Unlikely Pair Come Out Against RI Adult Game Bill

While Rhode Island Bill S.2156 drew backing from the Parents Television Council, an unlikely pair has come out against the Bill, which proposes fines and possible jail time for retailers that sell “M” or “AO” rated games to underage patrons.

You might expect that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is against the Ocean State legislation. The organization offered us this statement from Rich Taylor, ESA Senior Vice President of Communications & Industry Affairs:

The ESA is opposed to this bill and we are educating those involved about the strong work of the ESRB and the self-regulatory successes that recently were lauded by the Federal Trade Commission. This bill is the same as all the other legislative proposals found unconstitutional by numerous federal courts. We are ensuring legislators understand and appreciate the fundamental problems that arise when trying to circumvent the first amendment rights of gamers and our industry’s innovative storytellers and creators.

The Bill’s other detractor? None other than Jack Thompson, who called it, “clearly unconstitutional.”  Asked to clarify his comment, JT told us:

Since 1930, it has been unconstitutional to restrict the sale of entertainment products to anyone based upon a private sector standard, which the ESRB ratings are.  There has to be a definition, description of the material and why it is offensive in the statute itself, so that a jury can apply a state/governmental standard, not a private sector rating.  The Bill
won’t survive a court challenge, nor should it.

I actually have litigated these issues.  Seems to me you should report the fact that even Jack Thompson knows this one won’t fly.  Think I’m not going to help the legislature get it right?

Thompson did indicate, however, that he is attempting to advise Rhode Island legislators on how to amend the Bill in order to make it passable.

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  1. Adamas Draconis says:

    and thank you for yet ANOTHER 3 hour wiki-walk PHX.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  2. mdo7 says:

    Well, I don’t know much about JT as much as you do.  I just know his usual attack,  but I wasn’t aware of his other side.  But yeah, I guess this is not familiar to you but to me it’s weird. 



  3. GoodRobotUs says:

    Thompson has, in the past, shown an ability to spot an unconstitutional bill, unfortunately, he’s also tried to push a few, but he usually knows when he’s playing the roll of the dice, and this bill isn’t even close, which is why I never bothered to comment on the original story, the moment I read the details of the bill, I knew it was a non-starter.

  4. Andrew Eisen says:

    I know what you mean I just don’t understand why you or anyone else would react to this news in that way.  If you’re familiar with Thompson, this news story should not be at all surprising.  Thompson is acting exactly like he always does.  This behavior is not at all new for him.

    And no, he’s not a good guy (or rather, he’s not on our side).  All he’s saying is that this particular legislation won’t work (which is true although it may get signed into law) and that he’s going to offer his expertise (ha ha ha) to make sure the RI legislature gets it right.  So, Thompson is still all about passing a law to criminalize the sale of mature video games to minors, he just wants to be damn sure he’s a part of it.

    "Think I’m not going to help the legislature get it right?" -Jack Thompson


    Andrew Eisen

  5. mdo7 says:

    True, I also remember when people ask JT about the sex scene in Mass Effect.  Everybody was shocked on JT response and felt like they were in Twilight Zone or ended up in another universe where the bad guy are the good guy or something like that.  After reading this article and your message.  I still don’t know what to say, it’s like seeing a Lex Luthor as a superhero from a alternate universe like in this movie:




    Know what I mean?


  6. Pierre-Olivier says:

    Then, there’s nothing to fear. The bill as it is had very little chances of passing, but if Thompson gets involved, it will certainly not pass.

    Each time Thompson publicly says that he’s helping someone, I can almost hear the other moral guardians whispering through their teeth "You’re NOT helping."

  7. hellfire7885 says:

    Jack didn’t side with the industry, he’s jsut assuming that if he helps them it’ll pass.

  8. BearDogg-X says:

    Same old song and dance. Thompson failed miserably beforehand and there’s nothing anybody(let alone the Metropolitian Moron of Miami) can do to make a pile of garbage like this pass constitutional muster.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  9. Andrew Eisen says:

    There’s really nothing to it.  This isn’t new for JT; he’s done it before (Leland Yee’s California video game bill comes to mind).  Thompson knows stuff like this isn’t going to work.  If he’s not involved, he’ll say so and offer his "expertise."  If he is involved, he’ll claim it’s foolproof until it inevitably fails and then blame everyone else (as with his failed Louisiana bill).


    Andrew Eisen

  10. mdo7 says:


    I don’t know how to make of this story.  Did JT really change or is this some sort of trick?  I better keep watching this story. 


  11. HarmlessBunny says:

    *spits out a jet of cola from his chair and hits the wall*

    Jack said what? I think I will buy a lottery ticket today and walk on water.

    Holy hell, I mean, if he is saying this bill is DOOMED…then those folks in the Parent Trash Council and their stooge puppets, err I mean their "allies" better look at alternatives real quick!

  12. Adamas Draconis says:

    Judas Iscariot isn’t ice skating with Hussein yet. JT only dislikes it because HE didn’t have a say in it.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  13. killatia says:

    I wonder if hell got frozen over this fact….


    Minion: Master, Jack Thompson sided with the gaming industry on an anti-gaming bill.

    Satan: Really? I would have expected the world to end before that happen.



  14. Kincyr says:

    which one? the one in Arizona, California, Michigan, Grand Cayman, or Norway?

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  15. JDKJ says:

    I wonder if he’s using his prior exploits with the Utah legislature to help him gain the ear of the Rhode Island legislature?

