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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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    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]