Utah Attorney General to Thompson: Bring it on, Jack

On Monday GamePolitics reported on disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson’s vague threat to "proceed" against Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (R) if the popular, third-term A.G. didn’t immediately take action against major retailers like Best Buy, Target and Wal-mart for alleged sales of Grand Theft Auto IV to minors.

On that score, we should note that no law enforcement official anywhere in the United States has done what Thompson is suggesting Shurtleff do.

The backstory to Thompson’s ire seems to stem from Gov. Jon Huntsman’s veto last week of HB 353, the video game/movie bill conceived by Thompson. Following the veto, Shurtleff told the Salt Lake Tribune that he had been troubled by concerns about the legality of the bill. Going further back in history, in 2007 Thompson called for Shurtleff’s impeachment after the A.G. gave a legal opinion that a measure proposed by Thompson was unconstitutional.

Given the nature of the public attacks on Shurtleff by Thompson (which include referring to the A.G. as "dead meat"), GamePolitics interviewed Attorney General Shurtleff yesterday on the HB 353 fallout:

GP: You’ve come under severe criticism from Jack Thompson in recent days in regard to the video game bill vetoed by Gov. Huntsman last week. Can you comment?

Shurtleff: Well, I just consider the source. I don’t take what Jack Thompson says – give it much credence. This latest demand that I prosecute certain crimes shows me that he knows about as much about criminal law as he does about constitutional law…

GP: Thompson, as you probably know, was given a lifetime disbarment last year by the Florida Supreme Court.

Shurtleff: Right. Yes.

GP: Given that fact, does it seem odd that he was invited to Utah and apparently met with the Lt. Governor and other political forces there to help craft the video game legislation?

Shurtleff: Yes. Absolutely. I do think that’s odd. I also think it’s odd that he received some kind of award from [the] 4th of July celebration in Provo last year. (click ‘Read more’ below for the rest…)

 

GP: Thompson apparently believes that you should be stopping sales of games like Grand Theft Auto to minors in Utah. Is there any indication that such sales are taking place and is any intervention legally possible?

Shurtleff: First of all, we have no direct evidence that it is happening. Does it happen? Probably. But, last year we had my investigators with my Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force go through the entire game Grand Theft Auto IV because we’d heard that a lot of people had concerns about pornographic references and so forth and whether it could meet the definition of material harmful to a minor. After they reviewed it with staff prosecutors they determined it wasn’t prosecutable.

GP: In recent years, you have had a friendly relationship with the video game industry. You did a public service announcement for the ESRB in 2006 and, in 2008, the ESA donated money to your campaign.

Shurtleff: My attitude is there’s a great rating system. I feel very strongly that the ESRB rating system works. It’s something that every parent ought to know about. And let me make it very clear that, while our officers and prosecutors didn’t think we could prosecute someone for selling Grand theft Auto IV, I certainly would strongly recommend against any parent letting their kids play the game. I don’t let my kids play it. Parents ought to be parents when it comes to games like that.

So, my attitude is rather than waste money on bills that are going to be unconstitutional like what Jack Thompson was pushing a couple of years ago [in Utah] in criminalizing the sale of these types of mature-rated video games, my attitude was, why do that if we’re going to lose? [Thompson’s earlier bill] lost everywhere that it was proposed and we’re going to end up paying significant attorneys’ fees [to the video game industry]. Let’s put that money into educational programs. Let’s teach parents on how to use the rating system. Let’s have parents be parents and use the system. It works. That’s been my attitude from the beginning and that’s why I did the PSA, to better inform and educate parents about the system itself and how to use it and to make the decision as parents on what’s appropriate for your kids to be playing.

This year’s bill had concerns. They weren’t as significant as they were two years ago, or three years ago, whenever it was because there hadn’t been all the court decisions on it. It’s obviously a brand-new effort to try and do something [about violent games]. We did have concerns. Ultimately, we told the sponsor [Rep. Mike Morley] that there’s probably some arguments we can make to defend it if you want to pass it. We’re going to be sued. We’ll defend it. But if we lose we’re going to pay attorneys’ fees.

