U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with several executives from the gaming industry, as well as games researchers, on Friday. His highly publicized task force was formed to investigate the causes of gun violence, but according to one attendee, the talk was less about pointing the finger at games and more about improving their public perception.
Kotaku spoke with Chris Ferguson, a Texas A&M psychology professor who attended the meeting and specializes in the positive and negative effects of violent video games.
Biden said he was "agnostic" about any link between violent games and real-life violence, Ferguson said. No shouting arguments were had. In fact, Biden told the games industry executives present that they should consider ways to improve their image, and in the process likely shake off some of these associations.
"As much as anything, he seemed to be encouraging them to think about their public image, irrespective of the 'truth' of the violence/media debates," Ferguson said. "I don't know if [the gaming representatives] were quite there yet, I think they were trying to emphasize that they are not part of the problem, which is understandable, whereas VP Biden was trying to emphasize that even if they are not part of the problem they could be part of the solution."
Biden will present the task force's recommendations on reducing gun violence tomorrow.