Jack Thompson Still Has A Career (Apparently)

The Business and Labour Committee of the Utah House of Representatives passed a law authored by ex-Miami-attorney, Jack Thompson. I guess you can still have a career after being disbarred.

The bill, H.B. 353, changes Utah's existing Truth in Advertising law to impose fines of up to $2,000 on retailers and movie theatres that violate their own policies by selling M-rated games or tickets to R-rated movies to minors.

Even though Thompson's name never came up in the 58 minute audio recording of the committee meeting, it's hard not to hear his influence in some of the statements. GamePolitics calls particular attention to Gayle Ruzicka, who lobbied for the bill:

This is the vile stuff. The Grand Theft Auto games are cop-killing murder simulators. And when [Devin Moore]was faced with being arrested he knew exactly what to do. He knew how to aim... at the head and each time killed these [officers] . We don't want this for our children. Not at all. Please, please vote yes today on this bill.

Those that supported the bill also made reference to sex scenes in Grand Theft Auto IV and took the "won't somebody please think of the children" tact. Those against it pointed out that the bill undermines voluntary ratings systems like the ESRB.

The next step for H.B. 353 is a vote from the full Utah House of Representatives. Given that Business and Labour passed it 10-3, I think it's obvious which way the state is leaning. It's times like these that make me glad I live in California.

Jack Thompson Bill Overwhelmingly Approved by Utah House Committee [GamePolitics]


    So, what's actually so BAD about this? Movies should not be sold to children aged below the ratings board recommendation. Likewise for games, they have a very strong point that it undermines the ESRB ratings. I noticed it doesn't say anything about adults buying these games for their kids, but it means the parent hopefully -looks- at the game/movie before purchasing it for their kid. If they decide to supply their 14yo progeny with R18+ games and movies, then they're a lousy parent. This kind of movement actually undermines Thompson's fight against games like GTA, because all of a sudden it will be harder for kids to get their hands on these 'murder simulators'.

    A look at current crime and homicide rates around the world clearly show no correlation between violent games and crime levels. Misinformed politicians are so quick to jump on this so called band wagon when the real issues in my opinion lie with broken homes and divorce rates, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse and lax gun laws.

    See it's not the act that they're placing these laws, it's the fact they call these games cop-killing murder simulators that is down right ridiculous. Anyone knows if you want to outright kill someone you shoot them in the head, it's not like GTA IV TEACHES that head shots are fatal, it's just a part of the game. I'll bet Wacko-Jacko doesn't have anything bad to say about Phoenix Write!

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