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October 12, 2005 10:42 PM   Subscribe

Jack Thompson (1992 ACLU Censor of the Year) is an outspoken critic of violent video games. (Previously on...44150 and 44309) His recent "A Modest Video Game Proposal" offers $10,000 to the first game company which "creates, manufactures, and sells" a video game with the (fictional) premise of a father wreaking horrible vengeance on the video game companies whose twisted creations drove his son to bloody murder. More info (@wikipedia)
posted by BlackLeotardFront (32 comments total)

 
Does it have to be a 'good' game? Sounds like easy money! Somebody do it in flash ;)
posted by Thoth at 10:59 PM on October 12, 2005


Penny-arcade has some funny anecdotes about this as well. Apparently they pointed out that childs play generated half a million last year for kids, and that perhpas his 10,000 would be better off buying gameboys. He apparently then called gabe and berated him... im assuming he had never heard of penny arcade, because i wouldn't want to be the subject of a harassment spree by their devoted readers.
posted by sourbrew at 11:03 PM on October 12, 2005


How about it, video game industry? I've got the check and you've got the tech. It's all a fantasy, right? No harm can come from such a game, right? Go ahead, video game moguls. Target yourselves as you target others. I dare you.

Yeah, 'moguls' get excited by $10 000. What are the development costs for major games these days? Into the tens of millions...
posted by wilful at 11:13 PM on October 12, 2005


What an ass.
posted by spazzm at 11:37 PM on October 12, 2005


Yeah, 'moguls' get excited by $10 000. What are the development costs for major games these days? Into the tens of millions...

Hell, I'm sure TONS of solo developers would jump at the chance. Like Thoth said, it doesn't have to be a good game, right? Look at what a single guy can do without $10,000 motivating him.
posted by jimmy at 11:44 PM on October 12, 2005


The FPP is incorrect. If one Rs the FTA, one notes that he's not paying the game publisher or developer $10k. He's paying the $10K to a charity decided upon by the president of Take Two.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:55 PM on October 12, 2005


If one Rs the FTA

You mean, if one Rs the FA? ;)
posted by slater at 12:21 AM on October 13, 2005


You really got me there, solid-one-love. the entire meaning of his proposal and therefore of this post is completely changed.

Oh, wait - It isn't. Thanks for contributing, though.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:44 AM on October 13, 2005


I want a game about a schlub politico who makes news periodically by promoting the most asinine back-burner subjects to public controversy.
posted by evil holiday magic at 12:48 AM on October 13, 2005


Today's Ctrl-Alt-Del takes aim.
posted by bright cold day at 1:12 AM on October 13, 2005


it warms the cockles of my heart to know that Jack Thompson will one day be wholly forgotten for his negative contribution total to society and societal progress. He will, at most, be an amusing wikipedia entry.
posted by shmegegge at 1:54 AM on October 13, 2005


You've got to appreciate Penny Arcade's take on the issue. They emailed him and...

My email sig had my phone number in it. Jack actually just called and screamed at me for a couple minutes. He said if I email him again I will “regret it”. What a violent man.

Apparently the original email from PA to Jack made reference to Child's Play, the charity they run that takes money from gamers to buy games for children's hospitals.

I’m getting a lot of requests for more info about the Jack thing. I’ll tell you right now that I’ve had a few more conversations with the guy today. There’s a lot of material there and we may save some of it for a comic strip. I promise you’ll get the full scoop soon.

Interesting. Maybe we'll see just how batshit this guy is.
posted by mek at 2:14 AM on October 13, 2005


This is the sort of thing that makes my eyes roll so hard that I feel like they're going to leap out of their sockets.

Personally, I'd like to see a study that compares quality/amount of parenting with the instances of child violence. I'll bet a hefty sum that well parented kids are drastically less likely to commit any crimes, let alone be so dumb and impressionable that "a video game made them do it."
Take some damn responsibility.
posted by Jon-o at 6:03 AM on October 13, 2005



I'd write the game, but as the father was wreaking havoc on the horrible gaming companies, he would take time out to have sex with his dead son't high school girlfriend. To gain extra power (ammunition, gas, flamethrowers, etc.) you have to have sex with Jack or an animal. (The animal is the one without lipstick.)

I think this could have a story board in no time. Fits his requirements and the charity gets it's money.
posted by fluffycreature at 6:20 AM on October 13, 2005


It's been kind of sad watching Thompson's mental decline over the past few years. Sure, there are people like H.R. Clinton and Governor Schwarzenegger who look to pass legislation restricting "violent" games, but Thompson has become Phelps-like in his insanity, threatening violence and inventing new, more bizarre scenarios to become incensed about. He's actually an asset to rational gamers everywhere.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:21 AM on October 13, 2005


Over at Game Politics they've interviewed Thompson a few times, and he often gets into pissing matches in the comments to the posts. Unfortunately the archives suck (it's a LiveJournal-based site), so I can't link directly to his greatest hits.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:49 AM on October 13, 2005


Jack Thompson is the 21st Century's Fredric Wertham, only without all the redeeming qualities.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:58 AM on October 13, 2005


This site's purpose is to give you the means to contact Miami attorney Jack Thompson if you know of someone harmed as a result of violent entertainment, including violent video games.

