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Jack Thompson Sets His Sights On Halo 3 240

Posted by Zonk
from the because-he-has-nothing-better-to-do dept.
GamePolitics is reporting that anti-game advocate Jack Thompson is seeking to have Halo 3 declared a nuisance to the public in Florida. He tried the same stunt with Bully, and failed then too. "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."
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Jack Thompson Sets His Sights On Halo 3

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  • Who cares! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guysmilee (720583) on Monday September 24, 2007 @12:43PM (#20730567)
    Who cares ... he loses every court battle!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pruneau (208454)
      Yeah, exactly who cares. Can /. stop the stooping lower trend and go tour some more interesting landscape.
      Leave this frigtard alone: he just leaves on the attention he is getting.
    • Re:Who cares! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drydirt (1161445) on Monday September 24, 2007 @05:02PM (#20734669)
      Who cares ... he loses every court battle!

      I care. He might win one.

      (We're talking about Florida after all, not exactly a bastion of sanity)
      • by Anonymous Coward
        While I don't necessarily agree with the swipe at Florida (I don't disagree either, it's just irrelevant), I agree in spirit. While he has become as tiresome as a spoiled child that has yet to be disciplined (though the Bar is finally waking up to his antics), until he is unable to practice law, he is still a threat to freedom. We must not allow complacency to settle in, every time he rears his fool head, the public needs to be reminded as to what a self-serving, shallow, narcissistic, delusional danger h
    • At least, I assume that he gets paid by Microsoft for making them look good on /.

  • Nuisance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Monday September 24, 2007 @12:44PM (#20730583)
    Why is he allowed to keep doing this? He should be punished for his endless series of nuisance lawsuits and then he should be held accountable for damaging reputations and businesses with his slanderous, ridiculous, attention-seeking, self-serving accusations. That he is given endless court and television time is highly offensive.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by pieaholicx (1148705)
      Couldn't Jack Thompson be considered a nuisance at this point?

      I want a lawyer on here right now to tell me if I have a case!
      • Re:Nuisance (Score:4, Interesting)

        by InvalidError (771317) on Monday September 24, 2007 @03:21PM (#20733163)
        If he keeps filing non-case cases, he'll get more reprimands and if he persists to the point of actually become considered a nuisance by too many judges, I guess he could eventually get disbarred for repeatedly filing frivolous and potentially anticonstitutional cases. Should such a fortunate event occur, he could still file suits but would need to convince some other lawyer to risk his name on the case... so we'd be far less likely to see any more of his cases reach the courts.

        Jack is video gaming's Doc Mailloux... they claim to operate from higher moral grounds but the world would be far better off without them.
    • by snowgirl (978879) *
      It's pretty sad, but it can require something REALLY bad in order to actually disbar a lawyer, and even harder for a judge.

      I remember there was a Drunk Driver lawyer in New Mexico called "Ron Bell", and his slogan was "I sue drunk drivers." Then he was arrested for a DUI, and ended up being disbarred. Now he still sues drunk drivers, he just doesn't represent you himself in the court, as he's not allowed to.
      • Re:Nuisance (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2007 @02:05PM (#20731901)

        It's pretty sad, but it can require something REALLY bad in order to actually disbar a lawyer
        A single bullet ought to do the trick nicely.

        (Yes, Mr Thompson, chalk up another on your pathetic list of "death threats"! Because every AC on Slashdot is actually a murderer - no, worse than that, a gamer in disguise!)
    • Re:Nuisance (Score:5, Informative)

      by SparkleMotion88 (1013083) on Monday September 24, 2007 @01:10PM (#20731023)
      TFA quotes parts of the Florida law related to nuissance. To sum up even more, something can be declared a nuissance if it damages the moral well-being of the community. The law uses prostitution and gambling as an example.

      These sorts of laws exist for your own protection. If you would choose to engage in these activities, then obviously you are ignorant of the harmful effect it can have on your life and afterlife. So if Jack thinks Halo is morally harmful to those who play it, then he's right and it will be banned as long as a majority of the people agree with him.

      But seriously, we see stories like this in the news all the time, and we continue to fail to see the actual cause of the problem. People like Thompson and others are just using the system that is in place for their own gain. That makes them smart, not stupid. It is the system that is stupid. If ridiculous laws like this didn't exist to begin with, then ridiculous cases like Jack's would never even be heard in court.
      • by Applekid (993327)
        The only real relevance I see in this being news is that your game need not be morally repugnant in order for the wacky anti-game crowd to be opposed to it. Halo 3 doesn't feature blackjack or hookers or cop killing or anything.

