Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future Game Laws

October 29, 2010 -

In an interview with GameSpot, Leland Yee, the California Senator who penned the state’s violent game law, expresses hope that the Supreme Court will uphold the law after hearing oral arguments next week.  But if it doesn’t…

“At the very least, I believe that the Supreme Court is going to provide some direction to legislators who are interested in limiting the sale of violent video games to children. That's because this law has been struck down twice already--there was an injunction on it which we appealed and lost. Then we went to the federal appeals court and we lost again. So I am hoping the Supreme Court will look at this issue and at least provide some guidance as to what might be possible within the framework of the law.”

Yee also discusses his lack of faith in the ESRB.

“No, I think the problem with the ESRB rating is that the ratings system itself is rather biased. The ESRB is funded by the industry, so it's like the fox guarding the henhouse. Clearly, they're not going to legitimately and appropriately place any markings on any video games, because it's in the interest of the video [game] industry to sell as many video games as possible. You never heard of an AO rating whatsoever, because that would limit your market share.”

Yee goes on to cite Hot Coffee as an example of the ratings board’s failure.

When asked why video games require laws criminalizing sales of adult content to minors but movies do not, Yee explains that parents can evaluate a movie’s content simply by watching the whole thing whereas a game requires them “to be pretty sophisticated to get to a level to see some of the more atrocious [in-game] behavior.”

AE: Yeah, it’s a shame parents’ only recourse is to play the entire game themselves.  If only there were some readily accessible and easy-to-use resource available that offered an abundance of information on any video game they might be considering for their children…

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

The ESRB is funded by the industry, so it's like the fox guarding the henhouse.

Just like how politicians are funded by special interest groups. But seriously- what I just did wasn't fair. Why, I practically implied that politicians are corrupt money-grubbers who care nothing for the people they are providing a service to. Say, that's kinda like the implication that the ESRB is corrupt because it's funded by the VG industry.


Sorry to say it, but generally when the government fucks up (like in this case), people tend to lose their shit more easily than if the video game industry fucks up- I think the difference is that we (should) know what we're getting when we buy games, but not so much when we vote, and if you're ignorant on either issue, you've only yourself to blame.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

“No, I think the problem with the ESRB rating is that the ratings system itself is rather biased. The ESRB is funded by the industry, so it's like the fox guarding the henhouse. Clearly, they're not going to legitimately and appropriately place any markings on any video games, because it's in the interest of the video [game] industry to sell as many video games as possible."

Yes, it's in their best interests to make a system that undermines itself and that nobody will use because they don't trust it.  Good thinking there, champ.

"You never heard of an AO rating whatsoever, because that would limit your market share.”

Or because, you know, most developers won't make a game that requires one.  How many NC-17 movies do you hear of every year?  Exactly.  Guess that argument is horseshit too.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

What about the MPAA? They are an industry funded ratings board, I don't hear him whining about them.

Ok, enough of that rant. Wanna know about a game? Look. It. Up. On. The. Internet.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

What would he have to gain? He works in the state that has the biggest movie industry town.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

 Hmmm I'm lost he mentions Hot Coffee but that was Sexual (and poorly done Sexual) which also came from a game that if I remember correctly was rated M ... which correct me if Im wrong was an indication to parents that they shouldn't allow their kids to play that game in the first place.

 

So his evidence for why we need this law against violence is based on a sexual mod in a game that the ERSB (which he says fails at its duties) rated as M.

 

He did go to law school?  They did teach logic at this said school didn't they?

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

That motard Yee didn't go to law school. He has a degree in child psychology, from what I can recall.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

This whole "there has never been an AO rated game" is BS.Manhunt 2 anybody?

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

I like how he ignores the fact that very few movies get an NC-17 rating, "because that would limit your marketshare."

Not to mention that the MPAA is also an industry funded group charged with rating industry produced content.

===============

Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

If a movie gets that rating they just release it as unrated and no one bats an eye.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Unrated films are largely treated the same as NC-17 ones: most theaters won't show them, and many retailers won't sell them.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Actually, you're half-right.

While most theaters won't show an unrated movie(although AMC Theaters screened Hatchet II for a weekend last month), many retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, etc. do sell unrated movies(in fact, I bought the remake of The Last House on the Left at Wal-Mart for $7 last week).

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Manhunt 2 was re-rated M after Take 2 made some edits.

Besides that, Yee's still wrong as there have at least been a few rated AO-rated games for the PC.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

24 in fact, which includes the PC version of Manhunt 2.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

That's because this law has been struck down twice already--there was an injunction on it which we appealed and lost.

Why it could be? Because limiting the freedom of speech of a medium for the sake of the children but not having any concrete evidence of why you want to criminalize violent games is kind of... UNCONSTITUCIONAL?

So I am hoping the Supreme Court will look at this issue and at least provide some guidance as to what might be possible within the framework of the law.”

And I´m hoping you get fired after this fraud that you and your friends have mounted with lies and deception.

The ESRB is funded by the industry, so it's like the fox guarding the henhouse.

Because you surely could do a better job.

