Riccitiello: Games and violence aren’t linked, but the perception they are is damaging

EA CEO John Riccitiello has said that the games industry must work harder to challenge the belief that video games and gun violence share a link.

"The games industry is a very mature, responsible industry, more so than you might otherwise imagine," he told investors, as reported by CVG. "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.

"I could give you long stories about how people in UK, or Denmark or Ireland or Canada consume as much or more violent games and violent media as we do in the United States, and yes, they have an infinitely smaller incidence of gun violence, but that’s not really the point. The point is, the direct studies that have been done – hundreds of millions of dollars of research that has been done – has been unable to find a linkage because there isn’t one.

"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.

"We’re responsible, we’re mature, we intend to be part of the solution.”

The comments come as the games industry finds itself increasingly drawn into the gun violence debate that has gripped America in the wake of the tragic Newtown shootings in December.

President Obama himself has called for state-funded research into the links between media and violence and yesterday US Senator Lamar Alexander actually made the extraordinary claim that video games are a bigger problem than guns”.

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