The office of California State Senator Leland Yee has issued a statement in response to the Video Game Voter Network’s “You Can’t Control Me” initiative, urging gamers to pony up and send him a Kinect instead.
The VGVN had a bright idea recently: Get gamers across the U.S. to mail their old or broken game controllers to Senator Leland Yee, the architect of the California videogame law going before the Supreme Court, to symbolically remind him that “he can’t control us,” or more to the point, that his attempt to breach the First Amendment protections of an entire medium is fundamentally flawed. It’s a bit of an empty gesture since the Supreme Court is already lining up to render its judgment on the constitutionality of videogame censorship, but Yee’s office nonetheless issued a response today.
“I can only assume these broken controllers must represent the broken promises of the video game industry to parents,” Adam Keigwin, the Senator’s chief of staff, told GamePolitics.
“As the recipient of several free speech awards – including the Beacon Award by the First Amendment Coalition, Freedom of Information Award by the Newspaper Publishers Association, Outstanding Achievement Award by the College Media Association and Sunshine Award by the Society of Professional Journalists – the Senator shares their commitment to the First Amendment,” he continued. “In fact, there is not a California legislator who has authored more bills to promote speech rights than Senator Yee.”
The Senator’s staunch support of the First Amendment as it relates to other media is admirable but short-circuited by his willingness to throw an entire medium under the bus, rather than specific content that’s already excepted from constitutional protections, just because it’s new.
Yee isn’t entirely opposed to videogames, however, and his chief of staff clearly knows an opportunity when he sees one. “With that said,” he concluded, “I think the Senator would appreciate a Kinect add-on rather than those dated controllers.”
The Supreme Court of the United States is due to hear oral arguments in Schwarzenegger v. EMA/ESA on November 2.