They made the policy decision, apparently, in the legislature to go ahead. The Governor made a different policy decision. Let’s make it very clear that I did not – Jack’s blaming me for everything – (chuckles) as far as this bill went, but my understanding was, Gov. Huntsman vetoed the bill not necessarily for legal concerns but he just had a policy decision that [the bill] actually put Utah children at more risk at having access to these games because the result would be that nobody would say that they weren’t selling to kids or weren’t going to market to them. So the Governor made his own independent policy decision on this. I think it was irrespective of some of the legal concerns.

GP: On the other hand, I recall that you were among those calling for a boycott of the cops-and-robber game 25 to Life in late 2005 and early 2006.

Shurtleff: I did, primarily because I was contacted by a law enforcement community and in particular the children of a police chief who was murdered – shot and killed in a hostage-type situation where the hostage was being used as a human shield similar to what was in that game. And so they were very concerned about it because of the fact that cops had been killed, including their loved ones.

So I felt strongly: You know what, company, take some responsibility and don’t issue this game. What was more important though, is that because of my association with ESRB and ESA – ESA in this particular case – I was able to, on a weekend, contact the new owner of, I think it was…

GP: Eidos

Shurtleff: Eidos? Yeah. Through my contacts at ESA they immediately got me in touch with [the CEO]. I think he was at a soccer match or something like that. But he took my call, listened to my concerns, ultimately said, "Well, okay, look, you know what, we’re going to hold off on issuing it so that we can address those concerns."

I think it was set to come out sometime before Christmas that year, if I remember correctly. They held off until sometime later to do it. Ultimately, I’m a free market guy and so I would like a company to take some responsibility. If they choose not to and go ahead, then I wanted to see what I could do to work with the company to perhaps limit the sales.

The biggest concern is once you start protesting something and you don’t want it to be sold and you don’t want people to buy it, more people will buy it if you raise a big stink about it. So, I felt it was really good to be able to talk with them. They understood our concerns. I asked the ESRB to take it back and take another look at [re-rating] it. I guess they decided not to do that. Again, it’s just asking companies to be responsible and the rating system to work and be responsible and ultimately to be accurate in how you are rating a game and hopefully educate others as to what’s in it. And ultimately I think that was a pretty lousy game from what I understand. Didn’t really have huge sales.

GP: While Thompson has been extremely harsh in his criticism of you, Rep. Mike Morley who sponsored HB 353 and Utah Eagle Forum head Gayle Ruzicka, who backed the bill, have been keeping a low profile in that regard. Have you heard from them?

Shurtleff:  No, I haven’t. Again, because we tried to work with them. When it’s the legislature, we’re not their attorneys, they have their own in-house attorneys. But we end up having to defend a bill once it passes, so often we try to get involved to give [the legislature] our concerns. We gave them our concerns with [HB 353]. We did raise issues of First Amendment, we raised concerns of Dormant Commerce Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] and some of these things that were being raised by industry out there and discussed them with [the legislators], made some recommendations.

Ultimately, at the end of the day with what they had to go, they said, "Well, is it defensible?" And we ultimately said, "Yeah. We can make our argument." There’s no case law on this like there was before [with Thompson’s 2007 bill] that we knew absolutely you’re going to lose the case, we couldn’t tell them that. So then it becomes just a policy decision if the legislature wants to go forward on something like that, spend the money defending it. And it’s our job to defend it, so that’s how [HB 353] ended up getting passed. We said, "It’s not our bill. I’m not going to go out there and support it, but I won’t oppose it either. We’re just neutral on the bill."

GP: Anything else you want to add?

Shurtleff: No. (chuckles) I almost hate to respond because it just gives Jack Thompson the limelight that he so craves, apparently… He once accused me of calling him once when I was drunk, which I don’t drink – at all. He’s just that kind of guy you just would better off ignore… But I’m not concerned about his threats of impeachments or lawsuits or anything else. I just won reelection by 70% of the vote and he himself is facing his own troubles out there [in Florida]. So, whatever, bring it on, Jack. I’m really not going to give it much thought, frankly.

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79 comments

  1. 0
    Adamas Draconis says:

    $500 will maybe buy you a plate at a campaign luncheon…WAY in the back, near the alley door.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  2. 0
    The Hangd Man says:

    Depends. If this is CvS2 Dan and Akuma, my bet’s straight on Dan. Akuma was horribly underpowered there. SF4 might be a bit more even since there’s no more rolling or parrying.

