Thursday’s meeting between the games industry, under-fire president Trump and several vocal critics of violent video games didn’t seem to produce much in the way of results, although it did deliver a White House produced kill montage of some graphically violent scenes in games, including shots from Fallout, Dead by Daylight and Call of Duty.
Deus Ex and System Shock veteran Warren Spector took to Twitter, saying that everyone associated with the games on show should be ashamed of themselves, as they hurt the industry.
I don't believe games cause violent behavior. Not for one second. However, the videogame reel shown at the White House on Thursday is simply disgusting. Every shot is in colossally bad taste and everyone associated with those games should be ashamed of themselves. They hurt us.
— Warren Spector (@Warren_Spector) March 9, 2018
One Twitter user responded pointing to the fact you could kill children in Deus Ex, a game Spector worked on.
"I hope players were repulsed by the killing of children," Spector responded. "And, easy for me to say, but true: I’m ashamed of the kid-killing possibility and wouldn’t do it again. Can’t promise, but I don’t think I’ll ever make another game where you can kill virtual people at all."
Spector did acknowledge that the conversation around video game violence was "a red herring" and that "there are more important things we should be talking about when it comes to shootings (mass and otherwise)."
Meanwhile, Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford replied to defend games and depictions of video game violence: "Your own games can be cut with such a mindset -pressed into the same service of highlighting depictions of violence to undermine art and expression. Such depictions are sometimes necessary if art is going to be useful to our species. Have you not read Shakespeare? The bible?"
He added: "Warren… this was a dishonestly cut hit reel – strategically out of context shots assembled by a propagandist mindset. That the tactic can have such an impact on a mind as disciplined and sophisticated as yours is disheartening."