BREAKING – Miami Court Orders Take-Two to Turn Over “Bully”

GamePolitics has just received a short e-mail from Jack Thompson:

“The court ordered production of the game by tomorrow at 3pm, for his full review of the game while it is being played, up to or more than 100 hours.”

“This is unprecedented and reasonable as well.  This is a huge victory against the violent video game industry, regardless of the ultimate ruling on the injunction.  I anticipate an immediate appeal to the Third DCA by Take-Two”

Thompson is referencing Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal.  He is correct that the ruling is unprecedented, although in the long run it’s really not a win if it gets overturned on appeal.

GP has confirmed with Judge Friedman’s clerk that Thompson’s version is correct. She added that the Judge will view the game in chambers beginning tomorrow afternoon and is prepared to spend several days watching its content.

The clerk added that the hearing was not contentious, and that it was covered by the Miami Herald as well as a local TV news crew.

What this means is that Judge Ronald Friedman is saying he needs to see Bully in order to rule on Thompson’s claim that the game is a “public nuisance.” He’s given Take-Two 24 hours to produce it for the court’s review.

Destructoid has a nice report from their man-on-the-scene…

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  1. 0

    […] ‘Bully’ Game Targeted in the US ‘Bully’ game targeted in the US Judge to Take-Two: Produce Bully at 3pm tomorrow and I’ll decide how bad it is Miami Court Orders Take-Two to Turn Over “Bully” [digg] Breaking news on Bully court case with Jack Thompson [digg] Judge to Take-Two: Produce Bully here tomorrow and I decide how bad it is[digg] (Update) Bully Court Case Verdict on Hold BREAKING – Miami Court Orders Take-Two to Turn Over “Bully” Florida Judge Rejects Ban of Bully Miami judge orders Take-Two to bring Bully to him Miami Court Orders Take Two to Hand Over Bully Florida court OKs Bully […]

  2. 0
    chipping away at our Constitution says:

    Well we have Bush doing away with our 4th amendment. Now we have some goofball that with no evidence or viewing makes claims on a video game. He is merely trying to tell us what we can buy and view- say about video games. There goes the 1st amendment.
    Hell we might as well do away with the 13th and 19th too. Although taking the 19th away would not be too bad.
    Its like i have always said if you dont like the channel , turn it or better yet turn it off. If you dont like a video game, dont buy it. Thats why the rating is on the package. In essence, they are telling us what we can buy and play. I am an adult and have the right to bloody well buy and watch and play what i want , without the intrusion of the govt or any other whatabe Hilter.
    If parents would watch what their kids are doing , instead of letting the PC or game consoles do it, then they would know what kind of game it is.
    They should read about a game , ask questions about it before they run out and buy a mature game , and toss it at the kids and say go play and get outta here.
    And if this attempt is to censor what adults as myself watch and play and do, then they can kiss my ass. I tell ya what, this goof ball can submit and censor and do what he will, but i want the option to tell him what he can do and watch and play. GOVT AND WANTABE GODS OF CENSORSHIP THAT WANT TO CONTROL US.
    Then as Jake Blues would say to him , how much for your little girl , your women-how much for your women. God knows they got to have more sense than Jack Thompson.
    I think a Judge has better things to do than rule on freakin video game. Like putting away rapist, theives and murderers.
    But some people must have their priorites straight , right.

  3. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Makers of Grand Theft Auto forced to hand over new game to courts…

    The court ordered production of the game by tomorrow at 3pm, for his full review of the game while it is being played, up to or more than 100 hours.

    This is unprecedented and reasonable as well. This is a huge victory against the violent video game…

  4. 0
    RBRB says:

    Uhh why are people saying the request is reasonable? Jack Tompson is making claims about a game that is not yet publicly available. WHAT ARE HIS CLAIMS BASED ON? The judge should be forcing JT to present his “evidence”. If there is no evidence, then JT’s claim is just so much made up BS and shouldn’t be admissible in court.

    What a crock of shit this is.

  5. 0
    Togpamer101 says:

    yeah, since this organization started coming to power and republicans came in, things such as our “freedoms” seem to be slipping away from us. I never used to be a political thinker or judge, but I really am not liking what they are doing to this country…

  6. 0
    Name says:

    Even if the game is a “Columbine Simulator” it should be protected speech. If this isn’t prior restraint I don’t know what possibly could be. Having two sides argue over what is “obscene” in court is precisely what the first amendment was designed to avoid. The fact that this case is even being given serious consideration attests to the fascism that pervades our once-free country. When I hear about court cases like this I feel like maybe I should escape America before I get thrown in a prison camp.

  7. 0
    Scoops says:

    First of all, there is no prosecutor. This is a civil action. There is a plaintiff.

    CurmudgeonGamer, the problem with your idea is that it contravenes the First Amendment. The government can’t give a private rating system the force of law, nor can they prevent access to something that is considered speech. Alcohol is not speech. Pornography is specifically not protected as speech as it has been deemed obscene. Why can’t games or movies generally be considered obscene? Because there is a specific set of criteria for making that declaration:

    * Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
    * Whether the work depicts/describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law,
    * Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

    A work must meet all three criteria to be considered obscene. Working backwards, it is fairly easy to argue that pretty much any game has some serious artistic value. Pretty much the only argument could come over what “serious” means. No mainstream game that I know of has ever met the second criteria (Custer’s Revenge was a 2600 game, but it wasn’t really mainstream – and arguably still didn’t meet the criteria either). The first criteria is probably the “easiest” to meet, but I think you could reasonably argue that most games fail it (prurient, as a legal definition here means sick, morbid or shameless). Even in GTA, the game as a whole has positive options (ambulance missions, etc). In any case, GTA III and GTA Vice City are basically the movies Goodfellas and Scarface (I can’t speak to San Andreas, never played or seen it). To deem those games obscene basically says that those movies are as well.

  8. 0

    […] is reporting that a Miami court judge has ordered Take Two to produce a copy of Rockstar’s upcoming game Bully to be reviewed by the court in order to see whether or not the game is a “public nuisance.” He’s given Take-Two 24 hours to produce it for the court’s review. Quoted below is an excerpt from an email sent by Thomspon to Gamepolitics: “The court ordered production of the game by tomorrow at 3pm, for his full review of the game while it is being played, up to or more than 100 hours.” […]

  9. 0
    Corrupter says:

    Finally, some pw3nage in the courtroom! Will the prosecutor “corpse hump” the defense attorney if he wins? Is the judge going to go XLive? Will the judge be able to constrain himself from “modding up and getting money”? Will the judge force the two attorneys to “throw down in P vs. P”?

