Gamers need to 'quiet down' says CA senator

Author of unsuccessful violent game law Leland Yee criticizes gamers and industry at large in wake of deadly Connecticut shooting.


California senator Leland Yee, whose much-publicized violent game law was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2011, has offered a new message to gamers: quiet down. Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle in the wake of last month's schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, Yee criticized gamers and the industry at large.

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"Gamers have got to just quiet down," Yee said. "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."

Yee is not the only politician taking aim at the game industry following December's deadly shooting. Politicians in Washington, DC, as well as President Obama himself, have put forth legislation and orders aimed at examining violent entertainment and what role it may play in real-world violence.

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Avatar image for Marikhen

So if we banned all violence from video games what would we have left? No FPS games because of the shooter aspect. No RPGs because they require strife. opposing forces, and violence. No Real-Time or Turn-Based Strategy games either because, again, they require violence. Sports games? Violence. Simulation games? Well... Violence. Blowing up or otherwise destroying old buildings to make way for new ones is violent, unleashing space aliens and floods on your city is violent, any simulation game that allows you to have accidents, accidentally or on purpose, often incorporates violence at least in mental imagery as your city/car/plane crashes and burns. Platformers? Just how many platformers out there don't involve violence? You had an ape attacking you with barrels in Donkey Kong, you went around killing mushrooms, jellyfish, plants, and turtles in Super Mario Brothers both by bashing them to death and burning them alive, you used guns, missiles, and bombs in Metroid, and Castlevania gives you access to leather armor and chain whips, and leather whips too.

What would be left after a violence purge from video games, Pong? Nope. Balls hitting walls and paddles is violent, and the competitiveness of the game can induce violence in the players. Tetris? Every time you "complete" a row of blocks it's destroyed ergo violence.

So really, what game out there is not only totally non-violent in any way, shape, or form but also entertaining and engaging to gamers as a whole?

Avatar image for Krinnium

Quiet down, my ass! I always love hearing representatives telling us to be quiet. I wasn't heated about the issue until he said that. Lust for violence? Self interest?

If he really believes we don't have credibility, then the statistics still do. Consider the amount of people (of all ages) that play violent video games, and consider the number of mass murders that have occurred because of that video game violence. Or, violent crimes that 'were caused by video game violence.' He has gathered no evidence, for or against, and he has the balls to tell us to be quiet, and that we have no credibility? If he is honestly this incompetent on this topic, just imagine how 'stellar' he is in the other aspects of his job. Psh! a representative telling people to 'be quiet.' Maybe he needs to shut the hell up, because his argument sucks and he has no conclusive evidence.

Avatar image for Krinnium

Then again, he has no credibility on the topic because he has a lust for traditional values and is serving his own self interest in the argument. What a fool.

Avatar image for Villerainamo

So the very large group of voters, taxpayers and generally said people who choose a form of entertainment to dwell in simply need to be silent and listen to them being slandered and insulted by people who seem incapable of conducting any sort of intelligent cause-and-effect analysis? Huh, and here I thought you had a democracy over there.

Back in the day when heavy metal music started making waves, it received the same treatment and was chastised the same way. Then came the popularization of acted violence in TV, and throughout the 1990's and early 2000's, violence displayed on screen was the cause of all the tragedies. TV seems to be largely forgotten now and it is yet another form of entertainment that gets the dubious honor of being assigned blame for tragedies caused by troubled people. Examining psychological and sociological causes of these tragedies is much more time-consuming and takes more money than simply pointing a finger at a form of entertainment that some older people, such as this particular politician, don't fully understand.

Credibility Mr. Yee? I don't think you understand what that word even means.

Avatar image for F-14-D_TOMCAT

@Villerainamo true dat. Rap and hip hop was also said to be the cause of violence and the root of all evil.

Avatar image for Rocket2Uranus

back in the day they blamed guns.
now they are blaming video games.

just out of curiosity, did this guy watch barney when he was younger? did he watch CNN? or FOX?

