She was supportive of Morley's bill. She points to the fact that justices Alito and Roberts noted that there is a difference between reading about violence and visually experiencing it and participating. Fisher said Monday's ruling was "unfortunate," but the justices have left enough of the door open to revisit the issue. Fisher said laws should be in place to ensure that video game retailers follow and respect the will of parents.
The Utah Eagle Forum criticized the ruling and blasted Shurtleff for his position.
"Utah Eagle Forum has worked with Utah state legislators to try to pass similar legislation in Utah and we are extremely disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court has chosen to place the money making interests of big business, namely the video gaming industry, over the interests of our children," the group stated in a press release Monday. The group said it was "terribly disappointed" in Shurtleff's stance, adding it sends the wrong message to the nation that Utah is not concerned with protecting children.
Shurtleff said he does care about children and parents, but that we must be careful when deciding if government should intervene in our lives.
Still, Shurtleff said the U.S. Supreme Court, eight federal circuit courts and countless lower courts have sided with the video game industry, rejecting studies that indicate a connection between violent games and violence in children.
"Research into the effects of video game violence is problematic at best," said Peter Christiansen, an adjunct instructor at the University of Utah's Communication Department who teaches a course on video game studies.
He said studies that link violent behavior to video games have generally been rejected because of their simplistic approach. "They generally operate under the assumption that players are uncritical of the games they play, like a viewer who believes everything he sees on television," he said.
Rather than attempting to restrict video game content, Christiansen said more effort should be spent trying to promote video game literacy to help children understand the difference between the game and reality.
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