In an interview with GameSpot, Leland Yee, the California Senator who penned the state’s violent game law, expresses hope that the Supreme Court will uphold the law after hearing oral arguments next week. But if it doesn’t…
“At the very least, I believe that the Supreme Court is going to provide some direction to legislators who are interested in limiting the sale of violent video games to children. That's because this law has been struck down twice already--there was an injunction on it which we appealed and lost. Then we went to the federal appeals court and we lost again. So I am hoping the Supreme Court will look at this issue and at least provide some guidance as to what might be possible within the framework of the law.”
Yee also discusses his lack of faith in the ESRB.
“No, I think the problem with the ESRB rating is that the ratings system itself is rather biased. The ESRB is funded by the industry, so it's like the fox guarding the henhouse. Clearly, they're not going to legitimately and appropriately place any markings on any video games, because it's in the interest of the video [game] industry to sell as many video games as possible. You never heard of an AO rating whatsoever, because that would limit your market share.”
Yee goes on to cite Hot Coffee as an example of the ratings board’s failure.
When asked why video games require laws criminalizing sales of adult content to minors but movies do not, Yee explains that parents can evaluate a movie’s content simply by watching the whole thing whereas a game requires them “to be pretty sophisticated to get to a level to see some of the more atrocious [in-game] behavior.”
AE: Yeah, it’s a shame parents’ only recourse is to play the entire game themselves. If only there were some readily accessible and easy-to-use resource available that offered an abundance of information on any video game they might be considering for their children…
Read the rest of the Q&A here.
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen