Joe Biden is the latest political figure to speak out against video games, with the presidential candidate referring to game developers he met as “creeps” who create games that “teach you how to kill people.”
In a New York Times interview, Biden discussed his meeting with Silicon Valley’s figureheads, including an encounter with a game developer who was “close to [being] a billionaire.” According to Biden, the unnamed individual described himself as an “artist,” a description that Biden disagreed with.
“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,” Biden said.
“Like video games,” the NYT interviewer interjected. “Yeah, video games,” Biden replied.
Biden has previously spoken out against violent video games, though has rejected the notion that they are to blame for gun violence in America. Following President Trump‘s claim in 2019 that video games were a cause of mass shootings, Biden suggested that they were “teaching” children to be desensitized to violence, though also said that games were not solely to blame.
“It is not healthy to have these games teaching the kids the dispassionate notion that you can shoot somebody and just, you know, sort of blow their brains out,” Biden said in an interview with CNN. “But it’s not in and of itself the reason why we have this carnage on our streets.”
In the NYT interview, Biden went on to criticize the “righteous” Silicon Valley leaders he had met during his time in the Obama administration.
“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,” Biden continued. “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.”