More on Jack Thompson vs. Utah Attorney General

January 20, 2007 -
Yesterday, GamePolitics reported on anti-game attorney Jack Thompson's harsh criticism of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's view that pending video game legislation authored by Thompson is unconstitutional.

The controversial attorney followed up with a caustic letter to Shurtleff (copied to several media outlets, including GamePolitics), which reads in part:
You are a free enterprise enthusiast who has locked arms with the video game industry even to the extent of doing tv ads endorsing the ESRB game rating system... 

Did you not know that sworn testimony before the US House of Representatives last year established that the ESRB rating system is a sham? 

You have publicly attacked Represenative Wyatt’s Utah video game bill.  You have no idea what you are talking about.  This is a constitutional bill.  I ought to know.  I drafted one nearly identical to it for Louisiana, and we got it passed unanimously...

The federal judge declared it unconstitutional because, he said, “there is no evidence that these games are harmful.  The Attorney General has provided me no evidence.”

And the judge was right, because the Louisiana AG took what we call “a dive.”  ...because he wanted the law to fail.  The video game industry... threatened Louisiana... that if it sustained this law, it would pull its video game software design studios and other operations out of the state.  Thus, the State blinked... 

Here’s an offer for you:  If and when the bill is passed, step aside, and I’ll defend it, free of charge, as a deputized special assistant attorney general of Utah... 

Actually, Mr. Shurtleff, you must step aside.  You have been the recipient of free advertisements paid for by the video game industry...

Thompson, by the way, is in Utah today to address the annual convention of the Utah chapter of the ultra-conservative Eagle Forum in Salt Lake City. The website for the event lists Thompson as:
Crusading Attorney and Author of Out of Harm's Way will speak on how violence in media (particularly VIDEO GAMES) is destroying youth by re-wiring their brains, causing involuntary violent behavior patterns. 

Comments

[...] Earlier this week, Utah’s Jack Thompson-authored video game bill was pulled by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff because he believed the bill would be found unconstitutional. This, of course, sent Thompson into a whirling tizzy and caused him to do the typical press release pimp-slap against Shurtleff. [...]

Hello all,

Just wanted to let you know that the bill will be heard in committee on Monday. I have looked at the make up of the committee and I will predict that it passes out with a big majority. It is not going to the House Judiciary Committee where it should go. It is going to the Public Utilities Committee. It is probably going there because they think they have a better chance of getting it out of committee. Sadly, if and when it comes out of committee, it will go to the house floor and will pass with a large majority. I just don't think they will have the political guts to oppose the bill even in the face of grave constitutional concerns. I hope I am proven wrong but that is my view from the inside of the Legislature. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail in the Senate.

Scott

First off, I would like to say that allowing JT to defend his crap on the condition that he had to pay all court costs is a great idea because it would not only force him to accept responsibility for his actions, it would put him out of business for quite some time while he ran around trying to scrape up that kind of cash.
Now, in regards to JT's letter, the number of obvious fabrications/misconceptions it contains is staggering.
First off, in regards to the "sworn testimony," when did testimony make reality? Just because the serial killer swears on the stand that he is innocent doesn't make him so.
Also, a 40% miss rate by big companies is not really that bad, but I would like to question this statistic. The NIMF's latest report card said that big business was actually very effective at catching these people(I think, someone please verify for me), and it stated that the majority of the blame lay with the parents who did not bother to check ESRB ratings or what their children were buying/playing.
The Bully thing has already been stated so much that I won't bother rehashing, but JT's repeated statements that games like GTA and Doom train people to kill is laughable. As anyone who has shot a real firearm (or even a pellet gun) can tell you, a video game is in no way similar. A video game does not teach you hand control or how to counteract rifle sway. It does not teach you stance or how to eliminate the stutter in you hands. It does not teach you how to cock, load, eject, or reload the weapon, as most of this is done automatically in the game. It does not teach you how to sight a target properly(in real life, you don't often see people pressing a button to select and scroll through a list of all nearby targets), and it definitely does not teach you how to deal with recoil, sound, jamming, etc. Only an idiot would say that a person can train to use a weapon, and apparently one of those idiots is Jack Thompson.
To the remarks about the Louisiana AG, it should be noted that he had nothing to present beause JT threw a hissy fit like a spoiled girl and left with his "experts" and "evidence" and left the AG with nothing, although I highly doubt that even with that crap the judge would have considered the matter any harder.
"Tell it to the cops in the ground in Fayette, Alabama."
This coming from the man who taunted and mocked a man who committed suicide. Jack Thompson is the last person who should be talking about respecting the dead.
His comments on the free market system are ridiculous. This country was founded on the principles of laissez faire, a cornerstone to any successful and true democracy, and to suggest that free market is wrong or should be limited severely to make it NOT free is preposterous. Maybe JT should go to a third world country where the people are ruled by a dictator and there is no Constitution or freedom of speech or video games. Maybe then he will be happy.
"There is more evidence of the harm done by these games than there is that second-hand smoke causes lung cancer."
Hmmm...I must have been sleeping the day the surgeon general came out and told the population that video games can harm you and that second-hand smoke isn't harmful to you. Aside from the obvious fact that one is a psychological study and the other a chemical study, I find that this statement is ridiculous. I would like to question exactly where it is that JT digs up his research, because it is very unlikely that second-hand smoke, which has been around as long as there have been cigarettes and tobacco, has been studied less than video games, which have been around only since around the 1970's.
In conclusion, I would like to suggest that Jack Thompson shut his big egotistical mouth and listen to sounder minds. The fact that this man managed to pass a psych exam still astounds me because of the number of insane things he tries to do. I personally suspect him of senility or a huge Messiah Complex, but if not, then I have only one question for Jack Thompson. What the hell are you on?

