Gamasutra is reporting that Joe Biden, aka the Vice-President of the United States, has invited leaders in the Game Industry to be part of a round table with the NRA, Mental Health Professionals and other interested parties to discuss what role the Industry can play in preventing further massacres.
This follows Decembers announcement by Senator Jay Rockefeller wanting the National Academy of Sciences to study the relationship between videogames, as well as other media, and acts of violence.
On the surface, both of these motions could be viewed in the positive. If Games are going to be blamed for violence despite a lack of conclusive evidence then further study and a greater interaction with the Political mainstream should only help our cause.
Sadly this is not the case. In Politics, as in most things, appearance is everything. If the evening news shows pictures of Game Developers walking alongside Wayne LaPierre or other NRA figureheads then for thousands, if not tens of thousands of people the case will be closed. Violent Games do have some blame for the tragic events of this winter.
|Do you want to be associated with this man?||Source|
Even if this doesn't happen then we have to question the motives behind both mens initiatives. In Rockefellers case, he made it abundantly clear what he wanted the NAS to discover in its study:
"Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it.They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. Parents, pediatricians and psychologists know better. These court decisions show we need to do more and explore ways Congress can lay additional groundwork on this issue."
- Senator RockefellerSource
With Biden things are more complicated, but we do know that was asked to chair these meetings by President Obama, and that the President will shortly make a State of the Union address no doubt including some of what was found at the Biden-chaired meetings. If even a throw away line is included "Joe Biden has met with the parties who must change, with the NRA and leaders of the Game Industry" then the damage is again done.