Utah Video Game Bill Sponsor Has No Beef with Attorney General

January 29, 2007 -
The sponsor of video game legislation currently before the Utah House of Representatives has distanced himself from harsh criticism of the state's attorney general made by the bill's author, controversial anti-game attorney Jack Thompson.

In response to a request for comment by GamePolitics, Rep. Scott Wyatt said in a voice mail (listen) on Friday:
I'm not really seeing any controversy, at least from my perspective. I realize that maybe Jack Thompson and the Attorney General have something, but that's not part of me and I don't know for sure what all that is. I understand the Attorney General's position on this bill and I fully respect that. And in fact I don't think I have a whole lot of disagreement with him. So, whatever controversy there is, it doesn't include me.

Last week, Thompson called for the impeachment of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff over the video game bill issue.

Comments

@Daniel

Nothing against you, man. In normal circumstances when dealing with a normal human being, this would probably indeed work.

One thing, however, that we've learned about Jack is that he is far from normal, and not in a good way. Though sending those letters to someone else might have worked, Jack would put this through his twisted little mind and come up with the conclusion that this is our last ditch effort to stop him, the unbreakable juggernaut that is scoring so many victories.

Granted, we know he is, in fact, a nut with only an inch separating him from the bottomless pit of obscurity, but chances are good that it will only add fuel to his fire. Now while I find his rantings entertaining to the point of being popcorn-worthy, the last thing the world needs is for more people to listen to his drivel, which he will spout as long as he thinks he's a threat to us and our pasttime.

So, nothing against you or your plan, but this is one of the few cases where it will probably only make things worse.

@ hayabusa75 and Wolf

You didn't understand, or you don't remember. I didn't like the fact that years ago that my father had to accompany me to buy M rated video games. He let me play them, but the stores wouldn't sell them to me without my father's consent. There are two reasons behind my reasoning. I think that saying that children shouldn't play these games is like admitting that they are bad and cause violence and another thing is that I think the very idea that these games cause violence is insulting. That's like saying that we human beings immitate what we see on a screen like animals. Don't you find that to be insulting?

Anti-game activists are saying that these we're like apes, or some other kind of animal that isn't very smart, and we follow what we see on a screen. That's downright insulting to human dignity. We're not animals and we can think for ourselves. As human beings, we know that what we see on a screen isn't real. Do you think you're as stupid as an animal? If you do not, then you should be insulted by the arguments of these people.

My idea is that he said in an interview that he believes he is involved in something righteous. If we make him think he is actually doing the opposite of that, and to a certain extent he is, he'll feel horrible. It will put doubt in his mind and he will feel bad about himself and think that he has actually done damage to people with his fight against violent video games if he believes what he says with regards to these games being evil. Here's the thing no publicity is bad publicity. He is only making their games more popular and if we can make him see that, we can make him feel bad and make his job a lot harder.

Let me tell you something. The people that he's trying to stop from playing these games are mostly rebellious. The way to convince rebellious people to do something is to tell them not to do it. That it's evil. He is, more than likely, their best marketer. He is doing to opposite of what he's trying to do. If we can make him see that, it would hurt his case and his efforts incalculably.

For example; he wants the ESRB disbanned because his daddy wouldn't let him play violent games when he was younger or some bull like that. It was a while ago, I don't remember the arguement, but the point was he wanted the ESRB to be shut down.

As for ideas? We've got to fight with media. My idea is for gamers to perhaps do an independant news article, unbiased, and go into the real issues behind it. How JT actually acts, the fact that these bills are always deemed unconstitutional, how the state pays using taxpayer money, etc. Then you've got to spread the word, get people listening. And, for good measure, perhaps teach how to use the ESRB ratings. We have to use the ideals of media to our advantage.

@neoelasticman:

Since you're relatively new to GamePolitics, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that Daniel's antics are new to you. Trust me, if you'd been putting up with his inane commentary for the last six months the way many of us have, you would not have written such a Pollyanna response in defense of him. If you're puzzled, check back among the previous threads for some of the various exchanges he's had with us.

By the way, you want a better idea? Fine. Don't waste your time writing letters to Jack Thompson. There you go.

@Brer

No it just means that he understands what the AG is saying, respects what he's saying, and admits that at least some of his concerns are valid.

Wow...just, wow...

