Anti-gaming senator arrested for corruption, sounds sort of like a GTA villain

California State Senator Leland Yee isn't fond of video games. To make sure everyone knew, he authored 2011's failed bill to ban the sale of violent video games to minors. The bill, as you might remember, fell apart; the Supreme Court eventually ruled it unconstitutional, saying that games deserved the same level of protection as other forms of art. Yee wasn't happy. He put out a press release stating that "the majority of the Supreme Court once again put the interests of corporate America before the interests of our children."

At the time, that statement seemed delusional--and a little bit sad. But today's events change the tone of that press release, as it has just been revealed that Yee is under arrest on public corruption charges. I think I speak for everyone when I say: hahaha oh my god this is absolutely hilarious. And it serves as a reminder that pretty much anyone this vocal against video games may be a little bit crazy.

Yee's 2011 press release continues: "As a result of their decision, Wal-Mart and the video game industry will continue to make billions of dollars at the expense of our kids' mental health and the safety of our community." If only Yee knew that a mere three years later, he'd be handcuffed based on allegations that he took campaign money in exchange for facilitating deals with arms dealers and Chinatown gangsters. It's fun to imagine the faux righteousness Yee wrote his statement with while (allegedly) being on the take. Honestly, he's starting to sound like a Grand Theft Auto character.

"It is simply wrong that the video game industry can be allowed to put their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children" is literally the next line in his press release. That's actually what it says--I'm not making any of this up. Oh, Yee. Yee, Yee, Yee. You might have wanted to word that a little better, is all I'm saying.

None of this should really be all that surprising, because the loudest anti-game lobbyists have a proud lineage of doing crazy things. The last flag-waving, chest-pounding activist to make as much noise as Yee was Jack Thompson, who spent years doing everything in his power to take down the industry. He went on TV, publically screamed at Rockstar, and tried to destroy the gaming industry. The result? He was permanently disbarred by Florida's Supreme Court for inappropriate conduct (which included fabricating information).

In case you're wondering, Thompson later claimed he wasn't disbarred, then tried to sue Facebook because of course he did.

It'll be some time until we know exactly what was going on with Yee. He's likely going to plead not guilty, and then there will be a trial, and then we'll find out whether or not he was as corrupt as the people who arrested him think he is. And I'm sure there are plenty of totally honest people out there that totally hate video games but aren't going to do anything insane. For now, though, let's take this opportunity to appreciate the irony for a few minutes. I think we've earned it.


  • Plus1Play - April 4, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    Thanks for the great article! The irony is so sweet, sweet indeed. Now it is time to play some GTA!
  • vent - March 30, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    I think it's worth noting that he's also a Democrat.
  • ZeeCaptain - March 28, 2014 7:55 p.m.

    Welp everything's been said that's going to be said about this.
  • GamesRadarCollanderCooper - March 27, 2014 8:33 p.m.

    You fucking dweebs sure do seem to be getting a lot of schadenfreude from this and yet you mourned the death of that game-hating charlatan Roger Ebert
  • GR HollanderCooper - March 28, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    There's a pretty big difference between "guy who tried to ban games with a law is proven to be a criminal and hypocrite" and "guy who didn't like games dies."
  • GamesRadarCollanderCooper - March 28, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    But you're a moron if you actually thought he could ever ban video games and an even bigger moron if you thought any court would uphold that ban. Meanwhile the most mediocre writer to ever stumble into success, Roger Ebert, who held sway with much of the cultural intelligentsia openly rejected the idea of video games as art and yet the gaming community somehow had a grudging admiration for him. I don't get it. It's not like he was Pauline Kael or anything.
  • GR HollanderCooper - March 28, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    I mean, I wasn't a fan of Ebert's, so I didn't care. I also am the one that wrote this article, so you can enjoy it without worrying about hypocrisy.
  • GamesRadarCollanderCooper - March 28, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    Oh, I know. It's just some people are being really defensive fanboys about it. Brian Altano of IGN said that most politicians who criticize video games are corrupt crooks. Really? Most of them? I obviously don't think that video games are a scourge, but I do think that we should at least be able to talk about it. After Sandy Hook I noticed that the gaming community was behaving much like the NRA in completely refusing to believe that violent games might have even the slightest detrimental effect on society, particularly young children.
  • GoldenEagle1476 - March 27, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    Oh the irony. The sweet, sweet irony.
  • mothbanquet - March 27, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    The words 'douche' and 'turd' springs to mind. Just about the only living (I'm pretty sure) politician I actually respect is Jesse Ventura.
  • DarthPunk - March 27, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    As per usual the kind of person who sets themselves out to be the moral guardian ends up being one of the last people on earth who should be
  • homestar99 - March 26, 2014 10:55 p.m.

    Rockstar, make this into a DLC. You won't even have to write a script. Yee already wrote it for you.
  • brickman409 - March 26, 2014 10:40 p.m.

    Not that surprising. It's pretty much a requirement for a politician to be a hypocrite.
  • MonsterBeatle - March 26, 2014 11:42 p.m.

    To get to that level in politics, you have to be an asshole
  • Shigeruken - March 26, 2014 8:09 p.m.

    Correlation confirmed between being a politician and being an asshole.
  • victin1rox - March 26, 2014 6:25 p.m.

    Lol that's hilarious!
  • winner2 - March 26, 2014 6:22 p.m.

    Shit, he really IS a GTA villian
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - March 26, 2014 6:06 p.m.

    Politicians eh?
  • TokenGamesRadarFurry - March 26, 2014 5:34 p.m.

    This is all clearly a ploy by Rockstar. WAKE UP SHEEPLE.
  • Sinosaur - March 26, 2014 8:49 p.m.

    Marketing campaign for GTA5 DLC where you help an elected government official gain votes by committing video game themed crimes.

Showing 1-20 of 22 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000