Jack Thompson Seeks to Have Halo 3 Declared a Public Nuisance in Florida

September 21, 2007 -
With the video game event of the year - the Halo 3 launch - just days away, game-hatin' attorney Jack Thompson is apparently seeking to re-create one of his greatest non-triumphs.

Although he failed miserably with a similar bid against Rockstar's Bully in 2006, Thompson hopes to have a Florida court declare Halo 3 a public nuisance. He promised as much late last year (see: Jack Thompson Vows More Public Nuisance Suits Against Games in 2007).

No surprise, really, that Halo 3 is in the media-hungry attorney's crosshairs. Thompson seems to prefer rattling his saber when high-profile game releases are involved. In his latest attention grab Thompson has released the text of what appears to be a court filing in the 11th Circuit, the same jurisdiction in which he failed embarrassingly during last year's Bully case.

Once again, Thompson is basing his claim on a Florida statute which defines public nuisances as that which:
...tend[s] to annoy the community, injure the health of the citizens in general, or corrupt the public morals

To get an idea of what the public nuisance law was really designed for, the types of places named in the statute include:
...any house or place of prostitution, assignation, lewdness or place or building where games of chance [i.e., gambling] are engaged in violation of law or any place where any law of the state is violated, shall be deemed guilty of maintaining a nuisance...

GP: Not a video game retailer in the bunch.

As with Bully, Thompson clearly hopes the court will grant him a hearing. Although after last year's well-publicized Bully performance, which earned Thompson a Bar complaint from presiding Judge Ronald Friedman, that seems unlikely.

More troubling by far are the long term implications of this action. Thompson apparently feels emboldened to invoke Florida's public nuisance law against any video game he desires to target. That is the essence of censorship and the video game industry cannot allow it to continue on any number of grounds - legal, moral or creative.

The full text of Thompson's complaint is here (MS Word format)...

Comments

I would have to say that Jack Thompson is the real public nuisance.

I don't believe this, he couldn't stop bully and he thinks he can stop one of the most hyped games in existence

Just like his previous efforts, this will end up at best with him being ignored and at worst giving him an opportunity to further dig his (in)credibilty hole.

Congratulations, Jack. Your pathetic, irrelevant flailings are a great source of humor to us all.

Way to go, trying to ride Halo 3's mass hype.

Knowing the Halo franchise's community, Jack is in for a whole world of hurt by attempting to mess with such a high profile release.

Think they're bad on Xbox Live? Wait until they get news of this... It might get rowdy.

@ oni

don't bother, he'll do it anyway.

So can anyone in the know tell me what happens when he loses his license? Hes filed this suit presumably with the intention of acting for himself, but when he can no longer do this, will he have to forfeit?

so whens the countdown till Microsoft buries him start?

Isn't there a law against waisting the courts time by filing "I-know-this-will- get-no-where-but-it'll-get-me-in-the-media-spotlight-so-I'll-do-it-anyway- cause-all-I-care-about-is-making-myself-look-good" cases? If there isn't then there should be.

Thompson should not be allowed to waste the courts time when there are more serious issues at hand. Try and do some *real* good with what little time you have left with your life, Jack.

He isn't serious is he? I mean come on didn't he learn anything from the Bully case.

Yes because pissing off some of the biggest companies in the world, and a man whos net worth is more than some small countries GNP is just a smashing idea. Seriously has jack accepted that he's done now and just want to go out with a massive bang? Because that's the only reason I can think of doing something this massivly stupid.

Ok, now we can plainly see Jack Thompson's lies:

11. The proof as to the causal nexus between violence simulation video games and real-world violence is legion, but one of the more notable proofs is found in the August 2005 Report of the American Psychological Association that establishes the direct causal link between violent teenaged video game play and teenagers’ aggression. The recent U. S. Supreme Court case of Roper v. Simmons, which struck down the juvenile death penalty, cites the brain scan studies similar to those coming out of Harvard, Indiana, and Michigan State Universities that prove that these violent games are processed in a different part of the brain in adolescents and teens than in adults, and it is the sector of the brain that leads of teen violence copycatting these violent games like Halo 3.

So far there has been no causal link, no evidence, no Legal Cases that can support any of this, yes there is evidence of a heightened sense of aggression after playing a violent game, but that's it. No basis for this claim what so ever.

Jack honestly thinks he's still the anti-game bogeyman; that everytime he threatens to move against an upcoming video game, we're all going to shake in our shoes. "Oh no, Peter Cottontop is back! What are the chances he'll succeed... this time?" No, Jack. No. We're not scared of you. We never had a reason to be scared.