"I understand the Attorney General’s position on this bill and I fully respect that. And in fact I don’t think I have a whole lot of disagreement with him."

'I don't disagree with the AG's position on this bill'....Am I the only one who sees that as a tacit admission that he -knows- the bill is unconstitutional and unenforceable as written and pushed it anyway?

uggh i'm confused

I have new show to promote Lawyer and politician boxing.

This should be a Pay-Per-View event with proceeds going to the Get Well Gamer organization.

At least this one will last longer than a minute and 30 seconds.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software

well i think that said it all ^^.

@aniki21:

I'm talking about him shelving this particular bill. When he says "I want to be engaged in this battle. I want the state of Utah to be engaged in this battle.", I'd imagine that even though this bill is pretty dead, he still wants something done about kid's access to violent games, be it education about the ESRB, some small law that makes shops post up the ratings so they are more visible to parents, etc.

*waves goodbye to jack thompson's quote of "wyatt agreed with everything I said"*

@Shoehorn O'Plenty:

Jack Thompson makes these outrageous claims about us gamers, but his claims sound similiar to what he is doing. That's all I'm saying.

@Shoehorn O'Plenty:
"he has taken on board the advice of the AG regarding it’s likelihood (certainty) of failure, and agrees with him that the state wouldbe better off in shelving it."

I think you've misread the Representative's quote above (maybe he says more in the voicemail; I've not been able to read it); I assume you're referring to this section:

"I understand the Attorney General’s position on this bill and I fully respect that. And in fact I don’t think I have a whole lot of disagreement with him."

To me, that implies that Wyatt agrees with his Attorney General that the bill's on thin ice, constitutionally speaking. However, that doesn't mean that Wyatt won't push for the bill. Wyatt has also said, at the Committee vote, that:

"Although the bill presents a risky proposition ... I want to be engaged in this battle. I want the state of Utah to be engaged in this battle."
(Source: http://gamepolitics.com/2007/01/27/utah-house-committee-puts-brakes-on-v...)

so it's unlikely that he's going to be happy with shelving this thing permanently.

@kurisu

Let's just hope that someone nails him with the anchor.

well, time for Jack to set fire and jump off the ship.

@ those against Daniel

The thing is, Daniel had an idea. Ideas need to be had, otherwise there is NO QUESTION that JT will continue his crusade. An effort was made. Yes, it is not a perfect plan, but it is a plan. From now on, if somebody is going to shoot down another person's idea, he should have an even better one to tell us about. Otherwise, why shoot down Daniel's idea? Also, it seems to me that any more discussion of this among the comments would be unnecessarily off-topic. Comments are not flame battles.

@Daniel:

You're a dolt. If Jack Thompson wrote you a letter claiming that the stupid things you write are making him fight even harder against violent video games, would you change your opinion about them and be quiet? Didn't think so. And the next time you respond to me, don't repeat your entire original post, I'm sick of it.

I'd say I was suprised by this but its not really that suprising. Jacko's said stuff time and time before without approval to say it before. Like when he was in that Alabama case that he got thrown out of because he went talking to the press and stuff when he was told not to.

This is just another case of JT mouthing off and leaving some poor guy holding the bag of problems he's created.

You'd think these people would have the sense to listen to past failed bills. All of them were written identically, and all failed on a constitutional level, should send a message to legislatures everywhere. Sadly, that doesn't appear to be the case, as long as you say it's for the children. It's a good thing that the Mr. Shurtleff and Mr. Wyatt realized this bill wouldn't stand up to a constitutional challenge, it proves someone in a position of authority can learn from the mistakes of others.

@x(wai)x

I think the new filters remove HTML formatting...

Yeah, I remember that line. JT's done it before actually. He'll twist what someone says to his advantage. He'll deliberately misquote, or be just vague enough that he can claim someone is "on his side", when really they've never said they agree with his insane claims. And then we end up with those people ditching their support for him after he drags them through the mud... which of course then leads to him denouncing them and moving on to the next set of legislators.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Odd. I put the GP/JT quotes in italics tags and part of the JT quote in bold tags, but neither showed up.

Well, of course he hasn't. Wyatt has a number of concerns. video games being one of them. If Shurtleff disagrees (and he doesn't - He just has valid legal concerns), then I find it hard to believe that Wyatt would get more than mildy irritated.