  10. 0
    aniki21 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I see your point, and it’s one I hadn’t actually thought of. At the same time, unless there’s a favourable (for Thompson) ruling at the end, or the judge suggests that games should be subject to review, I can’t see it being a concrete “precedent” for these kinds of things in the future. I wouldn’t put it past JBT to give it a shot, though.

    I personally think that games should have the same limitations on purchasing as movies. Right now, they really don’t.

    There are limitations on purchasing movies?

    Aren’t all movie ratings in the US voluntary anyway?

  11. 0
    aniki21 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t know if anybody else has brought this up (haven’t read the comments yet), but I just got through with the Destructoid article.

    Why is Jack so harsh and abrasive online? Maybe its just an attempt to save face in the courtroom that he wasn’t full of “pixelante” garbage, but Niero obviously felt he was being genuinely friendly and level-headed there.

    So why is it so difficult to get a reasonable response from him online? Is his contempt for us so great that he won’t dignify us with a reasonable response unless someone’s there who might see?

  12. 0
    CurmudgeonGamer says:

    You know, as a gamer who hasn’t always closely followed Jack Thompson’s court battles, I have to wonder sometimes why the hatred toward him. Hear me out for a minute: While Bully may or may not have the content JT has claimed it has, Rockstar’s games have largely pushed the limits of what is considered socially acceptable behavior in their games. In short, they have a history of including offensive content in their games.

    Now, as a gamer, even I consider the content in GTA offensive and as a result, I don’t play any of them nor do I recommend them to my friends. I know all too well that the majority of gamers on online forums are going to respond negatively to my post here, and many will angrily disagree, but I personally think that games should have the same limitations on purchasing as movies. Right now, they really don’t.

    Yes, there is a ratings system but until the last two years, it was largely un-enforced at retail. I still catch store clerks at my local video game retail chain selling mature rated games to minors. And it wasn’t until the situation was brought to the attention of the legal system did things even begin to change. It was because of guys like Jack Thompson that we even got a ratings system in the first place. At that time, it was Joe Liebermann who gained the video game industries ire. But that’s really a topic for another time.

    So in summary, while I personally disagree with most of Jack Thompson’s views of the game industry and don’t recall anytime that I’ve agreed with his methods, I don’t disagree with his view of Rockstar’s games.

  13. 0
    EMalachi says:

    Allow me to further elaborate:

    A Miami court has ordered Take-Two to produce a copy of Bully for review. If Take-Two complies then October 12, 2006 will live on in infamy as a crushing defeat for the gaming industry and free speech advocates everywhere, regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit.

    Many fellow gamers disagree with me. In fact, there are many who welcome the review because they believe that since Bully is rated Teen, Judge Friedman will side with Take-Two and hand Jack Thompson an embarrassing loss. They laugh that Thompson has chosen Bully for this fight instead of something more risqué. Unfortunately, those gamers fail to see the bigger picture.

    Jack Thompson wanted an advance copy of Bully to review, even offering to drop the lawsuit if Take-Two complied. They rightfully denied his request, and have now been court ordered to hand a copy over for the judge to review barely a week before the game is to be released. Thompson’s goals have become quite clear. “This is unprecedented and reasonable as well. This is a huge victory against the violent video game industry, regardless of the ultimate ruling on the injunction.” -Jack Thompson. His goal was never to stop Bully from being released. Nay, something much sinister is afoot for those with eyes to see it.

    Thompson’s ultimate goal was to have the game called for review before release, establishing a precedent he can use for any future game release. You may think I over-react, but as gamers we all know Thompson’s true colors. Why else would he target Bully when there are much more disturbing titles in the Mature rating category? Why else would he wait until only a week before release to file his lawsuit? Why else would he demand to review the game before allowing it to go on sale? Jack Thompson is setting the stage in order to become the gatekeeper through which all games must pass.

    If Take-Two buckled and gave Thompson an advance copy, then they would have acknowledged that Thompson is qualified to decide what games can or cannot be published. If Take-Two obeys the court order, then it has been established that the court has the power to review and decide whether games can be sold or not based on content. This is prior restraint and unconstitutional, but the First amendment has never mattered to those who would censor speech to meet their ideal community.

    “So what?” you may ask. Bully will pass and the game will be released, but what about the next game that comes out? Something edgier? Something violent? Something obviously aimed at Mature audiences? Well, Thompson has his precedent and need only shop around for a suitably social-minded judge and demand the game for review. With this new weapon in his arsenal, Jack Thompson has gained the power to dictate what is published. He will demand reviews of games, and he will get them. He will demand weeks to fully explore the game’s content, then months in order to handle all the games he has on his plate. If companies wish to avoid such delays and possible court fees, then perhaps they should simply bend to his standards and save themselves the trouble.

    That is blackmail, and it will work. Already we have seen the industry toning down anything that may be deemed controversial because of the Hot Coffee fiasco. The ESRB is under constant attack and the threat of constant lawsuits is enough to scare any publisher into editing their products to pass the morality tests. The removal of all blood in Xenosaga Episode III is a prime example of a publisher’s overzealous attempt to avoid potential scrutiny by such vultures as Thompson.

    We are at a critical point in the battle against censorship in the gaming industry. If we do not fight back now, our battles will only become more difficult. With every halfhearted defense of our freedom of speech, we hand the enemy another tool to use against us. We need to stop simply defending ourselves. We need to fight back. We need to show that we will not be bullied into submission by those who think they deserve to dictate to us. There are two fronts of this war and we must all do our part to win.

    The most obvious front is the gaming industry itself. They need to take these lawsuits seriously and start hitting back hard enough to stop the attacks from coming at all. The book industry has defeated censorship. Comics, movies, music; they have won as well. We are the young media, and it is our turn to stand among the voters and declare that we will not be regulated by anyone but ourselves.

    The second front is just as, if not more important than the first. The second front lies with we the consumers, we the voters. We must become politically active and as a group show that we matter. As it stands, the young adult demographic is not motivated enough to vote in large numbers, and therefore no politicians are willing to woo our vote. We are simply discounted. If they anger us it does not matter because we do not vote enough to count. This apathy is our enemy. We need to show that we have power and demonstrate it against every politician that talks of “protecting the children from violent media.” It is simply a way for politicians to cater to ignorant parents and project an image of someone who cares. We need to show those empty suits that freedom of speech is protected, regardless of how distasteful or frightening they feel it to be.

    If as voters we stand and fight, politicians will know not to anger us. If as consumers we stand up and fight, the industry will know that they are not alone in this battle and can rely on our support to help them persevere. Jack Thompson thinks he knows best and feels that his sole voice should shape the face of the gaming industry. We need to show him and all those like him that we will decide what is best for ourselves; his “help” is not appreciated. We cannot hope to win the war if we are unwilling to stand and fight.