Also, there's something hilarious and ambiguously wrong about the phrase "rattling his saber".

Now that I've read the case itself, some reactions:

Now he's not only claiming that Lee Malvo trained in sniping on Halo, but that the Army uses it to train snipers? IIRC, Halo doesn't even simulate gravity on sniping weapons. The base rule is pull the trigger when it's in your crosshoirs, which hardly seems to qualify as training. (point 9)

"Video game" should be hyphenated in point 11.

Point 12: This is one of the sadder attempts at spin I've seen. Recognizing something may not be good for kids isn't the same thing as community harm and recognizing parents will throw a fit isn't the same thing as copping to any sort of harm. Do we ban roller coasters because you must be a certain height to ride? Do we take the fact that libraries are typically separated into adults' and kids' books as a sign the adult books are dangerous and should be banned?

Point 14: I Best Buy is in violation of an out-of-court settlement (and I think he's mischaracterizing this), the thing to do would be to bring a civil suit specifically against them, not a public nuisance suit to ban a game. This is beyond the points that were amde earlier abotu the FTC considering cred cards valid for age verification as minors can't get them without parent/guardian approval. If they don't want Junior looking at porn and Halo, they can just not sign the form.

Point 15: This is the crux of his claim that Halo 3 itself, rather than Best Buy is a public nuisance, yet he backs it up only with a vague reference to news reports. Aren't you supposed to cite evidence?

Point 16: Again, what do false claims have to do with a nuisance suit? This sounds more like an issue for the FTC than the local courts.

Point 17: Prohibiting Microsoft from selling indirectly to anyone under 17 amounts to prohibiting them from selling it at all. Since hasn't named mail-order outlets beyond Best Buy in the case, presumably it would be Microsoft's job to make sure Amazon didn't sell to some kid in Pennsacola.

Overall: note the lack of any specific claims about Halo 3 or explanations why it falls under the public nuisance statute beyond vague claims that it's violent. He does cite (misleadingly) some studies on the matter, but does nothing to demonstrate these studies would apply to Halo 3. The closest he comes is citing a news story that the Beltway Sniper played Halo.

If he's lucky, the court will reject this at the first hearing, minimizing the damages Microsoft can counter-sure for.

@ Devestator3388: foreign corporation means they are incorporated in another state. Washington for Microsoft and Minnesota for Best Buy.

Sorry for the double post.

Let's not forget about the Florida residents that pre-ordered Halo 3.

I nearly laughed up a lung when I saw Jack's complaint. Not because of his usual lies (which annoy me more than amuse me), but because he apparently thinks Halo 3 will not be out for another month.

Better work fast, Jacko! Use those lightning-quick massacre chaser reflexes!

Possible other titles for this article:
-Jack Thompson Runs Out of Targets
-Jack Thompson: Out of ammunition
-Jack Thompson, Still Crazy

To JT, when he appears:
I can't believe you have dropped so low that you will attack one of the most popular franchises that has had no negative light in the media. Just leave the public eye immediately or accept your Bar complaints and become an unemployed ex-lawyer.

Sincerely,
J-Guy

I can honestly see that if Halo 3 is banned in Florida, Jack Thompson won't have to worry about people at Take 2 coming to get him...

Oh, thats not a statement that only gamers would do something like that. If the Dolphins (god forbid) make it to the Superbowl, and Jackie-boy here decides to get it banned because its a "public nuisance", I could see some chair jockeys getting up and finding where he lives. Then again, wouldn't be hard...the guy posts his personal info every 3-4 comments he makes.

Come on...Halo 3? Its not even that violent of a game! And who has ever said "Halo made me do it"? Go back to finding ways to keep your sanity, as well as your lawyer status, under control...because I know one is almost gone, and the other is sure to follow.

I think he will look very foolish when people leave EB games or Best buy with copies of Halo 3 next week.

That said, I hope the judge allows the hearing to go through, so that he can have his say, and Microsoft can have their say and absolutely crush him. Then the Bar can look at this and see how incompetent he is and dismiss him from the Bar, therefore, ending his career.

Oh, and don't bother looking north of the border for a new job, we won't take you

Actually, you know what? Forget that, he did go after The Sims 2 before, so this isn't as shocking now that I think of it, lol. But, it's still sad nonetheless.

