Jack Thompson Still Has A Career (Apparently)

The Business and Labor Committee of the Utah House of Representatives passed a law authored by ex-Miami-attorney, Jack Thompson. I guess you can still have a career after being disbarred.

The bill, H.B. 353, changes Utah's existing Truth in Advertising law to impose fines of up to $2,000 on retailers and movie theaters that violate their own policies by selling M-rated games or tickets to R-rated movies to minors.

Even though Thompson's name never came up in the 58 minute audio recording of the committee meeting, it's hard not to hear his influence in some of the statements. GamePolitics calls particular attention to Gayle Ruzicka, who lobbied for the bill:

This is the vile stuff. The Grand Theft Auto games are cop-killing murder simulators. And when [Devin Moore] was faced with being arrested he knew exactly what to do. He knew how to aim... at the head and each time killed these [officers]. We don't want this for our children. Not at all. Please, please vote yes today on this bill.

Those that supported the bill also made reference to sex scenes in Grand Theft Auto IV and took the "won't somebody please think of the children" tact. Those against it pointed out that the bill undermines voluntary ratings systems like the ESRB.

The next step for H.B. 353 is a vote from the full Utah House of Representatives. Given that Business and Labor passed it 10-3, I think it's obvious which way the state is leaning. It's times like these that make me glad I live in California.

Jack Thompson Bill Overwhelmingly Approved by Utah House Committee [GamePolitics]