  14. 0
    Gatz says:

    The judge reviewing anything in a public nuisance case really isn’t that big of a deal. The judge may not know anything about it and you can’t rule on anything if you don’t know what it is. I’m sure nothing will come of this except jack being an ass and take-two selling thier product in florida. This is why we need to move to digital distribution, then JT can suck it because stores won’t be selling games they will all be purchased online and you never have to worry about you losing your cd’s or serials.

  15. 0
    AngreeGuy says:

    JT should be declared a public nuisance! If you go to Penny Arcade and read about the incident where he tried to have the guys at PA arrested for hurtful speech, you’d see that he always just spins the situation and leaves out certain facts to make his side seem better. He’s like a 5 year old that lies about how he got into the fight, or why he started picking on the other kid. Unfortunately, cable news (and more stupidly G4) allow him to rant and rave about his singular viewpoint without any real counter-point.

  16. 0

    […] Prior to leaving the house I had checked GamePolitics who scooped the story, and sure enough Jack Thompson had sent them an update about his expert witnesses. Destructoid was noted in their description for providing live coverage, so there was a very good chance he knew exactly who I was already. I pulled up a chair two feet away from him and watched them resume their conversation, making no secret of my polite eavesdropping. I immediately caught on that it was about Grand Theft Auto and was brimming with nervousness to get a word in. Questions, ridiculous questions begin to swash around in my head as they speak. Why this game? Why now? Had he read the reviews? Had he managed to play it yet? Is he aware that the game doesn’t have lethal weapons or that you cannot kill another student in the game? How much does he know about Bully really? Is this guy even going to give me the time of day? I’m I actually going to have to fight this guy in a few minutes? These are all things I would have the answers to directly from Jack in a few minutes, much to my surprise. […]

  17. 0
    Grey says:

    What would make me laugh is if the judge turned around and said it was funny and he would play it himself.

    Mr. Thampson is still being as much of an idiot as usual. The guy needs to grow up and stop acting like a child. I swear if I ever meet the dude I will punch him in the face.

    What we need is an A-list person who plays videogames to jump into the fray. Could you imagine if Vin Diesel went against Jack? It would be awesome!

  18. 0
    EMalachi says:

    I sincerely hope Take Two fights this tooth and nail. If they give in to this request than it establishes precedent that the court can review media and decide whether it can be published. At that point all it will take is for Jack Thompson to shop around until he finds a particularly prudish judge to agree with him on content, and then use THAT ruling as precedent to bring up lawsuits nationwide.

    Prior restraint is unconstitutional, but that is exactly what JT is going for here. He does not care if Bully passes or not, because if he can get the aforementioned precedent established, he has won. He will demand to review every game he doesn’t like the sound of, then demand that because of the length of such games that he needs a few weeks, then months, because of how many games he has to check. In order to avoid this, he will force publishers to bend to his demands or he will hold up the game’s release. Blackmail, through and through.

    Rockstar better fight this or the entire industry will be hamstringed by JT. Mark my words.

  19. 0
    Brer says:

    Since everyone’s said everything that needs to be said about the actual court order to Take 2, I’m thinking about whether T2 can file countersuit for Abuse of Process or whether there’s some penalty under florida law (or within the state bar) for lack of due diligence.

    From looking over some references to Florida state law I don’t think there would be grounds for Abuse of Process allegations no matter which way this goes (and like everyone else I’m relatively confident that the judge will determine that Thompson’s claims are without merit). We can -hope- that the judge will declare that Thompson filed a frivolous suit and penalize him accordingly, but without knowing more about the judge I couldn’t even guess how likely that would be.

    In short, while I’d love to see some sort of negative consequences for Thompson for his consistent and malicious distortions, outright lies (if he honestly believes them they’re not lies, of course, but delusions) and general misconduct I doubt there will actually be any.

  20. 0

    […] In the politics of the video game world, Jack Thompson is the enemy. He is a Florida lawyer (though I question the prudence of using such a term), that has continually attacked the video game industry for its downward cycle toward moral turpitude. is reporting on litigation surrounding the new game Bully. For the uninitiated, Bully is a supposedly violent game that depicts the main character playing a high school bully, beating other students up. Mr. Thompson seems to think this ruling has done the world a favor. In reality, the Judge has only asked for a chance to review the game before making the absurd decision that the game is a public nuisance. Chances are, the judge won’t find any merit in Mr. Thompson’s assertion, but we can only hope the court will impose a sanction for his frivolous claim. Mr. Thompson seems to think that its necessary for the law to act as the parents of the nation’s children. In reality, there is already a governing body that rates games called the entertainment software review board (ESRB). If parents were doing their jobs, they kids would not get ahold of material not suitable for them, and the American people wouldn’t need overly paternalistic laws. […]

  21. 0
    Chris Canfield says:

    I say roockstar should announce a sequel to “Box Stacker: A game that will not offend anyone”

    They did make a ping-pong game. No nudity or decapitations or anything. Some silly-looking sweat bands, though.

  22. 0
    Owen "loopy" McRae says:

    Note: Having just read Destructoid’s take on the court day, I’d like to rephrase my remark about the slingshot… I’d probably only be able to make a weapon AS deadly as the slingshot. However, it would still be made out of a plastic and metal binder, and as such, it would get past security checkpoints.

  23. 0
    T_ConX says:

    I don’t think that the judge made any ruling yet Andrew. I think that he wants to see what the hoopla is really all about. This is going to be more to thompson’s detriment than helping him or even in his favor.

    Indeed. If the Judge hasn’t seen the game yet, and is running on Thompson’s descriptions of it (Columbine Simulator), he might just want to see if it is as bad as this guy says it is.

    Assuming what we’ve read from previews is, and Bully really does deserve it’s Teen rating, we can look forward to Jack losing the bigger battle…

  24. 0
    Owen "loopy" McRae says:

    Hey, maybe the judge just wants to get ahold of the game early ^-^.

    I’m fairly confident that if the judge has any sense at all that he will dub the game ‘innocent’, or ‘not guilty’, or whatever the term is. I really just can’t understand how Jack Thompson is taken seriously, but thats up to the Florida Bar Association.

    No matter how this turns out however, I won’t be unhappy with the outcome, it would just play into Mr Thompson’s hands. Truth be told, I’m not really looking forward to Bully, but thats really a matter of a matter of opinion gameplay wise.

    On a final note, slingshots? Please, I could improvise a more deadly weapon from the paperclips and binder that I am required to submit assessments in. Perhaps Jack is going for the biblical connotations “David trying to fell Goliath.”

