Leland Yee, the California State Senator obsessed with violence in videogames, has issued another of his friendly warning letters to parents, spreading the word about those evil, evil games and their prevalence during the holiday season. In a rather manipulative statement, Yee was able to insult the ESRB while absolving parents from any responsibility:
It is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases. Regrettably, the rating system alone cannot be trusted, so parents should also carefully watch the content included in all their children’s games.
I do love how it's supposed to be the rating system's fault if parents buy adult games for their spawn. The ratings system CAN be trusted, it's stupid parents who ignore those ratings that can't. Videogames quite clearly wear their ratings on the cover and people simply don't pay attention. As ignorant as that statement is, Leland's attempts to paint videogames as racist tip it over the edge:
Unfortunately, some parents don’t realize that in many top selling games, the player actively participates in and is rewarded for violence, including killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians, and torturing women and racial minorities.
Yee is of course entitled to his opinion, and I also like his willingness to educate parents about the existence of adult games, letting people know that they have evolved since the days of Pong. However, by mixing that education with half-truths, sensationalism and straight up scaremongering, he manages to undo any good his mission might accomplish. I really wish we could have somebody sensible trying to help keep adult games from being sold to children. Until the blind stops leading the blind, these issues will never be resolved intelligently.