I’ve wanted to keep this blog Jack Thompson free, but I found myself reading Game Politics today and I was in stitches. Tears are still rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard!
I’m finding it very hard to boil it all the background information down to basics, but here goes nothing.
In my opinion this is what’s going on in the US at the moment.
1) There’s a debate about enforcing laws to regulate that computer games which are rated 18+ should not be sold to children. Which, in my opinion, is fair enough. Those age ratings are there for a reason and although I feel they are way too harsh at times, I wouldn’t be too wild about the idea of my 9 year old nephew going to a store and being able to buy F.E.A.R., for example. This is the way it is here in Europe and it distresses me that the European gaming press is in such an uproar. But the uproar stems from Jack Thompson’s statements, I suppose!
2) From what I can gather Devin Moore killed 3 police officers in June 2003 and for his trial he pleaded insanity because he had been playing Grand Theft Auto. Now! From what I can gather, the judge has dismissed the insanity plea because there wasn’t enough evidence to prove GTA could cause this kind of behavior.
But this hasn’t stopped Jack Thompson, who’s gained much publicity and popularity because of his involvement in the above points. Sony, Take-Two/Rockstar, Wal-Mart, GameStop and Devin Moore are now being sued because of the police murders.
Maybe I should round up and get to my point here somewhere. Let me just point out that Wal-Mart is in this group of defendants because they sold the game!
The reason why I’m laughing is that Jack Thompson has now issued a press release in relation to this trial which starts on Thursday. And just to keep things short, I’m going to quote the bit that made me laugh:
“Oh, and certain regional governments in Japan have banned the sale of the Grand Theft Auto games to minors, but Japan’s Sony has no problem whatsoever dumping this garbage into American kids’ brains. Looks like Pearl Harbor 2 by Sony/Take Two…”
This is a perfect example of why this debate in the US has just gone way overboard. And I suppose the press and us bloggers are just amazed by the ridiculousness!
The press release is a classic and should be read by anyone interested! This just seems bizarre to me and I think that it’s a shame that the true issues are completely lost in these banalities.
It really is ridiculous that they are suing the game makers. Why not sue the makers of movies that glorify the same violence while they are at it? Scarface, Godfather, etc. Or better yet, who let this “minor” play the game all day? Why not sue his parents? Aren’t they the most negligent here? It’s funny that the people filing the lawsuit are probably the most culpable. Obviously they are looking for a quick buck, along with publicity. I think there DOES need to be a law enforcing +18 games, but suing the game developers? ridiculous. I heard the kid wrote some manifesto of sorts from jail saying how the “white man” is keeping him down…
Yeah…I tried reading that manifesto but I honestly didn’t understand it. I never truely understood his point, there was some stuff about race, but again…I didn’t understand what he was on about (Game Politics published it a while back).