In spite of the Supreme Court’s overwhelming rejection of a California law that would criminalize the sale of mature videogames to children, Senator Leland Yee wants to try again.
You’ve probably heard by now that the Supreme Court of the United States, by a vote of 7-2, has affirmed the right of videogames to the same First Amendment protections as movies, music and books. It was a big win for the videogame industry and gamers around the world, not to mention supporters of free speech in general, and a serious blow to those who want to see games categorized in the same way as cigarettes and pornography. Yet despite the decisive ruling, Yee isn’t ready to give up just yet.
During a press conference following the announcement of the decision, the senator said he hopes to come up with a new, narrower law that won’t fall afoul of the First Amendment. “We’re poring through the opinions to see where we can create a pathway for a successful bill that could withstand a challenge,” he said. “The evidence is absolutely crystal clear that there are harmful effects on our children.”
“Even with the existing court, there may be, if we craft the bill differently, there may be a basis for trying to get another hearing within the Supreme Court on this critical matter,” he added.
Is Yee really that committed to his cause or is he just putting on a show of bravado in the face of defeat? It’s been six years and millions of dollars wasted since he first proposed this legislation and I can’t imagine that anyone, aside from possibly a few die-hards, would have the stomach for another piece of that action. On the other hand, you can never overestimate the dedication of a true believer. Yee may find it harder now to advance his anti-game agenda, but that doesn’t mean he won’t give it his best shot.