Oh so much fun to see JT take the knocks he so rightly deserves.

On a related note, there is another great write-up on Thompson's failures in legislative drafting 101 here:

http://www.allgames.com/blog.asp?blog=courtgamer

@ Brokenscope and Sen. McCoy

Thanks to the both of you for the replies.

"You are a free enterprise enthusiast who has locked arms with the video game industry even to the extent of doing tv ads endorsing the ESRB game rating system…

Did you not know that sworn testimony before the US House of Representatives last year established that the ESRB rating system is a sham?

You have publicly attacked Represenative Wyatt’s Utah video game bill. You have no idea what you are talking about. This is a constitutional bill. I ought to know. I drafted one nearly identical to it for Louisiana, and we got it passed unanimously…

The federal judge declared it unconstitutional because, he said, “there is no evidence that these games are harmful. The Attorney General has provided me no evidence.”

And the judge was right, because the Louisiana AG took what we call “a dive.” …because he wanted the law to fail. The video game industry… threatened Louisiana… that if it sustained this law, it would pull its video game software design studios and other operations out of the state. Thus, the State blinked…

Here’s an offer for you: If and when the bill is passed, step aside, and I’ll defend it, free of charge, as a deputized special assistant attorney general of Utah…

Actually, Mr. Shurtleff, you must step aside. You have been the recipient of free advertisements paid for by the video game industry…"-Jack Thompson

Whoah, this quote by Jack Thompson is really driven by self-centredness and bigotry.

Sad to say, people like Jack Thompson makes me feel ashamed to be a member of human race which in thought, should be a peaceful and kind species, but sad thing is, idiotic humans who choose to act like monkeys abuse freedom of speech and thought makes this world a darker place to live in.

@ Benji

Such a law would be doable, constitutionally, provided that there were a government organization that would review ALL media that came out and rated it. That means every episode of a TV Show, every direct-to-dvd movie, every magazine, book, comic-book, console game, PC game, arcade-only game... Essentially, if it passes along information, whether factual or fictional, it would have to be rated by this agency (and I say agency because such a thing could not be just a panel - it would be HUGE). To do anything else would make the bill unconstitutional because of a lack of equal protection. Even then, there might still be legal challenges based upon the first amendment.

Such an agency would require billions of dollars annually to run, and would slow the production of every source of media's release to the US Public. It would set the US back YEARS behind every other country in the world, and all because some parents didn't want to actually have an interest in what their children were doing.

It seems fitting that video game legislation that John Bruce "Jack" Thompson is involved with would be sent through a Public Utilities committee.

After all, both deserve to be flushed down the sewers.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software

"Here’s an offer for you: If and when the bill is passed, step aside, and I’ll defend it, free of charge, as a deputized special assistant attorney general of Utah… '


So, Jack wants to bypass the will of the People of the State of Utah, who elected the AG, and become one himself. Hrm... sounds like something that's Un-American there, Jack.

"Here’s an offer for you: If and when the bill is passed, step aside, and I’ll defend it, free of charge, as a deputized special assistant attorney general of Utah… "

Shurtleff's reply to this should be something along the line of... "Offer to pay the game industry's legal fees should you loose and THEN we'll talk. Afterall one of the main reasons we hesitate with such bills is because we don't want to wind up paying a 6-figure legal fee."

Uhg.. We don't even have to criticize this guy any more... It's so pitiful that he thinks he's putting up a logical, and furthmore, infallable, argument when all he's doing is proving that he cheated his way through college to become the spectacular lawyer he is today.

Honestly, I think he should've stopped and realized that he's been screaming that a law that was tossed out for being unconstitutional will not be constitutional anywhere else just because he made it. 90% of his argument is "I said it, therefore it must be right! You're all just too stupid and you've been brainwashed by the ESRB!"

I really think poor JT never had pong when he was a kid, so he turned into the evil game hating psychopath we know today.

There are two things you don't want to watch being made, as they say: sausage and law. This going to Public Utilities might be an example of why the latter is true.
At some point politicians cared less about leading the country and more about making sure they stay in office. I'm open to suggestions on when this became the case, but it's a sad state of affairs as it is.
Upon further reflection: on the one hand, it is not entirely incorrect that legislators are not the ones to be concerned with the constitutionality of a law. If so, then one might be led to the conclusion that they also would have some say in whether or not a law was constitutional, and that's solely the jurisdition of the courts. It's a bit of a jump to that conclusion, but if legislators do not determine a law's constitutionality, then it doesn't really benefit them to think about a law's constitutionality - it's someone else's job. But, they do need to take a look around and see that the path they're favoring is not one that's likely to benefit anyone in the long run. Even if they don't care about other states, they could listen to the AG - the one who'll be defending the bill. If he asks them not to pass the bill as is because it will not survive a challenge, well, it's just impolite to ignore him. So, my point is that, well, ideally, if the constutients really want a video game law, then fine, go make one. But first of all, take a stiff dose of reality and realize that it's not a good idea as it stands now.

