PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

March 9, 2009 -

PC World's Matt Peckham weighs in on HB 353, the much-discussed Utah bill originally drafted by Jack Thompson.

Peckham agrees with ESRB President Patricia Vance that the bill could prove to be a disincentive to Utah retailers to do the right thing:

The most recent amended version of H.B. 353 is a sobering bellwether of much worse to come if it passes the Utah state senate... Instead of ensuring game retailers do as they say, the bill in fact encourages them to do the exact opposite and stop promising they won't sell Mature-rated games like Fable 2 and Fallout 3 and Resident Evil 5 to underage kids and/or teens.

That's because Utah's H.B. 353 effectively criminalizes retail sales of video games to customers who don't meet a game's ratings strictures...

 

The non-cynical view: H.B. 353 is an attempt to pull game ratings under the umbrella of Utah's prevailing "truth in advertising" guidelines.

The cynical view: The bill's promoters are trying to backdoor anti-ESRB legislation by using a potentially over-broad state policy to increase governmental control of private sector activities and declare self-regulatory triumphs null and void...

UPDATE: Jack Thompson has posted a reply to Peckham's column:

All [major retailers] have publicly committed, and promised Congress, that they will participate in the game rating system and abide by it... They simply cannot now opt out of the ESRB system... Their public endorsement of the rating system is an "advertisement" under this bill...

 

[ESRB head Patricia] Vance says their is an industry "audit" which says that Utah game retailers are 94% compliant with the game ratings. She refuses to produce the audit...

GP: I must point out that Thompson's assertion that a company's merely signing on to abide by the ESRB ratings constitutes an "advertisement" seems a dubious one, at best.


Comments

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

"They simply cannot now opt out of the ESRB system..." -Thompson

Thompson's claiming that once you advertise something, you can never change it and have to live up to it.

Unsurprisingly, that's not true.

From the actual law (13-11a-4(5)):

"No action for injunctive relief may be brought for a violation of this chapter unless the complaining person first gives notice of the alleged violation to the prospective defendant and provides the prospective defendant an opportunity to promulgate a correction notice by the same media as the allegedly violating advertisement. If the prospective defendant does not promulgate a correction notice within ten days of receipt of the notice, the complaining person may file a lawsuit under this chapter."

Thompson's characterization of the purpose of the ERC is also incorrect.  Members commit to using their "best efforts" to not sell M and AO games to minors.  That's it.  No where does it say "we promise never, ever to sell M rated games to kids."

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

I don't feel like signing up to PC World, so I'm going to counterpoint the Metropolitian Moron of Miami here instead.

1) Joe Lieberman has publicly called the ESRB "the best ratings system in the entire entertainment industry" in USA Today, therefore Lieberman has publicly endorsed the ESRB, and any attempt by him to legislate the video game industry would be hypocritical on his part. And potentially fraudulent.

2) How is the ESRB "completely ignored" on online sales? A credit card is a valid form of age identification according to that very same FTC. Deal with it. Therefore, the only "fraud" being committed is "credit card fraud" by underage customers.

3) All that's doing is getting the movie industry into the courts to fight the bill(if it even passes by the end of the day Thursday).

4) The entire APA never said "Casual link". The Metropolitian Moron of Miami should learn to read.

Funny how he calls Matt Peckham a "zealot", yet Thompson's actually the zealot. And Utah does have a bunch of morons, otherwise they never would have listened to Thompson's worthless ass in the first place.

Thompson never learned to practice what he preaches about growing up and getting a life, otherwise new members of the Florida Bar now wouldn't be promising not to "Jack Thompson" their law licenses.

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

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

ironic how Jack, who is religious, would call someone else a 'zealot'

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

This falls into the category of "duh".

Haven't we all been saying the same thing since the news broke here? Haven't we all been sitting around talking about the reality that all this bill will do (if anything at all) is encourage retailers NOT to advertise that they don't sell M rated games to minors?

