Poll: Will Leland Yee’s Arrest Negatively Affect the Viability of Anti-Video Game Arguments?

March 27, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Leland Yee is best known by gamers as a man who claimed that playing violent video games was harmful to children and attempted to pass legislation that would prevent them from buying such titles.

Yesterday, Leland Yee was arrested on charges of bribery and corruption.  A 137-page affidavit accuses him of soliciting people for campaign donations in exchange for political favors and - I kid you not - attempting to broker a weapons deal between an arms dealing acquaintance of his and a man with admitted mob ties.

Interestingly, Yee is only the latest in a succession of moral crusaders who have turned out to be (or at least are accused of being) morally crooked.  Most famously, former lawyer Jack Thompson made a career railing against what he considered indecent media only to be permanently disbarred on 27 counts of ethics violations.

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich pushed for legislation similar to Yee's and for the same reasons.  Also similar to Yee, he was arrested on charges of corruption.

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer made a big stink about the more unsavory elements of games like Grand Theft Auto such as soliciting virtual prostitutes.  Spitzer resigned after being outed having cheated on his wife with call girls.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also bemoaned the moral depravity of violent video games and even signed Yee's 2005 game law.  Turns out he cheated on his wife.

Former US Rep. Anthony Weiner didn't have nice things to say about violent games either.  He was busted for texting pictures of his junk to various women.  None were his wife.

So, here's the question of the week, GP readers: is Leland Yee's arrest going to negatively affect the credibility of future anti-video game pundits?  Will anyone listen to them now?  Was anyone listening to them in the first place?  Or do scandals like these even matter?  Are we doomed to hear about how harmful the games we've been enjoying for decades are until something new and scary to scapegoat comes along?

Vote in the poll and leave your comments below.  EZK and I will discuss this topic on next week's podcast.  We may even have a special guest!

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen


Re: Poll: Will Leland Yee’s Arrest Negatively Affect the ...

Gabby Gifford's family's unsuccessful attempts at purchasing firearms illegally (which should have resulted in them all being arrested) hasn't dented the gun control lobby's efforts at all.  I expect nothing less here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Poll: Will Leland Yee’s Arrest Negatively Affect the ...

I voted no, and the article itself explains why.  As AE points out, this kind of thing has happened to a whole string of these crusaders, and it has not made a dent in the credibility (such as it is, among the segment of the population that gives them credibility) of the movement as a whole.  I see no reason to expect this case to be any different.

Re: Poll: Will Leland Yee’s Arrest Negatively Affect the ...

I've voted 'nope' because the 'moral' people supporting these crusaders have never really cared about credibility (or facts for that matter) and probably never will.

Re: Poll: Will Leland Yee’s Arrest Negatively Affect the ...

You ask that as if it hasn't already.

Though I suppose it could be looked at that since he's seen, and even been involved with the dark sides of civilization that he would truly know the true face of the devil!


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Re: Poll: Will Leland Yee’s Arrest Negatively Affect the ...

I voted yes, although I think there should have been an option of undecided/wait for more information on Yee to come out.

The fact that Yee has alleged ties to organized crime negatively affects and irreparably damages his credibility to speak on fake "violent" video games(and guns as well), and it also damages the credibility of the people of that supported Yee and his bill all the way to the US Supreme Court(Jim Steyer and his Common Sense Media group, the Parents Television Council, etc.) simply because they supported a politician who turned out alleged ties to organized crime. Perception is reality.

The question now becomes how long has Yee been involved with the Chinese mafia and did he use those ties to organized crime to get legislation passed?

His arrest also begs the question of whether he offered bribes to get his anti-fake "violent" video game bill passed in the Assembly and signed into law.

If it comes out later on that Yee gave money to then-governor Arnold Schwartzenegger to sign the bill into law, that would negatively affect the viability of the anti-video game arguments.

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

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