"Crusading Attorney and Author of Out of Harm’s Way will speak on how violence in media (particularly VIDEO GAMES) is destroying youth by re-wiring their brains, causing involuntary violent behavior patterns."

Re-wiring their brains? Involuntary violent behavior patterns? Is the Eagle Forum really suggesting that video games are brain-washing today's youth and turning them into mindless killing machines?

"...I’ll defend it, free of charge, as a deputized special assistant attorney general of Utah…"

Anyone else take particular note of this part?

He presents it like he'd be doing the state of Utah a favor, all so he's got more fluff for his resume. Former Special Assistant Attorney General Jack Thompson. Nice ring, eh?

Wait til the next time he's shamelessly self-promoting: "Utah recognized Jack Thompson's expertise on the subject of video game and youth violence when in 2007 he was deputized as a special assistant attorney general in order to defend the state's video game bill."

...of course leaving out the bit about how he failed.

The man's a parasite.

After reading the entire letter (not all of which I am quoting, but read it and follow in order):

"I am in Salt Lake City later today to address Saturday morning your state’s chapter of Eagle Forum, which was founded nationally by the great conservative activist and thinker, Phyllis Schlafly."

Yeah, that'll help your case. After having been interviewed by NBC and denying that you are homophobic, you turn around and admit siding with an organization that is a known hate group against homosexuals (one only has to visit the official website and read their articles opposing same-sex marriages to see that). Frankly, a lot of what appears on that site seems oddly familiar. Almost as if I'd seen some of the stories on another radio host's website. Hmmmm....

Real bright idea to bring up "Hot Coffee". If the AG really is an "enthusiast" of video games, then it's highly probable that you are overlooking the fact that he may know the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth about the case. From the fact that, playing the game alone was insufficient to access the code. To the fact that it required additional coding by "modders" to access the code. To the fact that, without additional modding, the characters in the scenes were clothed. To the fact that the nude scenes required additional "modding". And I have not doubt that the AG is also well aware that Take Two was punished by the government for its acts. Nor would I be surprised if the AG, being an "enthusiast" of video games, is well aware of how the ESRB operates.

"Having learned nothing, the ESRB last year put a “Teen” rating on another Take-Two game and then put its stamp of approval on it, allowing it to be shipped to kids all over the world. Then a gamer found a sex scene in the game, which required its re-rating to a “Mature” game. Have you not been following all this, Mr. Shurtleff, as you endorse the ESRB ratings?"

Uh, no, John Bruce, it's rated "T" for Teen. All one has to do is go to the ESRB website, put "Bully" in the search bar, and hit Enter. Perhaps it's your own bigotry that wants it rated "M". After all, that "sex scene" which you claim was found, and reported previously as having written the FTC about, was merely... a kiss. Moreover, a kiss between the male Player Character (PC) and male Non-Player Characters (NPCs). Strangely enough, while the ability of two boys kissing gets a "sex scene" claim from you, you do not make the same claim when the male PC kisses female NPCs. Fascinating. I would think the AG would like to know that you just intentionally tried to lie and misinform him.

And next we have the FTC "sting" (official term "study") crap again. As usual, John Bruce, you fail to mention that the same study was performed over previous years, all the way back to 2000. And each year the study was performed, the incidents of failure to follow age limiting policies DROPPED each year. Proving, not failure, but rather, IMPROVMENT each and every year.

"Stop and think about that just one minute in the midst of your busy schedule. What if 7-11 had a 40% failure rate in ID-ing and selling beer and wine to nine-year-olds? Would you then enthusiastically defend the “free market” as an adequate means of protecting children?"

Oddly enough, you don't point out where such laws FAIL. After all, as with store created policies, the law has a major loophole. Even if a retailer follows policy/law, an individual of appropriate age can still obtain, legally (policy or law), the materials you refer to. After which, where that material ends up...

Age limit laws catch rare violators because enforcement cannot be done 24/7. The actual way to prevent violations is to encourage other consumers to be aware of age limiting policies in place by retailers and, when witnessing a violation, report the act to Merchant Associations, at the least. Having a watchful and active community (not over "appropriateness" but over policy) is far more effective than an occasional law enforcement agency spending money more on failure than success.

"I don’t take a back seat to anyone as a defender of liberty and individual responsibility."

No, you just simply don't take responsibility for your own actions. It's everyone else's fault. But then, we also see your comment as a lie because, it's not the shooter's fault for killing someone, it's the video game's fault. That's what these lawsuits of yours are about. Devin Moore and Cody Posey are just two examples. They aren't responsible. The overall lives they've had aren't responsible. Video games are responsible. After all, you then proceed to, as always, blame video games for violent acts commited by individuals. So much for "individual responsibility".

