Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass Video Game Bill?

March 13, 2009 -

Following a lively debate last night, the Utah State Senate passed HB 353 by an overwhelming 25-4 margin.

But photos taken during the Senate debate suggest that the influence of disbarred anti-game activist Jack Thompson stretched all the way from Miami to Salt Lake City, perhaps impacting the outcome of the HB 353 vote. As GamePolitics has previously reported, the bill was originally conceived by Thompson.

One of those who rose in support of HB 353 last night was Sen. Chris Buttars (R). A strong supporter of conservative causes, Buttars has been in political hot water in recent times over controversial remarks concerning African-Americans and gays.

Speaking during the debate, Buttars recounted the story of Devin Moore, the 18-year-old Grand Theft Auto gamer who killed two police officers and a dispatcher during a 2003 rampage in an Alabama police station. Jack Thompson later filed a $600 million wrongful death suit against Rockstar, Take-Two, Sony, Wal-Mart and GameStop in the case. Thompson, however, was later thrown off the case by an Alabama judge.

Buttars also commented on the developing teenage brain - another recurring theme of Thompson's. In fact, while following the live webcast of the debate, GP issued several tweets noting the apparent Thompson influence:

Sen. Buttars up now. He is Gayle Ruzicka's ally. He is telling the Devin Moore story (GTA player who killed 3 police in Alabama).

Clearly a Jack Thompson influence here. JT sued Rockstar, Sony, GameStop, Wal-Mart over the case until judge threw him off the case in 2005

Buttars now offering brain physiology lesson, also courtesy of the man from Miami.

This morning we received an e-mail from Salt Lake Tribune columnist Glen Warchol who forwarded a pair of pictures he took during the debate last night. The photos confirm the Thompson connection. In one, Buttars is seen reading from a book while addressing the Senate. In another, Jack Thompson's 2005 book Out of Harm's Way is shown resting on Buttars's desk on the Senate floor. The audio of Buttars' comments includes this verbatim quote of NIMF head Dr. David Walsh, found on page 182 of Thompson's book:

The impulse control center of the brain, the part of the brain that enables us to think ahead, consider consequences and manage urges, that's the part of the brain right behind our forehead called the prefrontal cortex. That's under construction during the teenage years. In fact, the wiring of that is not completed until the early twenties.

After reading the passage, Buttars told his Senate colleagues:

You got a problem here. You got an epidemic here... We need to pass this bill.

GamePolitics asked Thompson to comment:

I had never heard of Buttars until you wrote about him.  I have never talked with him, never communicated with him.  I'm delighted he read from my book.  Most in the legislature, I assume have read it.  I asked nobody to read from my book, and I would never do such a thing.  But it's a fabulous book, as you know.   

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab an mp3 of Buttars channeling Thompson during last night's Utah Senate debate (3:29, 3mb).


Comments

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

If the gov signs it, then I'll draft a law to hold pol's like buttars and Morely accountable(by cutting thier pay salary for Unconstutional and controversial Motives)

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: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

Yeah, calling bullshit on it too.  Buttars may have never heard of Thompson, but Thompson must know about Buttars, if only from here.  No doubt he or Ruzicka presented him with a copy, as has been pointed out, it's out of print and thus impossible to find anywhere else.  Assholes of a feather flock together.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

"But it's a fabulous book, as you know."

Really? Cause, our Amazon rating says waaaaay otherwise...Ohh, silly me, that's right. All those 1 stars, and those few 2 starts, they're part of the conspiracy, right? Oh my bad.

I guess those horrible, Satan-spawned video games have utterly destroyed my brain.

Edit: You know, let's go round up as many of his books as we can, and have a good old-fashioned book burning.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

While I dislike JT and his book, the idea of having a book burning feels even worse.

Book burning is something for censors and freedom haters.  To call for such an act when one claims to be on the side of freedom of expression and freedom from repression is a bit hyporcrtical.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

"Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen." - Heinrich Heine

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

Translation for others (or about as close as I can read it):

"Here, where one burns books, burns he also the end of man."

Tried to remain somewhat poetic, but the short of it is as I read it, you burn books and you kill off humanity.  Hyperbole with some truth imbedded in it.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

I put it in a translator widget on my laptop and got this.

"There, Where one burns books, one burns also in the end humans."

I would read it like this.

"The place where books are burned, is also where, in the end, humans will be burned."

Or something like that. I just saw the literal translation and made my interpretation.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

Mm, you do have a point. However; I was far from being serious.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

It is often difficult to tell when someone is joking, and I admit I tend to be touchy on the topic of burning ^_^

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

Personally, I would rather just get one signed by John Bruce. For no other reason than to inflate his ego more.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

You know I actually had a signed copy a few years ago - he mailed an autograph to attatch to the copy I got on half.com.

I only had it for a few months - feel free to ask the GetWellGamers what happened to it, as the money it made went to them as a charitable donation >:-)

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

Yeah, but that would require actually meeting him. I think my head would implode from the immense bullshit in the air; it'd be like if you increased the air pressure a thousand-fold.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

"You know, let's go round up as many of his books as we can, and have a good old-fashioned book burning."

Oh if only the economy was kinder to my wallet I would join ya in the burning.

 

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

"I asked nobody to read from my book, and I would never do such a thing." 

Again, bullshit. Thompson routinely includes an unsolicted copy of his book with his correspondences. Sometimes twice to the same recipient.   