  25. 0
    Beacon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ unangbangkay
    Rockstar is sending down an employee to play through the game while the judge watches. Presumably the judge tell the player what to do, to some extent.

  26. 0
    Xsorus says:

    What I find interesting is that the judge actually THINKS if he rules against Take Two that his ruling would stand at all.. It will get appealed, it will get thrown out as basically censorship and then he’ll look like an ass

  27. 0
    Topgamer101 says:

    I’m not worried here. Again the Judge is making a good decision in viewing the material before making a desision. What would be extremly funny is if while JT was sitting there, the Judge asked “Can I play?” and then he really gets into it and has a blast playing it. all the while JT is foaming at the mouth until he starts an uproar and gets removed from teh room.

  28. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Good point on the possibility of the judge asking to actually see the game before making the decision (though as Jabrwock pointed out, Kotaku said TT made the offer instead of being ordered to produce it).

    However, there are several disturbing points that I also see:
    (1) As a parent, I see this as a clear, blatant, and unethical attempt to violate Parental Rights by allowing any other individual to decide whether a game (or any other form of media) is or is not appropriate for OTHER PEOPLE’S children. This would be the same as if I decreed that the Christian Holy Bible was obscene and pornographic and encouraged hate crimes and should ONLY be sold to adults and kept on high shelves out of the reach of children because -I- thought it was inappropriate for children to be exposed to such material. Just as this situation is, I would view such a stance against any religious text to be a violation of Parental Rights as well.

    (2) Fromthe sounds of it, that defense attorney is either an idiot or inexperienced. Either way… he’s an idiot.

    (3) Regarding that slingshot. Seems strange that John Bruce would claim that a slingshot is a dangerous or even deadly weapon, sneak one into court, and not expect to face criminal charges. Oh wait, what am I saying? John Bruce NEVER expects to be held responsible for his own bad acts. It’s also strange that the judge didn’t have John Bruce arrested for that act. A smell of bias on the judge’s part?

    (4) This comment from Destructoid’s site:
    ” When the defense asked that formal paperwork and bonding were to be provided for this request, the judge snapped back and said, “Do you know how long that would take? The game would have shipped by then.” And in the middle of a mumble, he cut them off and silenced the room with “NOT A CHANCE IN THIS WORLD.” “
    The judge isn’t following legal procedure? Again, and in all honesty, I’m smelling bias, or probably something more… unethical. Let’s face it, someone pointed out that if the game weren’t offered/asked for to be previewed by the judge, John Bruce would be questioning the judge’s ethics. Well, frankly, I’m questioning the judge’s ethics here as well. After all, the judge is complaining that following procedure would take them past the release date of the 17th. Well, playing the game for the allotted time, as has been pointed out, could take it past the release date as well. And certainly, it opens the door to appeal, but with the shortened time given, there isn’t time for appeal. Again, one has to wonder about what motive can be considered here. Possible bias again.

    (5) Oh, and lastly, did I mention that that defense attorney sounded like an idiot?

    NW2K Software

  29. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In the UK, there wouldn’t be any ‘victory’ in the Judge viewing the game at all. It would just be part of the process, if it actually got to the court that is. I understand there is a culture of conservatism in the US and also the 1st amendment, but you need to see past JT’s typical boasting of “huge victories” to the bigger picture; theres no way in hell this is going to be ultimately found in JT’s favour.

    Don’t forget that JT still boasts of his victory over 2 Live Crew even though he lost! He conveniently forgets that the initial decision was overturned. I don’t imagine he will mention any loss in this case either; he will just harp on that he got the Judge to view the game.

  30. 0
    Richard says:

    I find this so amusing. I’m doing a legal internship at the Miami-Dade courthouse and I could’ve very easily wound up working for judge Friedman. I’m interested in how this is going to playout.

  31. 0
    Thabor says:

    I don’t see why everyone is so riled up about this. Unless the judge has issued a preliminary injuction against selling the game in Florida all it really means is he is giving due consideration to the case in order to blunt JT’s eventually rant about how he must be getting money on the side from the ESRB, and R*. Must be nice to have a real legal justification for kicking back and enjoying the game for a day or two.

    If we are really lucky maybe JT will be frothing at the mouth badly enough to warrent action by the bar after this one.

  32. 0
    Elixer says:


    I see your point. However, from the looks of things, there isn’t much in Bully that would cause pity for JT case, unless he was biased from the start.

  33. 0
    jdmdsp911 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ahh yes, thompson claims victory over the fact that the judge decided that he wants to see the game to make a better decision on the ruling. Yes jack, that is such a huge victory. The video game industry is absolutely quaking in their boots.

    Personally, I am glad that the judge asked for a copy of the game. If I was TT, I would have had a copy ready to go right there in the court room, but I can see trying to having the entire debacle taken care of without it (and yes jack, this is nothing more than a debacle.) My only real concern is that it seemed that the lawyers that TT brought to the table had no frickin clue what they were defending. Especially the one quote about Force Feedback. Oh and if Force Feedback is so important to the damn game, then why does the Playstation 3 Super rolly mega ultra controller (or whatever the new name is) not have any kind included?

    Sorry Jack, no victroy for you here. In fact, I think that the judge asking for a copy to decide for himself is the start of your downfall. Better get your car ready for that Dominos delivery boy sign.

  34. 0
    JargonJohn says:

    Give it to him.

    The game got a T rating, it contains no graphic violence, you don’t play as the bully, but much rather the one taking the bully down…

    What’s the problem here? If the Judge has any sort of decent common sense, he’ll see that all of Jack’s claims are false.

    Or, the Judge could just be one big Rockstar fan…

  35. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The concern I have is- what if the judge sees merit in JT’s case ( for instance, if this judge a moral-eleitist christian)? The ramifications of a videogame being defined in a court of law as a nusiance is perhaps one of the most potentially destructive things ever to happen to gaming.

    Even if R* wins a lengthy battle, the fear of having to face legal onslaughts every time a controvercial game is developed would cause publishers to stray away from said game types. In effect, we would have gaming reduced to static, “kiddie” games- damning videogames to the realm of children’s entertainment forever.

  36. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Ace of Sevens

    Actually, someone over at Kotaku made a good point. If the judge rules in favor of TT & R* without ever seeing the game, JT could appeal on the grounds the judge never reviewed the game. This was he makes his ruling a *lot* more concrete, even if it *is* rather controversial to do so.

  37. 0

    I’m surprised. Thsi ruling means that the judge thinks the motion mat at least theoretically have merit. To put it another way, he seems to agree with the rather unprecedented part of the claim that it’spossible for a game to be a public nuisance. Or he just wants to play early.