Clearly, they're not going to legitimately and appropriately place any markings on any video games, because it's in the interest of the video [game] industry to sell as many video games as possible. You never heard of an AO rating whatsoever, because that would limit your market share

Any proof you can offer us for that except you are extremely butthurt because your phony bill was struck down twice?

Yee explains that parents can evaluate a movie’s content simply by watching the whole thing whereas a game requires them “to be pretty sophisticated to get to a level to see some of the more atrocious [in-game] behavior.”

This is complete BS. You don´t need more than a couple of hours to check a game´s basic features, and maybe some other hours to check some videos from the same game. By the same he said, you can bother to watch the entire movie to see it more atrocious content and that alone would be valid as a rating.

Yee is easily the most annoying man this year. I can´t wait for his law to fall into flames for third time.

 

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Not to mention if SCOTUS strikes it down, precedent will likely kill off any other attempts.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Depends on how broadly or narrowly SCOTUS rules. In US v. Stevens, they said the law was overbroad, but said a law banning only crush videos could be constitutional. Similarly, they may rule here that a different form of this law, maybe one restricting the sale of these games only to kids 12 and under, or sale of games with sexual violence, could be constitutional.


Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Either Yee doesn't understand what Hot Coffee really was or he is lying.  As I expect the SCOTUS to rule against videogames (an opinion not many share here, admittedly), I wonder what he will say 5-10 years from now when the industry/medium is a mere husk of what it once was. 

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

I think it is both. He doesn´t know nothing about videogames but he doesn´t care at all, so he is lying to make believe that he knows about the matter. Easily, he knows that the Hot Coffee is an insolated incident, but he doesn´t care and he uses as his main excuse of how the industry is failing to protect the children.

The same as Postal 2. He doesn´t care if the game is popular or not, he stills uses Postal 2 because is the most violent game at hand.

He is willingly ignorant and he is lying at the same time.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Really pathetic how Yee is acting like he already won.

Only fools declare victory before the first strike.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Remember me?

Sorry Jack, but a new challenger has arrived.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

*twitch* Had to use his pedosmile pic, didn't you?

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Compared to the pedosmile Yee's sporting in this article?

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Well ,we can conclude this, it is impossible for these moral crusaders to smile and NOT look like a jackass or a pedophile. Course, giving their obsessions with children....

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Yeah, Yee, it will provide direction for future game laws.........

As in no more game laws when the EMA/ESA wins and the pathetic worthless turd Yee goes weeping into the streets of Sacramento.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Leland Yee is a hypocrite to the extreme. I mean this guy thinks it's fine for 4 year olds to play with toys containing toxic plastics BUT a 14 to 17 year old high school student shouldn't be able to play a video game with some fake pixelated violence in it. God I hate this man.

"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: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

As a game store employee, I'm always educating parents on the ESRB, it's been around seemingly forever nowadays, and the only problem I see is that parents don't know about it. If Yee spent half as much money and energy pushing the ESRB to the public, and more importantly the parents as he did pushing his narrow-minded and broadly-worded law, everyone would win.

~Long time reader, first time poster.

 

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Welcome aboard, Grif, and thanks for providing a retailer's perspective.  Boggles my mind too that people still don't know games have ratings; thanks for helping to educate them.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

I woudln't be surprised if no one knew movies had ratings eithe,r since it's been proven over and over that movie ratings are much harder to find and understand.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

 "a game requires them 'to be pretty sophisticated to get to a level to see some of the more atrocious [in-game] behavior.'"

Lack of skill is not a problem for any decent parent, even assuming the rating is unreliable. They could read reviews, or the wikipedia page. Or even *gasp, unthinkable!* play it with their child. Or perhaps, even more unlikely, raise a child who can be trusted to make responsible decisions.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Does Yee even realize that even if video games had been regulated by the government back then they still wouldn't have found out about the Hot Coffee mod in time? How is that supposed to be an argument on how government regulation would be better?

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Not to mention that the California law applies only to violence and would not have any impact on sexual content whatsoever.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

Couple things to remember about Hot Coffee:

1.  The content could only be accessed by modding the game.  It would have been impossible for the ESRB to discover it even if it had played the game.

2.  At the time, the ESRB did not require publishers to disclose content that was not playable.

3.  Immediately following the Hot Coffee brouhaha, the ESRB modified its ratings procedure to redefine "locked-out" content as pertinent.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

4. I still don't understand why Hot Coffee was the difference between an M and an AO in the first place.  The same content (topless grinding and pantomimed sex) wouldn't have turned an R-rated movie into an NC-17.

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

I agree.  I personally would cite the ESRB re-rating the game AO as an example of something the organization has done wrong.  To me, the Hot Coffee content was perfectly in line with the rest of the game and easily fell under the already applied M-rating and the Strong Sexual Content descriptor.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future ...

I've mentioned the silly censorship of the (also silly) sex cards in the American version of The Witcher before.  I assume they did it to get an "M" instead of an "AO", but when they finally released the Director's Cut, it was still "M", with the only change in content descriptors being "brief nudity" changed to "nudity".

 
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