Anti-Video Game U.S. Senator Leland Yee Arrested On Bribery Charges

Anti-Video Game U.S. Senator Leland Yee Arrested On Bribery Charges

California state senator Leland Yee has been indicted on charges of corruption and bribery, according to multiple news reports.

Yee, a Democrat, is the senator who attempted to criminalise the sale of violent video games to children. That law was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2010 during what became a landmark case for free speech and one of the biggest legislative battles the video game industry has faced to date.

Yee has been a state senator since 2006.


  • “Because my cries about ethics and morality only apply to the things I don’t like.”
    – Every politician ever

  • A corrupt politician you say. What’s the world coming to when you can’t even trust a politician anymore.

    We’re all doomed.

  • If I remember correctly ‘anti-video game’ isn’t accurate. He was against violent games being sold to kids, critical of games/the game industry and made some insulting comments about gamers, but he wasn’t anti-video games. You could disagree with his conclusions but he was relatively reasonable. Certainly not the moral panic, out of touch, knee jerk, enemy of all gamers politician that the ‘anti-video games’ label implies.
    Although I may be missing some history there because it’s always struck me as strange that Kotaku US treats this guy like Jack Thompson.

    [Edit: Not that I’m defending bribery. If he’s guilty I hope he gets the boot and never comes back. It just seems like a mistake to treat anyone who is willing to talk about games without being 100% in favour of them as an enemy.]

    • I definitely do remember that from earlier articles on his attempts. While his efforts seemed to have been pretty noble, the fact that they were defeated anyway on the ‘free speech’ grounds was a net positive for the industry in that it laid down a pretty clear ruling for those who might try to go too far and try to ban violent games for adults as well – like we do here in Australia.

    • He wasn’t the nicest guy ever based on the stuff I read but yeah, a lot better than most which is to say nearly someone you could call sensible. The main issue with his proposed law was using the ESRB rating as a basis for legal enforcement which was effectively giving a private company power of law, their system is substantially different than ours being opt in & has no government classification board.

      Unless I’m remembering incorrectly (entirely possible since it was years ago I was involved in reading about his efforts), the biggest problem he had as a person was an overdose of arrogance and refusing to even try to talk to the people who’d be affected by his proposals. It sort of lead to the feeling that he’d be the kind of guy you might even be able to reason with if only he’d fucking deign to listen to you for a second.

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