     

    I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn’t it meat?

  3. 0
    Mysticgamer says:

    Oh looks like a Street Fighting Mortal Combat is going to happen anytime between him and JT.  This would be the fight of the century, LOL.

    I don’t know about that?  Would a fight between Dan and Akuma from Street Figher really be the fight of the century.

     

  4. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    "Respectful, intelligent, concerned both about Parent’s and individual’s Rights as well as concerned about children, and many other kudos to the AG."

    See, this is how civilized and intelligent people discuss issues, even when disagreeing on them.

    Jackhole should take note.

    http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

  5. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    I imagine him standing there flailing with Shurtleff’s hand on his head, keeping him at bay like an angry toddler. Internet, make it happen.

  6. 0
    hayabusa75 says:

    One of the best interviews I’ve ever read on this site, thanks Dennis.

    Ball’s in your court, Jack.  Time for you to flail away impotently, per usual.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  7. 0
    gamegod25 says:

    I think everyone knows that, they just don’t care because it furthers their own agenda. The news and politicians don’t care if he (or people like him) are idiots, all they care about is ratings and making it look like they are doing something. And nothing gets attention/distracts the people like a good old witch hunt.

    And personally I’m past finding him funny. He’s like having that friend nobody likes keep telling you the same knock knock joke. It was funny the first couple times, but now I just want him to shut the **** up.

  8. 0
    Zerodash says:

    I never said he was pro-censorship (thanks for the insult, though).  This debate has more angles than simply censorship vs non-censorship.

    I’m pretty sure he attended a protest event held by a police organization denouncing the game.  The basis to protest this game stemmed from the fear of "copycat violence". 

  9. 0
    JC says:

    I don’t think you’ve read correctly.

    I did, primarily because I was contacted by a law enforcement community and in particular the children of a police chief who was murdered – shot and killed in a hostage-type situation where the hostage was being used as a human shield similar to what was in that game. And so they were very concerned about it because of the fact that cops had been killed, including their loved ones.

    So I felt strongly: You know what, company, take some responsibility and don’t issue this game.

    Basically, he never really had his own opinion, he just simply attempted to talk to the CEO to discuss about the game. As it stands, his opinion has changed dramatically from the past events and the sympathy he had for the family. He didn’t call for a censor, he asked if they could rerate it.

    Perhaps you can read a bit clearer and not associate it as "censor" ? He also noted that he learned the game wasn’t really that popular either.

  10. 0
    Lcpuche says:

    Damn, jack is just an impossible person to be parters with as far as i see it. After this fiasco i dont think The bacers of the bill want to be seen near jack.

  11. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Ignoring him is what got that bullshit bill as far as it did in the Utah legislature.  Ignoring him is what got him on the news networks after Virginia Tech. 

    He needs to have more attention put on him so that more people know about his behavior, tactics, lies, and the details of his humiliating disbarment.  Only then, when everyone in the larger media know what a scumbag Jack Thompson is, can everyone ignore him for good.  That time isn’t here yet.

  12. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Just because this guy isn’t afraid to call out Jack Thompson for the pest that he is, doesn’t mean he isn’t all peachy in this debate.  His whole 25-to-Life chicanery was still based on the idea that games magically trun normal people into killers.  This debate is much more than asking whether games should be censored or not.  It also involves the insulting and unethical assertions that everyone who plays games is as hightened risk of becoming a killer.

    Shurtlef may advocate parental responsibility, but he is still dead wrong on the basis of his 25-to-Life boycott. 

  13. 0
    Wormdundee says:

     O man, Shurtleff has laid the smackdown on Thompson. This is really the most well-reasoned discourse with a politician that I have ever seen. He knows what he’s talking about, he understands how law works, and is just overall outstanding.

    It’s pretty easy to see why he got 70% of the vote, I know if he were running for Premier up here in British Columbia, I’d vote for him. Or Prime Minister, whatever.

  14. 0
    mogbert says:

    But we would miss laughing at him. It’s like watching Spy vs Spy… except there is only one of him and he keeps hitting himself with a giant boxing glove on a spring.

  15. 0
    gamegod25 says:

    "He’s just that kind of guy you just would better off ignore"

    Thank you, I’ve been saying that for years. The sooner everyone stops listening to him the sooner he will go away.