  38. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    From Kotaku (who props GP):

    the judge did not order the review of the game, but that Take-Two offered to bring the game in on Thursday at 3 p.m. so he could see for himself what all of the noise is about. A Rockstar employee is going to play the game in front of the judge and attorneys from both sides so the judge can decide if the game is offensive.

    I can see JT quivering in rage as he insists that the R* employee is purposefully skipping all the “juicy bits”.

  39. 0
    Beacon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Father Time
    He does that all the time. Any time the courts don’t immediately throw the case out in the industry’s favor, he acts like he won. He did it with the… I think it was the Alabama case. The judge decided that the case would go to court, and Thompson acted like this meant he won completely.

  40. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Father Time

    No trouble. :) It would be rather silly having JT decide for the court, even if it wasn’t a conflict (seeing as how he’s the plaintiff). I can see the look on the judge’s face reading *that* part. “*He* has to decide? Then what the heck am *I* here for??”

  41. 0
    Yuki says:

    While I hate thompson, the judge is doing a suprising thing in cases such as this. I had half expected him to just rule for thompson and let the appeals court deal with the fall out, but he’s instead chosing to see the game first before passing judgment, a sharp contrast to thompson who has already passed judgement on the game before it was finished.

    Either way, Rockstar will probably appeal and will most likely win, but just to spite JT, they may as well just let the judge see it so they can throw all of JT’s BS in his face.

    We’ll see where this goes.

    Myself, I’ll be picking it up on launch day just for laughs.

  42. 0
    Beacon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Can’t Rockstar do something about the timing of all this? I mean, if Jack’s worried about the game, fine (I think it’s a load of BS, but that’s not the point). I find the fact that he brought them to court less than a week before the shipping date rather odious. If it’s such a big deal, shouldn’t this have been brought up earlier? I guess if the case is settled before the games ship out, then no harm, no foul. If Rockstar has to keep games off the shelves or delay shipping or anything like that, and they win the case, will JT have to reimburse them or anything?

  43. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait a minute. Doesn’t JT’s court brief state he will drop the case as long as he gets to see an advance copy get played by him or a 3rd party? So how does the judge allowing JT to watch it be played work then?

  44. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Good point. I would love to see that. “Miami lawyer charged with bringing gigantic slingshot into court”

    @Father Time

    Unfortunately, JT DOES get to see the game (see Destructoid’s blog), BUT at least he has to keep his yap shut, and the judge can see for himself that this is no Columbine simulator…

  45. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    When I first read this I was shocked, then I realised it would be a judge playing the game and not Jack Thompson. Then I read it further into it and I’ve realised this.

    If Rockstar does so and the judge rules in favor of them Jack can claim that Rockstar didn’t give them the real thing. Hmm maybe Rockstar will be able to make Thompson pay legal fees if he loses (and I bet he will).

    Also I just thought of a very evil very decietful, (and in no way legal) way Rockstar can get back at the judge if he rules against the game, however I don’t think I should share it here (unless you want me to).

  46. 0
    Fandal says:


    Actually, that’s not really true. Although the Judge does have discretion whether to hold a person, like Jack Thompson in contempt of his courtroom. The Judge has absolutely no say whatsoever whether or not a person can be charged with violating state, and federal laws by bringing a weapon into a courtroom.

    The ultimate decision rests in the hands of state/federal prosecutors, not the Judge presiding in the courtroom.

  47. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    From Destructoid:

    Tomorrow’s meeting will be in the judge’s chambers, unfortunately closed to the press (and humble bloggers) but both councils are allowed to attend, but not comment or interrupt the session.

    Who wants to take bets on how long before JT violates THAT order… I mean, even with a court gag-order, he still couldn’t keep his mouth shut…

  48. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    This doesn’t scare me. The judge obviously wants to see the game to find out which side is lying. That’s what a good mediator does, give both sides an equal chance, not just the more sensible one.

    The best part: Once the judge finds out JT is lying, we’ll have some more legal precedent.

  49. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I imagine it would have been up to the judge, who probably saw it for what it was, a publicity stunt.

    Probably had some harsh words for the security staff, but other than that…

  50. 0
    beemoh ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @T_Con: look carefully-

    “[b]up to[/b] or more than 100 hours”

    It doesn’t need to be played for the entire hundred. It might only get played for a day or two. There may not even be 100 hours of gameplay involved…


  51. 0
    Shaun Skipper says:


    Yes, it could set a precedent that could be used in support of the ESRB after the judge rules, however, The Judge has not ruled on the issue of whether the game is a nuisance. The Judge ordered the game to be provided and played so he can make a ruling, and that is the problem.

    The request for the game seems reasonable, but basically, at this point, what I think will happen is everytime a game comes out that someone wants to call a nuisance, it will have to be provided and there will be costly hearings. (no publisher will want to release it, and no attorney crying nuisance will want to wait until the game comes out to get their hands on it.) Overall, this is a strain on an already overloaded docket and this is saying that someone can bring any game into the Court for some type of review at any time, so long as they allege that it will be a nuisance.

  52. 0
    Scoops says:


    There have been lawsuits against all kinds of media over the years.

    Books are one of the greatest targets of “public protection” suits; consider Harry Potter, Huck Finn, Catcher in the Rye, etc. You can find lists of banned books online, the reasons tend to be borderline comical. Ultimately books tend to come out fairly unscathed, I think largely due to the fact that the written word has been around so damn long.

    The movies had their troubles, initially not being granted First Amendment protections (in the teens). This led to bannings and, eventually, self-regulation via the Hays Code and, later, MPAA ratings. As far as I know, movies do have First Amendment protection now.

    Comic books had government inquiries in the 50s, leading to the Comics Code Authority (CCA), which is now largely obsolete. Many comics still include mature content warnings, however.

    Music, like books gets targeted every now and then; Elvis Presley’s hip shaking and 2 Live Crew are two examples from the last 50 years or so. Like books, music tends to win out, again due partly to history. However we do have Explicit Lyrics labels now.

    The fine arts (painting, sculpture, etc.) get targeted fairly frequently as well, with much less publicity and rarely with any success at all.

  53. 0
    Fandal says:

    Wait a minute?? By sneaking a potential lethal weapon into a courtroom, didn’t Jack Thompson just violate numerous state, and federal laws?? Isn’t bringing/sneaking a weapon into a court of law a serious felony??

    If I was in that courtroom, I would seriously be calling state, and federal prosecutors. Lets think about this… Jack Thompson actually carried a weapon past the metal detectors, and walked right into a courtroom. Don’t tell me that he just didn’t violate various state and federal laws???

