Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday Gifts

November 28, 2008 -

State Senator Leland Yee (D), author of California's contested video game law, has issued a press release urging parents to avoid violent video games when shopping for their children during the holiday season.

In doing so Yee referenced a recent longitudinal study which linked violent games to aggression in Japanese and American children:

There is mounting evidence that such ultraviolent video games have negative effects on children, and can cause real behavioral changes....

 

Eighty-seven percent of children between 8 and 17 years of age play video or computer games and about 60 percent list their favorite games as rated M for Mature, which are games designed for adults. It is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases.

Yee cited the National Institute on Media and the Family's Annual Video Game Report Card, which includes a list of ten violent games to avoid. The Democratic State Senator also offered these guidelines to parents:

  • Be aware of advertising and marketing to children. Advertising pressure contributes to impulse buying.
  • Check the age ratings video game descriptors found on the box.
  • Read other reviews, such as www.mediafamily.org, www.commonsensemedia.org, www.parentstv.org, and www.whattheyplay.com
  • Become familiar with the game.
  • If there are violence and sexual themes in the title and cover picture, you can assume these themes are also in the game.
  • Look for games involving multiple players to encourage group play.
  • Pick games that require the player to come up with strategies and make decisions in a game environment that is more complex than punch, steal, and kill.
  • Avoid the “first person shooter” and “third person shooter” killing-machine games.
  • Discourage games that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior.

GP: We should note that the findings of the longitudinal study referenced by Yee have been called into question by at least one other prominent game violence researcher.


Comments

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

crap.....sorry i'm late...i was getting a killing spree..

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

"I hope not. If they're 14+ I don't mind that much but below that I really don't think they should play those games in general, unless their parents educate them well regarding violent aspects."

I played GTA when I was in junior high, my parents had a strong sense of right and wrong. I was taught you do that, you go to jail. That's good parenting not "No GTA until your 17". And BTW a 14 year old could be doing worse things then playing any of those games. By the time your kids reach high school, this shouldn't be an issue.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

"Pick games that require the player to come up with strategies and make decisions in a game environment that is more complex than punch, steal, and kill."

Strategy and "punch, steal, and kill" are not mutualy exclusive.  Just because a game has that doen't mean that it doesn't have a deep strategy.  I suggest Mr. Yee would read some Sun Tzu.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

So now Mass Effect is a third person killing machine game ?

Actually, Shattered Steel (from 1996) lives up to this. It is first or third person and you kill machines ;)

More seriously, though, I want to know what a 'violent game' is ? I doubt it is one of the early Zork adventures, even if you in those could be eaten by a grue...or one of the newer fancy graphics adventures like Nikopol, even you in this game also is eaten by something that certainly looks like a grue...(come to think of it...it wasn't dark...)

Apparently, violent games are third or first person games in which you kill machines ? Mech Warrior maybe ?

The best part of his advice is that parents should be aware of what their children play and just say 'NO' to their children of they want to play a game that the parents think are not suitable for their children...
 

 

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

*facepalm*

*sigh*

Leland Yee at it again. Ugh.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

I don't think these guys are deliberately lying. They're just caught up in their own vision and reject all evidence proving the contrary. They see evidence supporting their opinion and embrace it, then refuse to admit it's wrong when it's proven to be incorrect. They clutch to their opinion, their line of thought, as if it's faith.

@MA: I hope not. If they're 14+ I don't mind that much but below that I really don't think they should play those games in general, unless their parents educate them well regarding violent aspects.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Blind faith is more dangerous than deliberate deception.  At least you can discredit a liar.  The faithful will never et go of their beliefs, no matter the evidence or debate (we know a particular ex-lawyer troll who is both a liar and the faithful).  Sadly, most people are like this.  Think about it.  How many times have you been certain of your stance on an issue (after having thought it out and come to a conclusion you were happy with), and then were convinced that you were wrong by someone else's arguement?  Probably not often.  It's why you don't often see people on forums agreeing to a middle ground, because once they're confident in their own views, nothing will change their mind.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Yee is a hypocrite

This same man voted against banning lead in children's toys and this idiot has the nerve to warn against violent games being harmful to kids. It's really sad that after we had two politicians come out and ask parents to be responsible WITHOUT using fear mongering and scare tactics that this asshole has to come on with his biased logic and phony evidence. Personally I hope his warning goes unheeded and millions of kids wake up to Grand Theft Auto IV, Gears of War 2, Dead Space, Far Cry 2, Saints Row 2, Left 4 Dead, and Call of Duty:WaW under the tree on Christmas.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

I'm not necessarily sure I understand your logic. How is Yee a hypocrite?

