Biden talks video game violence with industry representatives today

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Biden talks video game violence with industry representatives today
Biden talks video game violence with industry representatives today
US vice-president Joe Biden is meeting with games industry representatives today to discuss the role of violent video games with regards to gun violence, as part of a response to last month's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. As the Associated Press reports, today's meeting in Washington is the latest in a series of discussions Biden's task force is undertaking before presenting recommendations on how to suppress gun violence to President Barack Obama on Tuesday, January 15.

Meetings with film industry representatives and the National Rifle Association took place yesterday, with the NRA emerging "disappointed" from what it felt was an attack on the Second Amendment, objecting to a number of proposals including limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines and bans on assault weapons.

The Entertainment Software Association confirmed to Polygon that it's being represented at today's meeting by president Michael Gallagher. Sources involved with the meeting told Polygon other attendees include representatives for game publishers, research on the impact of video games on children, and the retail sector.

Several industry organizations, such as the International Game Developers Association and the Electronic Consumer Association, issued open letters to the vice president ahead of today's meeting. The IGDA calls on the government to consider the "totality" of research into video game violence, and to avoid causing the games industry similar damage to that suffered by the comic book industry because of the censorship laws of the 1950s. Similarly, the ECA notes a negative correlation between the growth of the games industry and the decrease in violent crime across the last decade.

As Polygon learned this week, there are plans to reintroduce a bill to Congress calling for a Federal Trade Commission study into connections between violent video games and harmful effects on children. The bill, originally brought to Congress last month following the Connecticut shooting, failed to make it through the 112th session on January 2. Its author, West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller, is likely to reintroduce the bill before the end of the month. Previous FTC studies failed to establish any causal connections between violent video games and violent behavior.
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