  54. 0
    Dustin1986 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I wonder what the judge will say about the game? I’ve been hearing that it actually has little violence and a lot of social commentary. What will happen if the judge says something about the game that Jack doesn’t agree with?

    “The judge is an industry shill, payed off by Blank Rome and the voices in my head!”

    This could be very entertaining, let’s just wait and see.

  55. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yes, although since this is such a minor court it would only be a supporting argument, not a binding one. Every bit helps though…

  56. 0
    Calvinball says:

    Not being to familiar with the US legal system, if the judge rules against JT would it not set a precedent that could be used in support of the ESRB or other game studios in future court battles?

  57. 0
    Howell2751 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Meh not really shocked by this development. This whole thing though is kinda meh anyway. So far from what I’ve seen on Bully the whole thing is nothing more than satire, and satire doesn’t constitute a sales ban. I’m not going to go into panic mode over this case as I find it totally useless in its context and considering the person in the plantiff seat. `

    Now if for whatever there is a sales ban, then TT had best take some counter measures

  58. 0
    Izmir the Astarach says:

    I really would like to see the part of Bully where they give you full step by step instructions on how to make a giant slingshot.

    But really, I’m not sure that this sets any kind of precedent, since the case is based on an obscure nuisance law that is only in effect in Florida. So should it not only set a precedent there?

  59. 0
    konrad_arflane ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m curious: Is there any precedent concerning works of fiction in other art forms (movie, book, etc.) being considered public nuisances? While it may seem reasonable to let a judge look at it, isn’t this the kind of battle literature has already fought, won, and bought the t-shirt? I mean, wouldn’t it be considered an outrage if someone attempted to stop the publication of a novel on similar grounds?

  60. 0
    Bigman-K ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “I guess my question is… why is everyone so uptight about this recent decision? I mean, if, for some reason Jack wins this case, the game only gets blocked in Florida. If you dont live in Florida, this isn’t an issue.”

    It’s called court president. If the game ends up geting banned in Florida it could also get banned in other states as well. Courts tend to mirror one another in this manner, if the one court bans it as a public nuisence other courts are more likely to follow.

  61. 0
    Scoops says:


    It would set a precedent that could be used in arguing in other jurisdictions, with the further potential to eventually create a chilling effect on the game industry.

    The latter point is one of the reasons that I believe Jack will ultimately fail.

  62. 0
    Verbinator ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I suspect that about half a day into it, the Judge will have a pretty good idea of the general tone of the game and will form an opinion on that basis. He may then get on with his other cases and instruct his staff to play through the game and report if there is anything that merits the Judge’s review because it might contradict his earlier opinion.

    While drawing out the length of the trial may give JT exposure, it also increases his downside risks if he loses. Legal costs for a game publisher and two major retailers cannot be cheap.

  63. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    I guess my question is… why is everyone so uptight about this recent decision? I mean, if, for some reason Jack wins this case, the game only gets blocked in Florida. If you dont live in Florida, this isn’t an issue.

  64. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nice one Niero! :)

    Wow, the defense backed up Thompson’s perjury?!

    When the topic of force feedback was discussed in relation to heads being crushed by cars, he stood up and said “LIKE A SPEED BUMP!”

    The DualShock doesn’t even vibrate when you run over dead peds in GTA!

  65. 0
    Elixer says:

    This could actually be a good thing. Maybe the judge wanted a copy so she could see for herslef whether it’s a “columbine simulator,” or just social sattire.

  66. 0
    kickassgamer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I have nothing to worry about. All I read about the game in previews is that the game is alright. I just wanna see what JT will say. I know I’m getting the game.

  67. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Thanks for the update! Although it sounds like the judge is a bit… anxious? Refusing to wait until TT had been issued the proper paperwork demanding a copy? I mean, it sounds like TT is complying anyway, but wtf?

  68. 0
    Bissel ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    But that’s why I want to go into politics or become a judge. That way I can play video games before they’re released. In the name of the public good, of course.

  69. 0
    Izmir the Astarach says:

    One assumes that Judges will be wary of similar actions being initiated my Mr. Thompson, once the frivolous nature of his claims are established.

  70. 0
    myrpok says:

    Are we going to have to do this for every upcoming ‘controversial’ game? It’s a big clusterf*%& of a political football. So rediculous. I want to stop paying my taxes for this shit right now.

  71. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    GP has confirmed with Judge Friedman’s clerk that Thompson’s version is correct. She added that the Judge will view the game in chambers beginning tomorrow afternoon and is prepared to spend several days watching its content.

    Sounds like Judge Friedman is going to have one happy intern helping him…

    Also sounds like Judge Friedman has an OBSCENE amount of free time to devote to this case…

  72. 0
    Izmir the Astarach says:

    In order for the Judge to issue and injunction of some sort or attempt to exercise prior restraint, he has to be satisfied that the claim ahs merit. So if he hasn’t issued at least a temporary decision, then t means he’s unwilling to do so until he see “actual” evidence, rather then the kind Jack is used to.

  73. 0
    Izmir the Astarach says:

    In order for the Judge to issue and injunction of some sort or attempt to exercise prior restraint, he has to be satisfied that the claim ahs merit. So if he hasn’t issued at least a temporary decision, then t means he’s unwilling to do so until he see “actual” evidence, rather then the kind Jack is used to providing.

  74. 0
    Scoops says:

    So… do they get one multiple people to play the game for a collective total of 100 hours, or does just one person play it for the same amount of time?

    I’d imagine that one or more of the judge’s interns will be having a fun week.

    Does the state pay the 100 hours worth of salary to the person(s) who do this?

    Yeah, I’d assume so.
    OVERTIME! /NBA Jam announcer 😉

    Also, Rockstar has to ho this by 3PM tomorrow… so if they got it at 3PM, and played non-stop for 100 hours of gameplay, Then they would be done at 7 PM Monday, which is the night before the offical release date…

    I doubt that they will finish those 100 hours before offical release. By then, I’ll actually have the game…

    Ultimately, the release date isn’t really the judge’s concern. The fact that Jack waited so long to bring his suit is his own fault. Maybe he was trying to pressure the legal system, but the judge doesn’t seem to be going for it.

  75. 0
    Izmir the Astarach says:

    On the face of it, it sounds like the Judge is either going to play the game, or have it played while he looks on. Either way, it sounds like he’s going to seriously review the content, which should mean that he will realize whow wrong Jacky boy is.

  76. 0
    T_ConX says:

    So… do they get one multiple people to play the game for a collective total of 100 hours, or does just one person play it for the same amount of time?

    Does the state pay the 100 hours worth of salary to the person(s) who do this?