As to NIMF and Dr. Walsh, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Oddly enough, John Bruce, you don't point out that (1) NIMF does NOT support legislation but rather parental responsibility in making decisions and (2) This past year's report cards focused the bad grade on PARENTS. Funny that you failed to mention that.

"This is a constitutional bill. I ought to know. I drafted one nearly identical to it for Louisiana, and we got it passed unanimously."

Ya know, there was a word recently bantered about that had to do with this type of bragging and self flattery. Gee, wonder where I saw it? Nevertheless, there is one important fact: State Legislatures do not make decisions as to whether a bill is Federally Constitutional or not. Federal Courts do.

"He put forth no evidence because he wanted the law to fail. "

Uh, no John Bruce, there was no "evidence" because YOU held back the supposed "evidence" (and even if you had provided your "evidence", it would have still failed, but then, we won't know now, will we?) as proven in your OWN publicized letters/emails during that time. If GP is reading this, I hope he will link to that particular story, Thanks. It's on this site. As to you, John Bruce, what happened to "individual responsibility"?

Although those brain scan studies are outright misinformation as well, this line is most interesting:
"...and the American Psychological Association’s findings of a direct causal link between violent video games and teen aggression!"

Gee, John Bruce, I do believe that an interview with GP and several members of the APA PROVED that to be a lie. Really, John Bruce, are you missing that part of the brain that deals with retaining what you've learned or do you have some abnormally large part of the brain that forces you to just simply lie and deceive others?

"No evidence? There is more evidence of the harm done by these games than there is that second-hand smoke causes lung cancer. The notion is utterly absurd."

Actually, John Bruce, the "evidence" you refer to about video games is "subjective" as well as highly "interpretive". That's how most psychology works. Not to mention that individuals are affected differently for a great many reasons. And much of that complexity is not studied nor is it even compared/contrasted to other mediums. Therefore, any such results tend to be slanted towards a DESIRED result, rather than one obtained with a massive amount of varying data proving or disproving a theory.

Also note that research into second hand smoke is far more recent that supposed studies into the effects of various media formats on an individual. Therefore, your comparison in that alone is misleading. I have not even pointed out the differences in chemical versus psychological reactions yet.

"Here’s an offer for you: If and when the bill is passed, step aside, and I’ll defend it, free of charge, as a deputized special assistant attorney general of Utah."

Ah yes, the old "My way or My way". And if YOU fail, as usual, who will you blame then? You didn't even take responsibility for your own loss in FL over the case against Bully. Who will you scapegoat if you loose in Utah?

Free of Charge? Here's a much better argument (and put it in writing, notarized as a legally binding contract):
If the bill passes, and John Bruce defends the law in court, and the bill is struck down... John Bruce has to pay the court costs that the game industry will sue for out of his own pocket. Let him even do the appeal all the way to the US Supreme Court. But if he looses, ALL the court costs must come from his OWN pocket.

C'mon John Bruce. You're that all fired sure that YOU can succeed, put your OWN money where your mouth is. Heck, I could have gone as far as saying not only should you have to pay for ALL the court costs, but that you had to publically admit that it was SOLELY YOUR FAULT that it didn't pass constitutional issues. Not the fault of the game industry, not the Utah AG's fault. Not the Utah legislature's fault. Not even the fault of the judges who ruled against you. YOUR fAULT ALONE. But, I suspect you're too cowardly to take "individual responsibility" that far.

Why am I not surprised JT is a member of the Eagle Forum? If you know anything about them, they're pretty much in line with his way of thinking. Phyllis Schlafly is almost as big a nut as he is. Birds of a feather, eh?

Here's some more information:
Eagle Forum: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Forum
Phyllis Schlafly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllis_Schlafly

"This is a constitutional bill. I ought to know. I drafted one nearly identical to it for Louisiana, and we got it passed unanimously…"

and then it got shot down for being unconstitutional.

An idle thought came to me, and I'm somewhat interested in running an informal poll in the comments here to determine just what people's opinions are on the ideal - not necessarily the reality - of a legal bar against selling violent media to minors. Y'know, kind of like what some other countries have, what with a ratings system that has the force of law.
I for one would not oppose such a measure, as long as it addressed the constitutional issues - though I would find the constitutional issues to be quite frightening if the laws currently suggested were to pass. But, if an actually constitutional law that prohibited the sale of objectional media (not just video games) to minors did exist, I would support it. And I'm somewhat curious if other GPers share such a belief or if I'm on my own here.
Bonus points to anyone who can suggest how such a law would be worded - I don't know if there is one that doesn't require rewriting the Constitution.

"And maybe you do not know about the “Hot Coffee” scandal that broke in July 2005 in large part because of my efforts which revealed that Take-Two, the makers of the Grand Theft Auto games, had knowingly embedded interactive oral and anal sex scenes in their game, which necessitated a world-wide recall and rerating of the game. The ESRB had completely dropped the ball."

I think everybody here knows about the Hot Coffee scandal but there's a new take here on it I didn't hear before. Anal sex? Mr. Thompson must have quite the perverted mind if he sees that in those pixels. Then again, he equated boy-boy kissing to homosexual sex.

