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Video game researcher “cautiously optimistic” over Biden meeting

Saturday, 12 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.

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14 Comments

  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.

    *HINT
    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…

    INSTEAD OF BLAMING ON A GAME… wow Joe… REALLY???

    #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

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]

  • Toejam and Earl are back with a new Kickstarter

    The early 90′s are alive and well in a new bid to bring back Toejam and Earl. Toejam and Earl released for Mega Drive (Genesis, Americans) in 1991, and the eponymous characters went on to count among Sega’s best-known characters. They appeared in a platformer, a light gun shooter and finally a 2002 Xbox game […]

  • New Wander trailer shows off Azertash form

    Wander is a collaborative, non-combat MMO in which you can take on a number of unique forms. Wander players begin as an ambulant tree called an Oren and can progress through several different bodies as they explore the environment, learning its secrets. One of these, which we’d not seen before this trailer, is the amphibious […]

  • SOMA approaching beta phase on PC and PS4

    SOMA, the new horror game from the Amnesia: The Dark Descent crew, is getting close to playable. Frictional Games has apologised for its recent silence over the project, but said it’s focused on reaching beta. Sorry all for the silence! We're closing in on Beta and everyone's working hard to get there. Once that's done, […]

  • Square Enix does not condone Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest HD Remaster

    Square Enix has said it’s not involved with a fan remake of Final Fantasy spin-off Mystic Quest. 1992 SNES game Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is being remade by Dark Design as Mystic Quest HD Remaster. The developer is even taking pre-orders for the project. Unfortunately, it looks like it is in no position to be […]

  • New Hunger teaser released by LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers

    LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers Tarsier Studios have released a teaser trailer for Hunger, which was announced in May 2014 at the Nordic Game Conference. The game has been rumored to be the firm’s unannounced Sony project since 2010. Platforms are still to be announced, but the studio became a first-party SCE developer a few years back, […]

  • Here’s two Mario Party 10 overview videos, one featuring amiibo

    Overview videos for Mario Party 10 and the amiibo which work with the title have been released by Nintendo Japan. Obviously each one is in Japanese, but you get the gist all the same. Mario Party 10 releases on Wii U March 20 in North America and Europe. Thanks, AGB.

  • Clan Raids announced for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App

    Activision has announced a new Clan Raids mode will be made available through the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App. According to the CoD community blog, raids are time-based challenges where success earns you a spot on the Clan Raids leaderboards and new Clan Raid-exclusive in-game gear like the Equilibrium set. Clan members will […]

  • Play Battlefield Hardline starting March 12 through EA Access

    Xbox One users with an EA Access subscription will be able to play 10 hours worth of Battlefield Hardline starting March 12. EA Access members will are being granted access to the game five days before the street date, with full multiplayer and all saves transferring over into the main game. It was announced yesterday […]

  • This video summarizes the contents of Destiny patch 1.1.1

    With Destiny patch 1.1.1 now available, here’s a video summary of what to expect. In the video above, Arekkz Gaming gives you a rundown of the important bits in the update. Subscribe to Arekkz Gaming for more Destiny tips and trick through the link.

  • Destiny 1.1.1 patch notes out, update is live

    Destiny’s 1.1.1 patch arrives today, so if you have been kicked from activities, it means you will need to download the patch now that it’s live. We will be pushing the 1.1.1 patch for Destiny shortly. Players will be kicked from activities and required to download the patch. — Bungie Help (@BungieHelp) February 25, 2015 […]

  • Payday 2 packs based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number coming

    Starbreeze has announced another collaboration with Dennaton Games which will see masks based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number appear in Payday 2. The collaboration consists of two free updates when you acquire Hotline Miami 2 or its deluxe version on Steam from February 25. The two updates, called Hotline Miami Mask Pack and Jacket […]

  • Velocity 2X making its way onto Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One

    Velocity 2X will be released on Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One Futurlab has announced. The developer is in charge of the port, which will be published by Sierra. According to Futurlab, the deal with Sierra came about when self-publishing proved to be difficult due to spending “more time doing PR and marketing on Velocity […]

  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number finally has a release date

    A release date for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been announced, finally. The game will arrive on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita March 10. It is now available for pre-order on GOG, Humble and Steam for 10% off for $13.49/£10.99. There’s also a Digital Special Edition available which includes tracks from […]