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Video Game Researcher, Christopher Ferguson, Offers Thoughts On Biden Meeting

VP Joe Biden

The meeting between Vice President Joe Biden, his task force, and the video game industry took place on Friday, January 11th, 2013. Christopher Ferguson, who offered his opinions on the proposed Southington, Connecticut video game burning, has shared his thoughts on the proceedings.

For two hours, video game industry representatives spoke with Biden and his task force about the impact, if at all, that violent media has and whether or not it’s related to gun violence.

According to VG247, the representatives included Entertainment Software Association president Michael Gallagher, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman, ex-Epic Games president Mike Capps, and reps from Activision and Take-Two. These figures from the video game industry sat down with Biden, attorney general Eric Holder, and Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary.

In the video below, Biden states that he came to the meeting with no judgment and said, “You all know the judgments other people have made. We’re looking for help.” He listed off other groups that he had met with, prior to the video game reps, which included other entertainment industry figures from film and television a day earlier.

Also present at the meeting was Christopher Ferguson, the Texas A&M researcher who offered his opinion in regard to the SouthingtonSOS’ plan to collect violent media, which included video games, and then destroy them.

He also offered his thoughts on this meeting of the minds and when it was over, said, “Part of it was sort of a fact-finding thing for the VP.” Ferguson says Biden made sure to make it clear that no blame was being put on the industry and that it wasn’t a “witch hunt.”

His research shows that violence in gaming has no bearing on violence in the real world and that the video game industry should focus on “how it’s perceived by the public.” One argument being made by people who don’t believe gaming affects violent behavior, like Brean Capital director of research Todd Mitchell, featured on Kotaku, is that these games are being played around the world, so why is it only a problem in the United States?

Ferguson went on to say, ““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.”

The video for the beginning of the meeting is below, so check it out and leave us your thoughts on gaming, gun violence, and what might need to be done so that one doesn’t get blamed on the other.

 

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