EA: No link between games and violence

CEO John Riccitiello says company was "horrified" by shooting in Connecticut, industry can be part of the solution.

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Electronic Arts has responded to the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, last month that left 20 children and six adults dead. CEO John Riccitiello said last night in a postearnings financial call that EA was "horrified" by the violence, but noted no link between games and real-world violence has ever been established.

"There's no doubt, we like you, were stunned and horrified by the violence in Connecticut or Colorado or many other places over the years," Riccitiello said. "But there has been an enormous amount of research done in the entertainment field about looking for linkages between entertainment content and actual violence, and they haven't found any."

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

Despite a lack of science-based evidence linking entertainment to violence, Riccitiello admitted that there exists a "perception problem" with games, and this is something to deal with.

"We are responsible, we are mature, and we intend to be part of the solution."

"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.

Riccitiello added that the game industry is up to the challenge of fixing whatever perception problem may exist and that companies like EA can actually be part of the solution.

"Ours is an industry with an association that has risen to that call many times before and will as we move forward," he said. "We are responsible, we are mature, and we intend to be part of the solution. Our media reaches literally every American, and that can be used as a voice for good."

"So a quick summary. We are horrified, like you. It's not about games. There is a perception issue. We can be part of that solution, and we are ready to step up to do that."

Since the Sandy Hook shooting, the gaming industry has taken heat from politicians and other groups. Just yesterday, United States senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) said video games are a "bigger problem than guns" because they "affect people."

Last week, democratic Connecticut senator Chris Murphy said the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting may not have happened if video games did not give the shooter a "false sense of courage."

Previously, republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie said violent games must be examined in the wake of the shooting. Before that, and just a week after the December 14 shooting, the National Rifle Association condemned violent games, saying they were partially to blame for the mass shooting.

Discussion

414 comments
Zero_resistance
Zero_resistance

WTF is this horseburger???

Does this mean that anyone playing Mario brothers on a regular basis will want to kill someone by bouncing on their heads?

Its simple, the rifle associations and governers who bad mouth video games over a shooting are just looking for scapegoats for their shortcomings.  That would be the video games industry.

Any one remember when MK came out first???  my god it was like taking my gran to watch the Exorcist.  "Violent VG's are evil, their satan's work" well if they are sign me up for hell RIGHT NOW.

PixPer
PixPer

Well see I am on both sides of this issue because you know what...every form of media is a double edge sword as much as you can learn positive things from video games and movies and such you can equally learn some bad things.

I am definitely not here to point fingers at video games but I offer some reflective thoughts on what could work to possibly make gaming as a whole a safer industry to distribute and consume. 

As a society we need to better educate the youth on what is reality and what is not, and that actions outside the game has consequences.

Parents play a major role in this issue it is their job to minimize the negative effects of video games...they need to teach moderation in video game consumption to their children because too much of anything is bad regardless of what that is.

The video game industry has adopted age ratings and such to educate parents on what games their children should be playing and it is their responsibility to use those tools.

I think one of the big issue now is Online multiplayer gaming because so much profanity, sexism, racism and verbal abuse happens it is very likely people get affected by this...and we all know not all games have a mute function and although it has been a rising trend to implement such tools it shouldn't have to be a factor, a person who has purchased or received a game as a gift should be able to enjoy a quality of entertainment while communicating with his peers without being verbally assaulted.

Xbox live and other online services are trying to minimize online aggressors with reports and such but so far not much consequences are presented to these aggressors.

Honestly I can see this problem as being a pretty big hurdle for the video game industry but I think maybe implemented some sort of referee or guardian who over watches online matches and assist some kind of filtering and or banning could work, and also could create new jobs!

Also to say any form of media has no impact on you is a flat out lie regardless of how big or small that impact might be and just because I consumed violent video games as a child and never did any serious harm to anybody doesn't negate the possibility that others might, the keys to success here is the following:

-More tools for the players/parents to protect themselves 
-Education 
-Moderation of consumption 
-Harsh consequences towards aggressors 

To any person out there thinking it's as simple as just shutting down gaming for good, you are wrong...gaming is an ever growing and very influential industry..and besides think about all the talent and creativity which would be wasted because we as a society have failed to give people tools to correctly consume a form media.

Like all things you need to game responsibly.

bmart970
bmart970

Thank goodness they told us! I could have never figured that out...

