In Utah, Sponsor Pulls Video Game Bill From Committee Agenda

January 17, 2007 -

A video game bill originally crafted by controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson was pulled from committee consideration yesterday by its sponsor.

Rep. Scott Wyatt (R) told the Logan Herald Journal that he won't proceed with the bill until constitutional concerns about the measure, HB50, are put to rest:

It will either make it into law or be immediately struck down. If it doesn’t see the light of day, it will be my choice.


The Utah bill is similar to Louisiana's Thompson-authored legislation which was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in November. A Boston city official also told GamePolitics recently that pending Massachusetts legislation is modeled after the Utah bill.

A Tuesday reading of the bill before the Utah House Public Technology and Utilities Committee was canceled after Wyatt voluntarily removed HB50 from the agenda. He plans to meet with the office of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff in coming days to discuss the legal merits of the bill. Shurtleff is already on record as believing that the bill is likely to fail a constitutional challenge.

Speaking of the effort to limit minors' access to violent game content, Wyatt said:

It is an issue I agree with, and I think it’s an important discussion. Whether that becomes law, I don’t know.


However, the newspaper also reports that "HB50 is low on (Wyatt's) priority list." Wyatt also made some interesting observations about game content, seemingly giving military games a pass:

The bang ‘em up World War II action video games that are really, really violent are probably fine. This hits a very, very small percent.


Additional comments cited by the Herald Journal indicate that Wyatt does not believe the Grand Theft Auto or Resident Evil series would fall under Utah's obscenity clause, although it's unclear whether he is referring to the current obscenity statute or the amendments sought by HB50. Despite the concerns, Wyatt believes the proposed legislation has value:

Any bill that somebody brings forward with the support of their constituents is not a waste of time, because they raise issues and create awareness.

Asked for his comment about Wyatt's decision to take the bill off the table, Jack Thompson said, "always a good idea (to check on constitutionality)." Thompson also made a cryptic reference that he would be in Utah on Friday...

 

 


Comments

....................

Anyways, does he say that WW2 games are okay, or that there are very few of them, or both?

Maybe this whole thing is actually starting to lose steam a bit.

While I'm glad that Wyatt pulled the bill for the right reasons, I still can't make heads or tails of his comments. At the end of the day, his quotes just make him look like a simpleton who has no idea what he's really talking about, as if he sees the end result he wants but did no homework on the actual video games. And I love that "bang 'em up" quote.

"Violent video games are God’s gift to man. They are beautiful and should never be attacked but given praised and awards."

To a somewhat lesser degree, I always thought this about women. But hey, maybe I'm just weird.

Okay. balance is restored. God.. your right though..bang'em up.

I like this Wyatt guy. I don't agree with him, but at least he's checking the constitution before restricting our freedom.

And there really are relatively few WW2 games from what I've seen, as compared to games involving aliens, zombies, and/or guys with large swords.

Personally, I'm surprised the game, PO'd hasn't come up yet. I mean, you're fighting flying asses in that one.

These people are idiots for even considering a Jack Thompson bill. I also find it to be amazing that they're not attacking Jack Thompson's main victim, Grand Theft Auto. The bill isn't targeting Grand Theft Auto? Then what is it tergeting? The only games I can think of that are more violent than Grand Theft Auto are Manhunt and Postal. I guess Jack Thompson will have to fill in the blanks when he explains his retarded bill, that by the grace of God hopefully won't even see the light of day. Violent video games are God's gift to man. They are beautiful and should never be attacked but given praised and awards.

This is good news. Gaming Community: 3, Thompson: 0

Slowly but surely it appears that legislators are losing confidence in Jack's "*This* time it'll work, promise!" schtick.

Finally, a politician who is able to learn from those who have come before him!

@Snakestream

You mean they plan to grow something there, maybe something wrinkled and that has a lovely shade of gray? Some politicians have full-grown ones, but some don't even have the seeds planted yet, it seems.

