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Jack Thompson Attacks DoD, ESA, GTA With Utah Bill 235

Posted by Soulskill
from the back-on-board-the-train-to-crazytown dept.
eldavojohn writes "Delusional disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson claims to have a bill in the state of Utah that targets retailers and entire industries with the Truth in Advertising Law. The best part of his rant: 'Our military appropriately uses violent video games a) to suppress the inhibition to kill of new recruits, and b) to teach killing scenarios. Games have the same effect on civilian teens.' While GamePolitics couldn't find the bill on Utah's state site, they did receive a response from him claiming 'I have a sponsor and a bill, and [the video game] industry is in trouble.' For 2009 bills, there seems to be merely a bill enhancing the Truth in Advertising Law but does not contain any of Thompson's verbiage. Good 'ole Jack — always good for some laughs, but really he needs to give it up one of these days."
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Jack Thompson Attacks DoD, ESA, GTA With Utah Bill

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  • by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:15PM (#26714943) Journal

    Video games never made me want to kill another (real) person. Jack Thompson on the other hand makes me want to kill - someone, possibly named Jack - every time I hear from Mr. Thompson.

    • by Chabo (880571) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:29PM (#26715207) Homepage Journal

      He's made me want to get into racketeering! [penny-arcade.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Playing devil's advocate... you're probably being somewhat sarcastic/facetious, but you are making a point. Being a proper devil's advocate, I thought I would point out that I don't know that most people believing in the games-cause-violence idea would say that games make people want to commit random acts of murder. Rather, that when tension builds/anger occurs, violence as an action comes more naturally than before the video-game-"conditioning." In other words, the fact that your reaction to J.T. is "ki

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by plague3106 (71849)

        That's the stupidist argument I've ever heard. Building tension / anger has lead to violence long before video games were ever created.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          You're right, but have video games led to move violence? I think a bigger area to look at would be how do things like the huge popularity in MMA affect today's youth. Are people more likely to fight because they are watching so much realistic violence all the time? Or, are things like violent video games, MMA, etc... simply reflecting our current society where violence appears to be more prevalent than in the past?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pmbasehore (1198857)
            Or, has the rise of MMORPGs like WoW and the like led to the rise of teenage witchcraft and mythical, fell creatures?

            Seems like similar logic to me.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by dogmatixpsych (786818)
              Spurious comparison. Witchcraft and mythical creatures are not real (I know some would argue they are but we'll go with the assumption they are not). Violence is real though so your argument is invalid. You can't disprove a logical argument by constructing a similar argument using unreal elements.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              It's probably had a hand in teenage obesity.

              To think that people are not affected by their environment at all is just as bad as thinking every violent act leads back to a video game.

              To use your logic kids with abusive parents should never have any problems later in life if what they experience every day has no long lasting affect on them.

          • by tlambert (566799) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @04:22PM (#26716173)

            Video game violence and situation comedies are obviously ruining this nation.

            This is why we have so many random acts of violence and comedy in the streets.

            Wait. I guess kids aren't the mindless copy-drones they're made out to be.

            Never mind.

            -- Terry

          • by Cowmonaut (989226) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @04:48PM (#26716593)

            No, they haven't. Check the DoJ's website if you don't believe me. The more popular video games have gotten, the lower *actual* violence amongst youths has gone down. In 2003-5 it was at a FORTY YEAR LOW, at the supposed "height" of video game violence controversy.

        • But did (or, present tense, do) societies, and on a greater scale, entire civilizations, have more violence than others? ENJOY violence more than others?

          Example. Did, say, the Puritans enjoy violence? Not really. Did... I don't know, pick a society or civilization known for peace. Did they enjoy violence? Assyrians appeared to. Romans definitely did. It seems that some civs and societies actually promoted it, while others did not appear to do so. America

          So, as EastCoastSurfer pointed out, does vi

      • by Trails (629752)
        I don't think the word "proves" means what you think it means...
        • And correlation is not causation. I agree.

          Whether or not a correlation implies a causation is where more research comes in. If things aren't correlated at ALL, then causation is obviously NOT there. Causation necessitates correlation (at least, in my logic, I could be shown that it is in error though... at the moment seems pretty solid), so where there is a correlation, there might be a causation.

