And empowering a parent is something England, vice president of the Utah chapter of the Eagle Forum, wants people to understand as the group stands up to ask legislators in Utah to make it necessary for parents to be informed when a child purchases video games that include mature material.
The current law requires only that there is truth in advertising, meaning businesses that say they do require parental involvement must do so.
“We are not about banning anything,” England said. “We would not do that. People have the right to buy what they want to buy, and parents have the right to buy for their children what they wish. We are asking for legislation that would be similar to a California law that makes it necessary for parents to purchase those questionable video games.”
England has become active because she and others believe strongly that many people, including politicians, have no idea just how violent and sexual many video games have become.
And, according to England, it can be extremely difficult for parents playing the game to even reach the levels where the most offensive material takes place.
“Most parents are not capable of reaching those levels where the real violent and sexual material is,” England said. “So some parents may think they have seen the game but they haven’t seen what is really on the game.”
To combat the lobbyists the video game industry has involved, which England claims exceeds the lobbyists fighting on behalf of the pornography industry, she and others took a bold approach to show local politicians just how intense some games can be.
“We had a group of politicians come into a room and we put one of the games on the screen and had someone play the game who could reach those levels where the really bad material could be viewed,” England said. “It was so awful that some of the politicians became upset with us because they had witnessed pornography and horrible violence. They were offended and we were not looking to offend anyone but it was extremely important that our local politicians completely understand what parents are up against.”
England and other members of the Utah chapter of the Eagle Forum are standing side by side with Julie Fisher, Fruit Heights resident, and state representative for District 17 to not work with other states’ attorneys general to overturn California’s law for parents to be present when a child purchases video games with adult material.
“Again, we want to keep parents in California empowered to be involved in the decision for their children,” England said. “We do not want to stand in the way of any parents’ rights and if a parent chooses to play those games with their children or buy those kinds of games for their children we would not try to take away those rights.
“I hope people will call Mr. Shurtleff’s office and ask him to not take parents’ rights away.”