Biden encourages game industry to improve its image

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.


  • TaserLime - January 15, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Can we please take a second to acknowledge the irony of the NRA putting out a shooting gallery game for iOS, targeted towards kids, in the midst of this witch hunt. It's almost like the Mr. Show sketch 'Channel 6: We Make The News'
  • jackthemenace - January 15, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    It's nice that Biden doesn't believe- or at least, doesn't actively promote- that there's a correlation between violent video games and violent crimes, but his statement still leaves a little to be desired. Obviously, things like making trailers less violent and putting more emphasis on the charitable work companies like The Humble Bundle team do, but there's only so much the gaming industry themselves can do to change the public's view on them, and the rest's up to the public themselves. Them and the media, that is. Because no matter how much the gaming industry does to promote itself with it's "Spec Ops: The Line"s and it's "Professor Layton"s and it's "Portal"s, there's still going to be stuff like the Mass Effect "sex scene scandal"- which I'm now going to take to calling MassEffectGate- and there's still going to be violent games in at least some sense of the term that the media can focus all it's efforts on.
  • ultimatepunchrod - January 15, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    Well I'm glad this didn't turn out to be the government looking for a scapegoat. Hopefully people outside the industry will start realizing how huge the games business is and stop pretending it's some kind of new trend.
  • Unoriginal - January 15, 2013 4:34 a.m.

    Biden just earned himself some respect.
  • CountRichtertoffen - January 14, 2013 7:50 p.m.

    "...even if they are not part of the problem they could be part of the solution." I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.
  • keltar93 - January 14, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    Huh, a rational and reasonable response? You sure this man is a politician?
  • ObliqueZombie - January 14, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    Wow. Good job, American government.
  • shawksta - January 14, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    Biden went through it nicely
  • XD00175 - January 14, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    Wow, I never expected I'd consider Joe Biden as smart. Good job Mr. VP
  • Child Of Death - January 14, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    Why is there not more politicians like this guy?
  • LoneFullmetal7 - January 14, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    Well that's cool, makes me feel like the government is more competent than I thought.
  • deceasedxo - January 14, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Wow a reasonable politician, I am stunned.
  • ZuzuPachulia - January 14, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Maybe this is gonna stop CoD from coming out every year...

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