California's Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for the Holidays

November 27, 2007 -
California State Senator Leland Yee (D) has issued a press release in which he advises parents not to purchase violent video games for their children during the holiday season.

Yee, who sponsored California's contested 2005 video game law, is a child psychologist by training. He cited research showing potential harnful effects on younger players:
Eighty-seven percent of children between 8 and 17 years of age play video or computer games and about 60 percent list their favorite games as rated M for Mature, which are games designed for adults.

Yee also took a swipe at the ESRB, the video game industry's content rating body:
 It is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases.  Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content included in all their children’s games.

Yee singled the controversial Manhunt 2 for criticism. His press release says the game "is on many children’s wish list."
Unfortunately, some parents don’t realize that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities.

The press release includes a list of tips to help parents select games for their children and counsels them to:
Avoid the “first person shooter” and “third person shooter” killing-machine games.

Discourage games that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior.

Comments

Exactly - this isn't about rational debate, it's about cramming as many boo words into a sentence to make it sound like he really cares about this shit. he doesn't want to change anything because it would mean that he would have gotten rid of the one 'issue' to which there is apparently no defence. And when he's simply making stuff up to back up his own arguments, it's because he knows that his audience are ignorant enough about the facts for it to make absolutely no difference whatsoever.

Well, he has his own oppinion on the situation (as ignorant as it may be). He just needs a reality check is all.

I'm calling into question his psychological profile.

Doesn't California have a MASSIVE homeless problem right now? Or that failing trash service issue and countless other problems that have yet to be addressed? Isn't it his job to deal with issues in his cities that physically affect the quality of life for his citizens instead of wasting time informing people of some sort of Videogame boogy-man that's going to creepy into their childrens' brains?

Impeach him. For the love of all that is holy, IMPEACH HIM, California. This bull-shit-spouting, money wasting, moron needs to be out of office, NOW.

If there is ANY hope for American politics, it should happen.

I'm beginning to believe his "cop killing games " assertion came from a screenshot on the internet of CJ or Tommy Vercetti pointing a gun at a police officer and instant "zomg cop killer simulator!!1!1111" since we are i nthe "Judge it by it's looks" phase it seems.

@Gray17

Forget Metroid Prime, he includes Super 3D Noah's Ark by using that statement.

Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted... -Yee

Trusted with what? Banning games you find inappropriate?

Just because the ESRB doesn't work the way you want it to doesn't mean that it's broken.


Andrew Eisen

"And the other to Pandralisk for not mentioning religion once in his rant."

... at least, not in this thread

…rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities.

Just what games are you talking about? I love it when they spit out generalities without pointing fingers.

how's that saying go now? "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" I believe is what I'm looking for.

"killing-machine games"?

That's a new one.

/b

who the hell acually wants manhunt. it sucks. I dobt many ten year olds want it much less herd of it.

"Unfortunately, some parents don’t realize that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities".

Which game was this again?

I would love to know if those are real statistics, or just made up to sound good.

"Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content included in all their children’s games."

So despite stumbling upon the right idea here, he goes on to tell parents what games to not buy for their children, not encouraging them in any way to educate themselves.

*facepalm*

My list includes a 360

assassins creed limmeted

mass effect

bioshock

gears of war

random other one.

I will be TRAINING all holiday

@ Pen gun

hate to tell ya this pen gun, but no matter how much we play it, Assassians creed wont ever make use as agile or deadly as Altair. Games wicked fun though.

Im not the most subtle, but no amonut of guards has ever stopped me before

Ah, where to begin on this? I'm really not sure...

"Eighty-seven percent of children between 8 and 17 years of age play video or computer games and about 60 percent list their favorite games as rated M for Mature, which are games designed for adults."

Wait...who's fault is it that these kids play these games in the first place? Oh, right, the parents. Which means either they don't have a problem with it/their kid is mature enough to handle it, or they don't give a shit. Moving on...

"It is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases. Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content included in all their children’s games."

Can't be trusted? What the hell do you want it to do, reach out from the box and slap the hands of children who try to touch the game case? It's a friggin' rating, it does the same thing that movie ratings do - that is, SUGGEST a RECOMMENDED age for the content in the game. Relativity aside, the final judgment call rests with the parents, as per usual.

