Utah Legislature Will Consider Video Game Bill Today

A committee of the Utah House of Representatives will conduct a hearing today on video game legislation drafted by disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson.

As GamePolitics has reported, HB 353, sponsored by Rep. Mike Morley (R), would amend Utah’s truth in advertising law. Retailers who advertise that products such as M-rated video games or R-rated DVDs will not be sold to underage buyers could face liability if they fail to uphold that standard.

The House Business and Labor Standing Committee will meet at 4:10 local time today to consider the measure.

For more on the background of the bill, check out GP’s revealing interview with Rep. Morley.

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  1. 0
    Wolvenmoon says:

    If Utah wants to be a state known for excruciating stupidity, let them. It’s not like it’s that difficult to buy a visa gift card and order games off of amazon.

    What? Kid’s with legitimate debit cards? That means most >18 verification online no longer works! Oh crap!

    What’s he gonna do, ban visa gift cards because kids figure out they can buy smut with them? Discovery channel nearly crossed the credit card companies with a mythbusters episode on RFID chips, and all hell broke loose for them.

    They’ll just outright murder thompson. Wouldn’t that be hilarious? He’s begging to be martyred by a video gamer, it’s almost like that’s what he gets off to, and he gets killed by a credit card hitman…I’d quite literally rofl.

  2. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Funny thing: When I went to Target here in Houma, Louisiana today, I looked for the ID policy in the electronics department and couldn’t find any signs whatsoever, except for a sign regarding the music CDs that they do sell music with Parental Advisory stickers.

    I wonder if it’s the same in all the Targets.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  3. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    One thing is for certain, if it passes, the outcome will be:

    ‘All these years and I was right! God is on my Side! Kiss goodbye to your playstations! 60 Minutes! etc etc’.

    If it does not pass the outcome will be:

    ‘The AG was bribed! The entire legislature are in the pay of Vampire Alien Mutant games companies!’


    Funniest part is, once again, everyone knows this is exactly what will happen, because it’s Thompson.

  4. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    Why drop the policies?

    – Policy on how your employees should behave isn’t advertizing that they should behave that way. If I make it my policy that "employees will not have sex during break time", they can hardly claim I’m advertizing that.
    – Providing people with information about suggestions does not mean you claim you will maintain those suggestions as actual rules. Giving them info on the ESRB system is for parents to make their own choice, it’s not said you’ll actually will card people who want to buy a game in that system.
    – Employees violating the policy are going against your intent. If you fail to act against it this will be negligence. Yet the current advertizing law speaks about intent, they can’t just leave that part out in the addition. So even if your employees fail to card, as long as you try to make sure they do you are still trying to maintain the policy and can’t be sued.
    – The kicker: They have to give you a chance to correct the situation. Can’t go and sue without a warning, so the companies get a chance to take anything down if whiners pop up.

    So all they have to do is stop having a small piece of information on their site about carding people and they’re perfectly alright. Jack’s delusions are one thing, the law, as we have seen many times before, is something entirely else.

  5. 0
    Dexee says:

    All that the retailers would need to do is drop all policies related to it and it would be epic fail for JT. Otherwise else, the retailers don’t actually "advertise" that they do not make R/M sales to minors, though I guess he is assuming that the voluntary carding systems already in place are what he calls advertising.

    If not that, ESRB rating == advertising to JT, which means that eventually games will be unrated works and will be sold in stores next to unrated movies, which, by the way, minors can buy that too.

  6. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Heh, I think the reason this one is being examined so closely is because people are trying to find out what it’s actually about, simply because it’s hard to believe that, at face value, this Bill actually does what it does, which is endanger the protections already in place for the sake of some kind of percieved ‘revenge’ on Thompson’s part.

    I think everyone is assuming this is some kind of ‘gateway’ legislation, that will open the door to further censorship in the future, but I’m genuinely beginning to wonder whether Thompson actually thinks this law alone will somehow be a victory, and, even for someone as crazy as Thompson, that’s pretty cracked.

    Damaging the system designed to prevvent sales to young people != Victory for Jack Thompson

  7. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    That’s Why I H8 JT, He sells M-rated games to kids, by trying to shut down the voluntary carding policys set in place. The Police officers in Miami should be stationed at every gamestop to prevent him from going in for doing the henious crime of "Dismantling voluntary Carding policy under age 18"

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  8. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    This will be interesting, although there’s no real reason to not forward the legislation in the short term, I wonder whether any of the politicians involved have their eye on the ball a realise the long term dangers?

    Judging by the current trend, the law will probably get signed in, I think everyone suspects that, but will either get bowled out by the Industry challenges, or it will simply prove to be a completely useless law that is never enforced, with Thompson crowing about a ‘Victory’ which is ultimately a completely empty one, because with the change of one word on their policy, from ‘do not’ to ‘may not’, the law is pointless and the money spent on making it is wasted.

    Personally, I suspect it will be a challenge because of the slippery slope possibilities, but then, it may not be, in that case, Thompson actually made it easier for young people to get their hands on Video Games, not harder.

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