In the wake of all the recent US shootings, some are happy to chant the ridiculous mantra of “Guns don’t kill people, Games do!” EA head John Riccitiello, however, affirms that there’s no causal link between violence in games, and violence perpetuated in the real world – but does concede that there’s a very real perception that the link exists – and it’s up to industry to address that.
“The games industry is a very mature, responsible industry, more so than you might otherwise imagine,” Riccitiello said during EA’s investor call. “We’re very confident in the quality of our content and the lack of an actual factual linkage to any of the actual violence that takes place in America and markets around the world.
“There is no doubt that we, like you, were stunned and horrified by the violence in Connecticut or Colorado and many other places over the years. But there’s been an enormous amount of research done in the entertainment fields looking for linkages between entertainment content and actual violence and they haven’t found any,” he added.
“I could give you long stories about how people in UK, or Denmark or Ireland or Canada consume as much or more violent games and violent media as we do in the United States, and yes, they have an infinitely smaller incidence of gun violence, but that’s not really the point. The point is, the direct studies that have been done – hundreds of millions of dollars of research that has been done – has been unable to find a linkage because there isn’t one.”
He largely agrees with the US supreme court’s conclusion that videogames “deserve all of the First Amendment Right freedoms that are afforded to any media,” but that the perception that games, which do have a habit of glamourising gun violence, are responsible for for actual violence is something that the industry shouldn’t ignore.
“We understand that while there may not be an actual problem, given all the finger-pointing going on in the press, there appears to be the perception of a problem and we do have to wrestle with that,” he said.
“We’re responsible, we’re mature, we intend to be part of the solution. Our media reaches literally every American and that can be used as a voice for good,” he said, saying that EA will soon address “how we can be a part of the solution to this perception problem as oppose to, if you will, the butt of the joke.”
Using my very skewed and limited world-view, I really think the larger problem is the US’ intrinsic gun culture; something the US presidency is looking to rectify through a possible overhaul of gun laws – much to the chagrin of the arsenal-toting bunch who take the “right to bear arms” a little overboard. The other big issue is one of mental health, which is a little trickier to resolve, because every single person in America is certifiably crazy [Citation needed]