Leland Yee Reaction to Brown v. EMA Decision

While we wait for California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) to issue a full statement via a press conference, PC Magazine manages to get the following quote from the man responsible for writing the law that the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled as unconstitutional.

California State Sen. Leland Yee said that today’s ruling by the Supreme Court "put the interests of corporate America" before the interests of children.

"As a result of their decision, Wal-Mart and the video game industry will continue to make billions of dollars at the expense of our kids’ mental health and the safety of our community," Yee said. "It is simply wrong that the video game industry can be allowed to put their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children."

Yee went on to say that the eight years of legislative and legal battles were worth it because it raised the consciousness of this issue for many parents and grandparents, and has "forced the video game industry to do a better job at appropriately rating these games."

Taxpayers in California probably disagree with Yee, who encouraged the state to spend money to defend a law that was inevitably struck down. The only ones truly enriched by the legal battle and victory was the videogame industry because this ruling has set a precedent that can’t be ignored by lawmakers daring to tackle the subject of violent videogame legislation.

Source: PC Magazine

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  1. LegallyBlindGamer says:

    I think there should be civil penalties for violating the oath of office. By taking the oath, it’s like signing a contract with the people you are going to be representing. It would keep people like Mr. Yee from wasting taxpayer money on crap like this.

  2. MonkeyPeaches says:

    I’ve played violent video games all my life and I am mentally heal… CRUSH KILL DESTROY!!!! 

  3. Sporge says:

    It is truely a mystery, how does forced parenting help a parents rights?  Might as well say that in order to preserve my right to bear arms I am forced to own a firearm even if I don’t want one. 

  4. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    "As a result of their decision, Wal-Mart and the video game industry will continue to make billions of dollars at the expense of our kids’ mental health and the safety of our community," Yee said. "It is simply wrong that the video game industry can be allowed to put their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children."

    This, gentlemen, is an adult man making a tantrum when he is not getting what he wants.

    So sorry, Mr. Yee, but this is what you get for not understanding (or not caring at all!) the law and constitution from your own country.

    Game over.

  5. PHOENIXZERO says:

    Certainly predictable, just as JT was…


    I haven’t been here in awhile but has the whole "misguided" excuse a number of people used for Yee been done away with yet? Because this statement is just yet another example to show he’s anything but.


    I can’t believe he’s still in office… Oh wait.. His district includes San Francisco…. Okay I can.   Yeah, he would be perfect as mayor..

  6. Arell says:

    I still don’t get his train of thought that leads to him saying, "infringing on the rights of parents."  That doesn’t make any sense in this situation.  How does he see game developers and stores currently "infringing parent’s rights"?

  7. Craig R. says:

    Dear Mr. Yee,

    While the SCOTUS has been pretty guilty lately of putting corporate America ahead of the people of this country, this most certainly isn’t one of those times.

    But then, this was in no effing way about the "rights of parents". This was about demanding that the government do the parenting. Why not demand that the parents do the parenting for once?


    The Constitution

  8. Left4Dead says:

    It wouldn’t take too much effort on the behalf of the developers to create multi-rated games.  I, for one, want an option to turn off the rampant cussing that seems so prevalent in the games released today.  As an individual who doesn’t use such language, I find it distracting to hear it exiting the mouth of the main character(s) and thus effectively ruins an otherwise decent storyline for me.  Such a "feature" would literally take a day or two to implement and would possibly allow for the ESRB to start doing multiple ratings for a single game.  It would be even better if Steamworks, for example, offered an API that automatically selected appropriate settings within the game to match a desired rating/level of each of profanity, sexual content, gore, etc.

    Let me put this another way:  Developers, you are losing money because you can’t be bothered to add a simple feature to your M-rated game.  So the super-simple question you have to ask yourself is, "Do I want to make more money or not?"

    – Left4Dead

    Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

    -- Left4Dead --

  9. Andrew Eisen says:

    Uh, yeah they do.  The top selling game from last year was rated M.  In fact, half of the top 10 games from last year were rated M.

    There are a lot more E rated games made and therefore, they make up a larger percentage of total sales (44% vs. 24% for 2010).


    Andrew Eisen

  10. NecroSen says:

    Perhaps Yee thinks only children play video games, and it’s a multi-billion dollar industry simply because kids somehow have money.

