Leland Yee Apologizes to Gamers for Comments Made to The San Francisco Chronicle

Last week California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) said that gamers had no credibility when it came to the discussion of violent video games. More precisely the author of the California bill that was at the center of the Supreme Court case Brown v. EMA said:

"Gamers have got to just quiet down," Yee, D-San Francisco, said in an interview last 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."

What we missed last week is the fact that Yee apologized for saying it. On Friday Yee took to his Twitter account to clarify what he said and offer an apology:


In a follow-up tweet he said that he had a lot of respect for gamers, but pointed his finger at the games industry for profiting off of children.

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  1. Left4Dead says:

    "Gamers, I admittedly didnt use best words to SFchron. Meant video game industry has inherent conflict of interest in the gun violence debate"

    Huh?  What would be the "best words" then?  Gamers are intelligent enough to see through your facade.  We hold day jobs, are good parents to our kids, and those of us who care about raising kids the right way, spend time with our kids.  Video games are a good way to relax and there are thousands of games to choose from and good parents will act as a pre-filter to decide what their kids can and cannot play at their age and readiness for the material within the game by playing it first.  Bad parents will just let their kids do whatever the kid wants.  You are better off educating parents on how to be a good parent.

    "I have a lot of respect for many gamers – many are on my staff and in my family – but the industry has profited at the expense of children."

    This response indicates that you do not have actual respect for gamers.  You say the gaming "industry has profited at the expense of children" but fail to address what you mean by that.  The only thing I can think of is that you don't really know what you are talking about and are simply using political doublespeak to confuse people on your actual stance:  That you don't like video games and anyone who plays them must be rather unintelligent.

    If anything, the gaming industry has profited at the expense of responsible adults.  For example, very few AAA titles are made that don't have excessive foul language but the trailers for those titles don't include a single cuss word.  Yet the game itself is rife with that language with no way to turn it off in the settings.  I waste my money on games that inevitably turn me off to it because of the foul language found within and I certainly won't resell it to someone else or let the kids play it – it just goes straight into the trash bin (in the case of Steam, it is stuck forever in my game list).  But some publisher made money off of me, which sends the wrong message.  The misleading game trailer is a huge problem in the game industry and makes it harder for good parents to do their job.  If you want a target, go after the foul language and misleading trailer problems.  Rating systems only go so far.

    As far as gun control goes, I've handled firearms.  In the hands of the untrained, a firearm is very dangerous.  This is why it is very important to get firearm training early on in one's life to form a healthy respect for them and to respect those who wish to own them.  Training should be required before ownership.  You get training before being allowed to drive a car, why should owning a gun be any different?  Since it is a right to bear arms in this country, training on firearms should be part of any education program in school – no such right for owning a car though despite car ownership being a significant cause of human fatalities.  It should be such that if parents don't want the school to teach their kids, then the parents must take the child for training with a certified program and provide proof of completion to the school.  Anyone who doesn't follow the rules on the firing range during training is banned from owning a firearm until they can prove that they have learned to maintain a modicum of responsibility.  This way no one graduates from school until they understand and respect firearms and how to correctly handle them.  Good education seems to me to be a better, more sane approach to take with gun control instead of "fear of guns", kneejerk reactions, and finger pointing.


    -- Left4Dead --

  2. Kajex says:

    No wonder you've been committing genocide on the citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom. You better get Doc Mario to write you up a prescription.

  3. Imautobot says:

    My "lust for violence" has lead me to kill hundreds if not thousands of Koopas, Goombas, and Bob-Ombs.  Lock me up and throw away the key, or I might kill again.  HA!

    On a related note, I also spend an inordinate amount of time breaking bricks with my skull and climbing random flagpoles.  

    Clearly I am the guy your mothers warned you about.

  4. Hevach says:

    That last tweet is wrapped up in a special kind of language that isn't an apology for insulting speech, but a justification for it, in the same style as, "I don't hate ALL gay people, just certain ones," or "There's good black people and bad black people." The original insult is still built into the apology.

  5. Balance says:

    That's not an apology. It's an attempt to save face after enough people called him on his vicious slurs. He's trying to talk his way out of the backlash from a petty, resentful tirade, and not even doing a good job of it.

  6. Bennett Beeny says:

    Speak for yourself. I want realism.

    The whole problem here is that realISM is being confused with realITY. RealISM is fake, while realITY is real. Let's not fall into the anti-gamers' ways of thinking.

  7. DorkmasterFlek says:

    That makes a little bit more sense, but he's still missing the point.  We don't show realistic violence, we show fake violence.  Rag doll physics and showers of blood are not realistic.  We don't want realistic violence, because realistic violence makes us uncomfortable.  It's not fun to watch.  We want fake, enjoyable violence.  That goes for movies and TV as well as games.  He either has an axe to grind for the SCOTUS case not going his way, or he's just going after an easy political target because the power of the gun lobby is obscene.  He needs to learn that video games are no longer an easy political target.

  8. Zerodash says:

    This is yet another example of what a snake Yee is.  He lies constantly about games, gamers, and the industry.  Yet, he throws in just enough "goodwill" and these apologies to take the heat off- and then he goes and lies again.  

    At least Jack didn't pretend to be a good guy.

  9. Lizard says:

    Number of children killed, on average, each year in America, from playing school sports: 40-50.

    Number of children killed, on average, each year in America, from playing video games: 0.

    Who is profiting at the expense of children, Mr. Yee?

  10. Cormic says:

    By that logic the NRA should stay out of governments attempts at various gun control laws.  After all they have an inherent conflict of interest in the gun violence debate.

  11. Bigman-K says:

    Still a hypocrite, and still a douchebag. Sorry Yee, but if you think high school aged teenagers need to be shielded from violent video games, yet infant children are alright playing with toys made of toxic plastics, there is something wrong with your "please think of the children" facade. Oh yeah, it's all bullshit!


    If you need proof, check here: http://www.ecovote.org/bill/no-more-toxic-toys-or-later-phthalates

    Check near the bottom for Leland Yee's name.

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