I mean i'm sure it was CNN/FOX that drove this guy crazy. Yup. I can play this game too senators. maybe it was the brand of toilet papers he used? I dunno, we'll never know because he's dead and we can't ask him if the flaky lint the toilet paper left on his asshole drove him to madness!

Avatar image for nathangray

""Gun-owners have got to just quiet down," Yee said. "Gun-owners have no credibility in this argument. This is all about their paranoia and the industry's lust for money. This is a billion-dollar industry. This is about their self-interest.""


Avatar image for CIVICMINDED

My letter to Sen. Yee: "Senator Yee, I am quite disheartened by your recent statement indicating your desire for we video gamers to "quiet down" in the wake of recent issues regarding gun violence in America. As a responsible video gamer AND responsible gun owner, I vehemently object to your quip and your overall view of the video game industry and its gamers. Just because the politicians in America do not possess the fortitude to stand up to gun lobbyists and the NRA, it doesn't afford you the right by default to repeatedly train your sights on the next available and vulnerable scapegoat--be it Hollywood, music, video games, etc. But perhaps the most offensive notion is that you somehow feel completely justified in subverting my First Amendment right to free speech as a gamer whilst paying no mind to addressing a Second Amendment issue. It's absolutely ludicrous, insulting, and transparently cowardly. I'm sure, however, that you would be quick to present some facts and figures supporting your position, so please allow me to present a two of mine own on behalf of the gamers: 1) It is a fact that a video game has been the cause of death in 0% of all firearms-related deaths EVER. 2) It is also a fact that firearms have been the cause of death in 100% of all fire-arms related deaths EVER. This is not rhetoric; this is fact. It's my feeling that your narrow view of the blurry causal relationship between playing video games and gun violence is dubious at best and is indicative of the current climate of politics in this country. We as gamers, firearms owners, taxpayers, and voters all eagerly await your public apology as I pray that you will move forward in a more rational and decisive manner to establish reasonable gun laws in the great state of California and hopefully serve as a positive beacon for change in the light of such horrid recent events. With respect from a loyal Liberal Democrat who obtained his guns legally and plays a ton of video games proudly."

Avatar image for Masenkoe

This is the stupidest sh**

Avatar image for Urufudo

Wow, this guy wins the ignorance prize...

Avatar image for mariocerame

I imagine many, many violent felons have played Tetris at some point. Or horseshoes. Clearly, we should ban Tetris. And games of horseshoes.

The basic logical flaw is that we cannot legislate an outcome. Only a process. And there is no reason, beyond speculation, to believe his proposed process will result in the desired outcome.

Avatar image for Tomdogg

Damn...all I can say is damn...

Avatar image for CraigNinten

I am a basement dweller.

Avatar image for Sharpnsexyoak

In 1992, Yee was arrested for the alleged shoplifting of a bottle of tanning oil from the KTA Superstore in Kona's Keauhow Shopping Village. The case was not prosecuted, as Yee disappeared before he could be prosecuted.


Avatar image for Tomdogg

@Sharpnsexyoak Well well well...thank you for that info. That just provided me some great material for a youtube vid.

Avatar image for fillup0

More to the point, I find this whole "blame the game" scenario so belittling and patronizing to the parents of the kids who were lost that day. Banning videogames would be by no means a solution. These shootings would still happen, regardless.

Avatar image for fillup0

"Lust for violence"

Which is why given the choice in a videogame, I choose the non violent solution to problems. People need to remember that the reason that these murder sprees happen is down to a fundamental failure in society, not a singular element such as guns, violent media or mental health care drugs.

Avatar image for PhilipLerm

Most ridiculous bullshit I have ever seen.. This guy is a moron..

Does he realize that some of the worlds top scientists are and were gamers??

Albert Einstein played chess.. Which in the day was probably the most violent game considering the aim is to "KILL" the king..

Stephen Hawking enjoyed board games and I'm sure he still does.. He also made fireworks, but too this day I have not heard that he blew up a school..

Even Presidents played games and doctors and most people you can think of..

