Grand Theft Auto: Jack Thompson hates it.
Jacky, Jacky, Jacky. How we chortle.
Jack Thompson, just in case you didn't know, is the anti-gaming lawyer with a penchant for insisting that Grand Theft Auto kills people, that Rockstar is the devil, that the Sims 2 creates perverse voyeurism and that violent video games should be banned.
Now, it seems, he's gone completely bonkers.
Reader, Tommy Van Damme, writes:
"In his latest press release/publicity gimmick, renegade anti-gaming lawyer Jack Thompson announces a new twist on the old concept of the 'challenge grant'. Thompson declares that if any company “Creates, manufactures and sells a video game” based on his own concept/delusional tirade, he will personally donate $10,000 to a charity chosen by Rockstar Games CEO Paul Eibeler. Intrigued? I bet you're dying to hear just what the specifics of Thompson's concept might be?"
We sure are. We headed over to AMN
, which appears to have the scoop. And what Thompson is proposing is hilarious.
The Thompson game
Spelling and grammar mistakes, model's own.
"Osaki Kim is the father of a high school boy beaten to death with a baseball bat by a 14-year-old gamer. The killer obsessively played a violent video game in which one of the favored ways of killing is with a bat. The opening scene, before the interactive game play begins, is the Los Angeles courtroom in which the killer is sentenced "only" to life in prison after the judge and the jury have heard experts explain the connection between the game and the murder.
Osaki Kim (O.K.) exits the courtroom swearing revenge upon the video game industry whom he is convinced contributed to his son's murder. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" he says. And boy, is O.K. not kidding.
O.K. is provided in his virtual reality playpen a panoply of weapons: machetes, Uzis, revolvers, shotguns, sniper rifles, Molotov cocktails, you name it. Even baseball bats. Especially baseball bats.
O.K. first hops a plane from LAX to New York to reach the Long Island home of the CEO of the company (Take This) that made the murder simulator on which his son's killer trained. O.K. gets "justice" by taking out this female CEO, whose name is Paula Eibel, along with her husband and kids. "An eye for an eye," says O.K., as he urinates onto the severed brain stems of the Eibel family victims, just as you do on the decapitated cops in the real video game Postal2.
O.K. then works his way, methodically back to LA by car, but on his way makes a stop at the Philadelphia law firm of Blank, Stare and goes floor by floor to wipe out the lawyers who protect Take This in its wrongful death law suits. "So sue me" O.K. spits, with singer Jackson Brown's 1980's hit Lawyers in Love blaring.
With the FBI now after him, O.K. keeps moving westward, shooting up high-tech video arcades called GameWerks. "Game over," O.K. laughs.
Of course, O.K. makes the obligatory runs to virtual versions of brick and mortar retailers Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, and Wal-Mart to steal supplies and bludgeon store managers and cash register clerks. "You should have checked kids' IDs!"
O.K. pushes on to Los Angeles. He must get there by May 10, 2006. That is the beginning of "E3" -- the Electronic Entertainment Expo -- the Super Bowl of the video game industry. O.K. must get to E3 to massacre all the video game industry execs with one final, monstrously delicious rampage."
We'd probably play it, to be honest
Really, that is just hilarious. Thompson is obviously hoping that video game executives will put their lives where their money is. In doing so, he makes himself look kind of ridiculous.
The issue of video games violence is a topical one, and it seems to this writer that neither side has got it quite right.
Let's face it - video games don't kill people. Excessive activities, mixed with unhealthy minds, kill people. Guns, kill people. People
A video game cannot make someone do something they do not want to do. It cannot control them. It cannot remove their free will. A video game can
influence someone, but only someone with a tendency to be influenced because of some mental defect. That influence could be provided from a violent video game, through excessive reading of violent books, through excessive watching of violent films...
Games are just a medium. Nothing inherent makes them more dangerous than any other medium. When Jack Thompson crusades against violent video games, saying they 'cause' violence and 'cause' the breakdown of society, he crusades for censorship of all media, 'reputable' or not. That is a dangerous line to take.
Some sense in there somewhere
That's not to say that Jack is a bad boy through and through, however - believe it or not. One of the things he campaigns for is simply to stop very violent games beind sold directly to children. At first glance, this doesn't seem like rocket science. Do you take your 13-year old to see a horror movie, or a movie with explicity sex scenes? No.
But the games industry doesn't help when it campaigns to be able to continue to sell violent games to children
. Come on people! You make yourselves look silly when you advocate that 13 year olds should be allowed to play GTA. They shouldn't, it's an adult game. That age suitability should be enforced, like we enforce movie restrictions. It works brilliantly in the UK - how often do you see us complaining that some kid GTA'd some other kid? In the UK, children can't buy GTA. And can anyone serioiusly say that's a bad thing? Stopping children being exposed to violence is not a constitutional violation.
Come on, State-side netizens - wise-up. Accept that ol' JT might just be right about something, that he might just have a rational point. Otherwise, he'll continue to put out the sort of sensationalistic drivel we're writing about today.
What do you make of the whole shenanigans? Pop over to this forum thread and tell us.