          Unfortunately, most studies only point out correlations. And most "proofs" are actually just suggestions wit

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by clarkkent09 (1104833) *
        I don't play video games and my reaction is the same: "kill Jack!" I do like to play chess though. And I like to eat potato chips as well. Still can't decide if it's playing chess or eating potato chips that causes me to have that reaction? Hmmm, something to think about (if you are or should be in a mental institution).
        • by genner (694963) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @04:01PM (#26715757)

          I don't play video games and my reaction is the same: "kill Jack!" I do like to play chess though. And I like to eat potato chips as well. Still can't decide if it's playing chess or eating potato chips that causes me to have that reaction? Hmmm, something to think about (if you are or should be in a mental institution).

          Chess was the murder simulator that introduced kings to killing scenarios and casued the crusades.

          • by Trails (629752)
            Violence inducing regicide simulator, training kids to kill monarchs and towers and to move in L-shapes for centuries!!!
            • by Feanturi (99866) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @04:15PM (#26716059)
              True story: I had a nightmare once when I was around 8 years old, in which I kept spotting people that were poised to kill me. I knew they meant to kill me because they were an L-shaped move away from wherever I was at the time. I knew they'd be able to jump over any obstacle between us and kill me instantly upon landing, so I kept having to run away thereby changing the positional advantage they had. But I would only wind up encountering someone else also that same relative position away from me, and have to run again. Had I not been exposed to chess, I would not have had to contend with this frightful situation. Clearly chess breeds violent thoughts and needs to be stamped out once and for all!
              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by need4mospd (1146215)
                I had a dream sorta like that, except replace "people that were poised to kill me" with "hot supermodels". And there were lots of pillows.

                So clearly, chess breeds porn as well.

      • by sabernet (751826)

        Throw Jack back to prehistory, thousands of years before videogames existed. I bet you he wouldn't survive the week!

      • In other news, the world is full of idiots.

    • The word "thompson" in Elbonian means "cough".

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Jack Thompson on the other hand makes me want to kill - someone, possibly named Jack - every time I hear from Mr. Thompson."

      He's the Fred Phelps of anti-game zealots, which is why we NEED him. While it would be a hoot if he had responded to being disbarred by suicide, he is more useful alive and stupid.

  • Never (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:18PM (#26714971)
    He will never give up. The reason is simple - every time he goes off on one of his insane ramblings, news sites and services cover it and give his voice an audience. Until people stop caring what he has to say, he'll keep saying things. Unfortunately.
    • by fm6 (162816)

      I'm less bothered by the publicity this guy gets (let's face it, most "news" is cruft) than the fact that he keeps getting through the Slashdot editors' filters. Lately, they've been showing a depressing fondness for stories whose main interest is to lovers of freak shows [invivio.net].

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eldavojohn (898314) *

      He will never give up. The reason is simple - every time he goes off on one of his insane ramblings, news sites and services cover it and give his voice an audience. Until people stop caring what he has to say, he'll keep saying things. Unfortunately.

      As the submitter of this story, I think it's important we keep pointing out his actions because (1) he has lost (2) although I'm not a lawyer I believe it sets precedence for future cases and (3) even the general public can see through to his attacks on our freedom. I believe there are more lawyers masquerading in our legal system as legit when they're really just Jack Thompsons at heart and I hope the public learns about them by observing the obvious cases of dementia. In my opinion a good example is Joh [wikipedia.org]

      • Re:Never (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chabo (880571) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:43PM (#26715449) Homepage Journal

        I think it was Tycho from Penny Arcade who said something like this, though I can't find the quote:

        "I'm glad we have Jack Thompson as the spokesman for the anti-videogames movement, lest we have someone more competent to take his place."

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Everybody has been saying that since he first appeared on the scene.

          Is Tycho going to be the Ben Franklin of the internet where everything gets attributed to him?

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Eternauta3k (680157)
      Good point. Why the hell does slashdot report this?
      Right. Traffic.
    • Re:Never (Score:5, Funny)

      by Chabo (880571) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:31PM (#26715239) Homepage Journal

      Listen, and understand. That Jack Thompson is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

      • There's a moral to Jack Thompson going to Utah, "When You're By the Great Salt Lake, Don't Drink the Water." It makes you do weird things.

      • by Shakrai (717556)

        Does that mean we can crush Jack Thompson in a hydraulic press? Please, pretty please?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by poot_rootbeer (188613)

      The reason is simple - every time he goes off on one of his insane ramblings, news sites and services cover it and give his voice an audience. Until people stop caring what he has to say, he'll keep saying things. Unfortunately.