Thompson is a one issue guy, and bad tempered. Anger at an AG over this fits his profile, but Wyatt has other concerns.

Funny that he comes out and says this after JT says that Wyatt agrees with him. So much for that, eh?

Wait till we see the outcomes of this legislation. I mean, why won't those anti-game activists learn from their mistakes and keep repeating it? One lesson for them is, when legislations have been struck unconstituitional, the entire incident is done with and Jack Thompson can wish that he suck at the job. Although I do think that lawyers are smart and great but Jack Thompson makes them a joke.

My point was more "Jack Thompson full of it once again" than anything. From a GP article on the 23rd:

GP: What has (bill sponsor) Rep. Wyatt had to say about your attacks on A.G. Shurtleff?

GP: How do you see demonizing the state’s A.G. as an effective strategy?

GP: Do you fear that the ugliness (surrounding your legislative efforts) in Louisiana and now Utah will dissuade people in other jurisdictions from working with you, going forward?

JT: Listen, goofball. Wyatt today endorsed everything I said.
(emphasis mine)

Has he really become so desperate that he has to lie about the bill's sponsor supporting him in his bile-spewing, when (as today's article makes abundantly clear) the sponsor practically has no idea about it?

@ F**ked up:

He's just saying he had nothing to do with Thompson's ugly behaviour towards the Attorney General. He did sponsor the law, but he has taken on board the advice of the AG regarding it's likelihood (certainty) of failure, and agrees with him that the state wouldbe better off in shelving it.

This one sided arguing (Thomspon yelling and insulting the AG, who in turn ignores him), is what Wyatt is saying he has nothing to do with.

"In fact, he almost acts just like them."

I'm offended by that statement! Mr. Thompson acts nothing like us gamers. When was the last time you sent an insulting and abusive letter to someone because they disagreed with you? When was the last time you insulted a grieving community rocked by a member's suicide? When was the last time you handed a person a slip of paper telling them to indicate their sexuality on it?

Nothing to to do with u? Did I read that right? Arnt you the one backing the bill? Did u not ask Jack Thompson to write the bill? Isnt it your bill that is causing the debate? And it has nothing to do with you?

See, this guy realizes that Shurtleff only did what any competent lawyer (which lets JT out) would do:

Shurtleff, in essence, is the lawyer for the state of Utah.

When you are someone's lawyer, if they're about to do something stupid that will got shot down all over the place in a court of law, you warn them of this. He never said he'd *refuse* to defend the bill, only that it was his considered legal opinion that it would fail.

So far, it seems only Jack disagrees. And if you look at it, it's Jack, not Shurtleff, who is facing charges that, if he is found guilty, he would no longer be a lawyer. And facing such charges is what impeachment is.

I think that Wyatt has some sensitivity, and I respect him for that.

If Thompson goes off on Wyatt for not bashing the AG, then I think it should be undeniable proof to the entire world that Thompson is nothing but a bully.

Thompson so far has not proved himself to be better than the "pixelantes" he so loves to demonize. In fact, he almost acts just like them.

ZING!

Cue Thompson Tantrum in 3.. 2.. 1..

@Daniel:

Send letters to JT??? Great, I'll file that one next to your "abolish the ESRB" idea.

I know this may be out of place, and probably wont fit on this certain post. BUT, i hate how these crazy politicans are just freaking out over video games and all its "negative" outcomes. I wont get into what i think, because that will take more than a small comment box. But, i would like to point out that child's play, a fund raiser, whose main source of funds is from GAMERS, has raised 1 million dollars this year. What does that say about our community? Care to comment Mr. Thompson?

@ hayabusa75

If you make an enemy think he's doing you a favor, he'll be very upset and doubt that he's doing the right thing. He is trying to destroy Rockstar Games, yet all he's doing is making the games more popular and make more people interested in buying them. If we tell him that he's made us interested in these games and thinks he's helping Rockstar Games rather than hurting them, he will have some serious doubts about what he's doing. He is making the games more famous and more popular.

He is better advertisement than the commercials because the commercials tell people to buy them. He tells people not to buy them. If you tell people not to do something, they tend to do it more than if you encourage it. He isn't destroying Rockstar Games. He's helping Rockstar Games and if we can make him see that, he'll go crazy. He'll feel horrible. His case will go away and he will be gone from the issue for good. The problem is that eventually, he could win a court fight and the video game industry could be hurt by it. However, if we make him think that he is failing miserably, he'll go away and there won't be any possibility that he will ever win anything against the video game industry.

