BREAKING: Schwarzenegger Will Appeal CA Video Game Ruling

August 6, 2007 -
It's not over until it's over in California.

Although gamers were high-fiving and game industry types were taking a victory lap following news that U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte struck down California's 2005 video game law, GamePolitics has just received word that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will appeal today's ruling.

In a press release, the Guv said:
I signed this important measure to ensure that parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children. The bill I signed would require that violent video games be clearly labeled and not be sold to children under 18 years old. Many of these games are made for adults and choosing games that are appropriate for kids should be a decision made by their parents.

I will vigorously defend this law and appeal it to the next level.

Comments

@Jack Thompson

As a patriot, do you honestly feel that limiting freedoms is in our collective interest?

As a man of faith, do you seriously feel that retailers and government should make the moral judgments for the masses?

As a Republican, don't you believe in individual responsibility and limited, smaller government?

As an attorney, do you feel your valuable time is best spent combating virtual violence over real world violence?

Lastly, as a person, don't you feel that your money would be best invested in determining the real causes of violence?

Mr. Thompson, for me this is 5% about video games and 95% about our God-given and constitution-given freedoms. I do not wish to see you disbarred, as that would be against YOUR freedom of speech. I do, however, wish you would take a look at the heart of the issue.

@Kentonio

I remember when i was 12 years old i used to play Mortal Kombat 2 with the second controller in just to do the fatalities over and over again and i was far from being a violent, hostile or aggressive kid. I've just always loved fictional violence.
Pretty much everyone around my age at that time played violent video games like DOOM, Wolfenstein 3D, Mortal Kombat and watched shit loads of violent R rated movies, listened to tons of PA:EL CD's and it didn't cause them any significant damage or harm. They weren't going out and causing acts of violence that they saw in the movies, listened to in their music or played in the video games they had. About the only thing i remember that was emulated was some of the sayings in the movies they watched that they found funny or cool.
On the other hand though I've heard of plenty of kids being traumatized by watching Old Yeller and Bambi when very young and my brother until he was around 10 used to cry and get really upset when my parents read the story of Jesus's Death on Good Friday. Should this mean we must ban all children under 16 from watching Bambi, Old Yeller or reading the Bible. Seeing as those forms of media have caused a very small minority kids to become traumatized.
Also while there are a few kids out there who might get an idea or inspiration from viewing, reading, playing, listening to violent media BUT we cannot restrict the majority of normal well-adjusted minors Free Speech rights just because there are a few blooming idiots around their age.

You know looking at Jack's (hideously off topic) letter, I think that the best evidence for Jack's insanity is the letters themselves.

[...] Posted at 5:51 pm | Filed Under Misc news, Columns & Opinion  Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California and Last Action Hero, is not a happy man. He’s taken issue with U.S. District Judge John Whyte’s decision to reject a proposed law to ban the sale of violent games to minors. In a statement he said: [...]

Let's break down Thompson's letter again:
1. Shameless plug about book. (Twice.)
2. Inflating himself over media coverage
3. Insulting and Accusng others of corruption while trying (desperately) to retain the moral high ground.
4. Bashing the Bar Association.
5. Random showing off about the success against Clear Channel years ago.
6. Howard Stern Bashing.
7. Shameless plugging of CNN appearances.
8. Attack on The Sims/GTA
9. Overgeneralized Attack of videogame developers. (They may not read their bibles...)
10. A laundry list of things that are mentioned that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the actual matter at hand. (Letter has nothing to do with the story above, and a number of things have nothing to do with his current Bar Association Troubles.)

Way to go Jack you're just a rambling ranting machine. Now go plug this claptrap somewhere where it is relevant to the article we're all reading.

@Kentonio
The funny thing is i can point out someone (even younger than that) that was exposed to that kind of stuff and grew up just fine. What would have been trauma inducing for myself(at that young of an age) left my friend and his brother undamaged. It all comes down to the differences in our minds and how they were raised.

Also adding on to what Erik said, parents are involved with the large majority of game purchases for their kids. The kids who brought up by bad parents are usually getting the games handed to them, not walking into stores themselves. Some poeple here have been mentioning parents who buy games like GTA for their kids but either don't care about the content or don't pay enough attention to what they are actually buying. Many stupid parents just see games a "kids toys" or treats them like big babysitters. all in all, the very kids that these laws are trying to "protect" are getting games anyway. These laws fail in the precense of bad parenting

[...] Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California and Last Action Hero, is not a happy man. He’s taken issue with U.S. District Judge John Whyte’s decision to reject a proposed law to ban the sale of violent games to minors. In a statement he said: “I signed this important measure to ensure that parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children.The bill I signed would require that violent video games be clearly labeled and not be sold to children under 18 years old.Many of these games are made for adults and choosing games that are appropriate for kids should be a decision made by their parents.” [...]

@Kentonio

Even still, it isn't the governments job to raise children. Laws such as this are nothing more than a slippery slope for the government to invade our lives more and more. There is already too much interference by them already.

Also if these parents are that bad they are likely just going to buy these games for their kids anyways, so this "protective law" still fails. I know when I was 12 I never was able to get $50 to buy a game(no job) and no way to get to Gamestop(no car), and generally had to beg my parents for both.

@Monte:

Nope sorry, if you can point to an 11 or 12 year old kid that is fine with seeing savage and horrific violence, then you're pointing at a kid thats already disturbed. That doesnt mean its ok for them to keep doing it.

@Erik:

Except that doesnt always happen does it? There are always going to be irresponsible or just plain stupid parents who dont know enough or care enough to keep their kids away from violent media. I just dont see why the kids who are already unlucky enough to have to be brought up by such parents, should then just be abandoned by everyone else.

"Just because it doesnt make them go out and commit comparable acts themselves, doesnt mean that viewing such acts doesnt cause trauma and have other mental affects upon them!"


Well then their parents better do that parenting thing and keep them away from said violent media.

Well I've lost all respect for Arnold. I used to believe his story about working out day and night to come over to america and be an actor, then he admitted to using steroids to do it. Then I'm rooting for him to be governor of cali, cause I think he's got some good ideas, and then he supports this crap. Terminator 3 sucked, too. I can only hope he realizes what a disappointment he's been and tries to make up for it in the future.