  16. 0
    lumi says:

    Oh, I do.  I think he handled the situation pretty well, all things considered.  I’m more upset that action had to be taken because the families of a particular tragedy didn’t want this potential reminder of that tragedy to even exist.  If we banned everything that might upset someone, we’d have nothing.

  17. 0
    Erik says:

    But you have to give him some credit at least for contacting the CEO of Eidos and having a civil and mature conversation.  Not flying off the handle and accusing the CEO of killing people and peddling porn to children before threatening to destroy their company, and contact the CEO’s mother rather than the CEO himself.  Really I don’t have a problem with people on the other side of the fence.  I just prefer that they conduct themselves with an ounce of decorum.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  18. 0
    Meohfumado says:

    Uh-oh…Jack’s gonna sue for libel and defamation of character….hehehe.

     

    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  19. 0
    lumi says:

    I’m pretty happy with this interview.  He seems to be one of the good guys.

    That said, I have one gripe:

    "I did, primarily because I was contacted by a law enforcement community and in particular the children of a police chief who was murdered – shot and killed in a hostage-type situation where the hostage was being used as a human shield similar to what was in that game. And so they were very concerned about it because of the fact that cops had been killed, including their loved ones."

    Not to be insensitive here, but this really shouldn’t matter.  Unless they have some evidence that the content of this game is going to somehow contribute to similar future scenarios (hint: there is none), this is just the families of victims of a particular kind of tragedy not wanting to see reminders of said tragedy.  To which I would respectfully say, "Please don’t play this game if it will upset you, but don’t deny others the right to do so if they so choose".  Would we be seeing the same reaction if a movie or book depicting the same situation were being released (hint: there already have been)?

    Are the families of Vietnam or WWII vets calling for the ban of games depicting those conflicts?  Are the families of drug crimes objecting to the movie Traffic?  If something is going to bother you, avoid it, but unless there’s logical evidence to support the notion that it’s going to contribute negatively to the world, don’t object to its very existence.

  20. 0
    Chuma says:

    "You’ll notice the distinction he made that he wouldn’t RECOMMEND GTA for children."

    Absolutely.  I have all the GTA games and there is no way in hell that my nieces or nephew are getting a copy for their birthdays.  It is about making sure that inappropriate content is limited (you can never completely guard against it as there will always be exposure from other kids at school etc) and making sure that parents understand what is and is not appropriate media for their individual children.

    I’m actually quite impressed with the AG’s response, but sadly he has a job to do defending the laws that are passed and can only give input rather than make the decisions himself.  If he decides to move up to Gov. some day, I’m sure there will be some people watching his reasoned approach who would back him.

  21. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    Agreed with all of it. I already was impressed by what I read from the guy before, and this interview confirms it. He has a personal opinion, and he’s willing to give it and act on it, but he won’t try to abuse his position to force it upon others.

  22. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    I remember the incident with Thompson claiming that Shurtleff had called him whilst drunk. I laughed.

    Frankly, I think Thompson destroyed the very lsat shreds of his credibility with his latest tantrum, the problem has always been that people positions of influence never really got to see the ‘real’ Thompson, with all his vindictiveness and spite, they saw a ‘nice’ Thompson who was polite and sounded like he had researched his subject.

    It seems that eyes are opening more and more to who Thompson really is.

    I don’t really mind that Shurtleff investegated GTA, to be honest, I don’t like the game much either, and find some games distasteful, but, that doesn’t give me the right to demand that no-one else play them, only the right to not do so myself.

  23. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    This interview was pure ownage all around.

    A.G. Shurtleff took everything the Metropolitian Moron of Miami said and flushed every lie and fabrication down the commode like the pile of crap it is. All Thompson knows how to do is cry like a baby.

    Shurtleff for U.S. Attorney General or President.

    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)

  24. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    Respectful, intelligent, concerned both about Parent’s and individual’s Rights as well as concerned about children, and many other kudos to the AG.

    You’ll notice the distinction he made that he wouldn’t RECOMMEND GTA for children.  Leaving it up to the individual parent’s to make their own decisions.  He was quite capable of expressing his Freedom of Speech Rights without DICTATING to others.  He gets it.  He really, truly does.

