Despite Thompson’s Charges, Utah A.G. Has Been A Video Game Critic

Despite recent assertions by Miami attorney Jack Thompson that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has “has locked arms with the video game industry,” the state’s chief law enforcement official has actually been a critic of game violence in the not too distant past.

GamePolitics readers will likely recall the 2005-2006 furor sparked by Eidos’ cops-and-robbers shooter, 25 to Life. The game was widely criticized by law enforcement organizations for the violence it portrayed against police officers. State legislatures in Michigan and Pennsylvania passed resolutions denouncing the game.

Shurtleff, acting in his capacity as Utah’s Attorney General, joined in the criticism. A January 13, 2006 article on the 25 to Life controversy in the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who participated in the September protest (against 25 to Life), said Thursday that he is upset Eidos is releasing the game, but he does not plan to take any legal action against the company.

“I just hope people don’t buy it and play it,” he said.

Eidos agreed in September to delay releasing the game until after Christmas, which it did, Shurtleff said. The company also pledged not to aggressively market 25 to Life and to encourage retailers not to sell the game – rated “M” for mature – to anyone under 18.

Shurtleff said he hopes retailers such as Wal-Mart will choose not to stock the game but acknowledged that was a “corporate, free-market decision.”

Thompson’s recent attacks on Shurtleff were prompted by the Attorney General’s advice to Utah’s legislature that a video game bill authored by the anti-game activist was likely to be found unconstitutional.

Yesterday, Thompson sent an e-mail to Utah House Speaker Greg Curtis calling for Shurtleff’s impeachment.

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