And Jacko, your writing sucks. Using a thesaurus is not lunacy. And Draq suggests that Thompson should make use of pronouns.

Just a second, I keep seeing people talking about how violent games are unproven to have a harmful effect on minors, and then saying that it should be down to the parents. Are you guys actually trying to say that its ok for kids to see acts of horrific violence? Just because it doesnt make them go out and commit comparable acts themselves, doesnt mean that viewing such acts doesnt cause trauma and have other mental affects upon them! Personally I dont think theres any real difference between the affects on a 16 year old and an 18 year old, and would set the limit at 16, but I dont want 12 year old kids seeing extreme violence for instance, whether its digitally animated or not.

@Miha
"What about A0 games, can that be sold to minors in the US? Are there any laws restricting that?"
Yes they could be legally sold to minors in that there are no laws restricting the AO rating itself... HOWEVER, if a video game were to have enough sexual content that the game would be classified as Pornagraphy, then that Particular game would be illegal to sell to minors; just like all other forms of pornography in other media. So in essence, though a porn game and Manhunt2 might share the AO rating, it would be legal to sell manhunt2 to a minor, but illegal to sell the porn game.

The reason the AO rating is shuned by retailers and console makers is because of the controversy that surrounds the rating. Though the AO rating can apply to extreme violence, it is most commonly used for games containing high sexual content; the kind of games that many retailers don't want in thier stores and what console makers don't want on their consoles. Instead of looking at AO games on a game by game basis and picking and choosing which titles they don't want to carry, they decided to just shune the entire rating, and avoid any kind of contoversy that might come with it. This has had a chilling effect on game developers in that most of them will quickly dumb down the content in their games in order to get an M-rating, avoiding the AO rating like the plague since the rating evidently leads to poor sales.

@Kentonio
And that is YOUR decision to make, not one for you to make for everyone else. Kids all grow up differently and some mature faster than others and some are also raised to handle things better than others... what might be bad or traumatizing for one 12 year old could be just fine for another. Hell i know that fact from personal experience... It's up to the parent to decide what is and is not good for their kids.

But why dont some people accept movies or games for adults? Beacuse its entertainment, and that should be only for kids? LOL

Interesting people in the US:)

I understand now, that a game is protected by free speech. So basically, a kid cant buy an M rated game in store (even though he could theoretically, if the store let him do it), but his dad can buy it for him and let him play it. Because a kid has a right to see the M rated game, because its free speech, which is not limited to only adults?


What about A0 games, can that be sold to minors in the US? Are there any laws restricting that?

[...] From Gamepolitics: Governor Schwarzenegger Will Appeal CA Video Game Ruling. [...]

@Mike

Alcohol is different because it isn't speech, it's a drink. Furthermore it has a demonstratable chemical affect upon people. Games don't. The Constitution protects the right to speech, it does not protect what you eat and drink.

@Miha

Nothing is wrong with the M rating. It's no different from the R rating in that it informs parents that "Hey, this isn't for little kids, it's for mature people that will not be bothered by sex or violence in their entertainment."

The problem is that there's a segment of people that have taken to attacking videogames as the new "Thing that is destroying the fabric of society!!!" movies, comic books, and rock and roll have held this position in the past.

These people then proceed to lobby against the thing they find objectionable. Usually their "concern" is the media they don't like warping the kids. Thus they attack the parts of the media that is meant for adults and/or older adolescents on the basis that "it's bad for the children" and attempt to get it banned to avoid the possibility of it getting into "the children's" hands.

Social pressure from these people that feel they know how everyone's kids should raised is why the NC-17 and AO ratings are death knells in the USA. Because some people can't accept that a movie or game could be made that's geared to adults rather than kids, retailers and movie theaters fear to carry them.

Fortunately it's unlikely that anyone will succeed in getting a law to pass that'll stand unchallenged. There are several rights guaranteeing amendments they've got to get past, and they don't have the unchallengeable proof of harm that they'd need to get past them.

We have this argument all the time, and it's disheartening to see that there are still so many people willing to vociferously support videogame legislation while at the same time so ignorant both of the videogame medium (with its highly visible age labels and multi-faceted efforts to educate and inform parents regarding videogames) and the laws of our nation (such as the Constitution in particular, and the specific absence and unConstitutionality of laws keeping violent media of any type out of kids' hands).

@ all who think the government should legislate what kids can watch/play/do:

It's a different story to try to protect children from things that have causative effects in diminishing child welfare, things such as lack of education opportunities, starvation, lack of medical care. Improving those is something I think everyone against this law at this site would support, and a huge argument against laws like the one struck down in CA is that money is being taken from such efforts at real improvement of children's lives.

But instead of doing this, because it is difficult to addres all of the negative factors in so many children's lives, legislators irresponsibly focus on something they think they can beat, acting like Crusaders on a holy mission in their refusal to admit the scientific and Constitutional flaws in their efforts.

The attacks on videogames use studies which are not merely inconclusive (showing potential correlation but nothing near causation, showing what they claim to be agression without clear evidence that sch exitement in play corresponds to violence in real situations) but also unscientific (lacking controls and comparisons of the effects of other media, including various forms of violent and non-violent examples, on children).

But these attacks on videogames are easier than fixing economic disparity and its follow-on problems such as poor health care (thankfully being addressed to some extent) or the trickier issues like addressing mental health care and weapon availability, difficult to legislate because of the possibility of impacting those who are mentally sound or want weapons for viable reasons.

So politicians focus on an easy target that isn't supplying their campaign money, uselessly throwing money away to attack videogames because they can't afford to attack all violent media. That very choice to take the easy but illegal ground in legislation instead of putting money toward parental education already successful in the very things they say they want establishes whether they actually "care" about the welfare of children or their own support by those too easily swayed by the appearance of "helping the children" to research video games or false claims....

@ Jack Thompson

Whilst your blatant vitriolic hyperbole makes an entertaining read, perhaps the best place to post it would be in the topics dedicated to either you, or your current disciplinary woes. That said, I'm not suggesting you should ever be accused of being "on topic".