    I think he just needs to cut his kids’ allowance. That might solve everything in his eyes. 

  11. Monolith says:

    If this issue was about profits, no one would even make M rated games since they don’t sell as well as E rated games.

  12. Sporge says:

    Really from the data you 2 have stated I don’t think you can say one way or the other.  I mean half the top games being rated M would suggest Mrated games do well… assuming all the others weren’t entirely E rated. 


    Then E rated games making more overall, really has nothing to do with quantity necessarily.  I really can’t find any stats to sway me one way or the other really

  13. Vake Xeacons says:

    What the blah WHAT?! First he says the game industry is making millions at kid’s expense, then turns around and says he forced the industry to regulate itself effectively!

    Make up your mind, Yee. "I lost, but I still won, in a way." Can’t have your cake and lose it too.

    P.S. Love the photo: looks like he’s about to cry!

  14. Andrew Eisen says:

    Sure.  Even posted a GP story on it back in the day.

    That said, I hope you understand my confusion when you replied to "Video games do not jeopardize the safety of our community.  There’s no evidence of this." with "There is evidence about [that]."


    Andrew Eisen

  15. sqlrob says:

    What Elle said.

    I’m sure you’ve seen the graph that shows violent games’ release date overlaid on crime rates.


  16. Elle says:

    I think he means the contrary statistics that show that youth violent crime has decreased with the rise of video games. 

  17. Thad says:

    While I certainly agree, the ruling seems to be rather broader than that:

    "But a legislature cannot create new categories of unprotected speech simply by weighing the value of a particular category against its social costs and then punishing it if it fails the test."

    I read that as saying that even if there WERE strong evidence of games having a negative social impact, it wouldn’t matter, they’re still covered.

    Which is a good thing; otherwise we’d just be playing this same song and dance again in a few years against people citing research which they claim supports their claim that games harm children.  This way we don’t even have to worry about demonstrating that the research is flawed — at least, not in court.

  18. NecroSen says:

    In fact, in the majority opinion, SCOTUS pointed out how the law had conflicting interests, split between trying to "protect children" and "assist parents in making the choice for their children" (paraphrasing). Further, they stated that the law didn’t do much to help parents anyway, since many violent games purchased for children are done so by parents who simply don’t care. If the law’s purpose was really to protect children, it would have to do more than force a parent to make that choice.

    Yee seems to think every parent in his state will somehow feel empowered by his legislation, and 100% of them would make what he thinks is the morally responsible choice. Given the track record of video game retailers as noted by the FTC in thwarting children from purchasing M-rated titles, and yet the prevalance of children playing M-rated games online, there’s really nothing that law would have changed except to make some retailers pay fines occasionally.

  19. Andrew Eisen says:

    1.  Video games do not negatively affect kids’ mental health.  There’s no evidence of this.

    2.  Video games do not jeopardize the safety of our community.  There’s no evidence of this.

    3.  The rights of parents are not being squelched.

    4.  The well-being of children is not being affected.

    5.  Games were appropriately rated in the first place.  This brouhaha has changed nothing along those lines.


    Andrew Eisen

  20. airford says:

    For me, I just go read the 9 part transcript every once in a while. It is condensed Jack, that old flavor we all miss.

  21. MartyB says:

    Sometimes I miss Thomson,  at least he knew how to properly entertain us.

    this was too predictable, almost no entertainment value.  Where are the days where Jack’s  shenanigans would make us laugh until we cried.

     There should be a tribute, like on the anniversary that he lost job, with a complete list of exploits in cronological order so that we can recall how fortunate we were to have such a real life troll practicing law.

  22. BearDogg-X says:

    What a crybaby. That’s all that needs to be said.

    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.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  23. hellfire7885 says:

    If he even is a parent, and I doubti t would unless he could mandate that parents cut it all over the state.

  24. hellfire7885 says:

    My guess is all he needed to know is that he lost.

    And it’s only him who lost. He can keep bullshitting, but was this a vanity project for HIM, nothing more.

  25. Zerodash says:

    I take it Yee didn’t read the decision- especially the part about how well the ESRB voluntary system is more effective than other industries.  This is the type of person who wants to run a major city? 

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