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Biden to meet with game reps on gun violence

UPDATE: The Entertainment Software Association confirmed to Kotaku that its president and CEO Michael Gallagher will meet with Vice President Biden on Friday. The original story follows.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will meet with representatives from the video game industry to determine its potential role in preventing gun violence. Biden's task force was formed in response to a string of shootings in the U.S., most notably the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Reuters reports Biden will also meet with representatives from the National Rifle Association--the very same gun lobbying group which decried games as a "corrupting shadow industry" in its first press conference after the Sandy Hook shooting.

The task force will prominently look into legislation banning assault weaponry, however it will also look at what role the entertainment industry and video games (White House representative Jay Carney specifically singled out games) had in the tragedies. We don't know who, specifically, will meet with Biden, and the Entertainment Software Association did not confirm or deny its attendance to Gamasutra.

The ideas and perspectives Biden's task force assembles will serve to inform President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, which is typically delivered in late January.

21 comments

  • sxh967 - January 10, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    The vast majority of people who own guns don't go out on killing sprees no matter how stressed/angry/sad they are. The majority of people who play video games don't go out on killing sprees no matter how much that game rewards violence against others in-game. With this logic, we may as well outlaw just about everything in existence because I'm sure if you look at everything in your house/room, the majority of it will have been used, somewhere in the world, to kill or attempt to kill somebody. It's fantastic saying things like "let's stop [insert group of people in society] from having weapons because they might commit the same kinds of crime, but the truth seems to be that some people just do it. There probably is a scientific explanation for it and we will probably know a lot more about it in the next 10 years or so. But, right now we don't really seem to know and all of this finger-pointing isn't getting anybody anywhere.
  • silax - January 10, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    Now that you mention it, I often find it easier to break trees with my hands rather than go grab an axe
  • KA87 - January 10, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    If they get their way, all of the guns in Far cry 3 will be replaced with Nerf guns,the gernades with teddy bears, and the daggers with rubber ducks. "Ha ha ha, I just quacked you to death"-laughs Jason Brody
  • Tomdanger - January 10, 2013 3:29 a.m.

    guns are too easy to use and to many people have them. just look at you tube and see what people do with their hunting assault rifle. Guns are bad mkay and you don't need a semi auto to go deer hunting. One bullet should be enough not 20.
  • wadesmit - January 10, 2013 3:12 a.m.

    I don't even know what it is that drives people to believe - immediately after a shooting - that games are to blame. It seems to be the knee-jerk reaction of people beyond the sphere of gaming to blame it for having made people violent. It's just surprising that such a vast ignorance would still exist. Movies are not blamed - at least not in the public eye en masse - since cinemas are so widely attended and understood. Maybe years ago, in the beginning years of cinema, might movies have been blamed for unacceptable behaviour, but we know now that that's false. We know where entertainment lies in its level of cognizant influence. But seemingly, since gaming are still not accessible or easily understood by many parents or elders, despite having grown massively, it gets the blame. Maybe it's the mystery of the esoteric that people find easy to point at and use as a scapegoat, much like heavy metal used to be. People just won't admit that it's the current condition of the human mind that's to blame, and that't not a condition fostered by our entertainment medium. That's something that needs to be looked at now. How can we mitigate these outbursts of insanity. How can we curb that, while making people aware that gaming, films, music, are not the blame? Certainly not through a meeting with the NRA.
  • Oujisama - January 9, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    Sigh~ This again huh? I've dealt with these stories long to know that society will get absolutely NOWHERE as long as they keep trying to find things to blame. That's all they ever do, just look around for SOMETHING to blame. Because its easy right? Why bother trying to see what's going on with PEOPLE. Who cares about why the PERSON actually it when you can just waste time looking for something irrelevant to blame? Seriously, this just sickens me. Here's the truth. No form of entertainment causes anyone to do anything. It does does NOT have that sort of power. Violent video games cause violence? I guess cute children are the reason pedophiles want to molest children. That is very sound logic. But in all seriousness, there is absolutely no evidence to even consider the possibility that video games have anything to do with causing violence. Here is the only thing you need to know: certain people are drawn to certain forms of escapism because of who they are. Disturbed people prefer disturbing things. That is all there is to it. Did marilyn manson and doom cause the columbine shooters to become who they are? No. Isn't it completely and utterly obvious that kids like that just like shooting games and rock n roll because they belong to a certain category of teenager? The type that resorts to certain forms of escapism because they are bullied and shunned by their peers. I've had enough of this shit. I'm done. Can't even type incoherently anymore.
  • shawksta - January 9, 2013 9:12 p.m.

