Gamers association asks Biden not to blame video games for Connecticut shooting

Open letter from gaming consumer group to US vice president asks that government and public stop blaming video games for real-world violence.


The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has written a public letter to US Vice President Joe Biden asking him not to blame video games for last month's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Biden will meet with leaders of the game industry this month in Washington, DC to discuss the role of violent games as part of a wider task force looking into the role of violent media in mass shootings.

ECA vice president and general counsel Jennifer Mercurio urged Biden to support the public's "constitutional right" to access and buy games and to not blame media for the recent tragedy.

"With the recent tragedy on everyone's minds, some people are looking for a cause and culprit other than the shooter," Mercurio said in the open letter. "Unfortunately some are blaming media, including video games, for violent behavior in individuals. We know this isn't the case; banning or regulating media content even more won't solve the issue."

The ECA is a non-profit membership organization representing consumer affairs in interactive entertainment in the United States and Canada. According to Mercurio, the ECA serves to give gamers a collective voice and address issues relating directly to them.

In the letter, Mercurio also referenced a study by Christopher J. Ferguson of Texas A&M International University, which found no link between violent games and real-world violence.

"While video game sales have increased, violent crime has been steadily decreasing according to FBI statistics. In 2011, video game sales increased to over $27 billion dollars and violent crimes nationwide decreased 3.8 percent from 2010. Since 2002, violent crime has decreased 15.5 percent. This is all during the time when games like Call of Duty and Halo have dominated sales."

Mercurio ended the letter by stating the ECA's willingness to meet with Biden to further discuss the issue.

Earlier today, the International Game Developers Association issued a similar statement to Biden, urging him to steer clear of any action that could result in the censorship of video games.

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