Leland Yee, a California state senator, believes that those who actually play video games should not be part of the debate around media and violence because they lack actual credibility and are already driven towards violence.
The politician tells The San Francisco Gate that, “Gamers have got to just quiet down. Gamers have no credibility in this argument. This is all about their lust for violence and the industry’s lust for money. This is a billion-dollar industry. This is about their self-interest.”
The statement does not take into account the fact that most gamers are actually over 18 and that they have a constitutional right to speak on any subject they like, especially one that can directly affect their hobby.
Kate Edwards, the leader of the International Game Developers Association, offered a counterpoint to Yee’s statements by adding, “It’s important to point out that some of the most popular video games in history are all titles such as Wii Sports, The Sims, Super Mario Brothers, the Pokemon series and Tetris.”
Yee introduced a bill in 2011, which allowed the state of California to block the sale of video games that were deemed to be violent to children.
The law was attacked in the court system and the case reached the Supreme Court, which ruled that it was unconstitutional and that video games were protected by the First Amendment, which dealt with free speech.
After the Sandy Hook shooting in December, a new debate arose around violent video games and their effects on players, especially after it was reported that the shooter was a fan of Call of Duty and Dynasty Warriors.
A new executive order signed by US President Barack Obama will allow Congress to give the Center for Disease Control the funds required to study the link between media and real-world violence.