Wow, Thompson continues to top his own stupidity day in and day out. Talk about beating a dead horse until it becomes glue.

1)How does the testimony of a Harvard researcher on how to improve the rating system make said ratings system a "sham", especially considering that said rating system is similar to the movie system and its rating is more noticeable on the box than the rating on a movie?

2) a)If the Louisiana bill was constitutional, why did the judge also say that the bill was no different than the other failed legislation before it?

b) The judge had the legal precedent established by the previous ruling showing no evidence of "harm" by "violent" video games.

c) Charles Foti had no evidence of "harm" because Thompson did not even attempt to provide his "evidence" and his "experts" to defend the bill.

d) The video game industry… threatened Louisiana… that if it sustained this law, it would pull its video game software design studios and other operations out of the state.

If this is even true, then that's a hell of a bluff on Lowenstein's part, because to my knowledge, we have no video game studios in Louisiana.

3) Shurtleff should say, "Sure, I'll step aside and let you defend it, but on one condition: You lose, and you will owe both the industry and the state of Utah the legal fees from the case."

Thompson is nothing more than an imperious(arrogant), impotent(powerless) baby who throws a temper tantrum everytime things don't go his way.

the reference to Congress is in regard to the June, 2006 hearing as reported by GP:

http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/306226.html?

JT's take that the House decided the ESRB is a "sham" is his spin. But the hearings WERE contentious and the ESRB DID take a beating during parts of it. It was not Pat Vance's finest performance.

BTW, this was the hearing that Jon Stewart skewered so comically on The Daily Show:

http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/310875.html?

"Having learned nothing, the ESRB last year put a “Teen” rating on another Take-Two game and then put its stamp of approval on it, allowing it to be shipped to kids all over the world. Then a gamer found a sex scene in the game, which required its re-rating to a “Mature” game. Have you not been following all this, Mr. Shurtleff, as you endorse the ESRB ratings?"

And what is this game he is talking about now?

@Nuiembre- that would be Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion. However the ESRB contends that the violence dictated the change to the M rating.

JT staying in utah TODAY! Heaven help us.. The war between Christianity and the LDS church will begin a new because of this :) J/K.

I hope I don't have to hear of this on the local news tonight. If I wasn't working right now I'd probably go up there and tell JT to take his speech and go back to Florida with it.

It's easy to know who to like and dislike. It's hard to know what is BS and what is fact. We all know this web-site and these comments we make are biased. It doesn't mean our facts aren't facts it just means we aren't neutral in terms of what we want to happen in the future.

That said, I try to disprove someone in my own head by taking them seriously and sort of trying to get on board with them just so I can see eye to eye. That is the best way I know to cure myself of my own biases. I started out looking as JT as a fanatic who wants his 15 min of fame. I haven't completely left that notion, but I'm now in the place to try and cure myself of my biases against him. I have to say though, he doesn't make it easy. He's a lawyer and to me that reads no different than "learns the laws to manipulate the truth."

As someone who is trying to believe JT, it's hard to see all this evidence. It's not hard to see why people believe him and believe in him. However, I haven't seen this undeniable evidence yet, and I will continue to look for it. That's a big statement coming from someone studying to become a game designer.

-Mustasio

I wish you'd host up the entire text, even if you don't cite the whole thing in your article. Excerpts don't do the vast gulf between JT and reality justice.

@IanC:
Closest match is http://www.joystiq.com/2006/09/28/dissecting-rockstars-formula-joystiq-p...

Most likely, he's allegedly referring to a reference to Kimberly Thompson. This testamony isn't stating that the esrb is a sham, but merely provides recommendations on how to improve the ESRB (e.g. have people play a segment of the game rather than simply watch a video).

Kimberly's testamony also focuses on a more abstract version of violence, including "abstract violence" such as ghosts chasing pacman (and vice versa) but still gets an 'E' rating. There's also the case where there's the games are similarly rated 'M', but have differing levels of graphic violence. An interview is shown here: http://www.joystiq.com/2006/08/23/violent-pac-man-researcher-responds/

In any case, it's still nothing to worry about.

You know, I'd actually take Jack up on his offer. That way, the AG won't have the deal with the hassle of defending a bill he knows in unconstitutional and Jack will make a true ass of himself. Heck, they should record the whole thing on pay-per-view.:)

Seems like a fairly typical temper tantrum response from Mr. Thompson. That bit at the end though is a really, really bad idea. We in no way want someone like J.T. just appointed to any kind of position like that. That state's attorney general is an elected position. If he really wants a job with them so bad run for office in his own state.

":No evidence? There is more evidence of the harm done by these games than there is that second-hand smoke causes lung cancer. The notion is utterly absurd"

of course it's absurd. Smoking has undisputable reasearch, videogames have none.

I'm pretty sure Shurtleff is going to make sure Jack Thompson has as much chance defending the bill as a snowball has surviving in hell.