        Next stop for the Thompson Train: Tetris.
  • Crazy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zebra_X (13249) on Monday September 24, 2007 @12:44PM (#20730585)
    What? Halo 3 is just another FPS. What is so deplorable about Halo? Actually - it might be a good thing to get MSFT's legal department rolling on crushing this retard.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Seumas (6865)
      I think Jack Thompson misunderstood the tagline - "FINISH THE FIGHT".
    • by p0tat03 (985078)
      With the unstoppable might of MSFT's legal dept... maybe we can get this guy disbarred finally.
    • by Winckle (870180)
      Surely halo is better than your average FPS, in that you are killing weird aliens, and not other humans. Except in MP of course
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        Surely halo is better than your average FPS, in that you are killing weird aliens, and not other humans. Except in MP of course
        Well, even in single player, I found by trying to get a warthog through a door, my fellow marines would gladly turn their weapons on me for killing one of them trying.

        Actually, there were two of us playing cooperative. They turned on both of us.

        I wonder what that would be like on legendary.
  • The amount of money that Microsoft can bring in an effort to defend their position (and garner tons more publicity for Halo 3 and Xbox 360) is going to make life hard for Jack. And that's assuming that a judge doesn't just slap it down without too far through the process. I suppose it's too much to ask that he get on some medication to help keep him under control.
  • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdot@gmai l . c om> on Monday September 24, 2007 @12:49PM (#20730675) Homepage Journal
    He was funny a couple of years ago, but it's like an annoying joke that was funny at first and then starts driving you nuts. I wish he just shut up.
  • More press? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Scutter (18425) on Monday September 24, 2007 @12:51PM (#20730699) Journal
    Why do we keep giving this guy air time? Enough with the Jack Thompson stories already.
    • by netsavior (627338) on Monday September 24, 2007 @12:58PM (#20730835)
      Jack Thompson is the greatest asset we have in our fight to keep video games from being villified and banned/censored.

      The primary spokesperson of the anti-video game movement is clearly a psychopath. Completly batshit crazy. If he was not crazy, and used logical (sounding) conclusions and appealed to reasonable or religious sensibilities he would be MUCH more dangerous to free speech than he is.

      So we MUST give him lipservice, we must work to keep his illegal, crazy shenanagins in the news, because as long is he is their front-man, we will always win.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Kierthos (225954)
        I swear to God, I'll pistol whip the next guy that says 'shenanigans!'
      • So in essence, he's kinda sorta a walking straw man argumentative fallacy. Except that this particular straw man wants to rush out and make his case himself, so you really can't blame his opposition for making the fallacy.
    • by Hao Wu (652581)
      Wikipedia claims this guy "Jack" actually has a wife.

      I sincerely hope that she is really, really ugly.

      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        Wikipedia claims this guy "Jack" actually has a wife.

        I sincerely hope that she is really, really ugly.
        I sincerely hope that she isn't Ann Coulter. Think of the children!
  • by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Monday September 24, 2007 @12:56PM (#20730807)
    ... Goliath actually manages to kill David.
  • I hope he -does- get a hearing. And the next judge puts in a Bar complaint as well. And the next, and the next... Maybe then he'll be forced to stop wasting everyone's time and money. Permanently.

    Unfortunately, I think 'public nuisance' is way too strong a term for a video game, unless it includes subliminal messages to kill your parents and each your neighbor's dog. And even then, I think there are probably better terms for the criminal behavior involved.
  • Can we please start ignoring Jack Thompson and not posting anything about him anymore? All you're doing is showing that someone cares about what he does. Ignore him and he'll wither and die, deprived of attention like a flower deprived of light and water.
  • Just say that it promotes racism by having human beings mercilessly kill aliens. If that is not a **race** war, I don't know what is.

    Hey, this shit works for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, right?
    • Racism is between members of the same species. As far as we know the aliens are a completely different species. You could say the game promotes genocide and specieism if that is even a word.

    • by jma05 (897351)
      Not Halo 3. You can wreck mayhem as the alien as well as human. And flood is not a very race based society. They are pluralistic and open minded. They subsume any race.
  • Public Nuisance? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sunderland56 (621843) on Monday September 24, 2007 @01:11PM (#20731065)
    With Bully, Jack Thompson had a sliver of a case - that children in a private school might buy the game and start emulating it in real life by beating up their classmates.

    Similarly, he might have a case with GTA:Vice City, where people in Las Vegas might buy the game and then start randomly shooting people and stealing cars.

    But Halo 3? What, the astronauts on the International Space Station might play the game, and then start shooting each other in real life?? And even if they do, how is that a public nuisance?

  • If we all would just ignore this nutjob, he'd eventually go away.
    • If we all would just ignore this nutjob, he'd eventually go away.

      Why in the world would we want that? God forbid he actually does go away and leave room for someone vaguely rational to carry the torch who might actually be capable of doing damage.

      • by Dunbal (464142)
        and leave room for someone vaguely rational to carry the torch who might actually be capable of doing damage.

