WASHINGTON, D.C. Friday Jan. 11, 2013 “We know that there is no silver bullet, no seat belt,” says Joe Biden prior to meeting with video game industry this Friday, as he searches for a solution to stemming any recurrence of the violent deaths of twenty children in Newtown, Conn. Despite Biden’s low-key approach to the meeting, the video industry is getting special attention because shooter Adam Lanza is reported to have enjoyed playing a violent video game.
Game industry says they do not cause violence
“There’s no link between violent video games and real world violence like mass shooting, bullying or youth aggression,” the pro-video game organization Entertainment Consumers Association said in an open letter to the Vice President. The letter cites studies showing that although video game use is increasing, violent crime has been diminishing in the U.S.
Violent crime is diminishing
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirms there were fewer homicides in the workplace every year over a fourteen-year span according to their recently published The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. There were 8,666 homicides at work over the span of fourteen years. The average from 2006 to 2010 is 551 deaths per year. According to data made available by the BLS, school shootings happened only 12 times during that five-year period.
Research links aggressive behavior to gaming
Various studies such as those done in 1987, 1999, and 2001 say children demonstrated more aggressive behavior from watching television or playing video games.
Hard to prevent
“It is highly unlikely that we could have prevented this (Sandy Hook shooting). The only potential for prevention in this case it seems, would have been if somebody who knew the shooter suspected that he had problems that could lead to this and got him help,” said W. Barry Nixon, executive director of the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, in an earlier interview.
See: How to prepare for an event like Newtown, Conn.
Major video game players in attendance
Video game companies meeting with Biden this Friday are Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, E-Line Media, Epic Games, GameStop, Take-Two Interactive and ZeniMax Media. Industry association representatives included The Entertainment Software Association and the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Experts attending were from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, an independent research lab focused on educating children on media, Texas A&M and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Pictured are Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts, home of the “Medal of Honor” franchise, Biden, Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association and Attorney General Eric Holder.