    I also like that he was concerned about the 25 To Life, but at the same time didn’t go off "half cocked".  Kudos too to the CEO who actually took the time to listen and didn’t simply dismiss him.  I don’t know how the conversation went, but clearly it was respectful and intelligent.  The end result was apparently right on target for everyone’s needs.  The AG even recognized that the bad press would have fueled the desire for some individuals to buy the game.  A lot of folks would have come out swinging with spiked clubs and never spoken one word of truth, let alone sat down to an intelligent conversation.

    All in all, the AG is putting the citizens of Utah first, rather than the agenda of either side.

    Keep up the good work, AG.  I haven’t explored all your other cases and issues that have come to your office, but this one makes you look far more intelligent than many.

    Nightwng2000

    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  25. 0
    mogbert says:

    Kudos! Utah has some good people in it! I was getting worried after all this Eagle Forum news. I’m glad to see his thoughts based on reality and common sense.

  26. 0
    magic_taco says:

    Wow, Now i love common sense, You know?, Jack’s too inept to even bother to care about his duel with the Attorney general; Good guys win again, And i liked the part when the AG said that thompson accussed him of being drunk, wow, You gotta love those types of politics that actually have the IQ to deal with people like him, And last time i checked, Thompson’s pockets must be full of lint and maybe a lone moth since his disbarment.

    Kudos to Shurtleff 

  27. 0
    Ashkihyena says:

    Hah, this guy is great, and who wants to bet that Jack won’t have the gall to go threw with it now, cause usually when this kinda reply gets sent, thats usually when Thompson backs down, or says something about why he can’t do it.

    But you know, its all part of Jack’s plan.

  28. 0
    Alex says:

    I know it’s more or less unrelated, but it strikes me that Michael Atkinson should take parenting lessons as well as AG-ing lessons from this guy.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  29. 0
    Icehawk says:

    Well jackie the challenge as been issued.  Are you man enough to accept it?  No of course you aren’t.

    Oh I can already hear what jackie is going to say about the how the ESA bought him off (btw $500 will buy you exactly what in the world of politics?  A button, lapel pin maybe but hardly a bought vote) and he is a stooge for the companies blah blah.

    How he was waiting for him to make a dumb move/say something stupid and now has him exactly where he wants him.   jackie it the same old dance steps you have used all to often, you have lost in the past and will continue to lose.  Dont waste his, ours of your time with your normal rhetoric, slither back to Florida and crawl under a rock.

  30. 0
    Tavin says:

    One of the best interviews I’ve read…how refreshing to see a political figure use common sense and thought on a hot-button topic that is usually used only to score more political capital.  "Parental responsibility"…wow, what a notion…

  31. 0
    mdo7 says:

     

    So, whatever, bring it on, Jack.

     

    Oh looks like a Street Fighting Mortal Combat is going to happen anytime between him and JT.  This would be the fight of the century, LOL.

     

    Anybody got Soul Calibur 4, somebody make JT and Shurtleff and have them fight one another, and make sure JT lose when fighting Shurtleff. 

  32. 0
    doewnskitty says:

    "Parents ought to be parents"

    Man, oh man, does it make me happy to see something like that being said by an elected representative instead of the usual "think of the children" alarmist pandering bullshit.

    Awesome.

  33. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Yeah, and better than most politicians he didn’t try and throw legislation at it or anything like that, he was just asking the company to have some morality, and then asking people to boycott it.

    Though I may not necessarily agree with boycotting it myself, I have absolutely no problem with people boycotting it, especially if it’s for a reasonable cause like the AG described.

     

    I loved simply every word of his speech, there was nothing that I could pick out that was wrong. He knows his first amendment, and he knows how the free market works around these parts. I may not know his views on other things (drugs, etc), but I do know that this alone has made him seem like a god amongst the rats of the governments today.

    I’d probably vote for him ^^

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  34. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    He didn’t blame the game for the incident. After all, the game wasn’t released yet. It’s hard to blame something that doesn’t exist.

    The children of the late cop probably simply didn’t want a game out there using what they saw as the way their father was killed, by someone using a human shield. Fair? Well, to be honest, it tends to be on tv series and movies occasionally. But he didn’t blame the game, he simply represented them by voicing concerns directly to the company and talking it out like an adult.

