Video Games Suffer from a Perception Issue in Violence Debate, EA CEO Says

Publishers and developers need to step up and set things straight

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has talked about the violent video game debate, emphasizing that, while actual studies have found no link between the two, there's still a negative perception regarding video games and how they influence violent behavior.

Ever since the tragic Sandy Hook shooting last year, the controversy surrounding video games and their impact on violent behavior has caught new life, with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden even inviting representatives of large publishers, including EA's John Riccitiello, to talk about how games affect their players.

Now, the EA CEO has tackled the debate, via CVG, and emphasized that lots of surveys have already been made in regards to video games and violent behavior and none of them found a link between the two.

"The games industry is a very mature, responsible industry, more so than you might otherwise imagine," said Riccitiello. "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.

Sadly, while the surveys didn't find any links, media coverage continues to portray games as playing a key role in determining violent behavior, so Riccitiello emphasizes that video game companies need to step up and do whatever they can to correct the mistake.

"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. We were horrified like you, it's not about games, there's a perception issue, and we can be part of that solution and we're ready to step up to do that."

EA is one of the major backers of the Electronic Software Association, the main lobby group for the gaming industry in the U.S. Congress.

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