Many people will tell you that politics and religion make poor dinner topics, I think the same notion could be adopted to legal submissions thusly; "Religious mania and rabid paranoia make poor submission references"

Also, I hope your heart complications sort themselves out I wouldn't wish you the slightest harm. You provide a constant sort of amusement and serve to illustrate that no matter how much we may revile law professionals, we can console ourselves on that fact that they are not you.

Your health sir!

@bmk

oh really? What about all those accusations of sexual harrasment against him? That certainly didn't hurt him too much. Also he faced accusations of not caring about education (I think he cut education budget a lot not sure) during his re-election campaign and he still held a commanding victory.

Also I highly doubt the general populace of california (or the u.s. for that amtter) considers violent games a big issue.

I think he really does think violent games may cause harm to children, I think he ONLY wants to limit sales to kids and nothing else. However i'm almost positive he's not going about this the right way (if there is a right way that is).

@Todd
Actually, if you look at the statics over the years, IF retailers work at it, self enforcement can work pretty well... over the past 6 years video games went from an 85% failure to 42% failure, and it's easyu to think that the percentage is still dropping. It's true that theaters and retailers for other media has not had nearly as much improvement, but these places haven't been trying to work at it. Video games are at the center of controversy and as such the retailers are being watched closely and are under constant attack by politicans, as such they do the best they can to make themselves look good and thus work more to improve their enforcment. In contrast, movies and music are not suffering anykind of controversy and are not being watched or attacked... The FTC may may point out their failures, but polticans ignore such findings and don't bother to attack movies or music... because the movie and music retailers are not being watched or attacked in decades, they have become lazy and don't bother to remind their employees to enforce store policy... if employees are not reminded then the failure rate will not go down much.

@Gamer81
The idea that it is illegal for minors to see R-rated movies is a VERY common misconception, so much so that it is no surprise to find someone that is ignorant of the truth, so much so that rudeness is overboard; you give yourself a heart attack if you lashed out against every person under that misconception. It's easy to think where the misconception comes from. Poeple often hear about the illegal things that minors CAN'T do... minors can't buy alcohol, minors can't buy cigarrettes, minors can't buy pronography, minors can't have a full licence (only a permit), and so forth... minors can't do these things and their are laws against it. Furtharmore the average person doesn't familiarize themselves with specifics about the laws unless they have some reason to actually take the time to look it up; for instance what are the exact limits on free speech and other such amendments. So, when these poeple hear that minors CAN'T see R-rated movies, they jump to the conclusion that the reason a theater can't let a minor in is because their is a law against it; they do not consider that the theater is doing it because they personally want to and that there isn't any actual law.

@Todd

"In any case, maybe all three industries should be regulated? According to Gamer81’s link, none of this self regulation is working, so maybe we need this law, and more?"

No, I think the government needs less effect on our daily lives not more. Look at history to see what happens when the government is granted too much power. It has to come down to the parents to regulate their own children.

Here in Europe the M rated games get an 18+ rating here. But my friend was able to buy GTA SA, even though he wasnt 18+ at the time, cause nobody cares.

We all know that GTASA is played mostly by 15 year olds, and older.

Also in the US, when the goverment starts to regulate things, it gets more poverfull in it by every new day. It seems that if the goverment somehow got control over game ratings, that there wouldn't be a way back. I think thats the fear most gamers have.



And in Europe the laws are not so strict. In the US, if you do one thing wrong, you get 10 lawyers suing you and you need to do a couple of years + community service. No wonder that the prisons are packed full.

But thats another story.


So basically, someone explain to me what is wrong with the M rating. And what does the goverment actually want to do with all this? What does it want to regulate?

If a law gets passed, I guess the Games Industry will need to find a way to make T rated games more compeling for teens, without the violence of M rated games.

And find a way to make games rated AO, more compelling to adults.

Or M also.

Jack, post your tripe in threads where it would be applicable; otherwise you're flooding with spam. Then again, you're a troll and a stalker, so why is this surprising?

While I'm personally against any laws restricting minor's First Amendment rights (particularity older minors and teenagers) without some strong, consistent, indisputable evidence that the speech in question is harmful to them (of which the evidence claiming this is extremely weak and inconsistent, incredibly flawed and of course biased). And i also believe it's the sole responsibility of the parent's to restrict their children's access to Free Speech media they find inappropriate or unsuitable for them. I think calling Arnold a hypocrite is rather unfounded.
Arnold has made shit loads of ultra-violent movies BUT he has never said they are meant for children or should be viewed by children. The only case in which i could see this being hypocritical is if lets say a similar law to this one except it target movies was put before the governor desk and Arnold decided to veto it.
Also while i'm disappointed that Arnold is appealing this god-awful law, i can understand his reasoning. If Arnold didn't, then the media and Leland Yee (the real asshole in all this) would be jumping all over him claiming he's soft on protecting the children due to his past of playing in incredibly violent films. The media would scrutinize him to death.
I personally feel Arnold thinks this law is crap and knows it will be found unconstitutional in the end but he has to go along with this all full throttle or else the moralist prudes, mass media, soccer moms and Leland Yee will bitch that Arnold truly doesn't care about protecting the children and helping parents because he chose not to appeal this piece of shit legislation.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA

THE FLORIDA BAR,

Complainant,

v. Case Numbers SC 07 - 80 and 07- 354

JOHN B. THOMPSON,

Respondent.

RESPONDENT’S VERIFIED MOTION RE COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL

COMES NOW respondent, John B. Thompson, and moves this referee for an order regarding both its and The Florida Bar’s ongoing failure to comply with the law of this state and of the federal system regarding “competency to stand trial,” stating:
THE UNREBUTTABLE FACTS
1. Fifteen years ago, The Florida Bar, on the urging of the former chairman of the Florida ACLU and of a gay rights/marijuana legalization/shock radio attorney in Ft. Lauderdale, secured an order from the Florida Supreme Court commanding respondent Thompson to submit to a battery of psychiatric and psychological tests to be administered by The Bar’s hand-picked mental health experts to determine if “Jack Thompson’s obsession against pornography is so severe that he is incapacitated by that obsession and unfit to practice law.” The threat by the Supreme Court, reduced to an order, was that if Thompson did not submit to these ordered tests, then he would be suspended immediately from the practice of law.
2. Thompson’s attorney at the time, John Longino, urged Thompson to fight this bizarre judicial fiat. Thompson disagreed. “Let’s find out if I’m crazy. Besides, my wife would probably like to know.” John Longino, licensed to practice law in Georgia and Florida (respondent extends his condolences as to the latter licensure), can be reached at 1-800-LONGINO to confirm this true tale, which has been recounted in full in Chapter 7 of Thompson’s Out of Harm’s Way, published by the second largest Christian publishing house in the United States. Referee Tunis called Thompson’s account “propaganda” and then refused to recuse herself despite that revealing slip.
3. The psych tests by The Bar’s health care experts were conducted, and there was even testing done of Thompson for “brain damage.” The Daily Business Review, then called the Miami Review, ran a front-page story whose headline was “Is This Lawyer Too Crazy to Practice Law?” Its author was Robert Kuntz, who has since left the field of journalism and practices law in Miami at Devine Goodman and whose contact information is at http://www.devinegoodman.com/rjk.htm. Mr. Kuntz can confirm all this. Mr. Kuntz and Thompson, years later, found themselves in a new members class at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church. The Florida Bar, by its reasoning, should be concerned that all members therein should have been Baker Acted.
The Miami Herald reported all of this and more about Thompson in a multi-page feature story by Fred Tasker in the Sunday edition of the paper.
4. The Bar’s mental health care experts rendered their report: “Mr. Thompson is fully competent. He does not suffer from paranoia, hallucinatory ideation, or any psychoses or neuroses of any kind whatsoever. He has no brain damage. He is simply a Christian acting out his faith.”
5. Upon Thompson’s becoming the only officially Bar-certified sane lawyer in the State of Florida, The Bar’s insurance carrier, appalled by what it had done to destroy Thompson’s career, in violation of its own Rules, paid Thompson money damages for the privilege of being publicly and illegally stigmatized. Thompson’s exoneration was buried back in the Miami Review’s legal notices. As far as he can recall, the Herald, which never forgave Thompson for being the Republican Party’s opponent of Janet Reno in the 1988 campaign for State Attorney, never reported Thompson’s vindication. There was probably “no space available.” Tom Fiedler, the man who made a career for himself hiding in Senator Gary Hart’s bushes to confirm sexual liaisons, who loathes Thompson for Thompson’s concerns about the distribution of pornography to children, can confirm just why the Herald refused to report this conflict’s resolution.
6. The Bar’s having proven, by its institutional lunacy, the competency and sanity of Thompson, it stopped its SLAPP harassment of Thompson and moved on to greener regulatory pastures.
7. In August 2004, after numerous successes in what some call the “culture war,” Thompson filed formal complaints with the Federal Communications Commission arising out of Miami radio station WQAM’s airing of the Howard Stern Show, whose host himself called his terrestrial radio program “pornographic.” Stern complained at the time that “This lunatic lawyer in Miami got me off the air,” as Thompson had persuaded Clear Channel Communications to remove Stern from all of its radio stations because he aired the following comment:
“Ever bang any famous nigger chicks? What do they smell like? Watermelons?
Thompson also secured, as the formal complainant, a $495,000 fine against Clear Channel for its airing of Stern in violation of 18 USC 1464, which statute was declared constitutional by the US Supreme Court in FCC v. Pacifica, an “inconvenient truth” ignored by ideological zealots like Bar Governor/ACLU operative/US DOJ “target letter” recipient/alleged Medellin cocaine cartel money launderer Ben Kuehne (Thompson’s “designated reviewer” in current Bar matters), and others collaborating with The Bar.
8. WQAM hired the aforementioned Ft. Lauderdale lawyer to file Bar complaints against Thompson in retaliation for his having filed his FCC complaint. Sworn answers to interrogatories filed last week by this lawyer prove and admit that that is precisely why he was hired by WQAM’s parent company, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc., headquartered in Naples, Florida.
9. Significantly, when this lawyer wrote Thompson on August 24, 2004, threatening him with Bar complaints, this lawyer also threatened Thompson with new lunacy proceedings, which he spearheaded previously, with disastrous results (see above). Some people never learn.
10. On March 5, 2005, Thompson appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes at the personal request of Ed Bradley to discuss the role that Take-Two Interactive’s Grand Theft Auto cop-killing simulation games played in the death of three cops in Alabama. That wrongful death case relies in part upon the sworn testimony of four experts who have testified before the United States Congress about the overwhelming evidence that interactive violence simulators (video games) can lead to increased aggression and even criminal violence by teens who play these adult-rated video games. The US Supreme Court’s case (Rappaport v. Sims) which struck down for the entire nation the juvenile death penalty the week before Thompson appeared on 60 Minutes, relies in part, as stated in Justice Kennedy’s opinion, upon brain scan studies that show that adolescents and teens process this violent information in a different part of the brain than do adults, which neurobiological differential leads to predictable, foreseeable copycat violence.
11. When Thompson appeared on 60 Minutes about all this, all Hell broke loose. The video game industry, principally but not exclusively through Take-Two, commenced a number of collateral SLAPP assaults upon Thompson in order to drive him out of the Alabama case and to destroy not only his career but also his usefulness in such cases. All of these SLAPP assaults are fraudulent, and their purpose is to “shoot the messenger” since Take-Two’s aggressive marketing and sale of adult video games to children is indefensible, and they know it.
12. “Big Tobacco” similarly targeted the Insider, Jeffrey Weigand, portrayed by Russell Crowe in that movie, after he appeared on 60 Minutes. Video game industry lawyers may not read their Bibles, but they sure do know their SLAPP manuals, cover to cover.
13. The centerpiece of Take-Two’s and the video game industry’s shoot the messenger strategy aimed at Thompson is a set of three Florida Bar complaints authored by Blank Rome, whose main office is in Philadelphia, with offices here in Florida. All of these complaints are baseless and rest upon the demonstrably false cornerstone assertion that Thompson achieved pro hac vice status in Alabama by means of lying about his “colorful disciplinary history before The Florida Bar.” This would be the disciplinary history exhaustively set out a) above, b) disclosed fully in Chapter 7 of his book Out of Harm’s Way distributed around the planet and available now from booksellers everywhere, and c) delineated, in every minute detail, in a 25-page filing with the Alabama State Bar and trial court prior to Thompson’s being granted pro hac vice status. This Blank Rome SLAPP stunt is all based upon a lie which The Bar fully knows to be a lie by virtue of its possession of all of the aforementioned proof that it is a lie. Significantly, The Florida Bar, in thwarting depositions, Requests for Admissions, Requests for Production, answers to interrogatories, and all other forms of discovery, including Florida Public Records Law requests, refuses to answer just what Thompson failed to disclose to Alabama about his “colorful disciplinary history.” The Bar refuses to answer that one question because it has no answer other than “nothing.”
14. Thompson has repeatedly sought resolution of this matter by mediation and other means for the past three yeas. The Bar responded to these overtures, if the reader of this can believe it, with a written demand that Thompson plead guilty to certain charges and that he agree to a forced to a mental health examination by the Florida Lawyers Assistance program to determine if Thompson is mentally ill, incapacitated, or otherwise incompetent. Importantly, the assessment of Thompson is to occur after the guilty plea! Said Barry Richards, of Greenberg Traurig in between gigs arising out of Presidential elections, told one court: Well, it has been 15 years since Mr. Thompson was examined. This from the partner of ethics paragon Jack Abramoff.