Am I mistaken in believing that there is a fairly long history of violent Hollywood-movie copycat crimes? There were the California bank robbers that apparently took their cues from "Heat." There were the NYC subway gasoline assaults that were inspired by some other movie ("Money Train?"). And probably countless others, many of which are surely not recognized for being inspired or influenced by movies or TV. Why the focus on video games?
posted by Western Infidels at 7:51 AM on October 13, 2005


From Thompson's site, the most persuasive advertising pitch ever for GTA:

The incredibly violent Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, made by Take-Two Interactive of New York City, has caused multiple copycat killings across the country. A recent Gallup Poll found that any American teen who has played this one game is twice as likely to be engaged in an act of violence than those who have not played this one game. In this game you have sex with a prostitute and then kill her grotesquely to get your money back and win the game faster. Police officers are set on fire, shotgunned in the face, and innocent pedestrians are run over with cars.

What teenage GI-wannabe could say no?
posted by cleardawn at 7:52 AM on October 13, 2005


He went off on the VG Cats guy a while back too. Psychotic asshat, I say.
posted by danb at 7:54 AM on October 13, 2005


You really got me there, solid-one-love. the entire meaning of his proposal and therefore of this post is completely changed.

Actually, it is. The impetus is no longer there for independent developers to take him up on his offer, since there's no money in it for them. But thanks for the snark; it's appreciated.

I was properly responding to jimmy's post and correcting an inaccuracy in your FPP. It's no sin to make a mistake.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:08 AM on October 13, 2005


He went off on the VG Cats guy a while back too. Psychotic asshat, I say.

Thanks for the link, danb. Wow. At one point in his tirade, he responds with: "HOnestly, are all of you gamers on drugs, or what?"

Hmm, he certainly doesn't seem to have any agenda other than protecting children. Who, apparently by his own opinion, are also all on drugs. Riiight.
posted by NationalKato at 8:24 AM on October 13, 2005


The impetus is no longer there for independent developers to take him up on his offer, since there's no money in it for them.

Hell, developers write stuff for "the common good" all the time. I think seeing Thompson piss $10,000 of his own cash away might be worth some hours pouring code into a mod or whatnot.

Actually, you'd think that given current events, he'd have a line out the door.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:29 AM on October 13, 2005


It must be really awful to live your life in the name of a fallacy, in diametric opposition to something which you can't understand and will never be able to stop.

Not that I feel bad for the guy or anything.

I just hope that the day he actually plays GTA he screws a hooker, tries to run her over, and gets arrested for it.
posted by baphomet at 9:28 AM on October 13, 2005


I can't be the only one who thinks that's a pretty cool idea for a game.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:35 AM on October 13, 2005


shmegegge: He will, at most, be an amusing wikipedia entry.

VfD: Relevancy.
posted by S.C. at 9:37 AM on October 13, 2005


Funnier cartoon on Jack Thompson.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 9:57 AM on October 13, 2005


...wreaking horrible vengeance on the video game companies whose twisted creations drove his son to bloody murder.

So he wants to combat violent computer games with... a violent computer game? Erm, something's not right about that.
posted by jack_mo at 10:01 AM on October 13, 2005


Dear Mr. Thompson:

I have been harmed by video games. I have been compelled to eat ghosts ever since I played Pac-Man in the early 1980's. Lately, many of the ghosts I eat are revenants of people killed by kids who play violent video games.

I urge you to to whatever you can to put a stop to these killings, as the video-game dead taste funny.
posted by merelyglib at 11:13 AM on October 13, 2005


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!"

This is the poison pill. The big chain stores are never going to let their trademarks be used in something like this.

I actually think this might make a good game, if the developers were to play up the satirical aspects of it. "Only life in prison? NOOOOOO!" It would also be funny to concentrate on the trial and have the killer be obviously guilty and obviously just using the videogames as a way of excusing his behavior.
posted by whir at 11:20 AM on October 13, 2005


Video games killed my dad... and raped my mom!!!!

Seriously, the douchebag should check out Postal 2, it has a shrill, hysterical anti-game-company subplot (tongue-in-cheek of course) that he could want.

Of course until he does Thompson would be better off masturbating while imagining that some aggrieved parents visits his rage onto the head honcho of Take Two Interactive. It would be less expensive.
posted by clevershark at 12:04 PM on October 13, 2005


I think the most chilling aspect of the proposal is spinning life in prison as a grave injustice.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:30 PM on October 13, 2005


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