Video game researcher “cautiously optimistic” over Biden meeting

Saturday, 12th January 2013 17:32 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Members of the video game industry met with US VP Joe Biden yesterday at the White House to discuss how or if violent video games contribute to gun violence in the US.

Yesterday’s two-hour session marked day three of meetings with various representatives on both sides of the violence issue.

“I come to this meeting with no judgment,” Biden stated at the start of the meeting, per The Associated Press. “You all know the judgments other people have made. We’re looking for help.”

Biden said during the meeting that the administration was not trying to single out the video game industry.

Video game representatives present at the meeting alongside Biden, attorney general Eric Holder, and health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius were: the Entertainment Software Association’s president Michael Gallagher, EA CEO John Riccitiello, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman, ex-Epic Games president Mike Capps, and representatives from Activision and Take-Two.

Other participants in the meeting were Grand Theft Childhood co-author Cheryl Olson, Texas A&M researcher Christopher Ferguson a researcher from University Wisconsin at Madison, and a representative from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

“We know that there’s no silver bullet, no seat belt you can put on to assure that we will not be in this circumstance again, but I ask the cabinet to come together, because we know this is a complex problem,” Biden continued. “We know there is no single answer and quite frankly we don’t even know whether some of the things people think impact, actually impact on it or not.”

After the meeting, Texas A&M’s Christopher Ferguson, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the meeting’s outcome.

“Part of it was sort of a fact-finding thing for the VP,” he said, stating he felt Biden did his best to convey the meeting wasn’t “a witch hunt,” stating it was a smart move for the games industry to attend the meeting because shunning it would “have been a mistake.”

Ferguson’s research has shown that real-world violent behavior isn’t caused by violence in video games, and the industry doesn’t need to “necessarily change anything” it’s doing, but focus instead on “how it’s perceived by the public.”

“What the industry needs to do is take the vice president’s advice and really think about: what are some positive things that the industry can do? Public education campaigns about the ERSB rating systems, trying to avoid some blatant missteps like having a gun manufacturer as part of their website, that kind of stuff,” he said.

The White House has posted a video of the meeting, which is just over the 12-minute mark, and you can watch it on C-Span as well.



  1. dex3108

    I have watched 1000h of tennis but i still cant play it like pro XD And according to them i should :D

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Moonwalker1982

    I just hope it won’t have any consequences on videogames in general. I mean there’s no way they can stop ‘violent’ videogames, cause that would mean pretty much the end of PC and consoles. Maybe they should research parents instead…i’d say thats not a bad idea.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. dex3108

    They will blame everything except their weapon regulations.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Cobra951

    They will blame everything except the actual killers.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    Do any of you know even the slightest thing about this whole discussion? Apparently not, seeing as the vast majority of the lead up to this has been in *defence* of violent video games, not prosecution.

    The democratic party has already commented passionately on tightening gun regulations, and many support the idea. Gaming is not being singled out here. Gun debates are ongoing daily.

    God people, do some minuscule research before you complain about something. Being completing unwilling to even engage in the discussion just makes you look juvenile and childish.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Cobra951

    Oh, are they discussing the price of ice cream? Bird migration? No. (I hope not anyway.) They’re discussing videogames in the context of gun violence. I don’t care about the minutiae of such discussions, anymore than I would support any discussion about the effect of race on intelligence or morality. It’s fundamentally flawed, and can’t possibly do any good. It only has the potential to restrict our freedoms further, and has no hope of curbing gun violence. Neither do gun laws, but at least that’s a genuinely debatable point.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. sh4dow

    @4: Because it is of no interest THAT it happens. Nobody needs to debate that. The issue is WHY it happens. Or… at least pretending to care about why it happens. Because of course they aren’t REALLY going to debate the “why”. Just some quick fix to shut the morons up. And even if it still doesn’t help so they can shrug and go “we tried”. Even though they really didn’t.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DSB

    Until someone dares to approach guns, nothing’s gonna happen.

    There’s no way you’d ever need a semi-automatic weapon to hunt an animal, that feature only makes sense if you intend to combat or kill a person, and it’s obviously very effective if you intend to kill a lot of people.

    You can’t really take it seriously when people are left scratching their heads and wondering about violent media or flying spaghetti monsters, when they live in a society that happily unleashes those weapons upon itself.