"And the judge was right, because the Louisiana AG took what we call “a dive.” …because he wanted the law to fail. The video game industry… threatened Louisiana… that if it sustained this law, it would pull its video game software design studios and other operations out of the state. Thus, the State blinked… "

OBJECTION!!!

Actually, the industry would have, and had every right to sue the state of Louisianna, then costing them more and more money in the long run. And even if the development houses just left, then many jobs and alot of tax revenue, gone. Why? Because Jack Thompson had to have his way. That or he wants to increase unemployment and homlessness. Game developers need to eat too.

Laddy Jack trying to tell other attorneys what THEY must ethically do is, to say the least, laughable.

Does jack actually pay attention to whats going on? mabye he should go live in germany, they hate media over there too it seems.

Strange a guy who hates media thumps his chest over his tv apearences.

@Gray17

Regarding that, I'm surprised that during that hearing in Florida , we didn't hear about Jack constantly asking the Rockstar employees "Ok, what code unlocks the AK 47 and Columbine mode?" Good comeback would have been "up up down down left right left right BA start." "It was so easy!! Wait, no gun?" "No A and B buttons, hence no code."

sorry, didn't mean to be mean, just making a little joke.

In fact, in regards to a recent knife attack in a school, I"m surprised he didn't blame that on Bully, despite that you don't get a knife in the game.

@RTFM - you know, I get that quite a bit. And I realize how unpopular Thompson is among the gaming community. However, please remember that this is GamePOLITICS.

The man is right in the middle of Utah's legislative initiative regarding video games. He is on the offensive against Utah's attorney general. It's all enormously political and it revolves around video games. It's what we do here.

If you would prefer to read about cheat codes, game reviews, etc, by all means, there are plenty of sites for that. But however you feel about Thompson, when he is involved this deeply in a political situation, how do we not cover it? WHY wouldn't we cover it?

give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire....

Keeping these kinds of media blurbs up front is the reason Jack Thompson does what he does.

As typical we feed these media monsters the fuel they deisre. Stop reporting on Jack Thompson and he will go away. Although what will you report if you can't scrape the retard barrel?

Breaking news! Scientific research on video games supporting Thompson has been found!

here!

And I quote:
"Playing video games can satisfy deep psychological needs and, at least in the short term, improve people's well-being, new research shows."

Oh, wait... That's good news. Suck it Thompson. I really hope someone in the audience brings up those recent articles.

Sadly, being a dumbass isn't a crime. Otherwise, people like Thompson wouldn't be allowed out in the streets.

Ohhh! Damn! A whole letter! I missed the link at the top. more to take apart :D

(Did you not know that sworn testimony before the US House of Representatives last year established that the ESRB rating system is a sham? There are “Teen” rated games that have more violence in them than some “Mature” rated games. The ESRB does not even review the entire games before rating them. And maybe you do not know about the “Hot Coffee” scandal that broke in July 2005 in large part because of my efforts which revealed that Take-Two, the makers of the Grand Theft Auto games, had knowingly embedded interactive oral and anal sex scenes in their game, which necessitated a world-wide recall and rerating of the game. The ESRB had completely dropped the ball.)

You have use the Oral and anal before. From what I've seen of Hot Coffee There is no "oral" Also as far as I know The ESRB didn't drop the ball. Once they got wind of what happened, They got ON the ball and changed the rating.

(Having learned nothing, the ESRB last year put a “Teen” rating on another Take-Two game and then put its stamp of approval on it, allowing it to be shipped to kids all over the world. Then a gamer found a sex scene in the game, which required its re-rating to a “Mature” game. Have you not been following all this, Mr. Shurtleff, as you endorse the ESRB ratings?)

Wow Thompson while Bully was getting stamped with a "T" rating Another Take Two game, Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis was being stamped with an "E" rating. Imagine that.

(Stop and think about that just one minute in the midst of your busy schedule. What if 7-11 had a 40% failure rate in ID-ing and selling beer and wine to nine-year-olds? Would you then enthusiastically defend the “free market” as an adequate means of protecting children?)

Let's twist this back around. 60% success rate.

(But go tell your free market tales to the six parents of three girls shot and killed in Paducah, Kentucky, who are my clients, whose three daughters were shot and killed by a 14-year-old video gamer by the name of Michael Carneal who trained on Doom to kill them because he was sold the game despite his age.)

Hey, I'll tell them that myself! Hey, you there! Doom did not train Michael Carneal to kill your kids!

I mean listen to yourself. You use the same line to anyone who makes that Argument. You sound like a broken record.

(Go tell your free market fantasies to the families of three policemen in Alabama whose loved ones were shot dead by Devin Moore, after he trained for months on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I was on 60 Minutes about all this maybe on an evening that you were, as you say in ads paid for by the video game industry, playing video games with your children. Devin Moore, at the age of 16, walked into the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Jasper, Alabama, and was able to buy Vice City, no questions asked, with no parent in sight. Is that your definition of a free market that works. Tell it to the cops in the ground in Fayette, Alabama.)

I guess for how much I have played Vice City or any Grand Theft Auto I must be trained up enough to be a cold blooded killer. And an expert marksman. I wonder if the Goverment will give me a job as a assisan.
...Oh wait. That won't happen 'cause videogames can't train to kill. They can't train you to effectively use a gun. You sound like a broken record.