15. At a recent formal mediation endorsed by this referee, The Bar’s assistant prosecutor Sheila Tuma, who has done nothing with her life professionally but prosecute lawyers, having never practiced law in the real world, waltzed into the mediation and demanded that Thompson accept a mental health exam or be disbarred. This is a Hobson’s choice, and The Bar knows it. On the one hand, there is the option of a second public stigmatization of a forced mental exam, and the sure end to Thompson’s career. On the other hand, there is disbarment. None of the SLAPP-happy Blank Rome lawyers care which Thompson picks. The result will be the same. As to disbarment, it will most assuredly occur, as Judge Tunis, apparently selected by Chief Judge Farina because she could be counted upon to secure the “proper result” in these disciplinary matters, just as Judge Farina’s “proper result” in the Lozano case led to race riots in Miami (just ask Superlawyer Roy Black, whose Medellin cartel bagman is alleged to be Bar Governor Ben Kuehne), has denied Thompson any and all opportunities to posit and prove his various defenses in the case and at trial before her. This is a judge who gives more due process to alleged rapists in her courtroom.
16. The Bar’s position, then, is that there is ample reason to believe that Jack Thompson, respondent herein, is incompetent. The Bar is sufficiently sure of this that it has now, twice, over the span of a year, demanded that Thompson submit to an assessment of that very issue by the folks at the Florida Lawyers Assistance program.
17. Despite the smug certitude of The Bar on this issue, The Bar refuses to comply with Bar Rule 3-7.13, which requires that such a demand can only be made a) after a sworn complaint is filed against an alleged mentally incompetent lawyer, b) after there is a staff office investigation, c) after a grievance committee, in this case Grievance Committee 11-F, finds “probable cause” that a lawyer is incompetent, and d) only after the allegedly incompetent lawyer is eyeballed by the grievance committee to see how crazy he really is.
The Bar has complied with none of these procedures set forth in Rule 3-7.13, confirmed as necessary and proper in a phone call between Thompson and the Director of Lawyer Regulation Ken Marvin, who sits in Tallahassee, charged with the obligation that this type of perversion of The Bar’s disciplinary process, in violation of its own Rules, not occur.
18. If the reader of this reads and gets nothing else herein, then he/she, especially Bar referee Tunis, should “get” this: The Bar cannot logically, and as a matter of law, propose a settlement of these disciplinary matters while demanding that Thompson be assessed for mental competency after he agrees to a plea deal. If Thompson is “incompetent” then he lacks the mental capacity, in a legal and in a common sense use of the term, to consent to anything. This is covered the first week in law school.
19. Further, if Thompson is not only “incompetent” now but incompetent previously, during the period of time that Thompson’s activism against those who distribute adult entertainment to children were threatening all of western civilization with his untoward behavior, then that alleged lack of mental incapacity serves to mitigate, in part or in whole, his culpability for what he allegedly did. No judicial system on earth, as far as Thompson can ascertain, determines whether a defendant is guilty, either by trial or by an admission of guilt, and then determines if he was and is insane, incompetent, or whatever stigmatizing term the state wishes to put on it. The Bar has, by design, put the guilt cart before the lunacy horse. Duh.
20. Can The Bar follow this reasoning? Of course it can. Even Thompson in his allegedly incompetent state can follow it. Hell, he’s making the analysis.
21. It is not Thompson’s position that he is incompetent. It is the freaking Bar’s position that he is incompetent, if the court will excuse the use of the vernacular to underscore the point. The Bar cannot hold permanent disbarment over Thompson‘s head in order to compel, by means of extortion, a forced mental health exam. The extortion is proven by The Bar’s utter refusal to answer any questions about what the nature of the alleged incompetency is and who is alleging it. This is Bad Faith 101. The bad faith is also proven by The Bar’s utter failure to follow its own procedures, clearly and lucidly set forth in Bar Rule 3-7.13, as to how to secure an examination and determination of the mental health of a lawyer if it reasonably believes he is incompetent.
22. So, to sum up and in trying to be so clear that even The Bar gets it, The Bar has hoist itself upon its own petard. It has been so clever in serially trying to use Thompson’s alleged mental illness(es) to coerce and exhaust him, that it has created for itself a dilemma, a conundrum, from which it must escape, one way or the other:
23. Either The Bar proceeds, under its Rules, to determine if Thompson is in fact incompetent, or it knocks this lunacy crap off.
24. As to the referee who keeps pointing out how cordial she is, while at the same time turning every hearing herein into a mendacious rubber stamp for whatever the gulagists at The Bar want, just as some of the guards at Treblinka undoubtedly smiled as they took their “relocated” prisoners to their showers, she, Judge Tunis, must follow The Bar’s own logic to where it has now led us all:
25. Either Judge/Referee Tunis conducts a preliminary competency hearing as to whether Thompson is competent to stand trial, or she explains in open court why she will not do that. Thompson has neither the time this referee has not the interest, it seems, in bothering to read legal research, that proves that no court, on planet Earth, can proceed with a trial when the prosecution asserts that the defendant is incompetent and must be examined for such incompetence. There must be a determination of that first, and then what follows follows. Those who know Judge Tunis say how smart she is. Respondent is sure she can figure this out, as there are literally thousands of cases, in Florida and other jurisdictions, that explain what “incompetent to stand trial” is and how the issue is to be addressed preliminarily, not after a trial occurs.
26. David Chapman, the man who shot Lennon outside the Dakota, was found “incompetent to stand trial.” He is still incompetent to stand trial. He has never been adjudicated guilty of anything, apparently because New York State has prosecutors, unlike The Bar’s Ms. Tuma, who went to Kafka School of Law, who understand that prosecutorial decisions, including extortion games, have consequences.
27. The Florida Bar has been, as the British say, too clever by half. On the one hand these paragons of procedures and ethics, these self-righteous Pharisees of political correctness, assert Thompson is incompetent, that he must plead guilty to all sorts of things while he is allegedly incompetent, that his apparent incompetence acts as no mitigation of what he allegedly did while incompetent, and he must agree to this completely insane approach by The Bar or he will in fact be permanently disbarred. Who is crazy in all this? Is it Thompson, or is it the apparent idiot savant immediate past President of The Florida Bar, Hank Coxe, who sat there in the Tallahassee offices of Greenberg Traurig and told Thompson, in front of five other witnesses, that Thompson should have his licensed pulled for being “vitriolic.” Hank Coxe should have his license pulled for being the functional equivalent of a regulatory moron. How about psych tests for Bar Governors? Thompson will pick the mental health experts.
28. How far does this recidivist effort to pathologize Thompson’s Christian, conservative activism go? It goes back fifteen years. How deep does it go? Here’s just one index of how deep:
29. The new Chairman of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., Strauss Zelnick, who led the successful charge to wrest control of that porn-to-kids video game company, on behalf of major institutional investors, agreed to meet on Central Park West recently with Thompson, just a few minutes’ walk away from the aforementioned Dakota. Strauss Zelnick posited one and only one question to the man who arranged the meeting, at which Mr. Zelnick assured Thompson that Take-Two was “in a war with Thompson that would be won at any cost.”
30. The question Mr. Zelnick asked, who has seen his company plummet since under his brilliant guidance, asked: “Is Jack Thompson insane? My people [Blank Rome] tell me he is.” Said the go-between, who has known both Thompson and Zelnick for years: “No, Strauss, he’s more sane than you.”
31. Let The Bar either put up or shut up about this lunacy matter. It cannot have it both ways. It must either drop this lunacy nonsense or use proper procedures, under its own Bar Rule 3-7.13, to determine whether Thompson is competent to stand trial, and that means before the trial, not after. This is so simple and so logical, that even a crazy person can comprehend it.
WHEREFORE, based upon all of the above, the referee must order a competency hearing if The Bar does not withdraw its written demand for a mental competency examination. Let’s have The Bar either stop this hurtful illegal insanity, or come forward with proof Thompson is impaired.
I HEREBY CERTIFY that I have provided this to Sheila Tuma, The Florida Bar, 1200 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, Florida, the 7th day of August , 2007, and to Judge/Referee Dava J. Tunis, who would do well to read it and act judiciously thereupon.
I FURTHER AFFIRM that the factual assertions above, under penalty of perjury, are true, correct, and complete, so help me (can I say this?) God.