And again, How is he fear-mongering? And using 'scare tactics'?

 

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

because he voted AGAINST banning lead in kids toys.

Lead is poisonous. Poison and kids toys dont mix.

 

Yet he claims he does all this to 'protect the children' (when really its just to keep his name in the limelight, and win the popular vote). He is therefore hypocritical because he says his intentions are to protect the children, yet his actions speak otherwise.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

So things that have actually been proven harmful, Mr. Yee has no problems with kids playing with them. On the other hand, things that children neither want nor need protection from, Mr. Yee thinks are as harmful as cigerettes and alcohol.

Not to mention this is a married man who cruises the streets at night looking for prostitutes as well as stealing $10 items from drug stores trying to jam moralistic laws (because anti-gaming laws aren't really about harm because there is none but about offensiveness) down out throats.

This hypocritical dipshit has no business trying to legislate morality.

 

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Leeland Yee can mind his own fucking business, thanks.

If he's willing to pony up a percentage of what it costs me to raise them, then he gets a say on what I buy them.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

/sigh

Someone just had to ruin the good vibes.  Here we had a string of State officials working with the ESRB to release sensible and fair public announcements, to remind parents of their options for the holiday season.  Then this jackhole has to bring his anti-gaming, "save the children!" overreactions to the table.  With a poorly implemented "study" of reputable legitimacy, to boot. 

The worst part of it is, on the surface it looks just the same as those ESRB-supported public announcements, to naive parents.  He's talking about parental involvement, after all.  The difference is he went negative and for the scare tactics, not for the helpfulness.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

games that reward the player with.. ..new scenes

He moans about "new scenes" in nearly all of his press releases, but what the hell does that even mean? Is he talking about traditional level-by-level games? Cut scenes? Something like GTA where you can freely explore new scenery/areas/buildings? Or could a game with a single level, no plot, and random enemy generation/placement still be counted as having "new scenes" since it's different every time?

And in reverse, would a game with a single, fixed camera angle and no "points" where you brutally kill a single, stationary opponent be okay somehow?

How about something like Fallout 3, or, to a lesser extent, the first Manhunt, where most "scenes" can be completed by sneaking past enemies? Are the "new scenes" still "rewards" for violence then? Or would that qualify as strategies "more complex than punch, steal, and kill?"

Or are such questions the modern equivalent of an astronomy argument with a flat-earther..

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

How about something like Fallout 3, or, to a lesser extent, the first Manhunt, where most "scenes" can be completed by sneaking past enemies? Are the "new scenes" still "rewards" for violence then? Or would that qualify as strategies "more complex than punch, steal, and kill?"

To be fair, my new character in Fallout 3 has pretty much adopted the strategy of punch, steal, and kill. I haven't gotten much in the way of points or new scenes, although it has resulted in the unexpected recovery of a few bobbleheads and a Fat Man at level 2.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

You got it right with your last sentence.

He's talking about easter eggs and hidden rewards for completing certain parts of the game.  That could mean anything to us, but he's an "outsider" (non-gamer).  To him, every "new scene" must be something like the Hot Coffee mini-game (which wasn't even a part of the actual game).  To him, earing a reward in a game must always mean lewd content or something extra violent.

In essence, he doesn't know what he's talking about, which is why he's vague about it.  And he's only doing it for an additional "scare" factor.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

dont let them find out about the child killing mod for fallout 3. there heads would aspload.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

there is one?

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

yep. search at fallout 3 modding sites. mainly fallout3nexus website.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

http://www.myspace.com/hermoinefan_420 (and boom goes the dynamite)

 

 

*sigh*  god if its not one brain dead thing we hear its another...do politicans and other morons really need to tell parents "dont buy grand theft auto or m games for 4 year old jimmy" come on seriously???  hell just stop spoiling your children all the time and tell them life sucks and to deal with it...enough of this "children are so precious" Crap...