              Well, that rules out Hillary Clinton, too...
      • by Criterion (51515)
        Umm, call me crazy, but I would think they would actually have to have a point to be any kind of a threat at all. Then again, the public spectacle he's making of himself may be enough in and of itself, to keep others off that path.
    • by pokerdad (1124121)

      If we all would just ignore this nutjob, he'd eventually go away.

      If by "we all" you mean the main stream media, then sure. If you mean Slashdot, then no.

      I'm sure he doesn't know or care how much coverage he gets on a website meant for the very people he opposes.

  • Can we stop giving Jack Thompson coverage so he can slide back under his rock and disappear?
  • by orkysoft (93727)
    IMHO Jack Thompson is a nuisance to the public himself.
  • by strredwolf (532) on Monday September 24, 2007 @01:40PM (#20731497) Homepage Journal
    I took a look through it, and one thing struck me odd:

    Jack says (in the lawsuit filing) that the release date for Halo 3 is: October 25th, 2007.

    Real release date? Tomorrow.

    FAIL, Jack. FAIL.
    • I consulted three calendars and this line

      by strredwolf (532) on Mon Sep 24, '07 11:40 AM (#20731497)

      and I am quite certain that tomorrow will be September 25th.

    • by glindsey (73730)

      Jack says (in the lawsuit filing) that the release date for Halo 3 is: October 25th, 2007.

      Real release date? Tomorrow.
      "Oh man, I can't believe we spaced on the date!"
  • Jack Thompson is the real public nusiance.
  • FYI (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BytePusher (209961) on Monday September 24, 2007 @02:28PM (#20732237) Homepage

    I read through Mr. Thomson's COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND FOR BREACH OF AGREEMENT to see what he was complaining about. Otherwise he is seeking legal action for Best Buy not obeying a settlement they agreed upon:

    13. When plaintiff first filed an action similar to this in Miami-Dade Circuit Court it was against defendant Best Buy to stop the sale of "Mature-rated" video games at its stores to customers under the age of 17. Best Buy settled that suit by agreeing to henceforth age ID any customer who appeared to be 21 years of age or younger in order to intercept and prevent any sales to anyone under 17. Best Buy announced this new policy nationwide.

    I'm not a lawyer, but I think this is the "Breach of Agreement" part of his complaint. I suspect he has a case for this portion of his complaint.

    Below is the stuff about the game itself:

    9. Halo 3 is a video game that allows the virtual reality player to rehearse violent acts resulting in the death of one's virtual victims. Lee Boyd Malvo, the younger of the two "DC Beltway Snipers" was trained on Halo to kill residents within Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. His "mentor," John Muhammad, knew the efficacy of the first Halo video game in this regard, because the Army in which he served used this same murder simulator to train snipers to kill. Malvo learned well on Halo.

    10. The role of Microsoft's Halo in the "DC Beltway Snipings" was reported on NBC News and was introduced into evidence in the trial of Lee Boyd Malvo.

    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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kesch (943326)
      OMG! You mean I can train to be a sniper with Halo! I never knew it was so easy. Screw the long hard training to be a sniper in the army; I'm going to go get me a copy of Halo and be a pro in no time. This immediately brings a few questions to mind though. For instances, which Halo should I train on? In the PC version, you have to lead with the sniper rifle, in the Xbox version you do not. I can see this making a difference. Secondly, where are the analog sticks on my gun? I'm having a hard time finding the
    • Yes I certainly insist upon training snipers with a game that doesn't even have a prone position.
  • In the UK there is the concept of a vexatious litigant, if the court decides you are one then you can no-longer initiate legal action of any kind. I assume that is the case in the US and was wondering if there were moves afoot to have Jack Thompson declared one?
    • by nomadic (141991)
      In the UK there is the concept of a vexatious litigant, if the court decides you are one then you can no-longer initiate legal action of any kind. I assume that is the case in the US and was wondering if there were moves afoot to have Jack Thompson declared one?

      There is such a concept. The only cases I've seen it happen, however, is where the litigant went to extremes, well beyond where even Thompson has gone.
  • by oahazmatt (868057) on Monday September 24, 2007 @03:09PM (#20732959) Journal
    Thompson: As you can see, this so-called "game" features underlying propoganda...
    Judge: ...where?
    Thompson: ...Veiled commands of violence against others...
    Judge: What?
    Thompson: ...and subliminal messages designed to turn our children into soulless killing machines.
    Judge: I'm sorry, I don't see it. The court finds in favor of the defendent. Viva Pinata may remain on shelves.
  • Someone should file a public nuisance claim on Jack Thompson. This guys is an idiot, and it might rub off on our kids. Think of the Children for crying out loud.
  • Ah yes... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by l0b0 (803611) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:42AM (#20739961) Homepage
    Good thing this guy keeps reminding me which games to buy. He's not paid by the game developers? Shucks.

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