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

"...there has been an enormous amount of research done in the entertainment field about looking for linkages between entertainment content and actual violence, and they haven't found any."

---Now pass it along.

mflorian
mflorian

I don't know.  EA makes me feel violent...towards EA.

so_hai
so_hai

Of course there's no link between games and violence, just as there's no link between abstinence of games and pacifism.

Scarshi
Scarshi

Having access to firearms might have been partially to blame for the mass shooting too.

Having a mental problem may have also contributed.

Getting laid the night before may have helped.

csward
csward

Even if it is in their own self interest, I'm happy to see EA helping the industry for once. :)

Rocket2Uranus
Rocket2Uranus

if VIDEO GAMES MADE PEOPLE VIOLENT don't you think there would be more shootings considering first person shooters sell millions of copies a year? 

politicians are dumb and so are the general public.  only reason why Obama hired a private sector to do research on "video games in connection with violence" is to shut up the general population of dumbasses who don't know what to think unless the government/media tells them what to think. 

sad world we live in today.

i bet you 100% of these people who go in killing spree have been crazy WAY before they picked up a gun. 

i bet you 100% of these people who go on killing spree have been mentally disturbed before they picked up a violent game.

sir_inverno
sir_inverno

I always thought this violence in video games is bs but now that ea is I was correct I don't know.... I don't remember any semblance of honesty or basic human dignity in any statement from EA in years so I guess video games are to blame after all.

chawaktow
chawaktow

The shooting may not have happened if it was a beautiful summery day either.  Do we blame winter??

Dessicator
Dessicator

Anyone else feel like EA has bipolar disorder? They seem to say the right things on social issues affecting the real world, but then they turn around and shit all over gamers and the games industry.

ACWH
ACWH

If the gun lobby want to start a war with the entertainment industry then let them. They will lose. Whomever control the media will win.

roosteraxe1
roosteraxe1

Responsibility goes beyond parents though. Society, citizens and the government all have a varying level of resposibility to prevent tragedies like these shootings. Educating ourselves about mental illness and making sure that educational material is readily available would make a huge impact on preventing future shootings. If people knew what signs to watch for and where to go for help in regards to dangerous mental disorders, perhaps dangerous disorders can be caught and treated before situations like Sandy occur. Blaming inanimate objects for these tragedies is not only pointless, it does a disservice to all the victims of all these tragedies by ignoring the real problems and avoiding taking real responsibility. That solves and prevents nothing. Making more laws to regulate what law abiding citizens are allowed to only takes away our rights. CRIMINALS DO NOT OBEY LAWS!

roosteraxe1
roosteraxe1

It IS a parents responisibilty to pay attention to what their children are doing and what they are being influenced with. This includes violent video games. Sure studies don't indicate games increase violence, but that doesn't mean an 8 year old should be playing Call of Duty and Grand theft Auto. Yet I know of several parents that let their kids do just that. Granted those parents didn't play video games and were ignorant of what those games contained. Still, it is the parents responsibility first and foremost, to be aware of what thier children are into and what they allow to influence their children. I have two kids. I am not so ignorant to think that games don't influence my kids. Everything influences children. I pay attention to what my kids are doing and talk to them about the things that might be a negative influence. I also don't allow them to play games, watch movies, or even read books that I think will have a really bad influence.

tgwolf
tgwolf

Yeah, the industry CAN and SHOULD be part of the solution, being first to denounce M-content and thereby raising the quality of games categorically...also by COMPLETELY REFUSING to allow this glaringly-ridiculous witch hunt to continue for it's part!

Mega_Loser
Mega_Loser

i really dislike that riccitiello guy and his statement is selfish but at least it's a loud voice heard in a crowd of hysterics.

*edit: minor typo*

xstation14
xstation14

If EA is worried about perceptions, maybe they shouldn't reinforce them with marketing campaigns like "your mom hates this."

toddx77
toddx77

Look at that, EA didn't screw up for once lol

Legend002
Legend002

And so the never ending controversy continues..

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

violence in games and real life is unrealated. we live in a violent world and all people have violence in them. some people are just evil and people should stop giving evil people scape goats for there crimes and just punish em already. people are responsible for there own actions. If i picked up a gun and shot someone that would be my doing. violent media would not have grabbed my hands and made me do it.

