Joe Biden, the former vice president and 2020 candidate for President of the United States, has shared some harsh thoughts on Silicon Valley game developers, as reported in a wide-reaching interview with The New York Times.
When asked about the Obama administration’s legacy on Silicon Valley regulation, Biden talks about meeting with leaders in Silicon Valley to discuss intellectual property rights, and describes interacting with an unspecified game developer as “one of the little creeps” who make games that “teach you how to kill people”.
“And at one point, one of the little creeps sitting around that table, who was a multi- — close to a billionaire — who told me he was an artist because he was able to come up with games to teach you how to kill people, you know the ——” Said Biden.
The reporter interrupted Biden at this point to clarify he was talking about video games, to which he agrees. The senator went on to use the words “righteous” and “overwhelming arrogance” to further describe those working in tech at Silicon Valley.
“And then one of these righteous people said to me that, you know, ‘We are the economic engine of America. We are the ones.’ And fortunately, I had done a little homework before I went and I said, you know, I find it fascinating. As I added up the seven outfits, everyone’s there but Microsoft. I said you have fewer people on your payroll than all the losses that General Motors just faced in the last quarter, of employees. So don’t lecture me about how you’ve created all this employment.” continued Biden.
“The point is, there’s an arrogance about it, an overwhelming arrogance that we are, we are the ones. We can do what we want to do. I disagree,” Biden said.
The New York Times did not appear to press Biden on specifying which game developers he met with, or to elaborate further on his thoughts.
Biden’s views on violent video games aren’t surprising. Back in 2013 when he was Vice President he vocally saw no legal problem taxing violent media. That year The Gaming Association even published an open letter asking him to look at studies suggesting there’s no link between violence and video games.
The question of whether violent video games lead kids astray is a long talked about one. However, when it comes to the relationship between shootings in the United States of America and games the correlation doesn’t seem to make much sense. As for Silicon Valley, the tech hub’s long history of sexism and worker exploitation has been well-documented by reporters at Wired and The Atlantic, among others.