Of course Jack has a place in this analogy of politicians growing a brain. He's the swarm of locusts.

Wow, maybe there is some hope for politicians yet. If others follow Wyatt's lead and realize that these worthless JT bills are unconstitutional BS, then we might actually see politicians helping out The People and using that vast expanse between their ears.

The bang ‘em up World War II action video games that are really, really violent are probably fine. This hits a very, very small percent.


The bill contains the standard millar test. And natually, the WWII bang 'em up game known as Wolfenstein most likely won't be fine under the law (but permitted anyway to avoid standard outcry.)

Also, the "small percentage" is zero percent. Movies were given a go-ahead to produce similarly violent content without resorting to WWII, but the attempt to apply a double standard to games would have no effect even if the law is constitutional and doesn't inhibit free speech.

Its a god thing they figured out wasting time and money is dumb,now when will they understand they cant control violence as porn until they group together and make the supreme court say that violance is pornographic...



Grahamr
Only the hentai version ^_~

@ Jotun:
I don't think those games, with the exception of Lula, could be really considered pornographic under the generally-accepted concept.

"Call of Cthulu"

Tentacle raep!!!!!! 0.0

Looks like Thompson has made another enemy, even if the guy who is becoming that enemy doesn't know it.

If you aren't trying to regulate games like GTA or those WWII games, then what are you passing this bill for? Games like Manhunt? Parents should be smart enough not to give that to a kid in the first place.

@BlitzFitness

it seems as if Wyatt just admitted that passage would not perform the job advertised

That's their problem. ;)

Be so specific that it's clearly judging context rather than action, at which point it's clearly infringing on expression, or be so vague as to not really affect what it was designed to control...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

"The bang ‘em up World War II action video games that are really, really violent are probably fine. This hits a very, very small percent."

Honey, step into a game store once in a while, there are plenty military games out there. Another politician without a leg to stand on when standing up for an issue.

@GoodRobotUs

Jack is too busy milking a worried family for media coverage to defend his bill.

I'm extremely confuzzled by the statement that GTA and RE wouldn't be affected by the legislation in question considering that the GTA series as been the goat of the decade in having the flood of bills to begin with. As Jotun, above me, says, it seems as if Wyatt just admitted that passage would not perform the job advertised.

Glad to see the guy pulled the bill. These laws don't do anything if they're just gunna be struck down by the courts. Maybe we'll see some better lawmaking instead of the reactionary "protect the kids" lawmaking that makes people feel warm and fuzzy but don't pass the court inspection.

So, wait... now there's 2 people in Utah with the brains to see that this bill will fail due to being unconstitutional?

Mr. Wyatt, I salute you for realizing that this bill is another waste of taxpayer money... even though I don't pay your taxes

"Resident Evil series would fall under Utah’s obscenity clause."

See? Like I said earlier, legislators will mislead people into thinking horror games like Call of Cthulu, Resident Evil series (mentioned) and House of the Dead series equivalent to porn, let me say it again, It is NOT! I am annoyed to see people using these games to equate porn, shameless thing. *sigh*

Games that equivalent to porn are the following, "Lula 3D", "Leisure Suit Larry" and a unreleased game about strippers fighting zombies.

"The Utah bill is similar to Louisiana’s Thompson-authored legislation which was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in November."

Haha, Thompson calls himself a "Man Of God"? More like a "Man Of Hatred" to me.

"The bang ‘em up World War II action video games that are really, really violent are probably fine. This hits a very, very small percent."

At World War II renacts the history of the past, prime examples would be "Operation Flashpoint", "Call Of Duty Series", "Commandos series" and "Red Orchestra".

"Any bill that somebody brings forward with the support of their constituents is not a waste of time, because they raise issues and create awareness."


I beg your pardon? Not only this bill is a waste of time, but also a waste of tax money, because all the tax money you governators collected are from ours. So, may our poor precious little money never go down the drain!