_____________________________
JOHN B. THOMPSON, Attorney
Florida Bar #231665
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

@Todd

As to the "rude delivery", it is based on the frustration level that gamers like myself have with those who automatically claim there is a law restricting children's access to R rated movies and music CDs with labels on them. There is not now, nor has there ever been a law regulating children's access to these mediums. I didn't like the fact that you (unknowingly) claimed that R rated movies are regulated, and automatically assumed that music CDs with labels on them are also regulated when you claimed "I am pretty sure a minor also can’t buy a music CD with the profanity label". What made you so sure of this, is my question? The reason I ask, is not to "rudely deliver" the question, but so that it may help understand why so many individuals who seek to regulate video games and not other mediums are also mistaken when they believe movies and music are regulated when they are not.

I do agree with your last post that if video games ought to be regulated, that lawmakers ought to look at all 3 industries, but lawmakers, due to political contributions from Hollywood and the music industry, are rather reluctant to regulate industries that feed them campaign funds. Liar Leland Yee was shown to have received campaign money from both the MPAA and the RIAA, but nothing from any video game source. Which industry is he demonizing and attempting to regulate, and which industries is he completely ignoring when it comes to regulation? I don't think it is a coincidence.

I think this was blown way over proportion. Like other people said we have the ESRB for this. You must also think of Arnold and where he grew up in, Austria unlike here they look down on violence ( kinda ironic that he makes violent movies). Like people other people mention that parents buy it for there kids.

I still don't why people say that video games desensitise children more then movies. Sure you can control them, but I believe that kids can see the difference form Characters form video games, to real people in movies. So wouldn't movies desesnsitse children more just is that fact it looks more real.

Yeah I totally agree with all of you... I feel bad for the guys that have cybersex with minors and get busted. That is sooo unfair. It's the stupid parents' fault for not keeping track of their kids!!!



Well actually I agree with a lot of things you guys are saying, but you can't just write off a law because of what SHOULD be happening. Sure parents should be watching their kids, but some get alcohol from someplace even though it is illegal to sell to a minor. Why is it "constitutionally" different?

I think this should/could be a locally mandated law. If the people of CA think it is a good idea then let them have at it. But I don't think this is a question of constitutionality.

I do agree that the film industry should be held to the same standard, regardless of which way the law goes.

As for Arnold making violent movies... he's not trying to ban violence in the media, just help to control the distribution to minors.
And I saw that someone mentioned the toys for T2. Yes I saw those too. I think that's retarded too. But come on... Arnold didn't have anything to do with that. And even if you do think this whole thing is hippocritical of him, it shouldn't sway your judgement in deciding whether it is a good idea.

Anyway just some thoughts. I don't feel strongly about this one way or the other at this point, but I'm thinking this is a waste of time and $$. I just didn't see anyone really giving a counterpoint.

@Erik

Ah, I didn't realize this was all retailer enforced. Thanks for the update.

