Game maker contests worries over violence

The boss of Electronic Arts (EA) has denied there is any link between video game content and “actual violence,” reports the BBC.

“John Riccitiello spoke out on the subject during a conference call with bank analysts following his firm’s latest earnings forecast. But he acknowledged that his industry did face a ‘perception issue’.

“The topic has become the focus of political debate in the US following shootings in a Connecticut school and a Colorado cinema. imgresAfter the incidents, the National Rifle Association (NRA) – which itself had been accused of culpability – said the video game industry sowed ‘violence against its own people’. “Republican congresswoman Diane Franklin subsequently proposed a sales tax on violent titles, saying the money should be used to ‘finance mental health programs and law enforcement measures to prevent mass shootings’.

Former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader went further, accusing games publishers of being ‘electronic child molesters’ and demanded regulation.

“Vice President Joseph Biden was recently tasked with heading an inquiry into the causes of gun violence and specifically looked at the issue of computer games. He concluded: ‘There is no hard data as to whether or not these excessively violent video games in fact cause people to engage in behaviour that is antisocial, including using guns.’ John Riccitiello said video games could act as ‘a voice for good. However, during an online video interview, he also referred to a 2008 research paper published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It said that a study of US and Japanese youth had suggested playing violent video games was ‘a significant risk factor for later physically aggressive behaviour’”.


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