After the shooting in Connecticut and the National Rifle Association (NRA)'s consequent finger pointing at the games industry, Vice President Joe Biden has been talking to various industry groups to figure out a solid plan of action to try and help prevent something like this from occurring again. He has met with members of the NRA, retailers, and movie and television industries.
This past Friday Biden met with members of the games industry, the industry which has been the most under fire and the first to bear the blame whenever a violent tragedy happens. The attendees included the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), representatives from Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, Take-Two and Electronic Arts, as well as the ESRB which is responsible for rating games in the U.S. Representatives from various universities also attended.
The International Game Developers Association and the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) wrote letters urging Biden not to treat the games industry as a scapegoat for violence, a feeling that other industry representatives shared.
But the VP assured them he wasn't coming to the meeting with a predisposition.
"I come to this meeting with no judgment. You all know the judgments other people have made," he said, according to Shack News. Biden claims that the government is simply "looking for help" in formulating a plan. He said he didn't know how to tell whether or not our culture is causing this or not.
"There's no measure that I'm aware of to determine whether or not there's a coarsening of our culture in a way that is not healthy," he said. "I don't know the answer to that question, and I'm not sure what kind of impact it would have or wouldn't have on the events we're looking at. But I wanted to tell you what we're about."
The games industry came prepared to defend themselves however, with the ESA reportedly telling Biden that independent research hasn't found any "casual connection" between games and real-life violence. They also noted that violent crime amongst the young has fallen since the early 1990s whilst video games have ever increased in popularity. "We also recognized that gun violence is a serious problem in our country," the statement read. The group said it wanted to help formulate "meaningful solutions."
Vice President Biden said he plans to send President Barack Obama a package of recommendations by Tuesday, based on the various industry meetings and research conducted in the past ten years. The proposals are expected to include calls for universal background checks and bans on assault weapons and the like.