I have a personal story that would definately make him see my point. I didn't play video game for almost a year and then I started reading about him and the things he says against the video game industry and video gamers and that made me play video games again when I thought I was done. I might not have started playing video games again had it not been for him. I am also thinking about buying Bully because of his case against it. You see? He is doing the opposite of what he's trying to do. If we make him see that, he will stop and realize that he's lost the fight and go away.

@kurisu

You're right, he does strike down his own soldiers. What a great leader, that guy! At the first sign of a soldier's "weakness" a.k.a. "not being such a big jerk," or also having "independant thought," he gets verbally killed by his leader.

I have seen these kinds of tactics before, but where...

@Daniel

okay, not necessarily harder but he might switch tactics at the least, to something he thinks might be more effective against our defenses (that gosh darn first amendment thing, always getting in his way!)

"Strike the leader down, and you have the rest of the army easily."

What army? He's practically killed all his troops already.

"
GP readers aren’t representative of the “average gamer” any more than Jack is representative of the “average lawyer”.
"

unfortunately, micron is right. There are some total dolts that make all our efforts here seem futile. Fortunately we ARE the most vocal group. I would join the ECA, but it's not in my budget (still in school, but not much longer). That seems our best rally point in our defense of games, if for no other reason than the fact that it is a recognized organization of gamers. I'm sure there's more, though.

@ neoelasticman

I think you might be right, but I don't think it would be possible for Jack Thompson to attack the video game industry anymore than he already is. How can he attack it more than that? He is already at the maximum. If he tried any harder than he already is, he'd be sent to a mental institution. Do you think that if there was something he could do to destroy video games, that he wouldn't do it? He can't try any harder than he already is.

Another thing that I don't like about him is that he attacked a song from a rapper named IceT. I like IceT a lot and I think that the song "Cop Killa" shouldn't have ever been attacked. I love Rap Music. Rappers are good and they don't deserve to be attacked by worms like him, no one does. They are good people who are trying to make an honest living. He shouldn't have attacked IceT's song. I love Rap Music. It's one of the greatest things ever, especially Gansta Rap. That music is awesome and that's another reason why I don't like him.

I disagree with you there. In theory, doubt is a pretty good tactic. But this is a religious crusade, as you have said, and as such he believes in his cause with a religious ferver. Put in more typical crusade terms, if the evil heathens tell the crusader that his war against them is making them even more heathenistic than before, the crusader will not simply thank God that their heathenism will stop increasing if he stops fighting. Instead, this will give him the determination to strike even harder than before in the hopes that the heathens will be eradicated with the extra force. JT is the crusader, and we, the so-called "Pixelantes," are the heathens.

I do agree that we need to come up with a strategy to battle him, but we need to do so using this model, I think. His faith in his game-hating god will not waiver, so the alternative is organize the heathens together and strike down his army until they have no power. Strike the leader down, and you have the rest of the army easily. The problem is finding a way to strike down JT, metaphorically. In general, it must be done in a verifiable, scientific process, diplomatically and backed by studies. The heathens need allies, and the best allies for us are third parties who are not interested in advancing our cause specifically but merely finding the facts for sure, and then presenting them where they will be seen by many.

@ Everybody

I have a great idea to get Jack Thompson to stop attacking the video game industry. Let's send him letters telling him that he is only helping Rockstar Games by attacking them and the more he attacks Rockstar Games, the more he is going to make us want their games. Remember he is on a crusade and he thinks he's hurting the video game industry in the name of God. If he thinks he's actually helping Rockstar Games, he'll stop and go find something else to fight against.

No business ever went broke because they had too much business. The reason why I think this would stop him from attacking the video game industry is because he believes he is hurting them. If we place doubt in his mind that he is succeeding, he will probably stop. He isn't making them lose money. He is making their games sell more. Although I know that it's a good thing to make games more popular, we have to realize that he could win and destroy Rockstar Games eventually if he gets someone to listen to him on one of his lawsuits.

