play or the media we consume."

-IGDA executive director Jen MacLean weighs in on the recently revived violent video game debate

The seemingly endless debate over the relationship violent video games have to gun violence has been reignited in the wake of the Parkland school shooting that saw 17 students and teachers killed last month.

While U.S. lawmakers and representatives from the video game industry met with President Donald Trump yesterday to discuss the nature of the relationship between violent media and violent actions, International Game Developers Association executive director Jen MacLean appeared on MSNBC to publicly address the issue.

In the interview, MacLean told MSNBC that blaming video games for gun violence was “clearly a distraction” from the real issue at hand, but that the reopened discussion still presents an excellent chance for the industry to educate the public about the video game rating system already in place.

MacLean also said that there is no science to support a relationship between video games and gun violence, pointing out what she calls the common sense argument that, for the most part, the same video games are sold worldwide but that gun violence is a predominately U.S. issue.

The full interview can be viewed just above. The conversation originally aired as President Trump met with a number of representatives from the video game industry. Though the meeting was held behind closed doors, attendees of the roundtable said that it amounted to more of a “listening session” than the robust discussion many had hoped for.

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