We have to write a story about Jack Thompson today. The anti-video game firebrand and former Florida attorney fired off a letter to Valve Software threatening to do something (we're not sure what he is threatening to do because he hasn't indicated the consequences in his letter to Valve's CEO) if the company doesn't do something about the Half-Life 2 mod, "School Shooter: North American Tour 2012."
Before we get into what Valve can actually do about a mod it has nothing to do with, here is Thompson's letter:
"Dear Mr. Newell:
You either know or should know that the more moral midgets who run Checkerboarded Studios have created a mod for your company's Half-Life which they call School Shooter: North American Tour 2012. This mod is a full-blown Columbine massacre simulator which cannot function without your company's assistance and acquiescence.
Attached herewith is a letter from FHE-ASAP that expresses their, my, and others' concerns about this Columbine massacre mod. As you either know or should know, your Half-Life murder simulator was obsessively played, and thus became a training aid, for a) teenaged Robert Steinhauser, who authored at Erfurt, Germany, the worst school shooting massacre in European history, and b) Seung-Hi Cho, who authored at Virginia Tech University the worst school shooting massacre in world history. As to the latter, the sources of this information are the Washington Post and the New York Times. Now some sociopaths have made reprises of Erfurt and Virginia Tech far more likely.
Given the fact that your company has the technological ability to stop the operation of School Shooter, you must undertake steps immediately to do so.
Speaking for myself alone (for now), you have until five o'clock pm Eastern standard time this Friday, March 18, 2011, to shut down this public safety hazard I predicted years ago this school massacre game would arrive. I hate being right all the time.
GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.
Regards, Jack Thompson"
Okay.. We're not going to bother with the claims Thompson continues to make about the cause of various school shootings around the globe (or that Half-Life - a game about fighting aliens in a secret government facility - is somehow a murder simulator), but we do wonder what legal obligation Valve Software has to censor any mod. I'm not a lawyer, but i'd guess they probably have no obligation or authority to do anything about it. Besides, it’s not like Valve is spotlighting the mod or serving it up via Steam..
Source: The Escapist by way of TheSmokey. Thanks a lot TheSmokey, thanks a lot. Ahem.