      And how is that working out for him, so far?

      Sure, he's been disbarred, he's trashed his livelihood and his reputation, and he has become the laughingstock of both the legal and entertainment industries -- but since someone is still printing his NAME on a WEB SITE, he must be WINNING!

    • Thompson played too much starfox.
      Never give up! Never surrender!
      Do a barrel roll. (Press Z or R twice.)
    • by Gordonjcp (186804)

      Until people stop caring what he has to say, he'll keep saying things. Unfortunately.

      "Unfortunately" why? He's quite entertainingly mad. I enjoy hearing what he comes away with.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:19PM (#26715001)

    ...and give him this guy as a cellmate. [wikipedia.org]

    At least they wouldn't run out of stuff to talk about.

    • Are you kidding? They would break the legal system! You're just trying to set up some sort of DoS attack on district courts, aren't you?

  • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:19PM (#26715007) Journal

    I'm sure the very thought must have them terrified, Jack.

  • Go away kid, you bother me.
  • by Binkleyz (175773) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:20PM (#26715019) Journal

    Who cares?

    No offense to the nice nice people in Utah, but one state law, in a very small (population-wise) state, and will have little or no impact on the VG industry. Even IF this bill passes, there is certain to be an immediate EFF or ACLU lawsuit to overturn it.

    Utah is the reddest of the "Red States", and I have to imagine that most good Mormon kids aren't playing GTA4 anyway.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mercution (1247442)
      On the contrary... we Mormon kids aren't allows to do anything illegal. So video games are a great outlet.

      GTA4 is a great outlet. Except for a crappy story line (in my opinion).
    • by Kamokazi (1080091)
      I really don't think that party alliances have much to do with anti-videogame legislation (except maybe some of the more radical propositions in THIS particular piece of legislation). The last time major legislation was being kicked around in the US senate, it was headed by a bi-partisan mix. And one of the longest-time supporters is Joe Leiberman (Play Postal 2, the easy difficulty setting is called 'Leibermode'), and Hilary Clinton actually joined him on a supporting some legislation (not sure if it got
      • by Binkleyz (175773)

        True enough, but I'd have to imagine that most things that could be classified as "Culture War Hot Buttons" have their origins in either very "Red" or very "Blue" states (Think Utah or Vermont). My point in the OP was to say that the population of UT is relatively small and not really all that representative of the rest of the nation's politics.

        If it wasn't videogames that were "making" kids do bad things (and training them for a future in the Army, as far as JT believes), it would be TV or movies or music

  • He sacrificed his career over this stupid crusade. Unlike most of us, he can't easily become a professional in his field again.
  • News for nerds, rantings of crazy people?

    Jack has no authority anymore. Until such a time as he actually gets some, please ignore him.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      News for nerds, rantings of crazy people?

      Jack has no authority anymore. Until such a time as he actually gets some, please ignore him.

      What do you mean "anymore"?

      I don't believe that he ever actually had any.

      • As a lawyer, he did have a certain measure of professional authority. He was still a crackpot then, but some people listened to him. Having been disbarred, his professional authority is completely gone. Unless he can convince someone else in authority to proxy for him (like this mythical state rep he claims to have in his pocket) no one is going to listen. So neither should we.

  • We are so fortunate to have Jack Thompson. Without his antics, people might start to take the "violence in media = real violence" statement as a logical thought, and may consider censorship.

    Continue to fight for the right side (probably unintentionally) Mr. Thompson!

  • by Rinisari (521266) * on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:23PM (#26715087) Homepage Journal

    Jack Thompson is always coming up with these solutions, but he has yet to prove a problem.

  • Jack Thompson makes me kill people. I'm sorry, your honor, but Mr. Thompson knowingly and directly was responsible for that busload of children I strafed. Had I not seen him file numerous illegal and misleading law suits on violent video games, I would not have taken it upon myself to randomly remove other people like him from the gene pool.

  • Jack Thompson? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JesseL (107722) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:28PM (#26715181) Homepage Journal

    I can't believe he hasn't been found in a cheap motel room; dead from autoerotic asphyxiation, wearing a gimp suit and a dildo in his ass.

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:29PM (#26715201)

    ... Really needs to have some hot coffee.

