California state senator Leland Yee , who tried to pass a bill banning the sale of violent video games to children – a move blocked by the US Supreme Court in 2011 – is back in the news, adding his two cents to President Obama’s decision to have the CDC study whether there’s a ink between violent media and gun violence.
After various sites reported on his comments, Yee took to Twitter to admit he “didn’t use the best words” to covey his opinion on the matter.
According to Yee, gamers should pipe down over the matter, because we have “no credibility” and a “lust for violence.”
“Gamers have got to just quiet down,” Yee told the San Francisco Gate. “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.”
He’s right you know. How many of you or someone you know have gone ballistic over losing to someone in a Call of Duty game and took such frustrations out at the food co-op by slapping hippies around with a cluster of kale? I know I have. I even once strangled my better half over losing to Ganondorf for the fifth time in The Ocarina of Time. Luckily, he enjoyed it and asked me to do it again sometime.
All joking aside, Yee seems to think gamers are nothing more than psychotic neanderthals who need to be reigned in. Or ill-behaved children who should just sit in the corner and be quiet. Never mind the fact that we live in a country which allows free-speech and has given us the right to vote when we turn 18.
Chicken Little extremists come from all walks of life, and Yee falls into this category. The sad part, is that he is an elected official who holds influence over the constituents which voted for him. I have no idea what positive things he has done for the state of California, nor do I care because I don’t live there. What I do care about though, is someone who thinks that gamers do not have a dog in this fight, when we do.
It is our entertainment medium; it is our right as citizens of the United States to cry foul when we’re uneducatedly linked with lunatics who go on shooting rampages. It is blatant ignorance to assume we are all filled with so much blood lust that we’re just one loss in XCOM away from grabbing a mini-14 and heading down to the local shopping mall.
Luckily, there are many voices of reason in this political climate, who outnumber those prone to knee-jerking: US VP Joe Biden being one, and the executive director of the International Game Developers Association, Kate Edwards, is another.
“It’s important to point out that some of the most popular video games in history are all titles such as Wii Sports, The Sims, Super Mario Brothers,the Pokemon series and Tetris,” she told the San Francisco Gate.
“So while the games containing more violence get the attention, they’re not a reflection of the game industry as a whole, just as a single genre of film, TV or literature doesn’t represent that medium as a whole.”
Hopefully, more experts such as Edwards will start talking louder, in order to drown out biased fear mongers such as Yee. And hopefully, certain American news outlets will give these people the attention they deserve, even if their comments don’t make for an attention grabbing headline.
In the meantime, Yee is the one who needs to “quiet down,” and let the experts do their $10 million worth of research.
UPDATE: According to tweets from Yee (thanks, Splatterhouse): Gamers, I admittedly didnt use best words to SFchron. Meant video game industry has inherent conflict of interest in the gun violence debate. 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.”