He is making Rockstar's games more popular, but if someone like Devin Moore goes on a killing spree and Jack Thompson files a huge lawsuit against Rockstar in the future and wins, Rockstar Games could be destroyed and all their awesome games would disappear. The key to bringing down someone who is on a crusade is doubt. Make him think he's helping the video game industry and Rockstar Games by making their games sell more and making more people want their games and he will give up, or at the very least, it will make his job a lot harder.

I know that he is a good seller of video games because I spent almost a year without playing any video games and I thought I was done for good. Then I started reading about him and the things he says about violent video games and the people who play them and that made me want to play again. He's helping the video game industry now, but what if he succeeds in the future? Let him know that he is only doing the opposite of what he is trying to do. That could make him stop. If you write letters to him, make them as simple and NON threatening as possible. The key to bringing down a moral crusader is doubt.

"I’m offended by that statement! Mr. Thompson acts nothing like us gamers. When was the last time you sent an insulting and abusive letter to someone because they disagreed with you? When was the last time you insulted a grieving community rocked by a member’s suicide? When was the last time you handed a person a slip of paper telling them to indicate their sexuality on it?"


Clearly you've never played a game on Xbox Live. GP readers aren't representative of the "average gamer" any more than Jack is representative of the "average lawyer".

@ Daniel

No! It's not insulting! Because there are idiots, who DO imitate what they see! People are, in general, stupid! Hell, I know I've seen it before! That's why they made the Darwin Awards.

Besides, adults and children are very different. Children ARE impressionable. It's simply psychology. Movies ratings, TV shows have rating. They're not saying it's bad, they're just saying its content should be considered, and would be more appropriate for adults. You want to get rid of the ESRB, because you're daddy had to accompany you? It's like a child throwing a fit.

Plus, we should fight the problem head-on. Show some backbone for once instead of just waiting for the bills to be passed, and the lawsuits to come. We need to utilize our abilities in the whole of the media to dispell what the anti-gamers are saying, with proper research, with truth, and with professionalism. The best we could do is make an unbiased video worth of all three, and try to spread the word of it. But you can't go out ranting about him, or the anti-gamers, cause that'd only hurt our cause.

And for the record, I believe humans are animals. Oh, and apes are pretty intelligent.
 
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InfophileThat's what they call it? I always called it hydroxic acid...09/21/2014 - 11:57am
MaskedPixelanteProbably dihydrogen monoxide, the most dangerous substance in the universe.09/21/2014 - 10:14am
james_fudgewell I hope he called the police so they can let us all know.09/21/2014 - 9:07am
quiknkoldIt's pretty gnarly. Depending on what it is, it could be worse than white powder or a fake bomb.09/21/2014 - 9:06am
james_fudgeI just looked it up on UPS.com09/21/2014 - 8:56am
james_fudgeand expensive for an American to ship to London.09/21/2014 - 8:55am
E. Zachary KnightThat is pretty scary. Would have been worse if it were a fake bomb or white powder.09/21/2014 - 8:49am
quiknkoldThere's some more tweets regarding it with more pictures09/21/2014 - 8:09am
quiknkoldMilo Yiannopoulos was mailed a syringe filled with clear liquid. He claims it's anti gamergate harassment. Mentioned on his twitter twitter.com/Nero/status/51366668391625523209/21/2014 - 8:07am
Andrew EisenNow, having said that, what sites are you reading that are claiming that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem" or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"? Or was that hyperbole too?09/21/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenFirst of all, ONE person in the Shout box suggested an obligation to call harassers out on their harassing but only after YOU brought it up. Plus, Techno said "when you see it happening." If you don't see it, you're not under any obligation.09/21/2014 - 1:02am
Sleaker@Craig R. - at this point I don't even know what the hashtags are suppsed to be in support of. what does GamerGate actually signify.09/21/2014 - 12:21am
Sleaker@AE - Hyperbole for the first 2, but it seems like some of the comments in the shout are attempting to place blame on fellow gamers because they aren't actively telling people to stop harassing even though they don't necessarily know anyone that has.09/21/2014 - 12:16am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Who the heck are you reading that is claiming "all gamers are bad," we "need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers," that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem," or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"?09/20/2014 - 9:44pm
erthwjimhe swatted more than just krebs, I think he swatted 30 people http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/09/20/2014 - 9:31pm
Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
Craig R.Such things are not done in a vacuum... hence why the 4chan and other logs show what fools you've all been, tricked into doing the trolls' work09/20/2014 - 8:49pm
Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
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