Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what kids watch

December 20, 2010 -

An editorial penned by California State Senator and anti-game crusader Leeland Yee says that parents should be able to control what kids watch, but how parents come to that conclusion is the probably a sticky subject for many of our readers.

In the editorial Yee says that California has "been hard at work trying to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent video games. In the Legislature, we have attempted to give greater authority to parents in determining which video games are appropriate for their children."

He is of course speaking of the law they passed five years ago that was ultimately struck down by the courts shortly thereafter:

"In 2005, I authored a law to prohibit the sale of extremely violent video games to minors. The video game industry immediately sued the state, preventing the law from being enforced. The law has since been litigated all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, with justices expected to make a ruling in the spring."

Yee goes on top talk about various studies "by the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association" that conclude that "adolescents who play violent video games may become increasingly aggressive over time."

Naturally, Yee doesn't mention the data on the other end of the spectrum that comes to contrary conclusions about playing games and agressive behavior.

Finally after quoting SCTOUS justices that were supportive of California's position, Yee says that he is hopeful:

"I am hopeful that a majority of justices will agree that parents – not retailers or game makers – should determine which video games are appropriate for kids. A ruling in favor California’s law will not only ensure that parents make such decisions, but will help protect our children in the years to come."

You can read the entiure editorial here.

Commentary: Edirtotials may sway public opinion on a subject, but it is rare that they sway the courts. Besides, the piublic is much more concerned about staggering levels of unemployment and run-away spending in California, than it is about passing a law to do a job that is already being done by retailers and the ESRB ratings system.


Comments

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

You can't legislate parental control. There are pirated games, friend's houses, etc. Parents can mostly control what happens in their house, they can have discussions with their children which games they want them to play, which they don't, and why, but in the end there is only so much control you can exert over someone.

If I thought Yee was motivated by a genuine desire to empower parents then I wouldn't be so critical of his poorly concieved attempts to legislate these issues, but I think it is clear he wants to garner votes with parents who fear a new medium they didn't grow up with and don't understand and want to protect their children from, whether or not they are actually dangerous.

In the end I think our judicial system has done a good job of protecting 1st amendment rights here and like all other such attempts his is bound to fail. My challenge to these people is to introduce similar legislation aimed at violent movies and TV shows and music with violent lyrics. The principle is exactly the same. Of course people are familiar and comfortable with those mediums and would not support such legislation.

When the Supreme Court eventually rules in favor of the entertainment industry I hope that will put an end to such legislation attempts. The average age of gamers continues to rise, currently the children's market makes up only ~25% of the total market for videogames.

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

Leland Yee continues to prove himself to be a blithering, redundant idiot who loses credibility every time he opens his mouth. Gee, kinda like the Metropolitian Moron of Miami.

Hard at work doing what, exactly, Mr. Yee? Wasting taxpayer money while California will go completely bankrupt next year according to financial analyst Meredith Whitney?

Parents already do control what their crotch-fruit watch, they don't need and never needed help from your worthless ass.

California will lose in the Supreme Court, no doubt about it. Deal with it, Mr. Yee, as it's become more and more pathetic that you whine and cry about the courts rejecting your precious piece of shit law like an overzealous Minnesota Vikings fan still whining and moaning about last season's NFC Championship Game.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

Speaking of that bitch Phyllis Schlafly, we need to control these so-called attempted laws. There are too way too many claims these days, and fear has allow them to have teeth. Even worse, each claim and victory is only encouraging these cockroach vermin to come of the woodwork and continue to take away OUR common sense and freedoms. Which is worse, a police state or nanny state? If we don't start protesting this, we'll get an answer to that scary question real quick, I promise you that.

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GamePolitics, it's time for a mobile version of the site, don't you think?

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"WARNING GUARANTEE: This post contains material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress."

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

So he wants to outlaw violent games so parents can have control over content. 0_o No that doesn't sound like government censorship at all.

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

I'd personally like to introduce Mr. Yee to this radically new technology called the V-Chip.

Since we're on the subject of new features, how about the fact that every single DVD Player has a parental code lockout, as does every single digital cable / satellite set-top-box, and video game console made in the past 5 years.

