‘Grand Theft Childhood’ Author to Discuss Biden Meeting on MSNBC Saturday at 1 PM ET; ESA Issues Statement

According to a Polygon report, the video game industry executives and other interested parties that met with Vice-President Joe Biden's Gun Violence Commission walked away feeling that they were unscathed, and that Biden was looking for general input on media and violence. Attending the meeting were several executives from various game publishers including Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello, Epic Games board member and former president Mike Capps and ZeniMax Media CEO Robert Altman. ESA president Michael Gallagher, ESRB head Patricia Vance, and three researchers also attended the meeting.

One of those researchers was Grand Theft Child author and researcher Cheryl Olson, who told us that she would be appearing on a MSNBC on Saturday to discuss the meeting:

"I was part of VP Biden's meeting today with game industry and researchers," Olson told us in a brief email. "I will be on MSNBC tomorrow (Saturday) at 1 PM ET to discuss."

After the meeting ended the ESA issued a statement. Though the trade group for the game industry did not disclose what was specifically discussed at the meeting, it did describe the atmosphere as amicable:

"The video game industry had a productive and candid conversation with Vice President Biden and his Gun Violence Commission today," according to the ESA statement. "We thank the President and Vice President for their leadership, and including in their discussions a diverse array of stakeholders and perspectives. We look forward to working with the Vice President on meaningful solutions to the issue of gun violence."

"We expressed in the meeting that the United States Supreme Court recently affirmed that the independent, scientific research conducted to date has found no causal connection between video games and real-life violence. We also recognized that gun violence is a serious problem in our country. We are saddened by the recent tragic events, and as an industry integral to the social and cultural fabric of America, we look forward to continuing our engagement with government officials and policymakers focused on meaningful solutions."

Ultimately the meeting touched on current research about video games and violence, and what the video game industry can do it improve its image as well as the impressions the public might have about the products it makes…

Source: Polygon, image via Polygon – through the AP Press Photo Pool.

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  1. 0
    Chris Kimberley says:

    From the article, it doesn't sound like anyone was trying to place blame during the meetings.  More that they're trying to find solutions to problems and invited groups that tend to get blamed to discuss it.

    I certainly agree that an assault weapons ban wont do anything to prevent gun crime.  They're too expensive, hard to hide, and more difficult to use than handguns (based on what I've heard about them, I have no direct experience with any guns).  I do think that the states needs some decent gun-control laws though.  And I don't see a reason why anyone not involved in either law-enforcement or the military (yes, I'd include the militia) should have handguns.  Rifles and shotguns, sure.  Plenty of people go hunting and I have no problem with that.  Much harder to hide a rifle under your jacket than a pistol so it's much less useful for the "criminal element".

  2. 0
    GrimCW says:

    i dunno, maybe its something to do with the content in the above article is from a meeting that included people trying to find ways/reasons to blame general media, including games, for violence. And as such use it as a reason to either ban certain types of media, or firearms that have nothing to do with the problem at hand.

  3. 0
    Andy Hamm says:

    I agree GrimCW.

    Rifles, (of all types), only caused 323 deaths in 2011 according to the FBI.
    According to, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, these are the most common guns used to commit crimes:
    1. Smith and Wesson .38 revolver
    2. Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic
    3. Lorcin Engineering .380 semiautomatic
    4. Raven Arms .25 semiautomatic
    5. Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun
    6. Smith and Wesson 9mm semiautomatic
    7. Smith and Wesson .357 revolver
    8. Bryco Arms 9mm semiautomatic
    9. Bryco Arms .380 semiautomatic
    10. Davis Industries .380 semiautomatic
    Few, if any, will be affected by an "assault weapons" ban.


    I am against most new gun legislature. I feel the Government, and Media, are just exploiting Sandy Hook to get their way.
    I will support better background checks, waiting periods, ect…

  4. 0
    GrimCW says:

    i like how they still label gun violence as a "serious problem" when in actuality its one of the lower level ones overall…

    More people die in alcohol related incidents, or being stabbed to death than shot with LEGAL firearms..

    I won't deny there is a problem, and something need be done about it. But some of the things they're talking about is just insane and more "feel good" than actual fix.

    One very good hint to a good idea is "training"

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