George A. Rose: Leland Yee Like Sisyphus

A San Francisco Chronicle guest editorial by George A. Rose, Executive Vice President and Chief Public Policy Officer at Activision Blizzard, takes San Francisco mayoral candidate, State Senator (D-San Francisco) and anti-game crusader Leland Yee to task for his promise to continue to fight for a violent videogame law. This even after a bitter defeat and a strong rebuke at the hands of seven U.S. Supreme Court Justices, no less. The gist of the editorial is that many of Yee’s misguided policies and political grandstanding costs money that California doesn’t have right now.

"Lee kept up the grandstanding this week, even after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday convincingly and permanently laid to rest a Yee-authored 2005 law purporting to inhibit the sale to minors of video games that would have been deemed too violent," wrote Rose. "Deemed too violent by whom: by some yet-to-be-appointed commission of state officials (supported by taxpayer dollars) – a commission Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia scathingly referred to as the California Censorship Committee."

"Long before Yee’s law was signed, an industry-funded system costing taxpayers nothing had been put into place – a system that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission as recently as this year praised as the gold standard of self-regulation," he continued. "This system makes it not just difficult, but nearly impossible, for an unaccompanied minor to buy age-inappropriate games, especially the ones Yee cites as most egregiously violent."

Rose closes by saying that the SCOTUS rulings puts the power of what children play back in the hands of parents and out of the hands of lawmakers and bureaucrats. He also points out that California has serious financial issues that it needs to deal with and lawmakers shouldn’t be throwing good money after bad laws:

"..public money is scarce in California these days. Squandering precious funds again on writing, defending and attempting to enforce ineffective and unnecessary laws that benefit political ambitions is a really bad idea. What’s not broken shouldn’t be fixed. It’s time for Sen. Yee to let go of the joystick and declare game over."

You can read Rose’s entire Editorial at the San Francisco Chronicle.

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  1. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    No it didn’t.  It wasn’t appealed to the Supreme Court so it didn’t get brushed aside.

    Unless you’re suggesting that the fact that it wasn’t is a poor reflection on Thompson which I just don’t see at all.


    Andrew Eisen

  2. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Yeah.  Again, the same exact thing.

    Had Thompson’s law been taken to the Supreme Court, and had it decided to hear the case, it would have ruled it unconstitutional.

    Just like Yee’s law.


    Andrew Eisen

  3. 0
    Grif says:

    Still, we all know what would have happened in the end if it was, right?

    JT: "I DEMAND you ban all sales of these murder simulators!"

    SCOTUS: "Who do you think you are? And where are your pants?"


    "Power means nothing without honor and pride." My video game review site.

    Atlanta Video Games Examiner for

  4. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    And got seriously shot down, just like Thompson.

    Anyway, it wasn’t like the Supreme Court didn’t take Thompson’s case seriously, it was never presented for them to consider one way or the other.


    Andrew Eisen

  5. 0
    Avalongod says:

    how are their free speech protections there?  I know many European countries (England, Germany, Switzerland, etc.) appear to have fewer free speech protections (I’m not implying they are draconian fascist regimes either, before people get hackles up, just saying some level of regulation/censorship is permitted there, where it would not be in the US).

  6. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    More polite?

    Other than that, I’m not seeing a difference.  They both completely failed to get their violent game laws passed.


    Andrew Eisen

  7. 0
    Bill says:

    "I feel like quitting this damn country sometimes."


    I know how frustration can build enough to produce feelings like that.  The problem is when you look around and wonder "where is there to go?" .

  8. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    I know that anti-gamers like Yee are going to have a much harder time with their antics than before, and I am happy about that, but let’s face it, we can’t defeat the tidal wave. Nothing has ever been able to put a dent in the sheer number of politicians willing to waste millions of dollars in their efforts not only to stay in power, but to ascend in power. Very few in government actually care about making a difference, if they did, they would all serve one term and be happy with that. We’ve had the wrong people in charge since probably before I was born, and they’re going to be there until enough Americans growing a fucking brain, and a pair of balls, and kick all the damn politicians out.

    I don’t see that happening in my lifetime, because let’s face it, too many Americans are spoiled and feel entitled to be stupid. I feel like quitting this damn country sometimes.

  9. 0
    Avalongod says:

    With a big lose at SCOTUS it will probably be difficult.  Some political momentum would have been lost.  Any such law would now clearly need to pass strict scrutiny which the justices said the research on this issue can’t do.

    Although I certainly wouldn’t put it past him to try…

  10. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    "It’s time for Sen. Yee to let go of the joystick and declare game over."

    I think Yee’s hand goes right for his joystick everytime he thinks about banning games…ugh! Yee’s still studying how to warp and twist politics in order to pass another law, rather than studying FACTS like these, and using OUR money to do it!

    KNOCK IT OFF! You attempt to take our Freedom, attack our parenting, and usurp our budget!

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