    The only irk i have is that it HAS to be video games on their record, what if the kid read Violent comic books? or Watched allot of Violent movies? Im sure they wouldve had a strict eye but no, it had to be that he played violent video games. Its the people themselves that currupt themselves to do it, and even then the parents are responsible, thats WHY we have ESRB rating, so undermature kids cant get them but the parents dont listen
  • Yellow Devil - January 9, 2013 6:41 p.m.

    Vice President Biden is in charge of a violence "Task Force"? May God have mercy on our souls.
  • bass88 - January 9, 2013 7:04 p.m.

    I know. It reads like a bizzare anime show you'd find at three in the morning.
  • winner2 - January 10, 2013 4:53 a.m.

    Yeah just saying out it loud has a really weird effect, it's like a bad dream.
  • ironman88 - January 9, 2013 6:30 p.m.

    Funny how the video games industry gets blamed for the tragedy and not the gun industry...
  • Yellow Devil - January 9, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    Not blaming the Gun Industry...? The liberals are having a field day on Sunday talk shows, Huffpo and twitter feeds slamming guns, NRA and the industry. Even Bank of America has stalled accounts of legal gun manufacturers (which is probable breaching some bank-client agreements). Attention to detail next time.
  • Corsair89 - January 9, 2013 8:48 p.m.

    Funny how the gun industry gets blamed and not the gunmen... Dumbass.
  • 7-D - January 10, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    It's all of this black & white / clearcut blame mentality that is holding back any real intelligent discussion. Makers of assault weaponry and the NRA have to shoulder some responsibility and no-one is suggesting that the gunmen are acting outside of their own will? It's all this simplifying and "dumbass" name-calling that helps hold us back.
  • Malakie - January 9, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    Video games DO have an impact on kids and their idea of things.. However it is not just video games. Movies and Music also have a major impact as much as video game do. I like to play video games myself. And while the majority of us can tell the difference between a game and reality, the fact is there IS a percentage of kids out there that get so engrossed in this stuff it starts to become THEIR reality. Look at people who line up for days just to get a certain game release or a new piece of hardware! Some of these kids have an emotional and mental issue that makes them much more susceptible than the average person. Even our military has seen this in recruits of younger ages.. Not only are they much more in tune with electronics, computers and so forth, in some cases the impact of what they are doing comes out more like they are playing a game rather than doing something for real.. an attitude almost like they think they can do all this and if something goes wrong they will just reload the game again. Basically a lapse from actual reality is existing. The other major part of all this however is not just that these kids are losing reality to a game they play but that they have NO family support network. Instead of a mother and father raising them, they are being raised by video games and computers. And those kids who start to blur the line between what is real and what is a game are getting lost because there is no one to stop them and catch the hints that something is wrong in their perceptions. Banning video games, Movies and of course Guns is NOT the answer. And doing so will NOT change anything. The problem is much deeper than that. But right now our politicians are stuck in this stupid mentality of the few who want to just ban anything they do not like or agree with.. and THAT is more dangerous than anything else.
  • christian-shaffer - January 9, 2013 6:49 p.m.

    The problem isn't video games, music, or film. The problem is people who don't want and/or know how to talk to their kids. Parents go out and buy their kids the next big MA without even knowing anything about the game. The same can be said for film and music. It's not an issue of entertainment. It's an issue of communication and understanding. I do however, completely agree that banning any of these things won't change anything. In fact, it would probably make things worse.
  • StoneDreadnaught - January 9, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    Jim Sterling's video said it best with showing, in his video for his argument against violence desensitizing gamers, the clip of Budd Dwyer. I had never heard of the guy, or the incident, but it's... unsettling, to say the least. I think they should show that clip to that idiot David Keene and see how he handles it. He's been around guns for awhile, right? Fired a couple different kinds, seen all the violence and terrible things the news posts. Surely that clip won't bother him nearly as much as someone who's been exposed to virtual violence for just as long, right?
  • obviouslyadouche - January 9, 2013 4:06 p.m.

    My friends and I did go through a period where we would rip each others spines out when mortal kombat came out, since you know I can't tell the difference between reality and a videogame

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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