Adema83
Adema83

I hate how people all ways jump on the "Violent Video Game" band wagon, like there are no Violent movies or violence in the news every day. Just face it we live in a violent world and there are many things that can influence a person.

CptJohnnyRico
CptJohnnyRico

video games and media effect a kids behavior straight up!, i don't care what these guys say, just lies and more lies to make money and more money.

shad0wn3t
shad0wn3t

i have played violent games my entire life, use to always get into fights in school from dealing with morons and a holes, have watched violent tv and movies, never once have i considering going and killing people like these psycho paths have, also i have always grown up with guns my entire life i understand there purpose reason and safe and proper use, i personally carry a tomcat 32 semi-auto Beretta 1 in the chamber 6 in the clip with 2 spare 6 round clips, not once have i ever thought or considering pulling it out and using it in any situation other then of my own safety or the safety of some one around me, guns can easily be used to protect and help people and sadly just as easily used to harm them this will never change, but outlawing guns will not aid this any, full automatic weapons are illegal in most states yet gangbangers and criminals still have and use them on a daily basis yet i never see huge outrages and crys to remove them as i have with the recent assault rifle ban cry's  a shotgun is much more dangerous in any of those shooting situations in my opinion  but in the end it all comes down to the person, it was a decision made by the person, they could have been affected by their upbringing or family, could have been tv/movies/games, could have been other people bullying/harassing/ridiculing or purely that these people have no sense of reality or right and wrong or simple human decency, suicide is not rare its every where in the world and very common some people simply do not want to be here or think life is to rough and difficult and would like a way out and they end it, how some people come across this idea when there tired of it all to go kill as many people as they can before they kill them selves or as some means to escape is beyond my ability to understand, if any thing it would seem more occult or demonic by any normal means that there is no utter reasoning or thought behind it, its simply a very very sad and barbaric act of rage and hate or pure worldly disconnectedness, in the end you cant blame guns, tv, movies, games, radio, people, comics, books, swords, knives, rocks, sticks, fist or hands....it all rest on the delusion or mental malfunctions of the people who choose to take such actions and that can never be prevented completely it can only be looked for and hopefully found in time before such incidents occur.

hysam20241
hysam20241

Now does that look like a face that can lie to you?

hememi
hememi

The reason for gun crime is social problems that occur mostly in the u.s and no gun control

TTDog
TTDog

Anyone who says there is a link between gun ownership and gun crime is a commie.

Diablo-B
Diablo-B

@Dessicator Ummm... when have they "shit" on gamers and the industry? 

And they are supposed to say the right things on common sense social issues. Thats what rational people do. Politicians have just set the bar so low we are shocked when it happens.

Schmeag
Schmeag

@roosteraxe1 Blaming mental illness is easy because it's 1) difficult to identify, 2) difficult to treat and 3) because it removes responsibility from anyone and anything. Think about when you're sick from work: "Oh, he's sick, he won't be held responsible if he doesn't come to work." Mental illness is the exact same thing: "Oh, well he had mental issues and no one identified it, this would never have happened if he'd had proper treatment." That's just taking responsibility away from the murderer.

If only mental illness were easy to treat, then investing in mental health would be a bygone conclusion. Unfortunately, it's not: it's a wishy washy field with more opinion than research. While raising mental health awareness isn't a bad thing, by itself, it won't even come close to fixing the issue of mass shootings.

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

@CptJohnnyRico 

Yes it can have effects. But there is no conclusive data to suggest that violent video games make people more violent. Compare violent crime of the US to Japan and then compare the amount spent on video games and tell me if there is any corollary. We all know what the problem is, America's morbid fascination for guns.

CptJohnnyRico
CptJohnnyRico

@hysam20241 i know hey, he looks like such an honest billionaire, he would never lie, he would tell the truth even if it hurt there income, uhhhh right?

96augment
96augment

@hememi There is gun control. Just not really good gun control. Adam's mother bought those guns legally. Social problems don't happen outside the US? 

no_fear_in_hell
no_fear_in_hell

@Diablo-B @Dessicator Apparently you dont remember "Dante's Inferno" marketing, in which fake "funtamentalists/right wingers" picketed the game for being too violent and excplicit. OR "Dead Space2" "marketing" about "the game that your mother wouldnt let you play"? Need I go ON? 