    Also, Rockstar has to ho this by 3PM tomorrow… so if they got it at 3PM, and played non-stop for 100 hours of gameplay, Then they would be done at 7 PM Monday, which is the night before the offical release date…

    I doubt that they will finish those 100 hours before offical release. By then, I’ll actually have the game…

  77. 0
    Izmir the Astarach says:

    If you think about it, this really is not that terrifying an announcent, and It actually indicates that the judge is taking the case fairly seriously. All we can hope is that the game contains nothing the court would find objectionable. Based on the recent trailers, one has to assume this is the case.

  78. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    From what I understand, it would have to be the judge who saw a copy. Otherwise how would he rule whether the game qualifies as a “public nuisance”? If he relied on JT’s judgement, it would be an automatic conflict, because JT’s the plaintiff…

    The best part is, he doesn’t need to show JT any of it.

  79. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Actually, now that I read more on “prior restraint” in the US, it’s not that outrageous a request. HOWEVER, the court can only use valid restrictions on the 1st Amendment to prevent it’s release at that point (incitement to riot, obscenity, etc).

    Affecting people’s morals doesn’t cut it.

  80. 0
    Scoops says:

    Hang fire… is the judge getting a copy of Bully, or is Jack? I initially read it as Jack, but now I read it as the judge.

    If it’s the judge, then Jack’s chances are even worse. If the judge can sit there and actually know firsthand when Jack is dropping BS, his case is toast.

  81. 0
    Izmir the Astarach says:

    What would be extremely interesting would be if Take Two decided not to appeal, on the basis that the court would find nothing in the content of the game that supported Mr. Thompson’s claims.

    They may appeal simply on principle, but the whether or not this sets a precendent for the court, there is nothing to say that Take Two could not appeal a simaler dicision in the future, even if they choose not to appeal this one.

  82. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Interest Wiki article. It mentions that in 1931 the US Supreme Court declared that “prior restraint” (requiring government oversight of published media) illegal unless national security was at risk. (this concept was upheld in 1976)

    “The statute in question cannot be justified by reason of the fact that the publisher is permitted to show, before injunction issues, that the matter published is true and is published with good motives and for justifiable ends.”

  83. 0
    IanC ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Now ive thought about it yes it makes sense, the judge has only his word right now so he need proof. Of course JT will overhype this, which im not looking forward to

  84. 0
    Scoops says:

    I’m not surprised. It’s actually what I expected. Getting a copy of the game is a fair request in the context of the lawsuit. Denying Jack access would virtually guarantee an appeal on the ruling. The fact that Rockstar didn’t just give him a copy is mostly just down to the adversarial nature of the legal system. You don’t just give your opponent anything. You wait for a court order.

    I will be surprised if in the end the suit is successful. In the long run, unless Rockstar have been massively covering up game content, I don’t see this helping Jack. If the previews are accurate, he’s still getting a game that is nothing like what he says it is.

    Wedgies, Indian burns, swirlies and slingshots do not a Columbine simulator (nor a public nuisance) make. No matter how much you try to spin it.

    OT: Considering the open nature of the game (apparently even more open than GTA), if I had a kid in high school, I’d jump at the chance to give them this game. It might give me more insight into how they act at their actual school. Do they bully kids, or do they stand up for them?

  85. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ IanC

    I’m not surprised. The judge likely wants to see just how full of it JT is. Right now it’s JT’s word against TT’s that Bully is the bloodbath simulator of the century. The judge just wants to see for himself. It’s not uncommon.

    Either that, or the judge went “Sweet, I’ve been looking to score an advance copy for MONTHS!”

  86. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I anticipate an immediate appeal to the Third DCA by Take-Two

    Why not? You’re harrassing them in court. It’s their right to ask the court to back off…

    Oh wait, I forgot JT only likes courts of appeal if HE’s on the loosing side…

  87. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is a huge victory against the violent video game industry

    Because you know, it’s always a victory when someone forces a discovery of facts… ???

    The court ordered production of the game by tomorrow at 3pm, for his full review of the game while it is being played, up to or more than 100 hours.

    So the judge is going to play the game non-stop for 4 days straight? Or does he expect a ruling sometime next month?

  88. 0
    EMalachi says:


    The problem is that the judge agreed to review the game. Even if he gives the game a favourable review it still establishes the fact that the court has given itself the power to review media. It does not stop at simply videogames, either. Any creative content could potentially be brought before a judge before it is released. An insanse mother in Kansas could potentially attempt to get a judge to look at the last Harry Potter book before it is actually released in the states to determine if it will create satanists out of children in the state. It applies to all forms of entertainment. Regardless of how Judge Friedman rules, the simple fact is that the court should not have that power.

  89. 0
    CurmudgeonGamer says:

    I stand corrected about my comment on the limitations of movie purchases.

    However, there are almost no respectable retail outlets that will allow a minor to purchase an R-rated (or above) movie – or to see an R-rated film at a theater, for that matter. I have not personally witnessed the same situation when it comes to videogame stores.

    While I saw a problem with limiting sales of mature games to minors when I was a minor, now that I’m an adult, I don’t. I no longer see the big problem with treating mature rated games (and movies, for that matter) the same way we treat alcohol and pornography.

    We both know that it won’t prevent every minor from getting their hands on mature material, but it would go a long towards our industry being regarded as irresponsible (or worse) by those who don’t understand it. Right now, this [no legal prevention of minors accessing mature material] is a weak link in our defense against those who would seek to ban video game sales altogether.

    At least, that is my opinion.

  90. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    “However, there are almost no respectable retail outlets that will allow a minor to purchase an R-rated (or above) movie – or to see an R-rated film at a theater, for that matter”

    Not true. In fact, an FTC study showed that enforcement for R-rated DVD sales is actually WORSE than enforcement for M-rated movies (my kingdom for a link to that study).

  91. 0
    CurmudgeonGamer says:

    I seems that can’t type this morning. Let me restate that last comment:

    We both know that it won’t prevent every minor from getting their hands on mature material, but it would go a long way towards preventing our industry from being regarded as irresponsible (or worse) by those who don’t understand it. Right now, this [no legal prevention of minors accessing mature material] is a weak link in our defense against those who would seek to ban video game sales altogether.

    At least, that is my opinion.

  92. 0
    D00d says:

    You’ve got it all wrong:

    Judge: Hey.. about that video game.. I need a copy
    [… recieves copy …]
    Judge: Yo, dudes.. you know that new video game?
    Dudes: yeah..
    Judge: I just got a copy.. and 4 days to play it before I ‘issue my judgement’
    Dudes: rock on judge
    Judge: yup.. y’know what else I’ve got?
    Dudes: nope
    Judge: you know that so-called “felony posession” case that just ended..
    Dudes: yup
    Judge: well.. I guess I know where the ‘evidence’ is going
    Dudes: Rock on!! 4 Days of Stoned Atari bliss.. I’ll bring the pizza
    and the spray air freshener for yer ‘chamberz’.. Whats up with that baliff chick and that hooker that you ‘found innocent’ last month?