Suck on that Thompson, you shithead.

@GoodRobotus:

Nope, that was the Mass. bill. Here's hoping they notice and pull their bill, too. Two watermelon-sized enemas in one week for JT would make me a happy camper!

Prediction:
The internet will be slower over the next few days due to large volumes of press releases and shotgun emails going to and from UT and FL.

This'll be fun. :)

Now, where's that popcorn? Don't forget the ranch dressing.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software

I guess they haven't COMPLETLY forgotten about the recent string of defeats of legislation in other states that match this bill almost word for word. At least it isn't this guy's top pirority to stubbornly get this law passed and waste money.

Was this the one that Mr Thompson stated 'They are prepared to defend, unlike those knuckleheads in Louisiana?'

If so, that's double-funny.

[...] January 29, 2007 at 5:51 pm · Filed under Video Games Incredible. This whole thing is simply amazing. Have you been following all this? Because I'm happy to recapitulate. First, Jack Thompson pens a bill regarding violence in videogames, and he submits this little masterpiece to Utah's legislators (the bill is similar to legislation he presented to lawmakers in Louisiana and, more recently, Massachusetts). Utah's Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, worries that the bill might be unconstitutional, so he bars the bill from the committee's agenda--why waste time and money on so much as discussing it, right? Thompson gets mad, so he starts doing what he does best: writing letters with tremendous red-faced bluster and CC'ing every media outlet he can find. In an excerpt from one such letter, as reprinted by GamePolitics, he calls Shurtleff a "video game enthusiast," one who has "locked arms with the video game industry." Never mind the fact that Shurtleff has a political history of denouncing some violent games! It's like Thompson's pissing on the choir. And what's this? Oh ho! Now Thompson calls for Shurtleff's impeachment. I can understand those critics who recommend that we simply ignore Jack Thompson, even when he's busy attempting to damage professional and political careers. Some of Thompson's critics shrug, asserting that so much as glancing in Thompson's direction lends a credibility to his lame fire-and-brimstone posturing. I think that's exactly what Shurtleff was doing, actually. I think Utah's Attorney General honestly thought he was doing the right thing by ignoring Thompson and his little bill. Which of course resulted instead in Thompson yelling for Shurtleff's blood, but also in further discussion among Utah's legislators of violence in games. And then suddenly Utah's Legislators Discuss Bully as "the Columbine Game", and... what? I don't know if you've ever wanted to drive yourself batshit with an mp3 or partial transcript of legislators discussing a bill, but yeah, hey, if you ever wanted a reason to drive sticks through your eyes, here's the mp3 for you. GamePolitics writes:When anti-game activist Jack Thompson accused Rockstar's Bully of being a "Columbine simulator," the game community tended to dismiss the criticism based on its source. But in political circles, the Columbine simulator label has apparently gained some traction. Consider an exchange from Friday's hearing before a Utah House committee considering video game legislation drafted by Thompson. GamePolitics attributes this completely incredible misconstruction to the viral spread of anti-game propaganda as led by Thompson himself. How did we even get to this point? In lighter macabre news, the Wii News Channel has finally gone live and... well, a couple of us noticed this... uh, are most of the Wii news articles uniformly grim and bleak? Am I right about this? I don't know, maybe it's just the sudden surge in pedophilia or something, but there are just, consistently, articles about accidental deaths and children gone missing and war, with the Wii's persistently-groovy mood music in the background. And the cognitive dissonance--the existential weirdness of it all--is really upsetting. I mean, it's not like I expected the Channel's news articles to be delivered straight out of Gumdrop Castle in Lollipop County, but it seems as if a disproportionate number of their selection of AP articles are really, really grisly! I honestly suspect that someone at Nintendo, hell-bent on establishing the Wii Channel as serious, legitimate news, is deliberately putting only articles about dead puppies and weeping families into the feed. [...]
 
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