I thought their curfew was 8PM EST? oh, the things i could come up with using photoshop and the intarweb.... lol

@Iniquus:

"2)It’s so much more fantasy than realism, that you’d have to be mentally undevelloped/ill to be influenced by it."

... which would explain JT's problem with HALO 3.

@Seany-boy:

"Jack hasn’t written because good Christians are in bed by 10:30pm EST."

... that's just it, he's not a good Christian. (or human being, or lawyer, or sore loser.)

@Mnementh2230:

And even if it did, I was hoping Jack could tell me where I can acquire a real life version of the Spartan Laser? ... Yeah, I didn't think so.

This will be a legitimate court win for Microsoft.

I'm sure we've all heard the expression 'to bite off more than you can chew' but I think the sheer proportions of this stunt warrants a new one:

'since you're already choking on a whole turkey, might as well go ahead and try to down a great whale too'.



...Hey, that means Jack finally set a precedent!

Now there is something to 'HOOAH!' about!

I assume it would be stupid to ask, "Doesn't Jack realize that teen decision-making IN GENERAL occurs in different parts of (and of different ways within) the teenage brain than it does in the adult brain?" since he obviously is a little short on his reality check.

Here it is slooooowllllly, Jack:

Teen-age-ers do not have full-ly de-vel-oped pre-front-al cor-tex-es. Or at least, they use that area of the brain for a lot of thinking and so it isn't yet specialized sufficiently to perform the same level of empathy and impulse The problem isn't that kids are being influenced more by what they take in--it's that other people's feelings and health factor less into some teens' decision-making than it should for a mentally normal adult.

Of course, people with mental disorders have weird results depending on disorder, but videogames sparking that area of the brain in normal teenagers means nothing because it is a part of the brain they rely upon more heavily than adults, and in more (nearly all) questions of choice. So if it's sparking, all that means is the teens are thinking about what they're doing, and God forbid we should encourage that.

Jack Thompson is a public nuisance. His release should be blocked in Florida.

Someone should declare Jack Thompson a public nuisance - I bet there's a case for that!!

Jack, Jack, Jack... You have brightened my day considerably. The comedy you create is hilarious. Especially because it is unintentional.

Wow Jack you think anyone gives a shit about what you think about Halo 3? Im so glad I live SO far away from Florida.You Bastard.

I would like to see the source for this comment:

"John Muhammad, knew the efficacy of the first Halo video game in this regard, [u][b]because the Army in which he served used this same murder simulator to train snipers to kill.[/b][/u] "

Or is just throwing random, made up BS ok right before you state "Under penalty of perjury, I declare the foregoing facts are true, correct, and complete, so help me God, this September 21, 2007."

@ MC117

He's royally ****ed is what he is.

And i'll say it again: this won't get to hearing. What's Thompson's definition of 'foreign'? Because that's what he's calling both Best Buy and Microsoft in that document. Last i checked, those were both American companies.

@Black Manta

If only.. Although it does sound more ABC than FOX.

Awesome! It took him a while to jump back on bashing the Sci-Fi shooter genre...looks like Doom and Quake finally are off the hook!

@steve

Causing undue stress upon others and encouraging people that disagree with him to commit suicide ("Go by a suicide game and get real good at it") is definitely detrimental to society.

@chozo_ninpo

Nice spoof, but it should be "lively-hood", which is to say a profession. Good stuff otherwise! :)

This is probably going to get throw out off the bat, but in the hopes it does go to court I am going to love watching Microsofts gold plated lawyer robots legally rape Jt to death.


Thats a picture to go on your wall.

but, as the law states, it isnt.

One hour to go Thompson. Tick Tock. But its starting to seem unlikely you will be able to stop the release. But that would be par for the course wouldn't it?

[...] ??? ??????? ?? ???? GamePolitics.com, ??????? ????? ???????? ?????? (????? ? ??????? Microsoft Word) ? ??????????? ???????? ???? Halo 3 “??????????? ????????????? ???????????”; ? ???????? ?????????? ?? ???? ????????? ???????? ???? Best Buy ? ?????????? Microsoft. [...]

As funny as this is to me (being a non halo fan) I really don't think this will go anywhere at all...Jack has no grounds and this will not even make it to a hearing.

This is just him trying to make a big name for himself in the wake of some failures against videogames.

Halo 3?

You'd think I wouldn't be surprised, but seriously...Halo 3?

Well, you know, with all the hype surrounding it, it IS starting to seem like a nuisance now...I just want it to come out already so we can be done with the pre-launch hype. ;P

(I have nothing to say on the actual lawsuit because anything I want to say has either already been said or will be said by other commenters.)

