VGVN Wants Gamers to Send Yee Their Broken Controllers

The Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) Video Game Voters Network (VGVN) has launched a promotion designed to tweak California State Senator Leland Yee, the original author of that state’s videogame law which is now in front of the Supreme Court.

A good handful of gamers have probably destroyed a controller in a fit of rage, and while there’s a handful of things that the useless accessories could be used for, the ESA – via VGVN – is urging game enthusiasts to take the broken controller (or an old one), scribble “I believe in the First Amendment” on it and send it off to Senator Yee’s office.

They also want those who submit their controller to take a picture of it and submit it to the organization.

Of course, it’s recommended that gamers be respectful in their communication, as using any swear words or threats would “only prove Yee’s point!”

Full instructions and Yee’s address can be found here.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    SimonBob says:

    I also agree that sending Senator Yee controllers will be a useless gesture.  From the defeatist tone of the comments here, he’s already won.

    Come on, you guys.  If the VGVN had just said "send a controller", you’d all be complaining that they wanted you to ship out a perfectly operational piece of equipment.  The fact that it’s broken isn’t part of the message, it’s just so you aren’t out an extra joystick when your friends come over to play.

    Hell, stuff like this makes me wonder if Yee hasn’t got a point.  Obviously, years of playing games where antagonists and even supposed comrades are consistently deceitful and untrustworthy have left you all bitter and cynical, unable or unwilling to see the positive side to any story, only capable of communicating through disapproval on the internet.


  2. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    Don’t you guys know that in California, plastic is considered to be a toxic carcinogen, so you are essentially mailing hazardous material to an elected official?  It’s almost an act of war!

  3. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    As much as i despise Leland Yee and his nanny-statist "please think of the children" pro-censorship BS I think this idea is really, really stupid. It is not going to accomplish anything and Mr. Yee might see it as some sort of threat which looks bad on our part.

    If anything i think it would be better to display his blantant hypocrisy when it comes to his child protection beliefs. Leland doesn’t believe that 14/15 yo high school aged teenagers have a first amendment right to play fake violent games BUT toxic plastic in children’s toys meant for 4 and 5 years olds is perfectly fine. Why is that Mr. Yee?


    "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  4. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Of course, it’s recommended that gamers be respectful in their communication, as using any swear words or threats would “only prove Yee’s point!”

    And sending him a controller destroyed in a fit of rage won’t?

  5. 0
    vellocet says:

    Um… what message is this supposed to send?  Seriously…

    If a broken controller shows up at my door (or hundreds) what am I supposed to read from that?  There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the message "I believe in the first amendment" and the broken controller.

    I kind of understand that it’s about videogames… but why a controller?  Doesn’t it mean a little more if we send him our old videogames?  

    Or maybe copies of his book with every line blocked out?  Wouldn’t that be better?

    Can anyone explain to me what this is supposed to mean?

  6. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I dunno. This "nifty" idea could just as easily undermine the interests of the gaming community. It’s only a few steps removed from egging and toilet-papering someone’s house in my opinion.

  7. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    Much as I have faith that our victory is solid, I understand the point. However, how is such an act an "effort" on any kind of "front"? To me it just smacks of hooliganism, and demeans us. Sending Yee broken controllers, that is. A copy of the Bill of Rights or a highlighted version of the U.S. Constitution would be quite an appropriate and mature response to me.

  8. 0
    Avalongod says:

    Except there’s no guarantee the Supreme Court will do any such thing.  I HOPE they will, but I don’t think its so clear cut. 

    It’s better to open up multiple efforts on multiple fronts.  Hopefully one of them will "catch".

  9. 0
    Avalongod says:

    Well, in fairness, these kinds of acts of protest CAN be influential.  Might not change Yee’s mind, but might give other politicians pause.  Sitting quietly and doing nothing is CERTAINLY counterproductive, so its nice to see some protest efforts.  So long as they remain cordial.

  10. 0
    HarmlessBunny says:

    “I believe in the First Amendment"

    …I believe in Harvey Dent.


    Joking aside, I highly doubt this will do anything but just annoy Lee. It wouldn’t serve any thing. Just to know he is getting broken electronics.

    I agree though, no swearing or angry wordings. That would just make it worse. Writing a polite statement would be best. Still through I think this will be a useless gesture.

  11. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    Or, why not just send him a copy of the Bill of Rights?

    I agree. That’s much less insulting and juvenile than a shtiload of broken controllers arriving at his doorstep.

    Seriously, what the fuck is this supposed to accomplish? I despise Yee as much as anybody, but I’d much rather we just state our case peacably like adults, and let the Supreme Court lay the smack down on the assholes fucking with our pasttime and the First Amendment.

  12. 0
    Zerodash says:

    I suggest sending him old Atari controllers- to demonstrate to him that many (most?) of us are actually quite a bit over the age of 15.

    Or, why not just send him a copy of the Bill of Rights?

  13. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    And most of them will likely go in the trash without Yee so much as glancing at them, though he woudl likely keep one to show and say that video games do indeed make people violent.

  14. 0
    Avalongod says:

    I’m neutral.  I don’t think it will sway Yee.  Then again, a well-run, polite campaign could raise some awareness.  The problem is the potential for abuse if people send in insulting messages.

  15. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I’m not so sure that the idea’s a "nifty" one (I assume that’s also part of Pete’s commentary). "Juvenile" comes to my mind a lot quicker.


Leave a Reply