Gamers Have to ‘Quiet Down’ on Debate on Violent Games Says Leland Yee

The California state senator thinks previous studies have been too lenient on games

State Sen. Leland Yee, the man who tried to ban the sale of violent video games to minors a few years ago, has come forward once again to voice his distaste for not only the games themselves but the people who play them. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in an interview on January 22nd, Yee said that the issue of violent video games and their so far unproven connection to violent behaviour is a “public health matter”, and that people who play games have no place in the discussion:

“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 Chronicle article itself does a good job of highlighting the concerns of the issue, pointing out that the focus (of the industry and thus also of outsiders) is often on violent games when many of the most popular games are decidedly not violent. But Yee's words stand out. Apparently, he thinks the U.S. Supreme Court – who ruled back in 2011 that there was no link between violent video games and violent behaviour in minors, and that video games should be protected under the 1st amendment – set the standard too high for the studies that were carried out. Hopefully the people with the power to make these decisions will remember that lowering the standards needed for things like statistical significance is not a valid way to prove a hypothesis.

Is this argument really none of our business? Should we not have the right to speak up about an issue close to our hearts, especially when many of the people involved surely don't have any personal experience of games?