Because all these other times worked so well.

HA! Not a chance in hell! He must be really off his nut! It comes out in three days, does he really think he is going to succeed?

“Under penalty of perjury, I declare the foregoing facts are true, correct, and complete, so help me God, this September 21, 2007.” –Thompson

Oo, someone's in trouble!


Andrew Eisen

Actually as soon as I bought my copy of Halo 2, all my neighbors suddenly were unable to sleep through the night, developed a chronic lung disease, and thought it was O.K. to frag each other IRL for funsies.

So I think he could really be on to something with this public nuisance thing!

Laddy Jack thought he was in trouble in the past (well, he never really thinks he's in trouble, but we all know better)...wait till the Mighty Fist of M$ comes down from Redmond to crush him.

Stuff like Malvo training on Halo or MS’s intention to sell Halo 3 to kids is merely speculation but the complaint is chockfull of statements Thompson knows to be completely untrue. That makes them lies.

What’s he lying about?

-The conclusions of the 2005 APA resolution
-The use of brain scan studies in Roper vs. Simmons
-The conclusions of college studies (most of which aren’t even brain scan studies as he claims)
-The reasons behind the ESRB (he claims its existence is an industry acknowledgement of harm)

Andrew Eisen

It was funny enough for bully, but jack doesnt have a chance with halo 3

What were you thinking jack? days before the release, the third itteration of the game, fantasy violence where your killing aliens not people. Theres no way you can win this one.

Knowing jack he probably hopes to cry 'conspiracy!' when he inevitably fails, but halo 3 has at least enough general regonition for the public to ignore his futile and flacid attempts at noteriety.


Next time do something more itneresting jack, try convicting the scottish parliament for war crimes because they harbor that dreadful rockstar north. That crazy enough to get you in some papers.

See, this is exactly why he needs to be disbarred. At this point, he's just throwing around his legal wherever he feels like it. He's either too bull-headed or too stupid to know he should just give up.
 
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MechaTama31I sure have. Dorky's barcade in Tacoma, WA.08/20/2014 - 5:56pm
Matthew WilsonI have not been to a arcade in years. I know arcades are still big in japan.08/20/2014 - 5:38pm
Sleaker@AE - Ah no it's called GroundKontrol - I was just referring to it as a Bar-Arcade.08/20/2014 - 4:39pm
Andrew EisenStill looking for confirmation that High Moon Studios (dev behind the PS3/360 versions) isn't working on it.08/20/2014 - 4:38pm
ZenGotcha.08/20/2014 - 4:37pm
Andrew EisenI already updated the story with it!08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
Zenhttp://www.gonintendo.com/s/235574-treyarch-isn-t-working-call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-for-wii-u-either08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
ZenLet me send the link for the Tweet as well...they state Treyarch is not working on it. Grabbing it now.08/20/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenWhere does it say that "NO dev is working on it"?08/20/2014 - 4:33pm
ZenHere's the link for my last comment: http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/08/20/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-not-coming-to-wii-u08/20/2014 - 4:24pm
ZenWell, Call of Duty is skipping Wii U completely it seems...they updated that NO dev is working on it. Great way to just skip a market.08/20/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenYeah, Dave and Busters back in 2011 was the last time for me.08/20/2014 - 4:16pm
ZenWell, I tried lol. We just got a Dave and Busters on the beach but haven't been there yet...may go this weekend.08/20/2014 - 3:52pm
Andrew EisenIt's called The Bar-Arcade? Missed opportunity. I would have gone with Barcade.08/20/2014 - 3:25pm
SleakerThe Bar-Arcade however did have a lot of good pinball machines, they were however always taken as the place was packed..08/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakerso I've been to an Arcade-Bar, not that great of a place has some okay machines, but generally over-packed. And then all the kid-friendly ones have is ticket-games nothing actually good unfortunately :(08/20/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenIf it has an area dedicated to arcade machines, I'd say it counts. Arcade machine in your house though, nope.08/20/2014 - 12:16pm
ZenDoes it count if you have actual arcade machines in your house?08/20/2014 - 12:01pm
E. Zachary KnightWith the current poll, I guess it all depends on how one defines "arcade". If Chuck E Cheese or similar multipurpose businesses count, then that is a yes for me.08/20/2014 - 11:59am
ZenLet the ax fall Sleaker...lessons MUST be learned...08/20/2014 - 11:44am
 

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