Once High-Profile, Utah’s Video Game Legislative Effort Fades to Black

Not with a bang, but a whimper…

T.S. Eliot wasn’t writing about the ending to Utah’s recent efforts to legislate video games, but he could have been. If you haven’t been following the Utah situation – perhaps "circus" is a more apt description – by all means, check out GamePolitics’ coverage of the failed legislation.

The short version is that HB50, a measure equating games with pornography, was blocked in committee when the state’s attorney general raised concerns over its constitutionality. Rep. Scott Wyatt (left), a Republican, sponsored the bill.

As a compromise, a non-binding resolution was drafted which gutted the original bill’s enforcement provisions, replacing them with a directive to the A.G. to provide support to other states involved in litigation over game violence statutes.

Even that watered-down solution appears to have failed, however. GP notes that the compromise resolution, HR15, has been quietly moved from committee to the Utah House file for defeated measures.

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  1. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “We’re going to ban this filth and protect our childrens!” ->

    “We won’t do that, but we’re going to write a document saying that we frown on it and will assist other frowners” ->

    “Actually, we won’t even do that”

    It’s funny, although this assembly should be given a lot of praise for actually realising the problems with unconstitutional laws and not forging ahead for the sake of being seen to “protect the childrens”.

  2. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    Huzzah for the shop-keep!

    @ Calvinball

    No, I’m sure they’ll find some other way to piss away their constituents’ tax-dollars. Give them time. (Call me cynical, if you will)

  3. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Spambots eh, what a blast….

    Surprised this went onto the back burner to be honest, but with the volume of reports that have appeared in the last 3 weeks which basically disprove every criticism aimed at computer games and the increase in volume recently from those defending video games, I suppose they decided it was best just to take a step back from it all.

  4. 0
    Coyote ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I can only hope that, here in my home state at least, game legislation is starting to be recognized as too much of a hot potato. It doesn’t hurt at all that we have an AG who – while personally opposed to violent videogames (and hey, when you get right down to it, so am *I*) – fundamentally disagrees with the government having the authority (let alone competency) to control it with anything resembling fairness and adherence to the First Amendment.

    As can be seen by the storm of contrasting opinions concerning Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, it can be a really difficult thing to judge between art and exploitation, or the meaningful versus the gatuitous.

  5. 0
    AM ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Given Jack Thompson’s attack on the AG when he opined that the law was unconstitutional, I’m surprised we’ve heard so little from him on this. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but it really is a surprise. I expected similar “taking a dive” rhetoric to what he used in the past.

  6. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    He may be laying low because of his current troubles with the Florida Bar. I also believe his wife is ill- he mentioned it when he was fighting with Joystiq (maybe it was Kotaku?) over the reports of his past problems with the bar.

    I am sure he will be back in full-force soon- the GTA 4 hype will be picking up once the trailer launches later this month…

  7. 0

    On an only vaguely related note: It made my day to see a quote from T.S. Elliot in a news story about video games. Especially one from one of my favorite pieces. Who says gamers aren’t intelligent, eh?

    About the legislation: Even the law journals, in which there have been MANY comments and articles covering this anti-video game legislation craze, almost universally condemn such legislation as being unconstitutional. And we law students do our research, too.


  8. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Zerodash said:

    “He may be laying low because of his current troubles with the Florida Bar. I also believe his wife is ill- he mentioned it when he was fighting with Joystiq (maybe it was Kotaku?) over the reports of his past problems with the bar.”

    Hopefully nothing serious? I don’t like the guy, but don’t wish anything upon his long suffering family. As for the BAR troubles, well he’s right to lie low; he’s in a world of **** there and I predict a big smackdown on the way he has conducted himself. They may fall short of barring him from practicing law, but I seriously doubt he will get off scott free.

  9. 0
    Lost Question ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ DoggySpew
    Not the war, but a battle… for now…

    “We’ve pretty much won EVERY battle.” – DoggySpew

    Yes and they keep trying untill they stop trying or untill a final blow is struck to either side this culture war will go on.

  10. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Its funny. Its almost like the final years of the pacific campaign. Except we haven’t gone on the offensive and the supreme court is the legal equivalent of a nuke.

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