  35. 0
    Doom90885 says:

    My hat is off to this man. Overall as many have pointed out he actually THINKS and doesn’t just hop on the bandwagon for every hot issue. IDK why he blamed 25 to Life for the incident mentioned but maybe he knows something IDK but it feels there that he embraced the thinking that he seems to be against. You never agree with anybody 100% unless you are a true sheep so I don’t agree there but overall he seems spot on. Kudos.

    In Scapegoats We Trust

  36. 0
    Ryno says:

    Well, if you’ve actually been impeached, then I guess you’ve got some idea of what an impeachable offense is.

    On the other hand, this is JT we’re talking about, and he hasn’t got an idea about anything that doesn’t exist in Bizarro world.

  37. 0
    MasterAssassin says:

    Jack has no right to talk about this man committing an "impeachable" offense when he himself was found guilty of 27 misconduct charges and was disbarred for life. In fact I find it really strange that he has the audacity to threaten anyone with impeachment when he himself was "impeached" of his status as a lawyer. They reviewed the game and obviously found nothing that would fit in the statue. If an R-rated movie with sexual content like "Sex Drive" can be legally sold to minors then why can’t GTAIV. I applaud what this guy is doing, we don’t need laws or draconian store policies. We need parental education. Games have ratings and all major consoles have parental controls to block certain titles. Why are retailers and developers being attacked when the parents can simply set it so that Little Johnny can’t play M-rated games. And no we shouldn’t ignrore Jack, we should confront and expose him for what he really is. If we don’t, then he will be the only voice in this debate.

  38. 0
    shaoron says:

    I think Jack Thompson is NOT a liar…

    he’s just an idiot who doesn’t think, who does not carefully think about something before talking, who shoots his mouth like he knows everything… like.. like… a Narcist!?

  39. 0
    Nekowolf says:

    Well of course not; current medical science has yet to figure out where his head ends and his colon begins. It’s far too confusing to be able to properly pull stuff out of. He more likely just deficates the statements from his vocal opening, to avoid the confusion

  40. 0
    Wolvenmoon says:

    Why do kids make fun of each other?

    Thompson reacts, it’s almost funny. He’s also a very useful tool for people who want more violent/sexual video games. He desensitizes people to video game violence.

    Regardless of who’s right or wrong, who are you more inclined to trust? The well groomed, non-abusive group claiming they don’t harm others…or the frothing lunatic who’s lost all official status in life screaming that the diplomatic group is out to kill everyone? By his incredible unfounded claims, he grants us credulity.

     

    Basically, he’s the fat girl that everyone next to looks better than in comparison.

    I will not buy securom games. http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message1.jpg and http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message2.jpg

  41. 0
    Sai says:

     I’m confused about the 25 to Life thing, they were upset that a game that wasn’t even out yet had a situation similar to something that happened in real life? How is that the game-makers fault or problem? If something upsets you, don’t watch or play it, but don’t begrudge it for existing unless its, you know, a purposeful and malcious parody of a real-life tragedy. 

    At least he seems to get the games the media and watchdog groups make the most stink about are gamers most gamers don’t care about.

     

     

  42. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    I wish that my own country had that sort of Attorney General in a certain state of South Australia.

    Resonable, able to look at both sides of both educating parents so they could protect their own children from things they don’t want them to play at the same time understanding the need for adults to make their own decisions for entertainment.

    I was a little dissapointed how he was talking about 25 for life and how he was originally called to attention of it from a tragic murder, almost anyone can be fooled by that even from the best of us when we don’t know what the game was about.

    I am thankfull that he is able to at least have a few people PLAY though a game to see if conserns about Pornography in the game GTA IV.

    It is really important to check a game before you make strong statements about it’s content, unlike the Eagle Forum and FOX News for example.

    People will always have conserns about Violent Videogames and how they affect children, even though us gamers have been able to tell there is nothing to worry about. But that fear will always be there from people who don’t understand Videogames.

     

    What these people need is a politician like this Attorney General from Utah who can speak resonably and who can understand that the ESRB (even though they may need the AO18+ rating to be commercially advaliable in the future) so he can at least tell people that if they have any concernes that they can at least look at the ESRB ratings and make their own informative decision.

     

    It is way better than just trying to scare parents for their votes.

     

  43. 0
    GTCv Deimos says:

    You totally read my mind. I was just thinking the other day how JT has done more to legitimize videogames than Mike Gallagher ever has.