"Unfortunately, some parents don’t realize that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities."

The hell? How many top-selling games do this? I can't remember the last torture sim I played. And outside of the occasional GTA rampage, the last time a game even offered cops as (potential) enemies. But seriously, this is another God-awful example of stereotyping popular games as "Grand Theft Auto and ONLY Grand Theft Auto" - I'm really getting sick of this stereotype, too. I have enough to put up with without an additional stigma being attached to me because I'm a gamer.

"Avoid the “first person shooter” and “third person shooter” killing-machine games."

I don't even know what to say to that.

"Discourage games that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior."

Because the addiction to the sweet sensation of earning "points" transfers over to reality so well. I love scoring points off of random acts of violence in the real world.

Sigh. I can't wait until the people wearing suits in government and law positions are the ones who grew up playing games.

I've been playing video games for about 26 years now. My eight year old daughter now plays them on our Wii, Xbox 360, and the PC I built for her.

While she usually sticks to the realm of Barbie, Bratz, and Hannah Montanna (Disney, Matel, and whoever else, please feel free to send me samples :P ), she does see me play some violent games and even joins in on occasion. Because I am a responsible adult who actually cares about the well being of my child, I have already explained to her the differences between video games, movies, tv and the real world, which she understand completely.

It's just sad that parents now have to be told what is O.K. for their kids and what isn't. Maybe I'm too free thinking and liberal, but I thought it was my job to say what my child can and cannot do?

Whatever happened to the good old days of Politicians wasting tax payer time and money by literally doing nothing, instead of just pretending to do something?

Nice to see politicians citing their facts.

While he is right that children should not be playing games outside of their age brackets, his unwarranted fear-mongering and baseless lies prove he is still a shallow worm of a man who cares less about the children and more about winning votes from stupid and ignorant parents and moronic pressure groups such as 'Common Sense Media'.

I think we can safely say his statistics are bullshit, not only because pretty much every statistic any politician pulls out of his/her ass is untrue, but by virtue that Yee, a spineless snivelling tool, said it, and since he cannot be trusted to tell the truth anymore, anything he says is to be disregarded as the lies and fearmongering it is.

"It is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases. Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content included in all their children’s games."

Translation: Oh noes! The ESRB didn't ban Manhunt 2 or GTA because, even though I have never played them, I think they should be banned because moronic hypocrites such as the out-of-touch idiots in 'Common Sense Media' and Jack Thompson, who have never played these games either, say they should be banned! Then we spin an even bigger web of hypocrisy by claiming the ESRB doesn't even play the games they rate, when we don't even play the games we bitch and moan about ourselves!

Jesus Christ Yee, do you even listen to yourself speak? Douchebag.

"Unfortunately, some parents don’t realize that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities."

This game does not actually exist. Name me one game that a player is rewarded for these acts. Particularly the 'racial minorities' one. Also, you single out torturing women as if it is so much worse than torturing men. That sounds like sexual discrimination to me. Way to spread hate in the world, you fucking idiot.

And don't even get me started on what the hell he means by 'killing-machine games'.

I hope Californians aren't as fucking stupid as I think they are and vote this candy-ass out, considering his ethically-skewed and unwarranted agenda against video games has already cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of US dollars. But money is no object, eh Lee? Just as long as you do it in the name of the children, who cares how many millions you piss down the drain? Who knows? Maybe your actions will even help set up an independent ratings board who actually play the games and rate them according to their content and we could call it the ESR...oh snap.

"It is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases."

Common sense! This had me thinking that Yee was promoting sensibility and responsibility in choosing media for kids without bias against games. Then he continues...

"Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content included in all their children’s games."

How can it not be trusted? It tells you exactly on the box what is in the game. I suppose it doesn't matter how good something is, if you have a grudge and have your mind made up to dismiss it or disapprove of it, you will. Parents should be watching the content of the games anyway, but the ESRB ratings are the first source of information and a parent with any brains or sense of responsibility will be able to make a good decision based on them alone.

