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Jack Thomson is here to save us.


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Jack Thompson is a lawyer from the US, who has some, um, extreme views on video games and those who play them. Here is his Wikipedia entry, which links off to various articles on him and his views.


I think you'll find it both interesting and scary.

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Guest MojoPogo
This guy is in ass clown of the highest order. Not only is he still insistent that video games cause all crime, but he is now being investigated for his conduct. The allegations being that he is taking on all these cases as much for the publicity as anything else, which is a breach of regulation, alledgedly (gotta be careful or he'll sue me). Not even just one investigation either. I remember reading about this in games tm. He needs to realise the media cannot singularly influence an individual to commit such acts unless they were already capable........amongst various other factors. He's already had six cases thrown out of court due to lack of evidence..........take the hint Jack!
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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Twig
So he's another one of those guys who uses his first amendment right to try to strip others of their first ammendment rights? I'm pretty sure that's what Jesus would do.
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Guest Clarkey

Found this on a gander around just now, from Gamepolitics:


GamePolitics has learned that anti-game activist Jack Thompson and newly-minted Take Two Interactive Chairman Strauss Zelnick met secretly in New York City recently.


Did they discuss Manhunt 2? GTA? Bully? Golf? The weather?


GamePolitics does not yet have details of the meeting but we know that Zelnick requested it. Thompson would only confirm that it took place. A spokesman for Take Two had no comment.


Thompson, of course has a long history of litigation regarding Take Two titles, including a pair of current GTA-related wrongful death suits (Alabama, New Mexico) as well as last year’s failed attempt to have Bully declared a public nuisance in the state of Florida.


Earlier this year, while Paul Eibeler was still CEO, Take Two sued Thompson in Federal Court in Florida. The parties reached a settlement, however, after Zelnick came on board.


More recently Thompson has been leading the charge against Take Two’s upcoming Manhunt 2.


GP: We’d love to have been the proverbial fly on the wall… If we were speculating, we’d guess that this was Strauss Zelnick’s effort to meet and get a feel for the man who likes to call himself “Take Two’s most abiding critic” and who has vowed to bring the company down. Zelnick has a far more inclusive management style than his predecessor, the inept Paul Eibeler.


At least it shows that Zelnick is being a lot more pro-active with dealing with Thompson than Eibeler was, which should hopefully lead to a lessening of the witch hunt by Thompson. Sure he will still be on his soapbox, as he basks in attention he gets from it; but the meeting is still important in ensuring that he is more on side this time around.


Also this on the obviously related topic, from Ars Technica:


Violent video games are a frequent target for politicians in the United States, but there are also similar discussions going on across the Atlantic. Today, European Union justice ministers met to discuss regulating the sale of violent video games to minors. According to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries told reporters that the justices were not expected to come up with a plan of action during the meeting held in Luxembourg.


As is the case in the US, video game ratings in the EU are voluntary. They are administered by Pan European Game Information and use a combination of age-based ratings and content descriptions much like those provided by the ESRB. Games are rated for bad language, discrimination, depictions of gambling and sex, drug use, and violence.


After a German gunman wounded several people at a secondary school before taking his own life last November, EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security Franco Frattini called for increased regulation of the video game industry. In response, two German states quickly drafted legislation that would make the production of games that feature "cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters" illegal. A motion for a European Parliament resolution introduced in March calls for EU governments to "put in place all necessary measures to ban the sale of particularly violent and cruel video games."


The differing legal standards of the EU's members makes drafting legislation difficult, according to Zypries, and her expectation is that member states will voluntarily restrict the sale of what she called "killer games."


The onus for enforcing whatever age restrictions may be enacted will likely fall on retailers. The European Commission plans to come up with penalties for retailers selling age-inappropriate games to minors, but it will be up to each country to define what material will be covered—differing country-by-country definitions on what constitutes age-inappropriate material is yet another obstacle any EU-wide directive will have to overcome.


All it takes is bringing the recommended age, as it is already, that the merchants have the conscience to place, and not to sell only for making the money, attention from part of parents.