(Take-Two unleashed on the world the game Bully this past year. It is a Columbine simulator in every sense of the word. The ESRB rated the game “Teen” without ever playing it to conclusion. At the conclusion the hero of the game has to turn his school upside down with violence involving explosives and slingshots to the face to win the game. That is how you, the player, win the game. The National Institute on Media and the Family, headed by Dr. David Walsh, a clinical psychologist who yearly gives Congress, at the request of Senator Joe Lieberman, its “Annual Video Game Report Card” actually played the Bully game, Mr. Shurtleff, and he is appalled. He says it is really a “Mature” game masquerading as a “teen” game. Your prized ESRB ratings are a total sham.)

You are still harping on that huh? Still sore that it got sold and you couldn't stop it? I still see that you are still using David Walsh amd the NIMF's names after you were told many times to stop. Also have you forgotten that The NIMF gave the videogame industry on it's last report card all good grades and scolded the Parents?

(You cannot be allowed to defend this bill, if it becomes law, because you have already made clear that you will NOT defend this law. Oh, you will go through the motions, and then smile as it is ripped apart, so that you can, on behalf of the video game industry that promotes you, say “I told you so.”)

So you are going to step up and defent the bill so it will pass without problem. No It will fail no matter who's defending it.

(Step aside. Lawyers who want to protect children from predatory entertainment companies are ready to do the job you took an oath to do.

Regards, Jack Thompson)

Just one "Lawyer" you. I don't really see any other lawyer doing this but you.

- Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Why is he bothering to forward his emails to sites like this? Surely he realizes that no one (around here, at the very least) takes him seriously anymore. (If anyone here ever did in the first place.)

@tony selby

Last that was heard, Thompson declared it a "win" when the judge said "he would come back to the case in june 2007"

Guys, I think Thompson is right about violent games rewiring our brains for involuntary acts of violence. The other day I was at the doctor's and he hit my knee with a hammer and the damn thing just kicked automatically. I ran out of that place and started rubbing my body with motel room bibles as quickly as possible. I'm not sure but I think I got all the sin out. Pray for me.

in his letter he references the Devon Moore case, does anyone know what has happened with that case since he was thrown off of it? or is it sitting aside waiting to get it's turn in court?

You would think that an incredible lawyer like Jack would know the proof by assertion is a logical fallacy.

Wait more of them are coming out of the wood work.

"Bandwagon" (Argumentum ad populum) If lots of people believe it MUST be ture. Fallacy!

Ad hominem Attacking the person not the argument.

Theres more, but Im to lazy to put them all down.

Since when does something being said before Congress make it true?

It'll be funny when he tries to file an Amicus Curae [sic] in Utah.

A single attorney offering his services is bogus. When was the last time any court case of this magnitude involved a single Attorney? JT needs to set aside his Grisham novels and remember he operates in the real world.

His offer to defend the law might be more attractive if he upped the ante on passing it. "If the law passes, and then is found to be unconstitutional, I will personally pay, out of my own pocket and any future legacy I may leave my family, the expenses inccurred to pass the law in legislature, the costs to defend the law (including paying for the services of the other state-paid attorneys and clerks who will have to assist me in the defense, as well as the court costs themselves), AND the trial expenses incurred by the ESA and/or other involved parties from the game industry."

@ Mustasio

Exactly. If you can't convince an audience to side with your arguments using completely objective and verifiable truths, expressed as objectively as possible, then you are probably on the wrong side of the argument.

That said, I would like to provide evidence to prove video games are bad, and evidence to counter that whenever possible:

BAD:
Complaints about violence in videogames seems to be based on Cultivation Theory, developed by George Gerbner in the mid-1960s, which says that the television we watch affects our view on the world and how we act. Results showed a minor trend to that effect. Video games were later presumed to have a greater effect for their interactive nature, a perfectly reasonable argument.
COUNTER:
A study, called "Aggression and Psychopathology in Adolescents With a Preference for Violent Electronic Games," was done in 2002 to determine whether violent video games encouraged violence in male and female youth. This study revealed a strong relationship between a preference for violent games and thought problems such as depression. This, however, is not a cause-effect relationship but merely a correlation, so for example violent games do not necessarily cause depression and depression does not necessarily cause a preference for violent games. However, the study also showed absolutely no connection between violent games and violent acts.

BAD:
Some video games have explicit sexual themes and therefore should be banned.
GOOD:
The Hays Code, adopted in 1930, did the same thing to movies. Essentially, it gave three guidelines that if not followed would cause a movie to be banned. Viewers must not sympathise on the side of crime and evil, only correct standards of life can be shown, and law shall not be ridiculed. This code, however, was replaced by the current movie rating system in 1967. Video games already have such a standard. If the precedent is to be followed, this means that banning video games that are rated is nonsensical. Unrated video games still seem to be fair game.

