Utah Attorney General: We Had Concerns About Jack Thompson Video Game Bill

March 27, 2009 -

The Salt Lake Tribune reports this morning that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (R) harbored reservations about the legality of HB 353, the video game/movie bill conceived by Jack Thompson.

Trib reporter Robert Gehrke writes:

Attorney General Mark Shurtleff... told me last night that his office had expressed its concerns "with several different iterations of the bill" while it was pending before the Legislature.

"Ultimately, we could probably make an argument to defend it, but we will be sued, it will be costly. If we lose we will pay attorneys fees. Wouldn't you rather spend that money educating people about the rating system?" he asked. "The governor apparently decided it wasn't worth the risk."

There would seem to be little love lost between Shurtleff and Thompson. During the disbarred attorney's previous attempt to legislate games in Utah, he called for Shurtleff's impeachment after the A.G. opined that Thompson's 2007 bill was constitutionally-challenged. The bill was subsequently tabled by the Utah House.

Thompson, who apparently got wind of Shurtleff's comments in advance, disputed the A.G.'s remarks in a harshly-worded e-mail sent last evening:

We told you for weeks that if you had any constitutional concerns, we wanted to provide you any information you wanted in that regard.  I offered repeatedly to meet with you and talk with you, and you ignored my repeated plaintive requests to do so... 

We heard absolutely NOTHING from you as to the bill’s alleged unconstitutionality, and yet now we hear... that you were badmouthing it in that regard, I presume to Gov. Huntsman as well... 

For his part, Shurtleff has been both a critic of violent video games as well as a supporter of the ESRB rating system. In 2005, for example, he urged Utah retailers to boycott Eidos's controversial cops-and-robbers shooter, 25 to Life.

In 2006 Shurtleff made an industry-funded public service announcement in which he urged parents to utilize ESRB ratings. As GamePolitics has reported, Shurtleff received a $3,000 campaign donation from the ESA in May of 2008.


Comments

Re: Seriously. The children, think about them.

More like Jack's "won't someone please think of my career" card. Jack, you gotta realize: the more constitutional info they get, the more they are going to be against you.

Re: Utah Attorney General: We Had Concerns About Jack ...

I would of had concerns too if it was a bill proposed by a disbarred lawyer.

Praetorian

"I've been told I'm the resident skeptic, but I wouldn't believe that."

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Praetorian

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Re: Utah Attorney General: We Had Concerns About Jack ...

The fact that he was disbarred should have been enought to not introduce the bill.

 

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Andrew EisenIn the sense that they're both people who talk about things they're passionate about, sure.02/27/2015 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThe reasoning for criticism on how female characters are generally portrayed in video games is the same as any other criticism: generally, this is not being done as well as it could.02/27/2015 - 4:23pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:... so you see absolutely no similarity’s in between Rush and Sarkeesian?02/27/2015 - 4:22pm
Andrew EisenI'm familiar with both Limbaugh and talk radio. What the hell does that have to do with anything?02/27/2015 - 4:19pm
ZippyDSMleeWhat is the reasoning for the criticisms against how fictional characters are portrayed?02/27/2015 - 4:13pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: Reply to what industries. “The I can make money by A milking a niche base and or B saying crazy things industry.“ You’ve never listened to talk radio or heard of Rush Limbaugh have you?02/27/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenWhat the hell are you talking about?02/27/2015 - 4:05pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: The I can make money by A milking a niche base and or B saying crazy things industry. Then what is the reasoning for the criticisms?02/27/2015 - 4:04pm
Andrew EisenAgain, nothing you say makes a lick of sense.02/27/2015 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenNo one is saying the sexual objectification of female characters is causing people to be mean in real life.02/27/2015 - 3:53pm
Andrew EisenIndustries build around what? No one is confusing fiction and reality. No one is claiming fictional characters have feelings or rights or are they themselves speaking against their own objectification.02/27/2015 - 3:52pm
ZippyDSMleeresponsibility kick in to not treat others poorly and have enough self-worth to not be discouraged by the smallest of things?02/27/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeOne could stretch things pretty far and claim that mindsets shaped by fiction shape the real world treatment of real people but my question is which came first the chicken(mistreatment) or the egg(fiction) and where and when dose individual personal respo02/27/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeFrankly it looks more like people are getting fiction and reality confused, fictional characters have no feelings or rights thus to claim they can be objectified and treated poorly make for a somewhat disingenuous argument.02/27/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeIf there were not industries built around it I could agree but the same format that any political talking head uses or Jack Thompson used also supports less excessive critics…02/27/2015 - 3:41pm
Andrew EisenSo once again, nothing you say makes a lick of sense.02/27/2015 - 3:24pm
Andrew EisenCritics who offer suggestions on how their issues might be addressed are not bullies and no one is attempting to police anything let alone anyone's morals.02/27/2015 - 3:24pm
ZippyDSMleeof bad press will keep others in line.02/27/2015 - 3:20pm
ZippyDSMleeIt’s a rather simple concept to do minimal effort to reach a goal. Once a bully has established themselves they have to do little to attain their goal. Same with the moral police once one establish tactics to damage the profits of an IP the vague threat02/27/2015 - 3:20pm
ZippyDSMleeIf you think that is bad you should see the syntax errors I generate in Uscript :P02/27/2015 - 3:18pm
 

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