Utah Paper Against Possible AG Support of Game Industry

August 31, 2010 -

An editorial in The Salt Lake Tribune calls Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s decision to possibly support the videogame industry in the upcoming Schwarzenegger v. EMA SCOTUS case “baffling.”

It appears the paper has sided with pro-life groups and a handful of politicians in condemning Shurtleff (pictured) for a decision he hasn’t even made yet. Titled, “Let it Go,” the editorial stopped just short of labeling Shurtleff a hypocrite, saying instead that opposing the California law was ironic for someone representing a state “that trumpets its devotion to family values.”

The editorial went from delivering an attempted body blow to another shot a little farther south, insinuating that a trade organization may have some influence over Shurtleff’s eventual decision:

The fact that Shurtleff received a $3,000 campaign donation from the Entertainment Software Association, the trade organization representing video-game makers, might explain his interest. We hope not.

Yet the editorial then flips 180 degrees, arguing that “the best reason to oppose the California law is its limitations on freedom of speech,” not because of any perceived notion that playing violent games might impact children in real life.

Thankfully, a letter to the editor answering the Trib editorial argued that Shurtleff is right in (possibly) opposing the law. Penned by Betsy Burton of Salt Lake City, the letter also noted the Tribune’s bizarre bipolar-like stance on the issue, before stating:

As a small-business owner of The King’s English Bookshop, I’m thankful that Shurtleff may oppose this ill-conceived law. If the court upholds California’s law that prohibits children from buying violent video games, there would be nothing to stop states from extending it to books, magazines and other expressive works. Given Utah’s legislative history, there is every chance that Utah might pass such a law.

This would mean that my staff and I would have to review every book in my store and decide if selling it to a minor could lead to a fine or even jail. The Odyssey, The Divine Comedy, and Titus Andronicus are examples of great literature that include graphic descriptions of violence that some might believe are inappropriate for minors.


Comments

Re: Utah Paper Against Possible AG Support of Game Industry

Yeah, let's take a step back from the partisan edge and look at what's really being said here.

The Tribune isn't arguing that the California law should be upheld. They're simply arguing that there is no compelling interest for the state of Utah to get involved. "This issue has no direct implications for Utah since former Gov. Jon Huntsman wisely vetoed a 2009 Utah bill that was similar to California’s law."

In this economy where state budgets are tight, if not outright failing, I can't blame Utah for not wanting to expend taxpayer money in the form of their AG's man-hours. Victory or defeat is not going to hinge upon whether Shurtleff signs onto the amicus brief or not. If he does, great. If not, we'll soldier on.

 

 

Re: Utah Paper Against Possible AG Support of Game Industry

another literature example, ironically for Utah, would be the Bible

岩「hey Glenn Beck, I heard you oppose Net Neutrality, so we blocked your site.」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Utah Paper Against Possible AG Support of Game Industry

In fairness, the Utah paper actually doesn't seem to support the California law either...just says the AG shouldn't get involved.

Re: Utah Paper Against Possible AG Support of Game Industry

"It appears the paper has sided with pro-life groups and a handful of politicians"

You sure you mean pro-life there? I mean, I'm sure the eagle forum opposes abortion, but it's not really the only focus of the group and has nothing to do with their decision in this case.

 
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Matthew WilsonI hope its released to netflix or amazon12/18/2014 - 12:11am
prh99Basically they've given every tin pot dictator and repressive regime a blue print how to conduct censorship abroad. The hecklers veto wins again. At least when it comes to Sony and the four major theater chains.12/17/2014 - 11:55pm
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Matthew Wilsonapparently tetris did not work because he has a full friends list12/17/2014 - 9:21pm
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MaskedPixelanteWow, Ubisoft went four for four, I didn't think it was actually possible.12/17/2014 - 8:37pm
MechaTama31Oh, ok, I was mixing up "on Greenlight" and "Greenlit".12/17/2014 - 8:23pm
Matthew Wilson@phx you beat me to it. how do you screw up tetris?! my ubisoft this is just stupid. no one should ever preorder a ubisoft game again! ps people should never preorder any game regardles of dev.12/17/2014 - 6:28pm
PHX Corphttp://www.ign.com/videos/2014/12/17/what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-tetris-ps4 I give up on ubisoft12/17/2014 - 6:01pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://comicbook.com/blog/2014/08/16/exclusive-original-unaltered-cut-of-star-wars-trilogy-to-be-rele/ Yeah, this'll never happen.12/17/2014 - 5:03pm
NeenekoThey have and exercise control over which games are allowed on their privately controlled 'open forum'. Their endorsement is fairly minimal since it is only 'we do not reject this', but it is still an endorsement of sorts.12/17/2014 - 3:58pm
NeenekoHistorically there have been issues with libraries allowing some groups but not others. Perhaps 'endorsement' is too strong a word, but their editorial control IS a preapproval process, even if the standards are pretty minimal.12/17/2014 - 3:56pm
E. Zachary KnightLet's put this a different way. My local library allows any group to reserve and use multipurpose rooms. That does not mean that the Library endorses all events that take place in those rooms.12/17/2014 - 12:54pm
E. Zachary KnightValve's editorial control comes from removing problem games and accepting games to Steam. They make no claim over any games otherwise.12/17/2014 - 12:52pm
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, It is not at all a form of endorsement. Grenlight is an open forum for game developers to pitch their game to Valve/Steam and Steam users. Does Valve have some editorial control? Yes, but not to the point that they preapprove games.12/17/2014 - 12:51pm
Neeneko@EZK - I disagree. Greenlight is built off Valve's brand. While not an explicit endorsement, it is a form of it, otherwise Greenlight would have no value over other platforms.12/17/2014 - 12:05pm
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