You see, entertainment is part of life, and violence comes from way before games were invented.. Ultimately, I think some people are just screwed in the head, kind of like the senator with his cynical views, whom seems to be the kind of guy who would kill for a NOBEL peace prize..

Senator, my advise is for you to shut up, because you do not know what the true meaning of gamer is..

P.S. My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones...

Avatar image for lazycomplife


Avatar image for mick1500

So, because we know the issue more than most people, we should not defend our position... seems logical -_(\

Avatar image for Wraith3

You lost me after the first word of your quote. I was too busy lusting for violence!

Also we have the 1st Amendment so no we won't quiet down.

Avatar image for Arda_Daghan212

Leland Yee needs to resign.
Says I.

Avatar image for EvilShabazz

Gamers vote, too.

The sad truth is that this is actually all about Leland Yee's self-interest.

Avatar image for Rimsa_Laded

That politician is 100% to blame for every single shooting that's ever happened

Avatar image for Rimsa_Laded

Just sayin'

Avatar image for McDog3

Does Mr. Yee not understand informal fallacies? There is no reason to refute what was just quoted of Yee because he failed to make a proper argument anyways. Come back without the ad hominem and then an actual debate can be made.

Avatar image for DarkReign2552

This is no different than the hippies protesting the war in Vietnam back in the 60's. They had every right in the world to protest and the government was forced to dance around the law just to do something about it when they had no right to take action of any sort. Now we have every right to protest this offense against our own turf and the only thing they can do about it is arrest us for speaking out against them. Let's see them pull that off. Hippies were arrested for the use of Marijuana, but gamers aren't so clearcut. Most of us have broken no laws and the government can't lay a finger on us without repurcussions.

He's simply upset that his law not only backfired, but actually pushed him further from his goal by officially making the industry protected under the 1st Amendment of the United States. All he did was harm his own agenda of trying to take advantage of the industry and the publicity. Sure most of the gaming community is immature children that have no business butting into these political discussions, but a large number of us are professional, well-educated, politically minded, and we know what we're talking about, how to say it, and how to beat out anything Yee or any of the other anti-game politicians have to say about it. I've known gamers that would be better fine politicians, moreso than the greedy, money-hording businessmen that we have in place now.

That said, Yee is looking for support and election votes to force his own policies down people's throats. All he's doing, however, is kicking a hornets nest. He underestimates how many adults are gamers. He underestimates how many adult gamers are citizens in California. If he's really interested in being re-elected, he might want to stop pissing off the wrong people. The gaming community across America grows larger every year and it's slowly coming to a point where policy on videogames could very well become a determining factor for presidential elections as much as taxes, job wages, and all of the other hot button topics are. We aren't quite there yet, but every year more kids get into gaming and every year more of those kids that are already into gaming turn 18 and register to vote. Just a little head's up to Mr. Yee.

Avatar image for finchused

Weird I've been playing games for over 20 years and I've never felt the urge to shoot anybody as a result. Have I wanted to punch someone? Sure. But I think people were doing that long before games.

Avatar image for G1Ga-B1T3

Anytime a politician tells people to quiet down I tell them to SUCK IT! What credibility do they have in anything they do? All they are good at is looting the people's purse and spending more than they take in. Get your own house in order before telling me what I can do in mine!

Avatar image for Muteki_X

So we're just supposed to go quietly into the night? Hell no! When our freedom is being stepped on, we'll make as much noise as we need to!

Avatar image for Serpentes420

Democracy in action huh? How dare we citizens of the United States dare speak up about our politicians being brain dead morons, complicit in scapegoating video games because this government has no interest in taking on the real issues that cause mass violence in this country. This jackass needs to be voted out of office along with 99% of the rest of them.

Avatar image for pwnzord

@Serpentes420 Indeed and well said.

While I certainly can't speak to the rest of Yee's record while in office because I am not a resident of California, I truly don't want their policy to influence anyone over here in Nevada.

Furthermore, another user posted Senator Yee's email address below me, and I thank him for that. I sent Senator Yee an email touching upon some of the similar issues you raised, namely why should any industry be expected not to speak up when being subject to libel?

