During the Royal Television Society’s Cambridge Convention held September 14, 2007, Electronic Arts’ chief executive officer, John Riccitiello, stood up for the gaming industry after ITV’s executive chairman, Michael Grade, attacked the industry calling it a “moral vacuum.”
“Those acts of violence [shown in games] exist in a moral vacuum, whereas in films and television, it is set in a moral context, with real consequences, such as pain,” argued Grade.
Riccitiello, who attended the conference as a guest speaker, returned the volley by claiming that the violence portrayed in video games is no worse that the popular television shows being broadcast today.
“Compared with programs like 24 or The Shield, or any movie from Quentin Tarantino, games are not any more violent,” said Riccitiello. “With video games, I can be on the edge of my seat immersed in them, but TV is storytelling – I’m lying back and it comes to me.”
Riccitiello went on to argue that the gaming industry have been acting responsibly then pointed out that most of the home consoles have parental controls and then admitted that although video games have the ability to present moral framework it was still being explored due to the medium’s infancy and then stated he believes that video games in general are being “unfairly demonized” by the press.