ALL those campaigns playing into that false image of videogames being a bad influence for teens, which is the poster sign of the right wingers in USA...

csward
csward

@Diablo-B @Dessicator HAHAHA. Command and Conquer franchise, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 2, The Sims, exclusive NFL license, Maxis games, Medal of Honor games, ect.

EA will almost certainly give you less content for more money. You can bet on it.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Schmeag @roosteraxe1 Yea don't pay any heed to the fact that every single massacre in the history of the united states since the boston massacre has been perpetrated by A) The military or B) People that have a long history of mental disorder and medical treatment.

CptJohnnyRico
CptJohnnyRico

@Devils-DIVISION @CptJohnnyRico man shut up, im sick and tired of all you guys with you conclusive data and garbage, look at the way kids are today how bout that? go into the school and see it for yourself, i experienced it myself cause i wasn't a sheltered kid, its proof before our very eyes and your talking about conclusive data? america is in a complete mind fuck of a state and kids copy what they see on television, they act and walk like what they see, they say the latest words like swag, yolo, pretty much anything that becomes popular is mainstream media and copy the culture of what there shown and that includes video games, and even if most don't carry out the acts, they carry them out on there head constantly! it becomes a pattern of thought because they constantly see it all the time,  i see it in my niece every day, fuck sakes i saw it in myself and still do to this day but im equipped enough to stop myself from thinkin that way, you feed yourself violence none stop you will develop a natrual negative pattern in your head and that is what causes depression, antisocial behavior, all that shit, kids are sponges!!, you can seriously take your compiled data and shove it up your ass, because it aint about the physical, its about the spiritual and you better dig deep beyond all your physical data and take a look into your soul, cause thats what this effects and i dont give a damn what you say.

OldJames420
OldJames420

@Devils-DIVISION @CptJohnnyRico I dont think that has anything to do with it either.....He didn't kill 6 year olds because he really liked guns. That conculsion is idiotic. The problem is unresolved mental health issues. Everything is just political bullshit.

Tribesmaster
Tribesmaster

@CptJohnnyRico @Devils-DIVISION That's a nice mature way to start a conversation.. "man shut up, I'm tired of whaa whaaa whaaaa" You definitely sound more angry than us gamers. So who is the one more likely to go out and shoot people? The person trying to prove a point or the person raging about it.

Schmeag
Schmeag

@CptJohnnyRico @Devils-DIVISION Wait, wait, I lived in a rough neighbourhood, and I saw kids that played violent video games who didn't commit acts of violence. I totally don't see where you are coming from. Also, I don't give a damn what you say.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@CptJohnnyRico @OldJames420 @Devils-DIVISION Kids don't massacre people. Adults do. It may start when they are kids, and kids have shot people, but come on. If you have nothing intelligent and original to introduce to the debate, don't try.

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

@OldJames420 @Devils-DIVISION @CptJohnnyRico 

Dude you took my comment way out of context. I was referring to the prioritisation of guns in America.

In Australia -- after the Port Arthur massacre -- once the nation banned assault rifles, high capacity magazines, most semi-automatic weaponry, guess what effect it had? It literally halfed the chances of an Australian being shot.

American's have a sickly morbid fascination with guns. For some reason, they actually believe that BS they repeat like a mantra: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people".

If they think that their right to own a gun outweighs the right of a parent to take their child to school with the expectation that that child will be safe -- well American's shouldn't be surprised every time this happens.

CptJohnnyRico
CptJohnnyRico

@OldJames420 @Devils-DIVISION @CptJohnnyRico for you to think that media and video games dont affect kids behavior is stupid man, take your head out of your ass and wash your eyes clean cause your either blind or just dumb as shit, video games aren't the primary thing that makes kids depressed and antisocial, its many other things that go with it, lock yourself in your room and expose yourself to violence all day without and social contact, you betchur ass it'll have and effect on your self confidence, anxiety, your life period, people love violence now, so many people wont even like a movie if there aint enough mature content and realistic violence in it, and that movie looper was 14+ and there were tits in it in one scene and violence around every corner, and i was at EB games this one day and this dad had his 8 year old son in there with him, and he bought his son far cry 3??? far cry 3? are you serious, for an 8 year old? there is so much violence in that game its unbelievable, last decades kids were just as bad as this generation so that seed is just gonna be planted into every kids head without the parents doin a damn thing about it, and dont you deny it, were livin in the modern day babylon whether you wanna believe it or not, you'd be livin an lie not to see the truth before your eyes.