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.