 

idiots

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Can we avoid politicans instead?

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Here we go again.  Violent games linked to aggression.  No shit.  Heck, I feel aggression when I read statements from dumbass politicians too - does that mean I should have the option to vote some of these bozos out of office for Christmas?

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

haha

let's see i just ordered Far Cry 2, Metal Gear Solid Essentials Collection, and Left 4 Dead on amazon for black friday.  and i'm only 15. 

I feel guilty as hell.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Good for you!  Don't feel guilty, I think this whole rating system should stop being used and never get replaced.

--- Official Protector of Videoland!

--- Official Protector of Videoland!

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

hmm, i don't know, i know video games won't make me into a anti-social pyshoctic muderer but at least the raing system tells parents of 3 year old kids to not buy gta for them.  it does serve a purpose.  I just wish that they stopped referring to teenagers as children when talking about the supposed impacts of violent videogames.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

 I'll accept, to an extent, that a lot of research can be interpreted in a number of different ways, so I'll play along temporarily with Yee's "mounting evidence" comment.

By and large, this is definately a parental responsibility thing piece from Yee, my only real problem is the sort of hyperbole he uses to get his point across, comments like "killing machine games", and the like. Comments like this only simplify the issue into a binary, "us vs. them" situation, which only makes problems worse and stunts proper discussion on the matter, and is less likely to lead to responsible parenting, and more a fear of games.
 

/b

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

And that is exactly what he wants. He wants more people to have an irrational fear of games so that they will be more supportive of his unconstitutional law to restrict them. He doesn't care about the educating parents aspect of the press release. That is only a convenient  way to mask his true intention.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

When are people going to learn that he is crying wolf?

M rated games don't affect kids.  Period.

--- Official Protector of Videoland!

--- Official Protector of Videoland!

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Even when he tries not to lie, he still lies.

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

 

  • Look for games involving multiple players to encourage group play.
  • Pick games that require the player to come up with strategies and make decisions in a game environment that is more complex than punch, steal, and kill.

These tend to be rare - especially in combination.

When you visit his his page, you can see that he recommends avoiding one game that would encourage group work.  (Of course, it's still not a game you'd give to a below-13 person, but still...)

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

You mean, Dead space? Or Fallout 3? Wait, I got it! Silent Hill: Homecoming. Love the teamwork and multiplayer in those games.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Can't tell if you really don't know what he's talking about or if you're joking around, but he means Left 4 Dead.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Just checked out common sense, it's a mixed bag. On one hand, they advocate education over censorship. But at the same time they post an article about TV sex resulting in teen pregnancy that states despite sex on tv going up teen pregnancy has been going down since 1991.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Here in europe the countries with the lowest teen pregnancy rates are actually those that dont shy away from sex on tv etc, and talk about sex in schools VERY early on. (looking at germany / sweden etc) 

yet the UK has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates, and we are pretty stuffy over sex themes on tv etc unless after say 10 pm. Even debating about giving sex ed to kids younger than 10 brings all the crazies out from the woodwork shouting how itl 'corrupt and sexualise' our youth. Yet the facts show otherwise.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

It should also be noted that while the UK has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe, it's still less than half the rate of the US' rate.

I would also agree that the problem is probably one of education, both in and out of school.  Though it does warrant mentioning that even though the US doesn't show of nudity all that much in media, it IS saturated with sexual imagery and topics.

It's kind of complicated.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

I still can't understand it. No matter how noble some of these people's intentions are, they still have to lie to get their point across. There is no mounting evidence that games "have negative effects on children, and can cause real behavioral changes."

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

At least, he's telling parents to take responsibility, which is where the majority of these problems come from: parents not knowing what's going on in games.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

What problems?  So far there hasn't been a single incident where games were proven to have caused any violence in the real world.  Plus, how do we know that parents aren't taking responsibility?  Parents might be taking responsibility by deciding that this whole issue is full of shit and that mature games are fine for kids.  I know I am.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Wow, that's a lot of kids who play M rated games... who's butt do you think he pulled those statistics out from?

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Killing machine games??? 

Re: Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday

Yeah, where on earth can I find games that encourage players for anti-social and violent behavior?

It's almost as if politicians aren't even pretending to be ethical anymore.

 
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