If it smells like cheap hairspray and hails from Florida, chances are it's Jack Thompson. And guess what? IT IS! Straight from the beaches of Miami comes everyone's favourite anti-gaming attorney - you know the one. You've probably seen him on television, prattling on about how videogames are responsible for kids grabbing their daddy's rifle and heading out to play cap-the-cop. He's delusional, he's obsessive, he has a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas - and now he's back, to join up with Hilary Clinton and the other raging politicians who have deemed Hot Coffee the "last straw" for Rockstar Games.
Mr Thompson has sent out yet another one of his priceless letters, this time to the Entertainment Software Association, demanding that they "Dump Doug" - that is, Douglas Lowenstein, president of the ESA and founder of the Electronic Entertainment Expo. He accuses Doug of being a bully, a failure as a leader with his pitiful in his reaction to the Hot Coffee controversy, and holds him ultimately responsible for the eventual collapse of the videogame industry.
From what I can pick up in the letter, this is supposed to be some sort of spiteful prequel to the press conference led by Senator Clinton later in the day. It's akin to a "lolz, //3 r g0nna pwn j00 n00bs"-type note that immature twelve year olds send to one another prior to a Counter-Strike match.
In the letter - which is addressed to the ESA as a whole - Thompson compares Mr Lowenstein to Adolf Hitler, proclaiming that his stupidity in knowledge of the first amendment is similar to that of Hitler's when he attempted to invade Russia in the winter.
|"When Hitler invaded Russia, opening up an Eastern offensive on the eve of winter, Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill noted that "Hitler must have been rather loosely educated, not having learned the lesson of Napoleon's autumn advance on Moscow ."|
Your Doug Lowenstein is similarly "loosely educated" about the United States Constitution. I have never, in my eighteen years of public interest law practice against the excesses of the entertainment industry, run into an individual more devoid of even an elementary understanding of the meaning and scope of the First Amendment."
Ouch! Thompson also manages to throw in a few more low blows, including the following little gems:
|"Doug Lowenstein travels with his own private make-up artist. Did you all know that? Obscuring personal and industry warts is a full time job for this man."|
|"Doug never met a pixilated prostitute he didn't like, and I'm sure James Madison would be impressed."|
I love it when Jack sends out his letters - they're always chalked fill of comparisons and metaphors, buzzwords and catchy slogans. I almost have a feeling that he may have once attempted a career in journalism, only for it to come to a screeching halt because nobody could stand his bullshit, or his freakishly bad hair.
Of course, this wouldn't be a Thompson letter without the rudimentary references to such tragedies as Columbine, or the reminder that videogames are intended to train children in becoming diehard killing machines.
|"The evening in January 2000 that I appeared on NBC Nightly News to talk about the link between violent games and Columbine, Tom Brokaw asked then Governor Bush about that link and what he as President would do about it?|
George Bush simply said "Parents just have to be better parents." He should trying telling that to my clients in Paducah whose three daughters were gunned down by 14-year-old video gamer Michael Carneal, who trained on Doom to become a more efficient killer. What did they, as parents, Mr. President, do wrong? Was sending their kids to school their mistake?"
(Actually, no, I believe he was referring to the parents of Michael Carneal, Mr. Smartass.)
Seeing as Thompson is always bitching about videogames being virtual-reality training simulations targeted at children, I assume his gripe with the Hot Coffee modification is that (in his eyes) it trains children to become porn stars.
*ahem* That's right, mom & dad - LITTLE JIMMY IS USING THE HOT COFFEE MOD TO TEACH HIMSELF THE FINE ARTS OF LADY-PLEASING, IN ORDER TO ONE DAY BECOME THE NEXT LEXINGTON STEELE!
(Also, Super Mario Bros 3 teaches kids that throwing animals at brick walls, getting high on green leafs, getting stoned, and suddenly growing twice your normal size from eating magic mushrooms is perfectly normal. Why Thompson has yet to file a complaint against Nintendo for trying to turn America's youth into a mass army of potheads is beyond me.)
Seriously though, back to the letter, you have to play a round of Where's Waldo? to locate a decent bit of reasoning for this crockpot of steamy horse dung. It seems the entire letter can be summarized in the two paragraphs stashed in the middle of this barrage of Lowenstein-bashing:
|"The inept fashion in which ESA has "managed" the "Hot Coffee" mod scandal swirling around your industry and Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has given Senator Rodham Clinton a reason and a mandate to act.|
She has filled the leadership void caused by Doug Lowenstein. For a month Doug Lowenstein and his ESA pretended that there was no mod, that there was no scandal, that there was no need for any action whatsoever by ESA. How wrong he was. Today proves it."
Ah, so that's what it is. Jack thinks Doug sucks at his job, and he's kissing Hilary's ass for stepping into a controversy nobody else cares about. Fair enough.
All in all, the letter is just a low-blow attack against the ESA and it's president, an attempt from Thompson to get his kicks in before the public turns the other way and resumes their regular routine of not giving half a damn. Jack Thompson is continuing his loudmouth escapades, using the Hot Coffee mod as his personal soapbox to once again demand some sort of uprising against the gaming industry.
I give him a week, tops, before he falls back into the shadows and goes back to waiting for another ambulance to chase down. 1Up has also posted an article regarding the dynamic duo from a political perspective - is Thompson planning on keeping his lips firmly planted on Hilary's ass all the way to the white house?
Now, if you're interested Senator Clinton's "release the hounds" call for an investigation, Jordan over at PlanetGrandTheftAuto has posted his rundown of last night's NBC coverage. I have one major gripe with it (the NBC coverage and Clinton's statement), and that'd be this:
GRAND THEFT AUTO ISN'T MADE FOR CHILDREN. It seems some people are forgetting that the game is rated MATURE, which means 17+. Parents are responsible for making intelligent, sensible decisions on what their kids should (and should not) be playing. Nobody knows their kids better than they do. It's not the ESRB's responsibility - they are there as a GUIDE to assist parents in making these choices.
Also, apparently we were mentioned at the end of the NBC segment when viewers were told that gamers needed to come here to download a "piece of software" that enabled the Hot Coffee modification.
First of all, it's GTAGarage that you should go to, not here.
Second, I'm a bit shocked that they actually mentioned our website. When we were sub-sub-linked the other day by Slashdot, we had a huge traffic increase pushing the visitor count to above 4000. Traffic, as it currently stands, hasn't been this low for weeks.
This leads me to only one conclusion: Nobody is watching NBC.
Update: It turns out that NBC didn't mention the url to our website at the end of their segment. I was previously informed that "they showed gtasanandreas.net on nbc and msnbc", but it turns out that this was a bit misleading - it was merely a blurred screenshot of our site. My apologies.
In other news, bigfoot has been spotted in northern Canada. Thanks to Jordan for informing me.
Related links, sources, and whatnot:
Jack Thompson's Website
Letter from Jack Thompson to ESA - Courtesy IGN
Platform for Election? - Courtesy 1Up
Entertainment Software Association