    What did you think was gonna happen. You give everybody weapons designed to kill people, and expect them to live in peace? How stupid are you?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. SlayerGT

    I suggest listening to the latest Game Scoop podcast over on IGN. They have a great discussion on this topic.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. JimFear-666

    i heard this meeting will be available as dlc on the next the sims game.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. gambitvii

    @4: DSB

    I can pound you with reality checks and stats all day but I doubt you’ll budge. Since I was once upon a time extremely anti-gun I can see where your coming from as well as the fallacy of that logic.

    Your willing to apply that logic to something you feel attached to, in this case: video games. Yet you aren’t willing to utilize the same logic on firearms becasue of your lack of experience and understanding of them.

    I know more people who stab for games and rob for PS3′s than I know people who have killed with their guns. And I know A LOT of people with A LOT of guns now. And still the ones I have to worry about are my siblings going to school where people jump each other with box cutters for some Nike Air Jordans.

    Whether you like guns or not, you are giving up YOUR power to make a say in a life or death situation by going against guns. Bottom line. The guys who are probably ex-cops, ex-military, or just a friend who will be willing to die to save his friends and loved one’s won’t have a say either. Just like everyone else, if you take away their unfair advantage then only the enemy will have the right to have it.

    In case you forgot to research, people don’t die from one or two shots too often. If you believe this, you “watch too much TV” and need to do some serious research by talking to doctors, veterans, and LEO’s at the very least.

    Seriously, video games are a far greater deterrent to human imaginations than a tool that just sits in the closet and goes to the range once in a while. And I don’t even blame video games for violence. Like all things, people find ways to express themselves and if they mean to express through the means of violence, they will find ways to do so even if it means making a home-made bomb.

    Would you rather people start using chemical warfare to get their way? Because those don’t make headlines if you actually did your share of research and applied some critical thinking skills.

    If you want to blame guns instead of looking at people’s value systems then you are doing things completely wrong. And I doubt you’ll stop looking for scape goats even if it gets to the point that everything gets banned.

    So let’s get this straight: Guns are the problem but video games aren’t? Of course, if anyone here is intelligent they would know that the answer is this: neither. The last death threat I got was from a gamer, and I suppose some virtual humiliation was enough for him to spike up and grab a knife. What do you think kept me alive to this day? That’s right, a firearm (at least making him aware of the consequences) And guess what, I’ve yet to fire a shot at another human being.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. NightCrawler1970

    I bet Sons of Joe Biden plays MW3 or BO2… because they can do whatever they can…

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people…
    That sick F*ck from Arizona.. another one from Sandy Hook that sick f*ck lives in the basement, and mom stored all the guns in the basement…

    I think it’s time to put some 10 questions on paper mostly psychological question… if the person pass, second step, buy a GUN-SAFE instead of a gun-cabin… if proof of purchase of a GUN-SAFE than people can buy gun/riffle…


    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    @11 Again, the fact that people are paranoid or want to be able to take on the government in a firefight still doesn’t serve as a very good argument as to why they should have guns. I’d say it serves as a pretty good argument as to why they shouldn’t.

    The level and volume of the general gun violence in the US is directly facilitated by an almost unique access to firearms.

    For the record I spent my time between Alabama and Europe, and I can’t even count the instances of random gun violence in my area, Mobile, which is considered relatively peaceful compared to other cities.

    You can’t arm a good guy without arming the bad along with them. That seems to be the point lost on all the idiots who suggest that putting even more, and ever more powerful guns in the hands of even more totally random people is somehow a solution.

    So then how would we defend ourselves against those guns? Buy even more, and even bigger ones yet again? Seriously, that logic is just so fucking stupid.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. tmac2011

    im 26 now and i have been playing video games since i was 6 years old and couldnt talk i got speech problems and different stuff but im still pretty normal. i own a .45 springfield automatic an ar 15. seriously this is just an excuse to ban video games and guns. no matter what there going to get the guns. Sandy hook shooter got them from his mother and they were bought and registered. they’ve banned these before and never stopped it before so why waste time. i have a concealed carry license too, but i never need to carry it cuz i work in a restraunt also where theres police always going in and out. i hate gun free zones that doesnt make sense

    #14 2 years ago

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