In one of the more compelling video game controversies of 2006, anti-game attorney Jack Thompson sought to have Rockstar’s T-rated Bully declared a public nuisance by a Miami judge.
Despite his failure in that case, Thompson has vowed to pursue the same tactic against M-rated games in 2007. An e-mail press release sent out by Thompson on Christmas Eve reads in part:
Thompson announces today that he will bring lawsuits in the next calendar year, under various states’ existing public nuisance laws, to stop the marketing and sale of certain ESRB-rated “Mature” video games to minors…
Thompson’s 2006 suit to stop the sale of Take-Two/Rockstar’s Columbine simulator Bully was just a practice run for what is to follow. The court’s order of the production of the Bully game prior to its commercial release sets the precedent for what Thompson will do again, but this time with Mature-rated titles that the Federal Trade Commission has recently found are being sold to children across America 42% of the time!
GP: Frankly, we don’t see this happening. For one thing, Miami-Dade County Judge Ronald Friedman’s order to produce Bully in court for his review carries no legal authority in other states. And, despite his demand to view the game, Friedman ultimately ruled that Thompson’s public nuisance claim was entirely without merit.
What’s more, Thompson has unsuccessfully tried to push this idea before. In 2005 and 2006 he sought to convince California Attorney General Bill Lockyer that police officers could walk into retail stores and seize copies of 25 to Life under the public nuisance theory. That suggestion went nowhere.