It would appear that US presidential hopeful and former vice president Joe Biden has an unkind view of most Silicon Valley tech companies and video game developers. An interview with the New York Times has shed light on this attitude, where Biden is quoted as calling Silicon Valley developers “little creeps” who became millionaires by making “games to teach you how to kill people.”
When asked if he had regrets about Silicon Valley’s expansion under the Obama administration, Biden went on a small tear about the “arrogance” of those in the tech sector:
“And you may recall, the criticism I got for meeting with the leaders in Silicon Valley, when I was trying to work out an agreement dealing with them protecting intellectual property for artists in the United States of America. 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…
“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.”
Biden, additionally, voiced his desire to revoke § 230 of the Communications Decency Act, calling it a shield that allows tech companies to propagate falsehoods. This references a letter Biden’s campaign sent to Facebook in October about an ad that falsely claimed Biden blackmailed Ukrainian officials to not investigate his son.
Biden did further explain in the interview that he doesn’t believe that “everyone in the tech industry is a bad guy,” but it does sound like he’s keen on more government oversight.
“What I’m suggesting is that some of the things that are going on are simply wrong and require government regulation. And it’s happened every single time there’s been a major technological breakthrough in humanities since the 1800s, and this requires it.”
Readers will recall that Biden had previously stated in 2013 that he saw no legal reason why violent media like video games shouldn’t be taxed, though he also admitted then that more research is needed on the effects of video game violence.