  • I find it interesting that the rants here are about not stopping violent video games, while on the Superbowl Ad thread [slashdot.org] Slashdot users bemoan the fact that ads that are sexually suggestive are censored, while the violent commercials are not. Hunkering down now for the inevitable blowback...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shakrai (717556)

      I find it interesting that the rants here are about not stopping violent video games, while on the Superbowl Ad thread [slashdot.org] Slashdot users bemoan the fact that ads that are sexually suggestive are censored, while the violent commercials are not

      I would posit that the difference between the two is that you have a choice over which video games your kids play. You don't have a choice over which commercials play during the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl is typically regarded as something that the whole family can watch.

  • New game idea... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524)
    ...about a guy name, say, Jack Thompson (purely fictional, of course). The goal would be to hunt down this character while he's going around trying to sue people and getting legislation passed. Higher points the sooner the character's dead, points off for each successful suit and/or bill passed.

    Proposed game name: Off Jack Off.

    • I'm pretty sure the X 'kill bill' game would qualify (included in Linux distros for the last 10+ years). Have the little Jack replacing video games with Barney videos.

  • The guy is obviously "touched" in the head. Being crazy however does not preclude a measure of validity to some of his arguments (and I say this as someone who used to LMAO playing Carmaggedon).

    For example, I wonder why the US military is so keen to promulgate their war/combat games. I can't image they got into the video game industry as just another income stream. Surely they must be expecting some sort of return other than a purely financial one? Say increased recruits. If this is so (i.e. the military be

    • They have games which are free designed to interest recruits.

      They have simulators designed for training.

  • Jack who? Who is this guy? Where did he come from? I have no idea who you are talking about. Seems like a guy who just wants some attention. Doesn't seem like he has anything important to say so I'm not going to click on the link.

    Maybe if we just ignore him, he'll go away.

  • Can we try ignoring him and hope he'll go away? He feeds off attention. Let's starve him.
  • You know, the Mormon church sponsors like 30 percent the nation's Scout Troops. Scouting was designed to teach kids the basics of soldier life: camping, navigation, and taking and giving orders. It's not a long stretch of the imagination to say that Utah is fine with teaching young boys how to shoot guns (I know my troop did).

  • What this story really illustrates is that we as a society have a bigger problem. Namely, we're letting crazy people run around loose. When will people like Mr. Thompson be confined and medicated for their own good? Is it really that hard to draw the line between dissent and stark raving lunacy?
  • by kraksmoka (561333) <grant AT grantstern DOT com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @04:18PM (#26716097) Homepage Journal
    he pursued 2 live crew like they were the devil. deserves what he gets
  • While reading this article (yeah, yeah, I won't do it again), it occurred to me that if Jack Thompson were to be shot into Rod Blagojevich at high velocity, that this would achieve a critical 'ego mass' and cause an massive release of energy that would destroy 2/3 of the solar system.

    If only there were a way to harness this power for the good of humanity...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You could call it the Large Hurbis Collider.

  • We just had the Super Bowl. People payed 2.4 million dollars to air one 30-second-long commercial.

    Were they stupid? Or did they actually know what they were doing? Can they really make a difference in people's behavior in 30 seconds of passive viewing?

    My belief is that the advertisers are not stupid - that it actually pays. But if so, arguing that all the sex and violence on TV - or in video games - has no effect, when people are exposed to hours and hours of it, seems rather naive. 30 seconds of a com

  • becasue he has irrationally accepted his ideal. IN order to give up, he has to look and understand facts. Becasue he is emotionally attached to the idea he feels he is saving the world.

    No different the religion.

  • CIA, FBI, Jeb Bush, Janet Reno, Florida Supreme Court, Florida Bar Association, 2 Live Crew, Ice-T, Take Two Interactive, Rockstar Games, Paul Eibeler, Paula Eibel, tin foil manufacturers, ...

    Damn it, I could go on forever.

    This must not be a real Jackhole sponsored bill. Too few targets.

  • by MoFoQ (584566) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:32PM (#26718197)

    Maybe ol' JT should disclose that he's not a lawyer [gamepolitics.com].
    Now that's truth in Advertising.

  • by Steauengeglase (512315) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:46AM (#26723949)

    I was hoping that Jack now had a side kick named, Utah Bill. I imagine them wandering the wilds together. Jack, a country lawyer taking down virtual murderers while Bill constantly has problems from his multiple wives.

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