BAD:
Countless studies show that children are more prone to being affected by violent video games. 5 consistent results are, according to Craig A. Anderson, "increased aggressive behavior, thoughts, and affect; increased physiological arousal; and decreased prosocial behavior"
GOOD:
The American Psychological Association summarizes the issue as "Psychological research confirms that violent video games can increase children's aggression, but that parents moderate the negative effects." Also, some studies explicitly deny that a connection between violent games and the five listed effects exists, most notably Anderson and Ford (1986), Winkel et al (1987), Scott (1995), and Ballard and Lineberger (1999).

BAD:
Video games seem to cause addiction, isolation, anti-social behavior, and depression.
GOOD:
Many video games specifically encourage the social aspect of gameplay. Other aspects may be correlated with these effects, such as lack of care and attention from parents or a child's natural disposition.

BAD:
MMO games cause addiction.
GOOD:
This is the only one that I cannot find evidence against. However, I also believe that anything and everything can cause an addiction, but that MMOs are just more obvious about it. I cannot then deny that MMOs are just as likely to cause addiction as anything else, but they still do not do it 100% of the time.

Er, that previous post should be signed:

nightwng2000
NW2K Software

I just got finished reading the wikipedia on the "Eagle forums". I must say they are a bit of a backwards bunch. They are opposed to GUN controle and support a ballistic missle system. But are opposed to video game violence? Ok, lets kake that all in for a sec. They support things that achually cause death and distruction, but oppose video games that have shown to not have a corilation with violence.

"Having learned nothing, the ESRB last year put a “Teen” rating on another Take-Two game and then put its stamp of approval on it, allowing it to be shipped to kids all over the world. Then a gamer found a sex scene in the game, which required its re-rating to a “Mature” game."

wasn't that game Elder Scrolls? And in the end it turned out that the "Sex scene" was user created content that you can get off the internet? I think that was it but then again i could be wrong. Can any one conferm that it was user created?
 
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prh99You have to assume they will seize onto any negative to give advertisers the impression that their message and the site's that run their ads are in conflict.10/02/2014 - 2:25am
prh99The unflattering characterization "They don’t know how to dress or behave." & "‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction..." probably didn't help.10/02/2014 - 1:52am
prh99Probably not many as it was purely a vindictive move. The headline alone was plenty of ammo, but for those that did read and complain..10/02/2014 - 1:42am
Andrew EisenI wonder how many of those who complain about that article actually read past the headline.10/02/2014 - 1:37am
prh99http://intel.ly/1tjh1AH http://bit.ly/1rGPHOY http://intel.ly/Zu6go9 it isn't surprising "Gamers are over" didn't go over very well.10/02/2014 - 1:34am
Papa MidnightCan you parlay that to #WriteAGawkerArticle? The cesspool of horrid crap over there extends far beyond Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 12:34am
Andrew EisenWow! Intel dropped Gamasutra due to GameJournoPros? Over Matt Matthews? The only Gamasutra guy in the group? Who hasn't written a single thing about #GamerGate at the site? Where did you read that?10/02/2014 - 12:32am
Neo_DrKefka#WriteAKotakuArticle "#GamerGate is responsible for breaking millions of Intel powered macbooks after angry SWJ hipsters slam them shut" or "How Toxic Processors from Intel causes sexism. "10/02/2014 - 12:15am
Neo_DrKefkaSo Intel has dropped Gamesutra due to there support of your Gaming News Cabal Fudge. Anti GamerGate article soon? Or like your e-mails are you hoping this narrative dies down soon?10/02/2014 - 12:14am
Andrew EisenWell, time to eat some dinner and work on the Hyrule Warriors guide until bedtime!10/02/2014 - 12:11am
Andrew EisenJust finished my stream. That... could have gone better. Technical issues prevented me from playing a console game so I instead played and bitched about The Walking Dead for two hours. Oh well, the folks watching still seemed to enjoy it.10/02/2014 - 12:09am
Matthew Wilsonwe all know valve can not cout to 3.10/02/2014 - 12:08am
MechaTama31Who cares? Gimme Portal 3!10/01/2014 - 9:38pm
quiknkoldAndrew : Mostly I decided there were better people who could explain what was going on, or fight any battles that may come up. so I decided not to talk about it anymore.10/01/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenI don't recall you promising that. GamerGate is not a taboo discussion here. Anyway, thanks for the link. Very interesting.10/01/2014 - 8:47pm
quiknkoldI know I promised to not talk about Gamergate again, but Intel just pulled sponsership from Gamasutra over it http://techraptor.net/2014/10/01/gamasutra-intel/10/01/2014 - 8:40pm
quiknkoldP.T. is a game I just cannot play alone. I puss out hard on it. need somebody with me when I play that. Kojima was right. it is Pants Shittingly Scary10/01/2014 - 6:17pm
quiknkold@james_fudge not playin all the way through. P.T, Silent Hill(Not sure which), Resident Evil Gamecube Remake, Alien Isolation, Ghostbusters, Outlast, Super Castlevania 410/01/2014 - 6:04pm
james_fudgeI wish I could like that last shout.10/01/2014 - 5:48pm
MechaTama31Tried out Sims 4 on my brother in law's pc. Promptly got my sim exhausted, to soil himself, then sent him without cleaning up to mock people at the museum. Good times...10/01/2014 - 5:33pm
 

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