Vice President Joe Biden met with leaders and researchers in the video game industry on January 11 to discuss gun violence and the impact entertainment may have on consumers' real-world actions. Biden was charged with leading a task force to gather input from members of the gun violence debate following the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.
The above video shows Biden's opening remarks, seated next to EA CEO John Riccitiello and president of the Electronic Software Association, Michael Gallagher.
"We know this is a complex problem," Biden said. "We know there's no single answer and, quite frankly, we don't even know whether some of the things people think impact on this actually impact on it or not." He put a hand on Riccitiello's shoulder. "I want you to know you have not been 'singled out' for help, but we've asked a whole lot of people."
Those people included the law enforcement community, physicians and medical authorities, at-risk and child advocacy groups, domestic violence prevention groups, legal and justice organizations, civil rights groups, youth organizations, gun safety and advocacy groups, educators and parents, the mental health community, sportsmen organizations, the NRA, retailers, film organizations and the one Biden found the most interesting, an inter-faith group. Biden's tour will conclude in a meeting with President Barack Obama on January 15, where they will discuss his findings with the goal of curtailing gun violence in the future.
Prior to the meeting, gaming groups such as the International Game Developers Association and Electronic Consumer Association sent open letters to Biden expressing their positions. The IGDA specifically called for Biden to explore both the positive and negative effects of imaginary violence and warned against the type of censorship that "did irreparable damage" to the comic book industry in the 1950s.