Utah’s Attorney General Under Fire in Videogame Case


Various “pro-family” groups in Utah strongly disapprove of how the state’s Attorney General might be willing to support the games industry in an upcoming Supreme Court case.

With Schwarzenegger v. EMA’s day in the Supreme Court fast-approaching, various state Attorney Generals have been approached to sign on to each side’s amicus briefs. A surprising potential ally for the videogame industry has been Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, which led to a number of “pro-family” groups in Shurtleff’s state to hold a press conference yesterday so they could voice their disapproval.

The representatives from these various groups included Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka; Laura Bunker, Chairwoman of United Families Utah; and State Representatives Jim Dunnigan and Julie Fisher sat in on the conference, too. Essentially, all of these folks seem to consider Shurtleff’s potential support tantamount to endangering children.

According to Bunker, “As the most family-oriented state in the nation, Utah should support this law that promotes the protection of children.”

Fisher, in turn, chimed in by saying “If we took a poll here in Utah, most people would be outraged that our children have access to those games.”

According to the Desert News, Ruzicka, “said people she talks to assume Utah already prohibits children from buying video games in which participants have sex with prostitutes and then kill them; shoot innocent shoppers walking in a mall and decapitate people with shovels and have dogs fetch the severed heads.”

Ruzicka’s comments may sound a little bizarre, but they’re also nearly identical to what a certain Miami attorney used to talk about when he crusaded against the games industry. There’s a reason for this: it turns out that Ruzicka worked with the man to author a “truth in advertising” bill last year in Utah that was subsequently vetoed by the state’s governor.

I’m clearly biased when it comes to this Supreme Court case, but I’m not a fan of groups trying to strong-arm politicians based on what seem to be ill-informed misconceptions. Thankfully, it sounds like Shurtleff isn’t going to give in to their pressure: A spokesman explained that Shurtleff is talking to other states’ Attorney Generals as he tries to make a decision about what his course of action should be.

Source: Desert News via GamePolitics

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