Edited by Clarkey
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Guest Anime Otaku
I've said before that games should come fully under the BBFC's jurisdiction or a similar new body so that age restrictions can be made legally binding. I'd also have a law that puts responsibility for underaged kids getting games they are too young for on parents similar to the laws around alcohol.
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Jack Thompson once made a pledge called the "Modest Video Game Proposal" and asked video game manufacturers to create a game to his specifications.


Thompson's letter describes a game whose protagonist is Osaki Kim, the father of a high school boy beaten to death with a baseball bat by a 14-year-old gamer who played a game about beating people to death with a bat. The game intro shows the court session where the killer is sentenced to "only" life in prison.


Osaki Kim then swears vengeance, and gets weapons, "even baseball bats. Especially baseball bats." Kim goes to New York to kill Paula Eibel, the CEO of "Take This", the company that made the "murder simulator on which his son's killer trained", along with her husband and kids, then urinates on their severed brain stems (as in Postal²). Kim then kills the lawyers of "Blank, Stare", the law firm that defended Take This, "with singer Jackson Browne's 1980's hit Lawyers in Love blaring." Kim then destroys high-tech video arcades called "GameWerks". Lastly, he goes to E³ on its opening at May 10, 2006, destroying all video game industry execs in "one final, monstrously delicious rampage".


Along the way, Kim steals supplies from Best Buy, Circuit City, Target and Wal-Mart stores, and roughes up store managers and clerks, yelling "'You should have checked kids' IDs!'"


And here is that game...I'm OK - A Murder Simulator.


Thompson said he would donate $10,000 to a charity designated by Take-Two CEO Paul Eibeler if any video game company would create a game including the scenario descriibed. The donation is still unpaid by Thompson as of today, with Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the creators of gaming webcomic Penny Arcade and of the children's charity Child's Play stepping in to make the donation instead, writing in the memo field of their cheque, “For Jack Thompson, Because Jack Thompson Won't.” Afterwards, Thompson tried to get Seattle police and the FBI to investigate Holkins and Krahulik for orchestrating "criminal harassment" of him through articles on their site.


"Defamation of Character: A Jack Thompson Murder Simulator" was a GTA-modded game that also took the mickey out of Jack Thompson. Find out about it here and here.




Quotes from Wiki.

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  • 2 months later...
Plenty of gamers would give their left arm to be included in Grand Theft Auto IV.


Miami attorney Jack Thompson, however, claims that he’s depicted in the game and wants out. And he threatens to block the release of GTA IV if Rockstar doesn’t comply.


In a document filed yesterday with a federal court in Florida, Thompson includes a letter written to Take Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick which reads in part:


"I have this morning read with interest an article on page 80 and 81 of the September 2007 issue of Game Informer magazine which was generated when, according to its author, Rockstar Games “stopped by the Game Informer offices for an impromptu hour-long gameplay session with the Xbox 360 version of the game.”


"The showcasing play of the game to Game Informer revealed that the first killing mission of the “hero” of the game, Niko, is to kill a certain lawyer. When Niko comes into this lawyer’s office, having used subterfuge to do so, Niko pulls a gun on the lawyer who says, “that the firm supports the second amendment and that ‘Guns don’t kill people. Video games do.’”


"…The fact that the lawyer, killed on Niko’s first mission, would bring up video games, makes it clearly a reference to me… This is not the first time Rockstar Games and Take Two have targeted me in this fashion. Take Two references to me as a bisexual pedophile on its corporate website…"


GP: What’s he referring to here? See GamePolitics’ September, 2005 article Jack Thompson Accuses Rockstsar of… Parody. Thompson’s letter continues:


"You have until five o’clock P.M. this Friday… to inform me that you are going to delete the above references and any other references that could reasonably be construed to be references to me in Grand Theft Auto IV and any other video games that are pending release…"


"Now you have descended this low - using one of your games to threaten my physical safety… Failure to comply with the deadline… will result in my having to take necessary and proper means to stop release of the game which targets me personally… given the copycatting of violent games…"


Credit to GamePolitics. Poor ol' Jack.

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