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

Of course it's dangerously wrong! It was written in part by Jack Thompson! Who honestly expects that anything he produces will be anything but dangerously wrong?

---------------------------------

Internet troll > internet paladin

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

You know...

It is only a matter of time when Videogame Companies would be sueing the Eagle Forum for slander not for what they included in the bill, but for the ammount of lies and inaccuracy these people used to try and convince politicians to pass this bill in the first place.

It is only a matter of time you know, and we gamers have most of the evidence right here.

 

TBoneTony

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

The American games industry has absolutely no balls whatsoever- Mr Ghallager & Ms Vance do little more than write letters and do nothing of merit or effort.  They just let this crap happen, and have their lawyers fight the big bills for them- totally on the defensive.  The ESA & ESRB need to channel some Vince McMahon and take the fight to the zealots (conservatives), nanny-staters (socialists), and other liars (Larouche) and shut them up for good.

When these people finally do get real anti-games initiatives through, the industry will have nobody to blame but themselves.  Hell, I wouldn't be suprised if the ESA goes the way of the Comic industry of yore and institute a "Games Code".  At that point- say goodbye to games as a truly artistic & creative medium.

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

I doubt that will happen, But If the industry dosen't act(against these people) we'll(as in the ECA) Do it ourselves

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

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

Will anyone hear from our side?

My guess is no.

TBoneTony

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

You know what I say?

Let it pass.

And then when old Jack whines about children being LEGALLY able to buy M-rated games, he'll have no one to blame but himself.'

---
| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

He'd rather blame everyone else for his mistakes instead of himself.

 

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

Edit: now that i re-read the bill and amendments, i take back most of what i said.


 

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

Peckham makes a good point: Jack Thompson ain't done nothing more than to come up with a way to end-run the First Amendment. And if the Law doesn't provide a way of tackling that kind of end-runner, then it damn sure needs to come up with one.

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

Better get the lead out, if they're gonna pass this pile of steaming horse manure. Ain't but a couple more days left in this year's Session.

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

You wanna know how I feel about this bill?

*Hangs himself*

j/k

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

That whole "make the ESRB invalid so we can pass content restrictions" angle sounds a bit too nefarious and thought-out.  Jack Thompson isn't nearly smart enough to do that- only a total idiot could lose his law license in the way he did. 

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Jack Thompson is really a mastermind that is completely on our side. He sacrificed his legal degree to make anyone that prosecuted companies that publish violent video games/overly violent games look like a jackass. In fact, I'd almost bet that rockstar games slipped him a large sum of money.

Now anyone that files a lawsuit against them for their games is asociated with JT.

His new goal is to make any legislation regarding the ESRB and violent video games ratings be asociated with his reputation for massive stupidity. I wonder who's paying him this time.

Of course, that's under my theory that -NO ONE- could be as stupid as he appears to be and have achieved any sort of degree in law and maintained an illusion of competency.

Rejoice, JT will make sure there is zero regulation on any video game. AO games will be on the shelves with 2nd grader educational games when he's done with it, and no one will be able to say "That's going too far."

</almost sarcasm, but some serious speculation>

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

So Honeycakes (Jack Thompson) Really make this bill?

Magic Taco

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

In his imagination, yeah...

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

As i recall, Some people including Den Den news reports said he proposed it, And im hoping for it to either pass or fail.

Magic Taco

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

Trying to ensure that hundreds of near-minimum wage cashiers (who often are not much older than the people they are not supposed to sell M-rated games to) sounds like a difficult and expensive undertaking.

The much simpler solution for pretty much every retailer would be to simply stop making the promise not to sell to underage buyers. They have no real obligation not to sell to minors anyway.

Watching them try to enforce this law will be a lot like watching an old man gum an apple.

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

My immediate thoughts on this bill are "Bull" Quickly followed up by "Shit!"

----------------------------------------

"Don't Run, You'll Just Die Tired."

Re: PC World: Utah Game Bill "Dangerously Wrong"

Exactly what everyone else been saying about the bill outside of Utah's Congress.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

 
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