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Biden to game industry: "You have not been singled out"

Vice president Biden downplays the effects of games on violence and says there's "no silver bullet" to stop gun violence

In a meeting with video game industry representatives today, United States Vice President Joseph Biden said there was no "silver bullet" in dealing with gun-related violence. The recent meetings have stemmed from the recent shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Most of the meeting was behind closed doors, but the White House did record a brief statement from the Vice President.

"We know that there's no silver bullet, no seat belt you can put on to assure that we will not be in this circumstance again, but I ask the cabinet to come together - the attorney general, Homeland Security, Department of Education, Health and Human Services, etc. - because we know this is a complex problem," said Biden.

"We know there is no single answer and quite frankly we don't even know whether some of the things people think impact on [gun violence] actually impact on it or not," said Biden.

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Biden then laid a hand on the shoulder of Electronic Arts chief executive officer John Riccitiello and let the press know that the focus wasn't squarely on the game industry.

"I want you to know you have not been 'singled out' for help, but we've asked a whole lot of people," said Biden.

The Vice President has met with law enforcement agencies, the National Rifle Association, child advocacy groups, domestic violence groups, legal organizations, civil rights organizations, and the medical community.

The fact that representatives from our industry agreed to meet with the Vice President has already caused a schism within the gaming community. Gamasutra editor-in-chief Kris Graft said that agreeing to meet with the VP was an admission of guilt by the industry. IGN editor-in-chief Casey Lynch then fired back with an open letter explaining that the industry would do well to be a part of the growing conversation. Game critic and designer Ian Bogost said that the game industry has "already lost" its high ground in the debate by agreeing to participate.

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Mike Williams avatar

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.