Last week GamePolitics broke the news that troubled game publisher Take Two Interactive had filed suit against anti-game activist Jack Thompson in Federal District Court in Florida.
Late yesterday, Thompson sent out e-mails containing a copy of his response to Take Two’s suit as well as a counter claim which, among other things, alleges the Grand Theft Auto publisher is at the center of a vast conspiracy to deprive Thompson of his civil rights.
Referring to Take Two in the court filing as “thuggish pornographers,” Thompson charges that the company violated federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statutes, commonly used to prosecute organized crime syndicates.
Among Thompson’s claims:
Take-Two has, since July 2005, been at the center of an effort to violate Thompson’s civil and constitutional rights… In addition to… extortion (intimidation) of Thompson… Take-Two has committed other predicate RICO acts, including but not limited to fraud, distribution of obscene and/or sexual material harmful to minors…
Additionally… Take-Two, through its Blank Rome lawyers, sought in Alabama to tamper with a witness in a pending criminal case, according to that witness’ lawyer.
Neither the witness nor the lawyer are named in Thompson’s filing. The Alabama reference would be to the Strickland vs. Sony case in which an 18-year-old GTA player killed two police officers and a police dispatcher. Thompson represents the families of the victims in a $600 million lawsuit against Take Two, Rockstar, Sony, Wal-Mart and GameStop. The judge in that case, however, revoked Thompson’s pro hac vice (visiting) admission to the Alabama Bar in November, 2005.
Later in the 37-page filing, Thompson adds perjury and obstruction of justice to his allegations against Take Two. He claims that Take Two has “collaborated and conspired with third parties to commit these racketeering activities.” As alleged by Thompson, these “third parties” include many influential video game websites and publications, including this one as well as Kotaku, Joystiq, GameSpot, IGN, Penny Arcade, EGM, Game Informer and Spong.
Thompson also claims that game industry groups including the ESA and ESRB are involved as well as consumer group the Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA). The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.