Leland Yee: Gamers Have ‘No Credibility’ in Violent Video Game Debate, Should ‘Just Quiet Down’

The San Francisco Chronicle offers an in-depth article on how video games have been drawn into the discussion on gun violence featuring quotes from California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) , IGDA Executive Director executive director, and Ian Bogost, professor of interactive computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The article also features comments from Gamasutra's Kris Graft, who called the industry's decision to meet with Vice-President Joe Biden's Gun Violence Commission earlier this month a mistake.

While the article is a fair assessment of the focus that has been put on video games since the Sandy Hook elementary School shootings that happened last month in Newtown, Connecticut, a particular quote from Senator Yee is sure to agitate the majority of gamers in America. Yee, who authored the failed 2005 California video game law that was struck down by the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA (it was ruled a violation of free speech rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution), said that it is time for gamers to be quiet and that he has some hope that the President's call for the CDC to study violent videogames will lead to some changes. First the galling comment about game players:

"Gamers have got to just quiet down," Yee, D-San Francisco, said in an interview Tuesday. "Gamers have no credibility in this argument. This is all about their lust for violence and the industry's lust for money. This is a billion-dollar industry. This is about their self-interest."

Later in the article Yee says that the Supreme Court set the standard too high in its ruling on Brown v. EMA and that he is pessimistic about the President's plan for CDC research:

"I'm hopeful that the president's intervention on this particular matter will make a difference, but I'm not that hopeful," Yee said.

You can read the entire article here.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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  1. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Fortunately, Yee only has two more years in office(term limits), although he plans to run for California secretary of state next election cycle.

    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(0-3), LSU(3-0)

  2. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    I know it's an extreme example, however, the point is it makes zero sense to tell one of the groups that will be most effected to just sit down and shut up.

  3. 0
    kurifu says:

    The main premise of Leland Yee's argument here is supported by exceptionally poorly informed stereotypes and the fallacy of motivation. This along with his inability to understand or sheer unwillingness to consider any opinion not from his demographic makes him shockingly unfit for his job.

    It's one thing to try and make a rational argument against video games and their impact, and certainly healthy to consider these opinions when in an academic context, but what Leland Yee is doing here is downright bigotry.

  4. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    No surprise that Leland Yee is continuing to show how much of a sore loser he is.

    I guarantee that gamers like myself have much more credibility in this debate than he does when he acts like Jack Thompson.

    The bar is high for a reason. It is because to contradict a Constitutional amendment, you need absolute proof that the free speech in question is "dangerous". Never been done, never will be done.

    It's time for Leland Yee to grow up and get a life.

    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(0-3), LSU(3-0)

  5. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    Seems Mr. Yee is upset that the bill he wrote not only got smacked down, but got smacked down by the highest court in the U.S. of A.

    Mr Yee,

    You need to calm down and shut up. You do not know anything about videogames. Therefore, you have no credibility in this argument. This is all about you trying to push a political agenda. The California game law you wrote is dead. It's time to stop beating this dead horse and move on.

     – W

  6. 0
    silversnowfox says:

    Politicians have no credibility in political debates and discourse and should just sit down and be quiet.

    Lets both agree that we should each be silent and call it a day then shall we?

  7. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    People with firsthand experience in what is being discussed have no credibility in this discussion.  Only people who have never played a game can have a legitimate opinion about them.  DERP.

  8. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    Ultimate hypocrite Leland Yee. He thinks 14 to 17 year old high school teenagers need to be protected from violent video games, but young children are perfectly fine being exposed to toxic plastics in children's toys, as the guy voted against a law in the California legislature years back that would have banned them. Think of the children my ass Yee.

    Hope the voters in San Francisco vote this douchebag out of office as soon as possible.

  9. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Hmm, so basically he doesn't want to hear from the same people he would be affecting.

    If this was the 1950s, would he be telling black people to quiet down because they have no credibility on civil rights issues?

  10. 0
    Longjocks says:

    I've only seen this guy come up in passing, probably mainly through articles on this site. I'm wondering if he feels the same about the people going around shouting, "Derrr trine ta tick wee ah gurrrns!" Should gun enthusiasts also have to just quiet down?

  11. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    In the 1970s, Leland Yee would have been decrying the evils of television. In the 1950s, comic books. In the 1900s, his demons would have been radio and the telephone. In the Middle Ages, he would have made a lucrative business out of prosecuting witches.

    People like Mr. Yee always crop up in every generation. Fortunately, they always end up shamed and discredited.

  12. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    It is wrong in the context Yee is using.  Just because you can play a game for 800 hours doesn't mean you need to in order to accurately gauge its appropriateness for your children.


    Andrew Eisen

  13. 0
    nightgia says:

    In that case, I assert:

    "Politicians have got to just quiet down. Politicians have no credibility in this making politics. This is all about their lust for control and notoriety. This is a cop-out. This is about pointing fingers."

    Thank you for your time.

  14. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    We have no credibility?  Big words coming from someone who said:

    "These violent video games… can contain up to 800 hours of footage with the most atrocious content often reserved for the highest levels and can be accessed only by advanced players after hours upon hours of progressive mastery."


    Andrew Eisen

  15. 0
    DorkmasterFlek says:

    Uh, no Senator Yee.  You are the one who has no credibility in this debate.  I used to think your intentions were good and that you were simply misguided.  Now I just think you're an ass.

  16. 0
    Conster says:

    Yes, because clearly, the people with no credibility are the gamers. The people who are threatening to rise up against the government and/or murder people if gun laws get stricter, on the other hand? THOSE you should listen to.

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