Giant Bomb News

240 Comments

Leland Yee, The Man Behind California's Violent Games Crusade, Responds to Supreme Court Decision

While disappointed, Yee sees a path to challenging video games again.

Senator Leland Yee has been the chief advocate and architect of California's push against games.

If you've been following the history of Brown v. EMA, you know who California Senator Leland Yee is. Yee has been one of the most consistent critics of violent video games, and he's the one responsible for writing the law the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against this morning. Obviously, he disagrees.

"What has happened today is that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided it's going to side with corporate America and Wal-Mart against our children," said Yee, as part of a press conference held today in San Francisco. "Because of the rejection of the California law, these games will continue to be sold to our children, these games have a harmful effect to our children."

Yee is a Democrat representing California's San Francisco and San Mateo districts. He's also running for mayor of San Francisco.

Several of Yee's supporters were present at the press conference. One of the key facets of the court's decision today was its rejection of the link between games and violence in youth, finding the evidence lacking in proving games are any worse than other media.

"In the past, we've protected them [children] from alcohol, cigarettes and pornography and we felt that this was on that level," said George Fouras, MD, of the San Francisco Medical Society. "We're accumulating evidence that shows that exposure to violence does effect the behavior of children. In addition, we're concerned that the cognitive development of youth and their ability to process and make decisions appropriate doesn't occur at the ages that these children are able to obtain these video games. Unlike Saturday morning cartoons, these video games expose kids to behavior that is not acceptable in reality."

Yee said the "silver lining" in the court's decision was raising the level of public awareness on the issue. He's certainly right, in that respect. You can't go higher than the U.S. Supreme Court. Yee also noted success in getting the video game industry to better enforce the sale of M-rated video games and "has worked to clarify some of their wrongs in their ratings system."

As noted in my reporting on the court opinion, this decision does not rule out another challenge. In fact, Justice Alito seemed to explicitly map out a path to a challenge. Yee made note of that.

"[Alito] does in fact seem to be laying out a pathway to how we might be able to craft a bill that would stand the test of the First Amendment challenge," he said. "If we craft the bill differently, there may be a basis for trying to get another hearing within the Supreme Court on this particular matter."

The journey for this bill has lasted eight years, though. Another challenge won't happen overnight.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
240 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek
Senator Leland Yee has been the chief advocate and architect of California's push against games.

If you've been following the history of Brown v. EMA, you know who California Senator Leland Yee is. Yee has been one of the most consistent critics of violent video games, and he's the one responsible for writing the law the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against this morning. Obviously, he disagrees.

"What has happened today is that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided it's going to side with corporate America and Wal-Mart against our children," said Yee, as part of a press conference held today in San Francisco. "Because of the rejection of the California law, these games will continue to be sold to our children, these games have a harmful effect to our children."

Yee is a Democrat representing California's San Francisco and San Mateo districts. He's also running for mayor of San Francisco.

Several of Yee's supporters were present at the press conference. One of the key facets of the court's decision today was its rejection of the link between games and violence in youth, finding the evidence lacking in proving games are any worse than other media.

"In the past, we've protected them [children] from alcohol, cigarettes and pornography and we felt that this was on that level," said George Fouras, MD, of the San Francisco Medical Society. "We're accumulating evidence that shows that exposure to violence does effect the behavior of children. In addition, we're concerned that the cognitive development of youth and their ability to process and make decisions appropriate doesn't occur at the ages that these children are able to obtain these video games. Unlike Saturday morning cartoons, these video games expose kids to behavior that is not acceptable in reality."

Yee said the "silver lining" in the court's decision was raising the level of public awareness on the issue. He's certainly right, in that respect. You can't go higher than the U.S. Supreme Court. Yee also noted success in getting the video game industry to better enforce the sale of M-rated video games and "has worked to clarify some of their wrongs in their ratings system."

As noted in my reporting on the court opinion, this decision does not rule out another challenge. In fact, Justice Alito seemed to explicitly map out a path to a challenge. Yee made note of that.