  93. 0
    Andrew C says:

    The Judge indicated that he will take however long it takes to see the game played in its entirety.”

    So does that mean he’s gonna relax watching the game when he should be doing judge work? No matter what anyone with a brain can see jack thompson declaring unsuitable for minors along with the ignorant judge, since he ruled in his favor. Why does a lawyer get exclusive rights to play a game just because he has a big mouth?

    I say anything less then having rainbows in place of bats, slingshots, and dunking a “black” student in a dirty toilet. If you don’t know, on G4 Thompson emphasize on saying “black student” when refering to a swirly. A atempt to get a ethnic group angry and then be exploited? You be the judge.

    That is my rant I would like to see people’s predictions on the outcome

  94. 0
    Andrew Eisen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A word on Thompson’s slingshot stunt:


    So what if he brought a potentially lethal weapon into the courtroom? What does that prove? If I were the defense lawyer I would have said, “So did I!” and held up my pen. Just because I show you how to kill someone with a pen doesn’t mean your going to do it.

    Besides, it’s not like Bully is going to teach kids what a slingshot is. All kids (especially Boy Scouts) know what a slingshot is and it’s not like no other video game character uses such a ruthless weapon. Link from Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda games uses them and he’s younger than Jimmy Hopkins is.

    Kids have been using slingshots before video games. Why I can think of a Mark Twain protagonist who wields just such a device.

    Andrew Eisen

  95. 0
    Steve says:

    Kotaku has another take:

    “The clerk I spoke to (dug up after co-sleuthing with Dennis over on GP) told me that the judge did not order the review of the game, but that Take-Two offered to bring the game in on Thursday at 3 p.m. so he could see for himself what all of the noise is about.”

  96. 0
    Grahamr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    this is far more exiting then the typical”Censors file law,law gets destroyed by judge” scenario. this one has more plot twists and intriguing characters to bring to the table.

  97. 0
    MalCorTan says:

    While the judge’s bite-back on the Destructoid article bothers me a bit (come to think of it, calling in a TT guy to play through for the Judge sounds a bit like what Brownback wants, hey?), I thought Thompson’s slingshot bit was a bit childish, no pun intended. Bringing in a slingshot just to show how something seemingly innocent could be dangerously harmful may get high marks in an English Lit. class, but it’s almost sad that he has to resort to representation to get a defense across. Then again, I could be wrong and it could be a brilliant maneuver.

    Still worried about the time constraint, though. I hope the judge won’t get impatient and rule on what’s already been played through. Also, I hope the guy playing it through for the judge will explain the elements of the game as well, so there won’t be any ignorance or bias for either side of the case. Gah, paranoia…

  98. 0
    Stairmaster401 says:

    I don’t find the actions of the judge to be off base. Hell, I think the whole thing suggests that he recognizes games as a form of speech (on some level). While he may have some personal bias, he seems to be following the process that would be followed with any other medium that is normally protected via the First Amendment. If the complaint was about a book, a CD or a movie, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see/read/hear the material before it’s streetdate. In fact, if there is the chance that it might be deemed unacceptible, then it’s ideal to try to get the choice made before it’s available to the public.

    Really, I doubt Rockstar has any true problem with it, since copies have probably gone out for reviews and things like that, and since the game is complete, there can be no accusing them of altering the product or holding things back from the media.

    Of course, I doubt it will matter either way to Jack. If he fails here, he’ll just continue until he wins, shouting his nonsense the entire way, and if he wins, God help us, he’ll continue on a larger scale, shouting his nonsense the entire way.

    He’s like the goddamn energizer bunny. It’s best to just ignore him.

  99. 0
    unangbangkay says:

    I hope that by “view the game’s content” the judge means “play the game or watch someone play it rather than see a video of the violent bits with all the other stuff cut out”.

    It’s also nice that the game got a “T” in a kind of twisted fashion, because now critics will howl and whine over how the bloodbath of the century got a “T” from the corrupt ESRB, and people will pick up or watch the game to see what the fuss is all about, and find absolutely nothing. This is of course an idealized scenario, but one can dream.

  100. 0
    jdmdsp911 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t think that the judge made any ruling yet Andrew. I think that he wants to see what the hoopla is really all about. This is going to be more to thompson’s detriment than helping him or even in his favor.

  101. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I’m sorry for my wording but what I was refering to the Jack’s “it has to be me that decides whether the game is or is not appropriate for children” I was relieved that is will be the judge deciding if it’s a public nuisance and not Jack Thompson.

  102. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    100 hours? Why so long? Judging by the game so far, after maybe 11 hours (at the most), you’d already have gotten through the main story gotten all the unlockables and found most of the easter eggs.

    Oh yeah I just thought of something, what if Rockstar put a parody of Jack Thompson into the game somehow (like you do something violent or the school goes into chaos and a lawyer blames it all on video games). That would mean that Jack Thompson would have to sit there (silently) while he is made fun of in the video game.

  103. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yes, there is precedent. Check out GP’s link on “prior restraint”. BUT the US Supreme Court put down rather strict rules on when prior restraint can be used. This is a dubious use, and hopefully the judge will see it as such and toss the whole thing, thus setting the precedent preventing further action against video games (in Florida anyway).

  104. 0
    shaun skipper says:

    I’m a little suprised by this ruling, however, what Mr. Thompson was asking for was not completely unreasonable. The Court may have granted his motion based on his pleadings and the experts, but I’m sure it also boils down to the fact that Mr. Thompson was probably much more prepared than the Take-Two attorneys. I’m not sure how seriously Take-Two took this hearing, but I’m certain Mr. Thompson had everything lined up. Good preparation will always win a case. If I were Take-Two, I would take all threats from the Government, or any Attorney, including Mr. Thompson, very very seriously. I’m still not convinced they are taking anything seriously, and these are the guys that, in many ways, brought us to the point we are today in terms of legislation and the current problems that are cursing the game industry as a whole.

    Overall, this sets a very creepy precedent, and it is one I think everyone should worry about, and I think we’ll begin to see much more of this in the future.

    Whether the game gets banned as a nuisance is a different story (which is ultimately where Mr. Thompson will probably take this), none-the-less, being orderd to provide the product to the Court for some sort of judicial review before release is a scary, scary thing, no matter how reasonable it may be.

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