I do remember not getting into a couple movies when I was a teen because they required a parental guardian. I didn't think they would ever voluntarily restrict their #1 demographic.

In any case, maybe all three industries should be regulated? According to Gamer81's link, none of this self regulation is working, so maybe we need this law, and more?

I do agree that there are better things to spend tax payer money on, but I can also understand a parent's frustration at feeling like they can't control what their kid is exposed to. Of course, most parents are completely unaware of the parental controls that exist on their DVD players, cable boxes, and video game consoles. Maybe a campaign to educate parents to these existing parental controls would be a good alternative?

@Gamer81
Thanks for the information. I'll ignore the rude delivery.

@Todd

Do you even know how to read? Do you know how to interpret statistics? Just look at the Federal Trade Commission report which shows children are far more successful in purchasing R rated DVDs and music CDs with labels on them:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/04/marketingviolence.shtm

Where in the world did you (and others like you) get the notion that the movie industry and music industry are doing a phenomenal job, while the video game industry is doing a terrible job? Where in the world did you (and others like you) get the notion that there are laws protecting kids from R rated movies and music CDs with labels on them, when there aren't any laws regarding this?

Please get educated before spewing nonsense. This is the same type of nonsense that Liar Leland Yee and other anti-video gamers have been using, at taxpayers' expense.

Arnold and Yee are in bed with the movie studios, which is why they will always take actions against video games but never apply similar standards to movie entertainment.

It's ironic that there's an M-rated Conan game coming out that this law would apply to, when I would bet green money that any kid could go buy the R-rated Conan the Barbarian movie and neither Leland Yee or Conan the Republican would find the slightest problem with that.

"Sounds to me like this law is perfectly fine. A minor can’t buy an R movie, or go to an R movie in a theater (without a parent), and I am pretty sure a minor also can’t buy a music CD with the profanity label."


Wrong on all accounts. There are all voluntary on behalf of the retailers. But there are no actual laws backing any of this up. So Best Buy could have a sale on the Terminator trilogy at 50% half off to anyone seventeen and younger and no fines or penalties would be accrued.

When you realize that no other media has this kind of legislation, then you start to realize the hypocrisy of it all.

Guys, this is what we WANT. We WANT him to appeal to the Supreme Court. This is a GOOD THING. It means the Supreme Court can make a nation-wide ruling on games!

Bring it on, Terminator. Do you remember how the Terminator dies? I don't, but I know the Gaminator will die.

Sounds to me like this law is perfectly fine. A minor can't buy an R movie, or go to an R movie in a theater (without a parent), and I am pretty sure a minor also can't buy a music CD with the profanity label. So why not block them from buying an M rated video game? The game can still be sold, it is not banned. You are simply putting the power to buy that game into the hands of the parents. If a 16 year old wants to play GTA IV, then his Dad will have to buy it for him, that's all. And 90% of parents will. I saw a dad buying San Andreas for a 6 year old. Not much you can do about crappy parents.

@Gray17
Well i was speaking constitionality aside... because one thing that is often brought up when talking about the UK is that, even though they do have those laws ad can ban games, the power is very rarely used and there isn't much sign of a serious chilling-effect or slippery slope. I was pointing out why, unlike the UK, if such laws started up here in the US, there WOULD be a chilling effect and such to worry about. We got a lot of politicans who undoubtable would abuse those laws in order to gain votes, and another thing i didn't point out is that the US market is a larger market and considered more important than the european market (as proven by how often Europe gets shafted by later release dates and price cuts); so if publishers have trouble selling in the US than they might think twice about even making a game, particularly american developers/publishers who rely heavily on doing well in their home country.

@ElectroDruid
"but it’s still odd to mix nice fluffy family values with the erosion of the Constitution"

Welcome to American Politics 101... if you attach a clear pro-family or such message to a law, than you can gain support for it, even if it is the erosion of our constitution... Ignorant parents are suckers for it since they are either idiots or they don't know anybetter, and politicans who are indifferent are afraid to go against it since it would only serve to make them LOOK bad; afterall, if a politcan says that a law is to "save the children" going against such law makes it look like you don't care about the children... to many american politicans, it doesn't matter if you are doing the right thing, as long as you LOOK like your doing the right thing...

Also, these wouldn't really give more power to the parents... if i recall, i think there are studies that show that parents are already involved in the vast majority of violent game purchases for their children. These laws merely enforce something that almost already exists on its own, making it rather moot. These laws really are useless for helping children because the laws do nothing to stop parents from being aware of what their kids are playing... if little billy wants GTA, than many parents will buy it without thinking twice about it... these laws don't stop bad parenting, so they are not really helping at all

@Miha
"By making it illegal to sell to a minor, I mean they could implement a fine (1000 USD). Not jail time."

Problem here(other than what other poeple have already said) is that if politicans did manage to break free speech laws enough to regulate video games (somehow saying violent games aren't protected, saying minors don't have free speech right, etc), then the only thing stopping them from making harsher laws would be the amendment on Curel and Unusual punishment. Already in New york, politicans are trying to pass a law that would make it a felony(as opposed to a misdemenor) to sell violent games to minors; and a felony means jail time. Really, like i said in a previous post, there is no doubt that given the ability to regulate games, polticans will try to push harsher and harsher laws onto video game regulation simply because "saving the children from the evil video games" is just such a good way to gain votes.

Video game regulation would lead to a chilling effect and a slipperly slope. The chilling effect comes from retailers not wanting to make sell games that can get them into deep shit and game developers not wanting to make games that the retailers won't sell... the slipperly slope comes from polticans wanting to enforce harsher laws to make themselves look good; which in turn adds to the chilling effect

@clyde

I highly doubt those are his motives, first off you can still be a gamer and watch movies, secondly the laws do not forbidden minors from owning violent games, just from walking into an eb games and buying one, thridly i don't think he's in a lot of movies not that he's governer, and finally even if those were his motives, I think he would be smart enough to realise that the law he's proposing wouldn't help much.