Avatar image for Darth_Starwind

@pwnzord @Serpentes420

Another thing to note here is why is he saying gamers of have no credibility in this argument? Why is trying to silence gamers? Whether you agree with him or not in terms of his stance on games, why is he saying one side should not be allowed to argue their point? That files in the face of the First Amendment. Many politicians are scumbags and jerks but they won't deny a person their right to voice an opinion. This guy is trying to shut one big side of the argument and that is un-American.

Plus how bad is it for him to resort to petty name calling to make his point...? I don't like due to his stance on games, but I dislike him even more for his methods and actions and words.

Avatar image for PotHeel

Politicians: "Big business is great, except when we don't like it"

Publishers should learn, if you want the politicians on your side, you should line their pockets first. It's worked well enough for the gun lobby.

Avatar image for Shadowsnake

Typical political rhetoric. No credibility but your little law isn't up and running is it? "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." Since governments are in run in the trillions now the exact same could be said of the Senator if your willing to jump a chasm that wide. Your damn right its about self-interest, unfortunately you fail to mention your motivation as well on the other side of that coin. On that note please 'quiet down'

Avatar image for Razaryan

They say violent video games makes you violent. By i say not having my video games, is making me pretty freaking violent

Avatar image for Muteki_X

@Razaryan I agree; getting aggressions out harmlessly and vicariously is some good therapy. In the '50's the Senate conducted a witch-hunt stating EC comics made kids violent as well. Yet many of those kids who were hooked on EC comics are now normal and respectable adults.

Avatar image for JMerebeel
You know, bill S.134 is a complete waste of time. How a child reacts to anything has more than one sole factor. Yes, video games can be violent, so can books, so can art, so can movies, television, music, theatre, anything really. Would you censor a crime writer for putting to paper the details of a gory crime scene because someone somewhere might get violent and use that book as an excuse? Or would you, say, blame the person who committed the crime because they are the one who perpetrated it?

I agree with the fact that not all games are made for children (duh, ESRB anyone?), but like everything, if you as a parent don't take the time to help a child understand morals, to understand the value of human life, then you failed as a parent, it is not the video game industry that is corrupting your child. With that being said there are those who do have mental disorders, those who would, without proper treatment have the chance to be influenced negatively by any creative medium, don't you think we should be focusing more on creating a better healthcare structure for those who need mental health assistance instead of pointing fingers at objects? Would you blame Picasso because someone saw one of his paintings and it inspired them to beat a puppy with a hammer?
Avatar image for Tzardok

I am about to get violent should this nonsense continue.

Avatar image for ioshilee

Why don't you shut the **** up, mr. senator, ang go solve real problems? Like pulling America out of financial crisys? Maybe?

Avatar image for torrne667

@ioshilee unless he can pull trillions of dollars out of thin air to pay off all of your countries debts, i dont think anything is even possible and thats why this game of distraction is happening, much like the time america went into iraq and dragged us into it...distraction on both sides of the atlantic to hide the fact that their political skills are shite.

Avatar image for notlukesfather

Let him know how you feel

Avatar image for feleas

@notlukesfather .... I love you. XD

Avatar image for Tzardok

@feleas @notlukesfather Me too!

Avatar image for Sintpart1

Hope everyone sent him a nice email politely reminding him that hes a public servant and we are those he was elected to serve.

Avatar image for notlukesfather


Took your sugestion

Avatar image for feleas

@Sintpart1 my friend actually did, haha. I read it through and he made it sound as polite as you'd hear one of those call center CSRs sound haha.

Avatar image for notlukesfather

This is not about blood-lust. This is about politicians needing a scapegoat. Do not let your voice be silenced. How do you blame game-makers and not parents?

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd5f75a46b67

Accusing us of having violent tendencies and our hobbies of being the cause of despicable crimes, though he has no evidence, and his solution to us criticizing him is that we need to shut up? How is it that the key demographic he's talking about has no argument? In that case, we shouldn't allow workers to form unions, because we all know their insatiable lust for money and benefits they don't deserve is clearly the problem.