Randy Pitchford, the leader of developer Gearbox, believes it is unfair to blame video games for real world violence, and that developers should have the freedom to include whatever content they want in their products.During an interview with GamesIndustry the developer states, “I have mixed feelings. I don’t think there are thought crimes. I think the evidence is that the more a culture can share an experience and understanding through informational media, that the more mature and safe and secure and nonviolent that culture actually becomes.”
Gratuitous violence is frowned upon in the industry, but most of the biggest franchises include some sort of conflict and various violent acts.
Pitchford says that statements like those coming from the National Rifle Association, blaming video games for acts of violence, have no constructive value.
The Gearbox leader believes that the NRA would do well to study the way the games industry collaborates with the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.
He adds, “Imagine if the NRA was actually advocating for gun laws; imagine if the NRA had the same relationship with the gun industry that the ESRB has with the game industry.”
After the December Sandy Hook shooting, rumors suggested that the gunman had been influenced by long hours spent playing Call of Duty and Dynasty Warriors.
There are no studies that clearly establish a link between virtual violence and real life behavior, and there are some scientists who say video games are able to allow some players to discharge negative emotions.
United States President Barack Obama has signed an executive order which mandates the Congress to fund further research into the matter carried out by the Center of Disease Control.
Several bills that are set to restrict the sale of violent video games were also introduced on a state and federal level and defeated.
Gearbox recently launched Aliens: Colonial Marines and the team is now working on new Brothers in Arms titles.