EA boss: games industry must "wrestle" with perception of gun violence issue

Blames "all the finger-pointing going on in the press".

EA boss John Riccitiello has said the video games industry must confront the ongoing "perception of a problem" that sees gaming frequently linked to gun violence.

Instances of video games being blamed for gun violence practically date back to the medium's invention, although the topic has recently returned to the front pages following the tragic shooting at a US primary school late last year.

Following that incident, British tabloid The Sun ran a front page splash: "KILLER'S CALL OF DUTY OBSESSION", focusing on alleged perpatrator Adam Lanza being "addicted" to the game.

"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," Riccitiello said during a call to investors last night.

"We do have to wrestle with that. Ours is an industry with an association that has risen to that call many times before, and will, as we move forward. We're responsible, we're mature, we intend to be part of the solution."

Riccitello and other representatives from the US Entertainment Software Association met with US vice president Joe Biden last month to discuss the gun control issue.

"I think you'll hear more from Mike Gallagher, the head of the ESA and other industry participants, including ourselves, over how we can be part of a solution to this perception problem," Riccitiello concluded. "As opposed to, if you will, the butt of the joke."

US VP Biden, who is heading a task force to look into the gun control issue, has also met representatives of the NRA. The US pro-gun group lashed out against the games industry in the wake of the Sandy Hook attacks, branding it "a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and sows violence against own people" before releasing its own target shooting game for iOS.

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