"Unfortunately, some parents don’t realize that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers"

I will admit that I have actively participated in killing cops in GTA (how can you inactively participate?), but I have never been rewarded for it.

"maiming elderly persons"

What game is this?

"running over pedestrians"

Running over the pedestrians in GTA, once again, does not reward you in any way.

"and torturing women and racial minorities."

Now it was just misinformed up until this point, but here is a complete out and out lie! I have NEVER played any game in which you torture someone, much less be rewarded for it. Maybe some tasteless person with too much time on their hands might knock up some flash game like this, but to my knowledge, NOT ONE game that is ESRB rated and sold in stores allows the player to torture women and minorities.

"Avoid the “first person shooter” and “third person shooter” killing-machine games."

Killing machine games... That sounds like the people who decried rock and roll as corrupting their children. It makes the man sound old and out of touch. Wait...what?

"Discourage games that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior."

Screw the reward, kids should not be playing ANY game that features violent scenes. By this statement, would a film where Person X tortures a victim in a gory scene, but is then caught by the police and jailed for life be acceptable for kids? He doesn't get rewarded for his behaviour! In all of the GTA games, the more violent and anti-social you are, the more difficult it is to play the game. The same in Bully.

"Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted"

And a grandstanding politician who has nothing better to do than focus on videogames can?

The guy is a sleazebag, hoping to get free publicity and make it look like he's being firm on an issue, without doing anything at all.

whose retarded children actually want Manhunt?

well i guess Yee has brainwashed his kids into being little anti-christs just so he can use them as an example of how children shouldn't be...

Why don't we just invite Yee into our homes to raise our children? He may as well start a day care service.

This "message" is nothing but a grab for cheap political points- move along.

At least he understands that M-Rated games are directed towards adults and not children.

The rest of this is just pure shock-inducing dribble and lies for the ignorant to misinterpret. Kids want Manhunt 2 for Christmas? On what planet?

Well, interesting. After all, are we hearing him complain about kids watching violent movies, in theaters or in the home? How about violent sports? Exposure to religious propaganda that promotes bigotry and hate? Violent TV shows? How about debates which get verbally violent? How about violent toys (water guns, dart shooters, paint guns, plastic grenades, little plastic army men, violent superhero action dolls, etc)?

Some of those above may seem offensive, exaggerated, or silly. But the simple fact is that every single one of those, among MANY others, are things that both young and old are exposed to every single hour of every single day.

I'm not downplaying violent video games. I'm putting them in perspective. There are MANY, MANY things people are exposed to all the time. And there are factors which may make them more or less an effect on any individual. As everyone of intelligence knows.

Like any good agenda seeker, though, Senator Yee decides to single out one thing. Make a few reasonable comments to appease opponents, then make LOTS of ignorant comments to draw in support. Support not earned through intelligence or Truth.

Parent your own child, Senator Yee, if you have one. I'll Parent mine.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Education for the parents is the issue. Nearly there with this sentiment, but again, rounded off with poor thought out arguments. Also, i would like to know in which game you are rewarded for the running over of pedestrians. In fact just once i would like a critic to come out and say which game does all these things, as i don't know and feel that a great gaming oppurtunity must have passed gamers by, but the critics got a copy and played it to death.

Unfortunately, some parents don’t realize that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities.

Is there no way Yee can be brought to account and made to identify the games he refers to in the statement above? Maybe games like this do exist - if so, I would like to know which ones so that I can avoid them. However, I seriously doubt any publisher would bring such a title to market.

"It is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases. Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content included in all their children’s games."

The ratings system can be trusted, it's just that all these asshole parents don't bother reading it and would rather blame the industry.

Although i know this is out of character for myself, i have two words for you Yee: FUCK YOU!
thank you, that is all

Do any of the parents that I presume the likes of Yee and the Keith Vaz ever feel slightly patronised when the obvious is stated to them? "don't buy the game with the M/18 rating, because it may not be suitable for your children"

I'm sure that this easy point scoring is good for their profile, despite the fact that it brings absolutely nothing of worth to the table, as far as the debate goes, but really, they're treating their audience like they're complete cretins.

i dont remember killing cops as being rewarding in GTA if thats what he is refering to. maybe in a few missions you need to in order to progress but other than that, 99% of the time killing cops, or anyone for that matter, is a real stupid thing to go about doing and the best way to get yourself killed.