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

I call bullshit, too. The original floor debate on HB353 in the House was pushed backed from its originally schedule date because Buttars and Ruzicka had to be elsewhere defending Buttars' assholery. This rescheduling was covered by GamePolitics. Given that Thompson religiously reads anything on GamePolitics which has anyhing to do with him, no matter how remote the connection, it is highly unlikely that, as he claims, he's never heard of Buttars before now. Bullshit. Pure bullshit.  

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

The bill is going to be destroyed in the long run

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: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

I'm not so sure about that.  The bill really does not run into any constitutional problems, and it is too weak to really merit much of an attack, so what will probably happen is it will sit on the books, unused and forgotten.

Bills like this are not designed to be used.  They are designed to be a feather in the hat of people who voted for or against it so they can show which side of an issue they are on to the voters.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

I am going to play devil's advocate and say that the bill, much like the NY bill, should be challenged.  If the legislators and social activists of the world cannot win in one fell swoop they will nickle and dime legislation to the point where they want to be.  A theoretical example, and I do not care where you stand on the issue as this is a THEORETICAL EXAMPLE, is firearm control.

Can't take them all away at once.  Well, start with restrictions in cities, major metropolitain areas.  That fails, then restrict them with complex registration processes that place a tremendous amout of personal data on registries guarded by the fine lads in blue with a firewall that a spitwad could punch through.  All fine and dandy.  Now, tweak the legislation so that the only guns allowed are those that are of a specific manufacture (not manufacturer).  Semi-auto vs. automatics for example.  Argue the point of 'necessity' and safety considering use.  Bring in a doe eyed child to the house/senate floor whose parents were killed by an automatic weapon.  Neglect the fact that the weapon is illegal, not registered, etc, or mayhaps it is.  Continue until not a gun is left in the american household except those that are grandfathered by the laws, or those that are illegal.

It is a brief, and albeit rough, synopsis of the nickle and dime process, but it can be done, and, if not challenge, will be done to video games.  They are quickly learning that the fight over content is a loosing battle, but if they can control the place and location that content is purchased, then they can control who gets to see the content in question.

That is why we need to challenge these bills.  Yes, they can create safties for companies that prove they train their employees, and protect the company at the time, but there appears to be a tremendous shortsighted acceptance of legislation that can be the foundation for so much more.

 

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. Edward R. Murrow

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. Edward R. Murrow

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

It is actually a pretty good analogy and yes, this is why the bill _should_ be challenged.  But for short-term pragmatic industry reps  will probably not consider it worthwhile.

It is something the game industry really needs to learn from the gun industry.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

Yes, because Games and Guns go together like American apple pie and my penis...

..........CRAP!!!! Messed up that analogy.

(too much late Saturday television)

______________________________ 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: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

Yes it will, with a hammer swung by the court!

 

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

I call bullshit. Buttass had to have gotten the piece of shit book from somewhere. It's pretty obvious that Gargoyle Ruzicka got a copy from The Metropolitian Moron of Miami.

That being said, it is disgusting that they had to lie and use a fraudulent case to justify the passage of a piece of shit bill that is unconstitutionally broad.

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: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

True. I can't think of anyone actually searching out this book as it has no scientific value whatsoever.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

I would personally like to see the book myself, so I can verify how I believe he thinks.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

Yes obviously obama is a new hero and has gained peoples trust all over the world . essay | essays | essay writing | buy essay | custom essay | essay help | online essay

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

@BearDogg-X:

Even Buttars' colleague in the Senate, Sen. McCoy, had enough sense to point out to Sen. Buttass that Devin Moore's mental health issues likely had more to do with Moore's predicament than his alleged "addiction" to any videogame. But, as happens all too frequently, the voice of reason is downed out by the screams of the hysterical.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

That would be assuming that the idea Devin Moore had any "mental health" issues to begin with.

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: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

No mental health issues. Just a stupid criminal who panicked and got himself in more trouble and killed three people in the process.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

Question. Why are you all saying these in response to what I said? Methinks JDKJ hit "reply" on the wrong post.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

Um, wasn't the quote from Dr. Walsh printed without permission? JT used to claim an alliance with the NIMF, until they publicly washed their hands of him.

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

Im gonna comment on this in retrospect past politics. online research paper | research paper help | research paper writing Now ya know the radio they have advertising for the canidates a lot, same with the TV. Now we have ads for our canidates in video games. Give us 8 or 12 years and well see them all over the place in gaming(i can imagine Halo with elites holding up signs lol) . On the other hand, video game bring a whole lot more of interactivity so i understand why it may be creepy. Either way im still voting for mccain. from shobidoo. research paper | research paper format | buy research paper | custom research paper | how to write a research paper

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to Pass

My library is currently trying to locate a copy of John Bruce's book. It is currently out of print so they can't just order it. I know I could buy it on Amazon for $0.01 + shipping, but that is just a little too much effort on my part for such a worthless book.

If the Chapter that GP linked to in the LJ days is anythign to judge the book by, it is a complete waste of a tree's life.

Edit: When I was requesting the book, they had an option to choose the type of book it was. My hand first went to Adult Fiction, then to Children's fiction, then finally to adult non-fiction as that is most likely how it would be categorized by the unknowing.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Did Utah Senate Work From Jack Thompson's Playbook to ...

Well we could always round up copies and recycle them, hopefully into copies of 'Grand Theft Childhood.' :p

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