My sarcasm is complete.

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Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

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Papa Midnight

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

WIN! Yee just got his proverbial ass handed to him on a silver platter

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

"In the Legislature, we have attempted to give greater authority to parents in determining which video games are appropriate for their children."

 

Parents already have the ultimate authority.  They're the parents.

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

"I am hopeful that a majority of justices will agree that parents – not retailers or game makers – or the government - should determine which video games are appropriate for kids."

Fixed that for you.

 

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

Wel ya know far as I'm concerned the way to fix this has nothing to do with videogames and eveyrthing to do with money. Banks should make debit cards for minors that tell parents exactly what they spend their money on when they spent it and that would be that I guess.

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

That might be a good idea, but what about cash withdrawals? If the minor takes out cash, there will naturally be no record of where it was spent. Disallowing cash withdrawals using such a card would be difficult; sure, you might be able to rule out ATMs, but what about cashback from retailers? A $60 cash withdrawal on the statement might raise the alarm with parents, I suppose it's better than nothing.

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

Simple, disable the card's ability to work on an ATM.

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

I covered ATMs. I don't know the specifics of how ATMs are programmed, it may or may not be a simple case of a boolean variable. However, point-of-sale cashback is another world entirely, the card would identify it as a regular transaction; ruling it out completely would be difficult, if possible at all.

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

OK, I'm beginning to think that Yee might very well be a crazy person.

Parents, as it stands now, do not have a law stating that they control what their kids watch- exactly what will change should his legislation get passed?  Parents would have just as much control over their households afterward.

And exactly HOW are these media companies and retailers making the decisions on what kids watch?  Yee is making an extraordinary claim, and needs to demonstrate through what process these entities are bypassing parental authority and placing this media before kids.  Last time I checked, parents are not only the ones with control over what is coming into their homes, but they also have authority over their kids as well as the MONEY that is needed to buy this media.  

 

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

"I am hopeful that a majority of justices will agree that parents – not retailers or game makers – should determine which video games are appropriate for kids"

Sorry to inform you Lee, but it is current already the parents who determine. You aren't giving them help, but trying to pass a law that will be taking away their ability to choose what their child can have and replacing it with government regulation. The government tells what is appropriate or not, and that can change depending on the mood of the day...

I'm sorry but isn't all the data he is spewing about it causing aggression still up in the air and has been in dispute for a long time? I would like to see this proof of his, if it exists.

That...and I am starting to think he is stuck in a void where logic and common sense seem not to apply to normal events and ideas.

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James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

trying to pass a law that will be taking away their ability to choose what their child can have

How?

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

Because the wording is so vague in the bill that it removes those games at the corporate level by causing companies to question whether or not they’ll be fined for releasing a game.  This will also cause investors to start backing out if it's ruled in CA’s favor.

My take on his law is that he thinks he’s enforces the parent’s ability to choose, by removing their ability to choose.  If taken to the extreme (which isn’t farfetched for a government) it’s very similar to how VIKI interpreted the 3 Laws of Robotics (i, Robot); to protect humanity she must save it from itself… by enslaving it though Martial Law.

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

How would vagueness affect whether or not a parent could decide which game to pick off the shelf for their children? Are you saying because there wouldn't be any games left to choose from?

Re: Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what ...

Because the vagueness in the proposed law says "violent," which puts it anywhere between Slaughterhouse and the old (B&W) Looney Toons.  It’s completely subjective, yet treated as objective by this government law.  And if the industry gets fined for every game on the shelf that is deemed “violent” by Yee’s standards, then no one will want to produce a game and investors will back out in fear of loss in their RoI.  Then companies will be forced to fold, move to another country or produce puzzle-like games.

It’s like this:  I tell you that you can choose to go to any place in the world.  I then go pass a law to remove places that you get to choose from because I think they’re too dangerous.  However, I then say that this law that I just passed is designed to give you more power in your choice.

So did I, in fact, give you more power by limiting your choice?  Or did I devalue your freedom of choice, your judgment and your ability to make a decision?

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
 

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