"...many top selling games..."

I see Yee hasn't stoppes lying to advance his own agenda. Unsurprising.

Many??? How did Manhunt 2 all of a sudden become "many games"?

I think it was Tycho and Gabe of Penny arcade who put the story of Manhunt 2 best. More media persons care about it than actual gamers do. And if Yee thinks that the FPS is a killing machine game, he realy needs to get a check of his mental health. Him and Thompson both.

How about these press types give every other State Senator of California the same amount of free campaign help on pork-barrel issues? His primary goal is for CA voters to know who he is.

Memo to Senator Yee:
1. Your criticisms of the ESRB are baseless. The rating system is trustworthy. It's those ignorant parents who don't look at the ratings.

2. You don't tell other parents how to raise their child. Just because you are a child psychologist does not mean that you know what is best for everyone.

3. Your comment on top selling games promoting the killing of cops, torturing racial minorities, and maiming elderly people is nothing short of defamatory. I highly doubt you played those games.

@Buckeye, how much do you think he cares what any of us have to say? Just think about it for a few minutes.

----
Papa Midnight

Maybe it's me, but I've seen more kids act out what they see watching wrestling than what they've seen played in a video game. Guess that doesn't count, huh? Not to mention the fact that neither of my kids have asked to play any M rated game. Ever. I'd like to know where he got those numbers from for that one. Of course, if you do a survey and ask a kid leading questions than you'll get the results you're looking for, won't you?

So instead of taking an opportunity to educate people on THE OBVIOUS RATING system, Yee decides to tell people that the system "can't be trusted."

Probably because it involves looking at a box and reading a few words I guess. Yes, damn the evil ESRB for trying to force people to read. The nerve!

[...] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptIt is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases. Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content … [...]

"Eighty-seven percent of children between 8 and 17 years of age play video or computer games and about 60 percent list their favorite games as rated M for Mature, which are games designed for adults."

...The hell did the number "eighty-seven" come from? Ten bucks says he pulled this right out of his rear. I also find it funny he has 17 year olds on that list...because the last time I checked, M-rated games were made for those who are 17 or older...

"Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content included in all their children’s games"

Why the hell not? The ratings specifically suggest what age a person must be to play the games. Just about any title with blood or graphic violence is directed towards the older (17+) Crowd. It's not like the ESRB goes around labeling games such as Assassins Creed or Bioshock with frickin' E-ratings.

"Unfortunately, some parents don’t realize that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities"

What...WHAT?!

Games never really "Reward" you for violence. You don't get any frickin' cookies for killing virtual people for god's sake.

1. Rewards for killing police officers/Running over pedesterians

This seems heavily directed towards the GTA series (And probably Manhunt)

a. If your idea of an award in GTA for killing a police officer is having MORE POLICE OFFICERS HUNTING YOU DOWN. Then sure, that's a real damn good reward. Because, obviously anyone in real life would totally enjoy having the police, the FBI, and the damned US Army trying to kill you... If you actually play GTA, there will be many times you wouldn't want to harm any virtual people especially when you're trying to do a mission, becasue the game basically punishes you by sending cops to arrest/kill you. (And the same thing goes for the pedestrians)

b. The "police officers" in Manhunt 2 aren't even the protect and serve officer. They're bloody corrupted, gosh, I don't even think they're "real" officers. I'm not 100% sure of the whole Manhunt story. All I know is that they're either fake or corrupted to death.

2. Maiming elderly persons?

...huh? What game rewards you for "maiming eldery persons". Hell...what game even gives the player the option to "mame eldery persons". I seriously think you're just trying to make yourself look good for the oblivious people out there...You don't have a damn clue at all...

3. Torturing women and minorities?

...
...
...
WHAAAT?! I don't even know what to say... That comment was unbelievely false it's just...amazing...

I'm shocked...

And you know what, I'm african-american myself, I'm pretty sure I would notice a game where you're able to basically express your hatred towards people such as myself. Oh Yee, this is low. This is really, really low.

I question whether or not you're talking about Resident Evil 5 or not, because if you are, all I'm going to say is "LOL"

"Avoid the “first person shooter” and “third person shooter” killing-machine games.

Discourage games that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior."

*Sigh* I'm in pain from all the face palms I did in this whole article... I can't go on...

killing machine games...

...

The tragedy is that Yee, being a somewhat respected figure in some circles, could have made this quite a useful message. "Hey, dumbass parents, pay attention to the games your kids ask for this holiday season so you don't end up accidentally letting them play Battle Raper 3." But the stream of cheap shots against the games industry and the ESRB make this sound more like scaremongering than a useful message.

@Papa Midnight
Not a damn bit.

"Unfortunately, some parents don’t realize that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities."

What game is he describing? Manhunt 2, (a game I personally have no desire to play, much less purchase) does about half of those things, and it only sold about 2 copies! Halo 3, the current top-selling game, involves killing aliens and saving the human race. The closest it ever comes to any of the things he described is when some idiot corpse humps me. Does Yee even read his press releases? Or does he make up some facts, copy nd paste some stuff from B4B and JT's website, and go up there and say crap? Please, noble citizens of Califonia, don't elect this idiot again!

@ Hackangel, Acebuckeye13

I think he's talking about GTAIII - SA? There are 'elderly' character models in the game, and I suppose you can 'maim' them with the gore cheat (blow off their limbs). I don't think any of the GTA games are top selling at the moment, but from a top selling games of all time they are way up there...

@ Benji

I really want a copy of Battle Raper 3! I have no idea how you rape a battle (do you play as a hippie?) or battle rape (involves armor?) but I need to find out :-)

@ Mister Angry
Very well put, couldn't have said it much better myself.

...and just when I thought Yee sounded like an 'OK' game critic.

What the hell dude, what the hell?

I'm sorry, but didn't he say almost the EXACT same thing last year?

Leland Yee will NEVER quit, so this doesn't surprise me at all. He is an enemy of the video game industry and will be until the end of his political career.
 
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Matthew WilsonTrust me i read the same sites.I have a Master's in Applied Politics. I get to see through the spin both Left and Right that tend to be put on news stories.09/30/2014 - 1:02am
WymorenceI also have an extremely hard time in listening to people who froth at the mouth when the POTUS does something almost identical to the previous POTUS, but for some reason is subhuman for it this time around09/30/2014 - 12:43am
WymorenceThe problem is that opposing views are a good thing, but sites like Brietbart and their ilk are the exact opposite. 9/10 times they tweak the news to benefit their own views instead of just giving their own side of it.09/30/2014 - 12:41am
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james_fudgeoh and Nate Silver and Politico too.09/29/2014 - 11:48pm
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E. Zachary KnightOcarina of Time done up in the Link to the Past engine? You know I would buy this day one if it were official. http://kotaku.com/fans-are-remaking-ocarina-of-time-in-2d-164059481909/29/2014 - 11:14pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/raymond03155046/status/516735796754522113 "We're fundraising for the group who helped our pets out in their time of need." "lol ur just doing this for the money get over your cat."09/29/2014 - 9:26pm
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Matthew WilsonI agree. the same for MSNBC as well. both of them can go away, but like it or not its a free market and fox news make allot of money sadly.09/29/2014 - 7:46pm
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Andrew EisenWe used to have a reader who constantly posted DailyKOS articles in the Shout box. I was amazed, not so much by the amazing and horrifically disingenuous spin the site put on these articles, but that our reader would add his own spin on top of it!09/29/2014 - 6:05pm
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quiknkoldproblem with Breibart is, despite I totally agreeing with Nero's articles.....its freaking Breibart. Its not the best place int he world when it comes to trust. if DailyKos or think progress reported it....well...things would be better. but here we are.09/29/2014 - 6:00pm
Neo_DrKefkaAt this point I need to stop visiting certain sites. At least now I have a list of people and where they work where I need to avoid http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/21/GameJournoPros-we-reveal-every-journalist-on-the-list09/29/2014 - 5:56pm
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