A live blog of Jack Thompson's Saturday morning keynote address to the ultra-conservative Utah Eagle Forum has been published at Mormon Bloggers.
Judging by the post, Thompson delivered his standard anti-video game rap. The disbarred attorney apparently also laid out his latest strategy to legislate games:
The impact of aggressive, violent, and pornographic videos simply can’t be denied. Jack cited case after case in which people like a young Devin, immersed in things like Theft in the City, went home and shot his parents, saying to the police, something to this effect: “Everybody has to die, just like in video games.”
The man who killed on Trolley Square, said Jack Thompson, was apparently training on Theft in the City or something similar. One part of that violent video illustrates an individual going to a high point in a mall and shooting in random people he doesn’t know. This training ground has made victims in Columbine, in Miami, in Paduka [sic], and needs to stop here.
Jack Thompson– attorney, crusader in fighting the entertainment media’s marketing of violent materials to minors, and author of Out of Harm’s Way–is supportive of an upcoming a bill, which if drafted properly and put in the hopper here in Utah will stop the sale of these games to minors.
Currently, the Fraud and Deceptive Trade Pact Act says that if you sell a product and misrepresent what it does or is, it is simply fraudulent. Walmart, Target, Best Buy assert in corporate sites, statements, and press releases that they will not sell a mature-rated violent to a minor. Age verification software, though available through Ideology and other programs, are dismissed by these companies. This is something we can enforce.
If you’d like to know more, check with Eagle Forum. If you are informed and are willing to make a call, please let your legislators know that this bill should be passed.
GP: Couple of points here... The blogger characterizes Thompson as an attorney, but as GamePolitics readers know, he was disbarred for life by the Florida Supreme Court in October. As we pointed out last week, the agenda for the Utah Eagle Forum event also lists him as an attorney. At this time it is unknown whether the audience for Thompson's keynote address was told of his permanently disbarred status. If so, the blogger makes no reference to it.
Clearly unfamiliar with video game issues, the live blogger also gets a few of the details wrong. But that's not unexpected as Thompson was apparently going on about several cases in which he blames video games for violent crimes. The "Devin" mentioned by the blogger, for example, would be Devin Moore, who killed two police officers and a dispatcher in Alabama, not his parents.
Most amusingly, "Theft in the City" would be Grand Theft Auto, of course.
UPDATE: In relation to Thompson's scheme to legislate games in Utah, the question now becomes whether the disbarred attorney has any state legislators on board. We would suspect that Gayle Ruzicka, the politically influential president of the Utah Eagle Forum and an ally of Thompson's, will be able to persuade someone in the legislature to introduce Thompson's bill.
Could the sponsor end up being one of three Utah legislators who also spoke at the UEF convention? Those would be the controversial Sen. Chris Buttars (R) as well as Reps. Carl Wimmer (R) and Christopher Herrod (R).
UPDATE 2: In its coverage of the UEF convention, the Deseret News makes no mention of the proposed video game legislation, but quotes Thompson's verbal shot at President-elect Barack Obama:
Outside of social issues, conventioneers and speakers alike expressed concern about the upcoming term of President-elect Barack Obama.
"On Jan. 20 we are entering what I believe will be a time of peril for this country," said speaker Jack Thompson. "And that is Barack Obama."
UPDATE 3: Thompson e-mailed GP to assert that he made his disbarment known to the UEF convention audience:
I told everyone there I was disbarred, and said in my first speech that I was a 'recovering attorney.'