"[Alito] does in fact seem to be laying out a pathway to how we might be able to craft a bill that would stand the test of the First Amendment challenge," he said. "If we craft the bill differently, there may be a basis for trying to get another hearing within the Supreme Court on this particular matter."

The journey for this bill has lasted eight years, though. Another challenge won't happen overnight.

Staff
Posted by JoeyRavn

Cry me a river, man.

Edited by Vortextk

Enjoy the loss sir.

Posted by hedfone

fuck that guy

Posted by Agent47CSim2

Why can't people stop interfering?

Posted by Moppy

Screw that guy.

Posted by louiedog

I used to live in his district. I never voted for him because he believed that what he perceived as the rights of a small few outweighed the rights of everyone.

Edited by OllyOxenFree

"In the past, we've protected them [children] from alcohol, cigarettes and pornography and we felt that this was on that level,"

Oh get the fuck out of here. Jesus Christ...

Posted by iAmJohn

Get bent, Leeland Yee. You lost. Deal with it.

Posted by Icicle7x3

"Unlike Saturday morning cartoons, these video games expose kids to behavior that is not acceptable in reality."

What?

Posted by chickdigger802

now I think about it. Aren't the biggest selling games these days M rated shooters and rpgs and what not that aren't pokemon?

Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

affect, not effect

Posted by DEMONOLOGY_24

kids are always going to be drawn to violent things it's there parents job to help filter NOT! the supreme court
Posted by Ghost_Cat

Basically he wants to ruin America.  Too bad.

Posted by Vendetta

As Jason Schreier put it... Leland Yee is off in a dark room somewhere shouting "And I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for that meddling first amendment! "

Posted by Seedofpower

This needs to all of us a favor and shut the fuck up.

Posted by Doctorchimp

He's just mad Scalia thinks he's an idiot....because he is one.

Posted by Saethir

From what I know, This Wal-Mart he speaks of has a policy specifically against the sale of M rated games to anyone under the age of 17. What is he blathering on about?

Posted by Malphye

I'm sure there are more important things to worry about.

Posted by Loose
Posted by Blueman
@Agent47CSim2 said:

                Why can't people stop interfering?
           
Posted by Jeffk38uk

"Noted success in getting the video game industry to better enforce the sale of M-rated video games"? Really? Cause they were doing such a terrible job before in America.
 
Oh wait.

Posted by AlisterCat

@Icicle7x3 said:

"Unlike Saturday morning cartoons, these video games expose kids to behavior that is not acceptable in reality."

What?

Exactly what I was thinking. Has he not seen Adventure Time?

Online
Posted by Monkeyman04

 Who's responsible for the children? I don't think it's the game companies. I think it's a word that starts with the letter P and ends in "arent(s)".    

Posted by BLipp18

"Yee also noted success in getting the video game industry to better enforce the sale of M-rated video games and "has worked to clarify some of their wrongs in their ratings system.""

uh, theres something wrong with the rating system? the only wrong thing i see is that parents are too fucking ignorant and cant bother to look at one of the MULTIPLE ratings on the box before they blindly buy it for their kid. but no, parents are never wrong and should take no responsibility for how their kids are raised. its everyone elses fault if something bad happens to their kids

Posted by MetalBaofu

Who wants to bet that the most this guy knows about video games is some clips someone showed him from GTA, Doom, and Mortal Kombat?

Posted by Skywarpgold

@Icicle7x3: lol, exactly...dropping an anvil on someone is acceptable??

Posted by BooDoug187

So he is a Senator... but is now running for mayor? Is he doing this backwards? No wonder he fucking lost.

Online
Posted by MasterVerhoffin

You get NOTHING! Good day sir!

Sorry, it seemed so appropriate.

Posted by DarthB

I doubt Mr. Yee's intentions were to even have this pass. Even an idiot could tell it wouldn't. It was probably to get his name out and to try to get more support for himself.

What a waste of the taxpayers money and time.