  44. 0
    The Hangd Man says:

    Say what you will about John Bruce, but we are far better off with him than without him. If he had never been born, someone else, possibly someone far more intelligent and conniving, could’ve started the legal war against video gaming and been far more sucessful. With him, we now have several legal precedents AGAINST the regulation of video games BECAUSE of his constant campaigning against gaming. He’s like the Warren Burger to gaming’s Perry Mason, his failures and ineptitudes are beneficial to our cases.

    Put it this way (in a better gaming context), fighting JT has been like repeately fighting Winston Payne or Glass Joe. Be thankful we’ve been up against him instead of Von Karma or "Mr. Dream"

     

    I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn’t it meat?

  45. 0
    TK n Happy Ness says:

    Nobody takes Jack seriously anymore. Every interview he ever did when he was an attorney, he always brought up these shootings. Erfurt, Columbine, and Peduka, none of which had to do with gaming despite his claims. Too bad somebody hasn’t invented a time machine so we can prevent him from being born.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  46. 0
    Charax says:

    Could it be that Jack Thompson’s a lying jackass who pulls statements from the deep recesses of his colon just to get attention?

    Surely not…

  47. 0
    Shoehorn Oplenty says:

    All of his points are logical, he promotes and believes in parental responsibility, he is knowledgeable regarding the constitutional and enforcement problems surrounding these silly laws and he is polite and responsive when interviewed. He also doesn’t take Thompson seriously.

    It’s like he is the complete opposite of Thompson.

    My favourite part is this:

    "We gave them our concerns with [HB 353]. We did raise issues of First Amendment, we raised concerns of Dormant Commerce Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] and some of these things that were being raised by industry out there and discussed them with [the legislators], made some recommendations."

    It completely invalidates Thompson’s complaint that he said nothing about his concerns.

  48. 0
    DavCube says:

    In other words, he’ll never actually ‘bring it.’

    Reminds me of that whole Colbert skit that went on after he issued that challenge to that senator or whoever it was…

    As you can see, i’m not that much into politics.

  49. 0
    DCOW says:

    Sad thing is, Jack is only going to read the part that says "bring it on" and ignore the rest.

     

    then in some later letter, months down the road he’ll reference this letter claiming that the AG cannot be trusted or should be impeached or something like that.

  50. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    "Shurtleff: …So, whatever, bring it on, Jack."

    Respect.

    ——————————————————————————

  51. 0
    ezbiker555 says:

    Finally! FINALLY! SOMEONE WHO USES THEIR HEAD! God, this is great to see, that someone is seeing that we have esrb for a reason!

    As for Jack Thompson, Jack you’re up againts a foe who isn’t afraid of you. Plus he’s able to see through your bulltshit and call you out in public.

    So what are you going to do Jack? I’d back off if I were you. It would definitly save what little dignigty you have left.

  52. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Somewhere in Miami, a man (dizzy from his mad consumption of gay porn the night before) is readying a boatload of faxes, emails, threats, and insanity…

     

    Nice to finally see government types start to see Thompson for what he is.  That disbarrment really is beginning to destroy what little credibility "Batman" had.  About time.

  53. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Well, I just consider the source. I don’t take what Jack Thompson says – give it much credence.This latest demand that I prosecute certain crimes shows me that he knows about as much about criminal law as he does about constitutional law…

    GP: Given that fact, does it seem odd that he was invited to Utah and apparently met with the Lt. Governor and other political forces there to help craft the video game legislation?

    Shurtleff: Yes. Absolutely. I do think that’s odd. I also think it’s odd that he received some kind of award from [the] 4th of July celebration in Provo last year.

    But, last year we had my investigators with my Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force go through the entire game Grand Theft Auto IV because we’d heard that a lot of people had concerns about pornographic references and so forth and whether it could meet the definition of material harmful to a minor. After they reviewed it with staff prosecutiors they determined it wasn’t prosecutable.

    (chuckles) I almost hate to respond because it just gives Jack Thompson the limelight that he so craves, apparently… He once accused me of calling him once when I was drunk, which I don’t drink – at all. He’s just that kind of guy you just would better off ignore…

    So, whatever, bring it on, Jack.

    Just some of my favorite parts. This is an awesome interview.

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


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

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