    "You may recall that it was I, Jack Thompson, who was threatened with legal action by several members of the Utah legislature if I didn’t knock off sending them a constant barrage of my trademarked and patented emails filled with my crazy-ass, nonsensical rantings."

    And I wonder if they’ll fall for it? It’s not impossible. That fool in Louisiana fell for it. After all, we’re talking elected officials. The apex of the Fool Pyramid. 

  16. Erik says:

    Soooo… no mentioning of Jack at all then?  Because you can’t mention any of Jack’s antics/failures without it coming across as a personal attack.  From failing to arrest two webcomig nerds who ponied up some charity cash he wussed out of to submitting gay porn to a court of law thinking that somehow in his bizzaro universe that it would get another lawyer and not himself in trouble.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  17. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Define "personal attack", please. Saying "I´m not agree with Jack Thompson" puts you in the same place as "Jack is a lying &*%$$!". The man just doesn´t tolerate anything.

    And what influence does his opinion have on this new episode of "Let´s create a totally new and anti-constitutional law against violent gamez for children´s sake let´s hope the supreme court let us win this time we don´t care if is tax money think of the childrenz plz?"

    I don´t think that anyone on Rhode Island even know he exist.

    Thompson did indicate, however, that he is attempting to advise Rhode Island legislators on how to amend the Bill in order to make it passable.

    Yes, because that one in Louisiana just did very fine.

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

  18. pete_gallagher says:

    Keep the comments clean please; personal attacks on JT will not be tolerated.


  19. sqlrob says:

    I don’t doubt he can get it to pass (or that it may pass with or without his help)

    Surviving the legal challenges is something else entirely.

  20. lordlundar says:

    Which, given his track record, will result in the following:

    1. Thompson will get out there saying "let me make it and it will pass"

    2. They let him make it

    3. It doesn’t even pass the house vote.

    4. Thompson blames the nominator for "being an incompetent <insert slam here>" and the house for being a "murder loving <insert insult here> gamer sympathizer" and that if he was allowed to present it it would have passed, all the while running back to his house in Florida.

  21. Cecil475 says:

    And the one in Utah before that. The one where the bill’s sponser(?) had to come out and apologize to the court over Thompson’s actions. It did super.

     – W

    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  22. HarmlessBunny says:

    Maybe he is realizing the errors of his ways? (I am trying not to laugh when typing that)

    I think the whole Utah and Louisiana fiasco’s he brought on, were rather damaging to him and to others. In many aspects, this law he is warning them on, it is almost identical to his doomed bills he had authored.

    Personally just sounds like he is telling them, "I attacked head on and it was bloody. You should try flanking from the left…never tried that myself". I don’t think he is against the bill, but he is warning them that it already has failed before it has seen the light of day.


  23. Cheater87 says:

    Jack is against this? I thought Jack wanted stuff like this. I am confused. Jack wrote a letter to Obama calling for a nation wide banning of violent video games to anyone of any age. If he wanted video games to be banned nation wide and illegal to sell, possess, import and such why would he be against this bill? 

  24. Sajomir says:


    Jack isn’t against the law at all; in fact, he WANTS it to succeed. It can’t do that if it’s an unconstitutional law, so he’s trying to make the law eligable to be passed. Whether or not RI will pass it is another matter.

    At least he’s taking logical and procedural steps towards a goal instead of being a crazy media hog. Now if only he found a more constructive goal…

  25. sa9097 says:

    Basically, he wants them to "do it right" the first time so it can’t be struck down in court. Whether or not that can be done is doubtful, but he can dream…

  26. pete_gallagher says:

    Point taken. Just thought it was interesting because he demonstrated a tiny bit of flexibility.

  27. Zerodash says:

    Good job Gamepolitics, you just fell for the Narcissistic Personality Disorder-fueled trick by Mr. Thompson to get his name mentioned in a desperate attempt at mastabatory relevance.  Yes, you had his name mentioned only after a jump, but still- this is a non-story.

    Obviously, he is as likely to be advising the RI legislators on passing this bill as he has been "working with law enforcement" every time someone under 30 goes on a killing spree. 

    His credibility and relevance died over a year ago.  Let the dead stay dead.

  28. JDKJ says:

    That’s not "flexibility," Pete. That’s just Jack-O’s way of saying that if he and his legal genius aren’t involved, the effort’s doomed. You can call that "flexibility," if you want. I’ll call it "the insane ramblings of a crazy person."

  29. SimonBob says:

    Good to know Jack’s still kickin’ around!  Drinking Guinness in his honour just wouldn’t be as much fun if he gave up the ghost.


  30. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Meh. he said the same thing about the California bill. Its nothing new.

    He learned his lesson hard in Louisiana and is now trying to save face. He has no idea how to constitutionally regulate the sale of video games. If he did, he would have done so long ago.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  31. chadachada321 says:

    Hey, Jack Thompson got it right, it IS unconstitutional. Naturally, I was surprised that he agrees with us in this regard, but meh.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  32. Moriarty70 says:

    I’ve just realized, this bill isn’t real. It’s part of an off-season ARG to keep interest in White Collar going. Look at the pairing, it’s right out of the show.

  33. JDKJ says:

    "I actually have litigated these issues [and actually have had my ass handed to me every time I tried it]." – Jack Thompson

  34. pete_gallagher says:

    It’s not my thing, but it’s necessary in this case. Question his ideology all you want.

Comments are closed.