The Los Angeles Times recently peppered State Senator Leland Yee with a few questions about the original legislation he penned making it all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
Perhaps the best question posed to Yee asked how he could introduce legislation that would make it illegal to sell violent games to minors when he is not very familiar with games at all.
That is a fair criticism. I’m not a player. But I have seen individuals who play these games. I have seen individuals using a baseball bat and bludgeoning a hooker to death, or taking a gun and shooting a cop. Those are the direct result of someone pushing a button and making a conscious decision. I can see that that kind of connection between your action and the consequent behavior is dangerous.
With a movie you can sit there for two hours and see everything. In these violent games, parents may never fully understand what they contain because you have to be a very sophisticated player to trigger them.
Yee was then asked "Do you think video games are an art form? Do game creators deserve freedom of expression?"
This is where some critics misunderstand me. I think video games are artful and it takes a lot of creativity to make them. I also think the interactive nature of them and the technology behind them can have great educational value.
I’m never going to be the person who stands up and says we should ban these ultra-violent video games. I’m just saying children ought not to be allowed to access them unless a parent buys it for them. Otherwise, video games are just as worthy under the 1st Amendment as movies.