Leland Yee Tells Gamers To ‘Quiet Down’

Leland Yee Tells Gamers To ‘Quiet Down’

Remember the law California passed in 2005 criminalising the sale of violent video games to kids? The one that got thrown out in 2011 by the Supreme Court? The thing that led to the Supreme Court declaring games were protected speech, an artistic expression? Right. Well, the author of that legislation has something to say to you gamers: shut up.

“Gamers have just got to quiet down,” Leland Yee told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Gamers have no credibility in this argument.”

That’s an interesting point of view to hear from someone whose biggest contribution to this debate is an unconstitutional law. We’re not talking about a law that died in committee or defeated on the floor or watered down by the opposition. It’s a law overturned by the Supreme Court, which in addition to tossing out a half-assed attempt to criminalise “ultraviolent” games, without describing what that meant, really, found that there was no proven link between violent video game content and violent behaviour in kids. Only that proof of harm would have made it constitutional in the way that pornography is legally restricted from sale to minors. That link was the basis of the public-health need Yee’s law ostensibly was meant to address.

And yet gamers are the ones lacking credibility in this argument? OK.

The remainder of the Chronicle‘s piece isn’t so inflammatory — Ian Bogost, the Georgia Tech games researcher, is quoted, and Chris Graft of Gamasutra also lends his thoughts. Graft doesn’t absolve video games of an image problem that the industry has, through some questionable marketing and other choices, fairly earned. He has written that the popularity and variety of shooter video games serves a gun-loving culture more than it’s responsible for creating one.

Still, Yee is telling everyone on this side of the discussion to be quiet, so I assume these two are included, too. Let’s pipe down, folks. “This is all about their lust for violence and the industry’s lust for money,” he added. “This is a billion-dollar industry. This is about their self-interest.” If there’s anything incredible here, other than Yee’s arrogance, it’s Yee himself.

Video games drawn into violence debate [San Francisco Chronicle]


  • We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive!

    What a douche, again with people in high places beleiveing they know what is best on a subject they have no clue about.

  • An ignorant idiot. If anything, his boorish diatribe should only serve to have gamers speak in louder volumes about his stupidity.

  • Don’t let the people affected by the decisions speak! It’s the paid-for politicians who know what’s best for everyone! Don’t question your Government, don’t have a voice, don’t say anything to defend what you love! Conform! Be controlled! Obey!

  • The world is a grandfather, sent to complai-ai-ain
    Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
    And what I do I get, for my pai-ai-ain?
    Moronic liars, and no peace while we game

  • I really had a hard time getting my head around the fact this wasn’t a joke.

    So basically, someone such as himself who has no clue about the matter, no expertise in the field and no experience with video games what so ever, is telling the very people who ARE the most informed on the subject and be affected by his proposals, to shut up?

    That is by far one of the most absurd, arrogant, condecending and laughable things I have EVER heard come out of a politicans mouth. He’s essentially telling the entire industry to shut up, which is composed of millions of adult gamers, whom have degrees and years of experience with video games…Yet he says THEY don’t have any credibility. Haha the irony must hurt oh so much since, well, he’s just a self serving politican himseld, with no credibility/knowledge about the matter at hand and continues to hold an ignorant bias against video games and gamers as a whole.

    I find it hilarous that he seems to forget that the US public pays his wages and also votes. Which includes gamers…lol.

    Telling a certain group of people to shut up isn’t going to go down well for your career, you stupid bastard. Especially when its obviously nothing more than a childish tantrum all because no one agrees with your twisted, ignorant views about a certain entertainment medium.

    Go back into your cave and be quiet, because if anything YOU have no credibility. Your only goal is self serving, sensationalist bullshit. I mean, you ARE a public servant.

  • The NRA themselves have 0 credibility for violent gun-related crimes, let alone computer games – but they seem to have hijkacked the national media and politics with their perverse point of view.
    Is that what Lee is saying – that Americans need to have lobbies that are as aggressive and corrupt as the NRA in order to be seen as credible by its lawmakers?

  • This is, unfortunately, not surprising at all. It is what humans have been doing through history: “Slaves need to shut up. Of course you’d want a different thing, you biased shits, but you need our objective, educated and -most importantly- /uncontroversially right/ take on the matter. Go back to your pitiful life that I gracefully allow to continue while I try to figure where in between a domestic animal and a piece of furniture your value for society (i.e. me and my friends) rests.”

    Replace “slaves” with “women”, “faithless”, “religion practisers”, “homosexuals”, “jews (or any other belittling foreign person term)”, “indigents”, “old people”, “immigrants”, “gamers” and a myriad of other terms and you’ll understand everything you need to understand about history.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!