Posted by OllyOxenFree

@Saethir said:

From what I know, This Wal-Mart he speaks of has a policy specifically against the sale of M rated games to anyone under the age of 17. What is he blathering on about?

Blathering on about shit he does not understand.

Posted by Mesoian

What a fuckin' ponce.

I mean seriously, he goes on an on about helping educate parents about the issue of violent media, then makes his point, "THEN NO ONE SHOULD MAKE VIDEO GAMES THAT CAN'T BE PLAYED BY MINORS!" If this guy believed half the swill he's spilling, he'd be calling for reform of the ESRB and a more universally understood ratings system. The last round of supreme court lawsuits over video games essentially destroyed the meaning of the AO rating to the point where if a game has it, it will not be picked up by distributors.

Posted by Nonentity

Am I allowed to vote for Kreayshawn as mayor of SF instead?

Posted by ninjalegend

California, Uber alles. LOL. As much as I dislike living in Florida, I guess it could be worse.

Posted by Doctorchimp
@chickdigger802 said:

now I think about it. Aren't the biggest selling games these days M rated shooters and rpgs and what not that aren't pokemon?

And you can't buy those without a parent, just like you can't see an R-rated movie without an older person giving you the OK.
 
No laws needed. Leland is still a moron.
Posted by PLWolf

Mayor of SF? He better drop the Vidja Game crap and focus on cleaning up the crap. It would be nice to walk to and from BART without sidestepping 10 different drug deals going on. ugh

Posted by BigChief

@Loose: You beat me to it!

Posted by atomic_dumpling

Interesting to see how (rightfully) alarmed you Americans are by this after years of laughing at Germany and Australia. It's not quite as funny when it is about you, is it?

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

"Unlike Saturday morning cartoons, these video games expose kids to behavior that is not acceptable in reality."

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but I was at a hotel on Saturday morning watching cartoons, and you know what was on? Looney Tunes. Various things I saw: Bugs Bunny tricking Yosemite into walking off a cliff, Bugs tricking a human man into shooting himself in the face with his own gun, Daffy Duck getting shot multiple times etc.

Sure, Looney Tunes presents these situations in a comical way whereas most games don't, but I'm responding specifically to the above quote.

Posted by Tennmuerti

"Think of the children" - the most common scare tactic in recent years.

Posted by MrMazz

"Because of the rejection of the California law, these games will continue to be sold to our children,"

I don't know what store he goes to but i see people get carded when they buy a M rated game. Now if its a kid who tells his mom or dad or whoever to buy it they don't since its a obvious adult buying it. Parents actually need to you know look at what there buying there kids.

Posted by TehBuLL

Been playing video games my whole life......I'm murdering and raping 24/7...I just wish Mr. Yee had existed when I was a kid...to prevent this horrible murder/rape spree I've been on.

Posted by TheYear20XX

So violent games are just like alcohol and cigarettes? Good to know.

Posted by Joseppie

Though thankfully it isn't as martyr-ish of a reaction as I was expecting, the amount of political chest-thumping still present is disappointing.

Posted by CharAznable

I just want to do the Tatanka yell with his last name:

YEE-YEE-YEE-YEE-YEE! YEE! YEE! YEE!

Posted by CandiBunni
@TehBuLL said:

Been playing video games my whole life......I'm murdering and raping 24/7...I just wish Mr. Yee had existed when I was a kid...to prevent this horrible murder/rape spree I've been on.

You poor, poor thing. :c
Posted by WalkerTR77

So surely this guy has to genuinely care about this issue, since literally no sensible person actually does. Most politicians probably just get handed their policy's to them by aids on a case by case basis and only really want to appease voters. Who is he winning over here? Ergo he really is personally affronted by video games; for what reason? No idea. Any takers? 

Posted by Nesty1972

Remember is easy to demonize a video game instead of telling parents to be  good parents.

Posted by wickedsc3

Dude if you want to get elected why dont you quit wasting money with games, and figure out how to get that state out of its massive debt!!!

Posted by QKT

i forgot saturday morning cartoons like power rangers and transformers was possible IRL.