@pix

I could get there eventually, but there are a few intervening levels it'd have to go through.

been english and not knowing the american legal system could some explain or clarify something for me.

if they take this further does that mean it will go to the supreme court.

wouldnt that be the best thing to happen, because if it was to be thrown out wouldnt that pretty much make them bullet proof from similar laws, as their lawers could just point to the supreme court and say, 'this sort of thing has already been thrown out by them'

@Gameboy

Yeah, I've tried the same "tests," where I have someone tell me the rating of a game and movie. I'll hold the front of the box about 10 feet from them, and ask for the game rating, which they get pretty fast. Then I toss them the movie box and they search around for that teeny little box.....The MPAA really needs to make their label bigger

How funny that the press release quoted the Guv saying "vigorously". I can't even imagine what it would sound like hearing him actually say the word, rather than reading it in writing.

Wigowusswyyy, or something to that effect. Man, he can't even say California properly. Caleeeefonyaaa.

Let's see if you can back up your claims, governor. I doubt it.

[...] Filed under: Culture [...]

Arnold is right by saying Parents need to take the initiative.

But they don't need a law to TELL them to do that. It's already a little thing called common sense, which apparently isn't so common anymore.

@Miha

The unfairness/illegality of fining for age inappropriate sales for games and not other media aside, it's also illegal to give a private organization the force of law. The government simply can't give the ESRB, or MPAA ratings legal enforceability.

Sigh, all these arguments are the same old rehashed crap. Every time something like this comes up instantly is compared to movies.

@Miha,
This has been discussed before as well, a fine would have a chilling effect on the game industry's sales. If every time a retailer sold an M game to a minor it was fined X amount of money retailers may begin to refuse to sell games with the M rating (see the current stigma with AO games). Either way I'm pretty sure its also illegal to make laws based on a independent organization.

How about the constituents of Lee/arnold on this site spend their time mailing them with their disapproval?

@GP also, any news the on the possible laws in being discussed in mass?

@ Miha

A fine is acceptable to the reatailers (not less then 5,000$). The kids on the other hand should get their games confiscated, and have their parent warned to watch over their children.

This is stupid. I've challenged people to find the ratings on both movie and game boxes. They usually find the game rating in a matter of seconds. I even ask them to explain the rating in more detail. It usually takes a moment, but they eventually flip it over and find the really large content descriptors. I find that people usually give up on locating the movie ratings fairly quickly (even despite being more familiar and actually having a clue as to where the rating is).

@ Keith and Miha

A fine is completely unacceptable. There is no fine on selling a CD with Explicit Content or a R rated movie to a minor. This would not only be an unfair double standard, but it would also be plain wrong.

Confiscating a kids game? That seems wrong. Who are you to take something from them? Maybe the parents felt the child was mature enough to handle whatever content maybe in the game. Even if they didn't, I see no value in confiscating a harmless item.

To Miha,

Either way. Both fine and jail time are unfair and sickening. I don't blame Arnold for this as blaming each other does nothing but makes things worse. As far as selling games to minor is concerned, I think they are being hypocritical by making it illegal and this message goes to Leland Yee, who has been giving video game industry headaches.

By making it illegal to sell to a minor, I mean they could implement a fine (1000 USD). Not jail time.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Whose next half decade of superhero films are you most looking forward to?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
ZippyDSMleeConster:Some PSP games are 10-20$, you can buy a few then rip them yourself or find an ISO. The emu is PPSSPP.I'm I the only one that hates crisis core?10/31/2014 - 11:28am
ConsterZippy: uh, thanks? Don't know any PSP games, though.10/31/2014 - 10:10am
ZippyDSMleehttp://arstechnica.com/business/2014/10/fcc-reportedly-close-to-reclassifying-isps-as-common-carriers/10/31/2014 - 9:44am
ZippyDSMleesomewhat ammuseing, http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/metallica_ask_fans_for_help_with_two_new_reissues.html10/31/2014 - 9:25am
Neo_DrKefkaAnyone remember that portrait from Resident Evil 1 in the gallery about a Middle Aged man full of worries? Anyone know the name of that portrait?10/31/2014 - 12:45am
MechaTama31Yeah, don't see myself getting a Vita or a PSTV...10/31/2014 - 12:04am
E. Zachary KnightWatch Ultron ruin all your Disney childhood memories in this How The Ultron Teaser Should Have Ended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra1sBRLRFtc10/30/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeConster:they finally made a working worth while PSP emulator.10/30/2014 - 8:10pm
quiknkoldMechatama31, you can get VC2 on the Vita and Vita TV. you have to buy it through PSN on PS3 and transfer it to vita and then playstation tv. I have it on my PS TV and it works10/30/2014 - 7:15pm
MechaTama31I loved Valkyria Chronicles. Still super cheesed off that the sequels were PSP-only... :/10/30/2014 - 6:57pm
ConsterI played Steamworld Dig on the 3DS, and it's pretty fun.10/30/2014 - 6:51pm
Matthew WilsonRECOMMENDED: OS: Windows 7 Processor: Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.8GHz (or equivalent) Memory: 3 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 (or equivalent) Hard Drive: 25 GB available space10/30/2014 - 5:49pm
Matthew Wilsonhere hare the system requirements. make of ithem what you will. MINIMUM: OS: Windows Vista/Windows 7 Processor: Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.0GHz (or equivalent) Memory: 2 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 (or equivalent) Hard Drive: 25 GB available spa10/30/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenStill a game I really want to play. Hope it's a solid port.10/30/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonValkyria Chronicles pc port needs 25ggb. not bad exept this game came out in 08 on the ps3.10/30/2014 - 4:56pm
james_fudgeEZK: my sarcasm senses are tingling ;)10/30/2014 - 4:21pm
Andrew EisenIf it's any consolation, Xbox owners, Wii U owners don't get the game at all. And if we did, we'd probably never get the DLC.10/30/2014 - 4:19pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://kotaku.com/destinys-new-dlc-kinda-screws-over-xbox-players-1652294153 Sucks when the shoe's on the other foot, huh.10/30/2014 - 4:12pm
E. Zachary KnightSo a vocational school in Oklahoma is being evacuated because someone found a briefcase in the bathroom. Imagine that. A briefcase ina school. That's unpossible.10/30/2014 - 3:33pm
prh99Also, Nintendo wants to watch you sleep..for Science! (*in best Cave Johnson voice) http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/10/nintendo-wants-to-watch-you-sleep-for-science/10/30/2014 - 2:47pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician