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Jack Thompson Sues Microsoft 574

An anonymous reader writes to mention that Jack Thompson, in his latest bout of zealotry, has set his sights on Microsoft for their recent release of Halo 3. GameAlmighty has posted the letter to Bill Gates. "Here's the deal, Mr. Gates: Either Microsoft undertakes dramatic, real steps, through its marketing, wholesale, and retail operations to assure that Halo 3 is not sold, via the Internet and in stores, directly to anyone under 17, or I shall proceed to make sure that Microsoft is held to that standard by appropriate legal means. I have done that before successfully as to Best Buy, and I shall do so again as to Microsoft and all retailers of Halo 3."
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Jack Thompson Sues Microsoft

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  • May fools? (Score:5, Funny)

    by EmperorKagato ( 689705 ) * <sakamura@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:45PM (#19245793) Homepage Journal
    April fools was last month.
    • Re:May fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icepick72 ( 834363 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:47PM (#19245821)
      I envy someone who can get so singularly focused on one topic. I think the guy's going batshit -- or should I say overreacting -- but I envy that quality nonetheless. How much meaningful work could get accomplished with such focused energy. You know he might just accomplish an end to his means because of it.
      • by jcr ( 53032 ) <.moc.cam. .ta. .rcj.> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:59PM (#19245967) Journal
        I envy someone who can get so singularly focused on one topic.

        You envy insanity?


        • by bobo mahoney ( 1098593 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:04PM (#19246031) Homepage
          Wouldn't Jack Thompson say that was caused by playing too many violent video games?
        • by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:30PM (#19247355) Homepage Journal

          You envy insanity?
          He should. Some of us enjoy every minute of it.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:58PM (#19247553)
          I have a friend who has on her list of life goals: "Get addicted to heroin" because "I just really want to know what it's like to have that kind of singular motivation".

        • by CaseM ( 746707 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:14AM (#19251599)
          You envy insanity?

          I don't.

          And neither do I.
      • by wframe9109 ( 899486 ) <bowker.x@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:12PM (#19246125)
        You know who he reminds me of?

        The Black Knight always triumphs! Have at you!

      • Re:May fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @08:46PM (#19246991) Homepage
        But his energy isn't focused. He attacks the wrong targets. He's not starting a PR compaign to make parents aware of ratings. He isn't threatening retailers with boycotts for selling mature games to children. He's suing a company who has no control over the situation, and no legal responsibility. That's not focused energy. It's the kind of random misdirected energy I expect from a crack addict.
        • Re:May fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:31AM (#19248555) Homepage
          I agree with your general idea, but Microsoft has more control over Halo 3 than any company on the planet. Microsoft *could* decide not to release Halo 3. Likely? Of course not. Could Microsoft ensure Halo 3 never hit the stores? They're the ones to go after if you honestly believe the courts would side in his favour.

          But lets be frank. Hes not trying to stop the sale of Halo 3. Hes generating 'awareness'. Hes not trying to prevent violent games from reaching children. Hes trying to rid the world of violent games. Period. When he suggests that GTA is a 'murder simulator', I dont think hes saying that the ratings system doesn't work, I think hes saying that nobody would suffer from alcohol abuse if the world stopped creating alcohol. Hes a modern day prohibitionist; considering that prohibition really did exist at some point in time, its not all that nuts to suggest that he probably has more than a few financial backers. Hes just pretty shameless with his opportunism. You really ought to give more credance to your enemy; he may be really misguided, but you have to have at least some reluctant admiration for his tenacity.
          • Re:May fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by BakaHoushi ( 786009 ) <Goss,Sean&gmail,com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:41AM (#19248621) Homepage
            Respect him for his tenacity? If I watched a man ram his head a thousand times into a skyscraper in order to knock it down and kill everyone inside, I'm not going to admire his tenacity, I'm going to call him a fruitcake with a death wish.

            The only difference is the fruitcake ramming his head into a brick wall has a slightly higher chance of surviving than the fruitcake trying to sue Microsoft.
          • Re:May fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by HUADPE ( 903765 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @02:51AM (#19249365) Homepage
            The point the GP makes though is still valid. He is trying to rid the world of violent games. He is just doing it in the least effective way possible. This would be the rough equivalent of me suing someone for driving through a green light while kids were crossing with the walk sign in their direction...because I think that cars should wait for all pedestrians to cross all directions before proceeding.

            He is suing MS for doing something legal. There is no law preventing the sale of violent games to kids. The suit will be thrown out.
      • Re:May fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:42PM (#19247839) Journal
        I suspect the point is coming when Thompson is going to start feeling some very real consequences of constantly wasting the time of the court. Either he is indeed a complete lunatic, or he's an addicted publicity hound. In either case, the least that should start happening is that he needs to have all the legal costs bounced back on him.
        • Re:May fools? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @11:12PM (#19248017)
          he's already been run out of one court for his antics... so yes, the courts are tired of this.

          on a side note, I don't think he'd have a chance in hell against Microsoft's lawyers. Halo is the wrong game to attack anyway. Sure it's violent, but it's fantasy violence a la Aliens or Starship Troopers against not to scary monsters. It's not even the horror genre like Doom with people turned to zombies and demonic undertones... it's strictly man versus alien. And occasionally alien versus people. It's not violence depicted against PEOPLE for sport like GTA. otherwise he ought to be out there protesting Forest Gump or Pearl Harbor for depictions of people really getting shot at and loosing limbs. Personally what I've seen of Halo 2 makes it barely PG-13.. mostly for the language and occasional gratituious monster kills or foul language to bump up the ESRP so tweens will want it for being "grown up".

    • by FinchWorld ( 845331 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:12PM (#19246127) Homepage
      ... Laywer Jack Thompson was killed in a tragic incident at his home a few minutes ago, early reports seem to indicate assassination by means of a thrown chair. The state of the scene have led police to believe a large ape like creature is to blame, local Zoo's have been contacted.
    • Re:May fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vimh42 ( 981236 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:38PM (#19246389)
      April fools was last month.

      There are fools every month.
    • by halcyon1234 ( 834388 ) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @08:58PM (#19247093) Journal
      ... sue him first.
    • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:58PM (#19247947)
      Jack is the biggest joke in the game industry already but he also costs people millions in litigation for his causes. You remember that old line "it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" it's become "it's all fun and game until someone litigates" and Thompson has proven he's willing to do that.

      Hell just when you think Thompson might give the public a break for a month, he comes out again such as this.
  • by Control Group ( 105494 ) * on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:45PM (#19245795) Homepage
    ...because the low Earth orbit clutter problem just got a lot worse with all the pigs up there.

    I mean, they must be, since I'm going to be rooting for Microsoft to win a lawsuit.
    • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:01PM (#19245995) Journal
      Personally, I'm just so confused because I want them BOTH to lose. The only thing that makes me NOT want it to be a protracted and expensive lawsuit for both parties is that then, only the lawyers would win.

      If only Microsoft, Jack AND the lawyers would just explode, we would all be winners.
      • by deathy_epl+ccs ( 896747 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:16PM (#19246165)

        Personally, I'm just so confused because I want them BOTH to lose. The only thing that makes me NOT want it to be a protracted and expensive lawsuit for both parties is that then, only the lawyers would win.

        Remember... Jack IS a lawyer so by your statement, he would win.

      • Why would you want Microsoft to lose? You really want to set a precedent that he can use to rip into every other game manufacturer on the planet? Not that I think they would, Best Buy caved more for publicity purposes than legal requirements.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I want them BOTH to lose

        Then I suggest we give them both thermonuclear weapons and egg 'em on. (Want to play a game?) Actually, just this once I'd like to see Microsoft nuke Jack Thompson from orbit. Twice. ITOWTBS.

      • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:26PM (#19247715) Homepage
        Actually, MS's games division are really nice guys. At some point, MS basically decided to open a console division, and did so by throwing money at the most passionate game dorks they could find, then giving them space to do what they wanted to do. Because the division is reasonably young, and the older executives largely keep their hands off of it, it's not plagued by the infighting that the rest of MS is.

        I originally wanted the Xbox to fail miserably in the market, lest the beast from redmond do to consoles what they did to operating systems. But, by and large, the games division has been run by a bunch of stand-up guys doing good stuff. And I'm not just saying that because I've met them, but also from what they've done. You have to admit, the Xbox 360 is no MSN.

        • by miro f ( 944325 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @11:14PM (#19248037)
          and do you think that they will still be running it and allowed to do what they want once Microsoft has domination of the gaming world?

          At least the advantage of Gaming is that there is no real inertia, everyone starts at the same point every five years. If MS gains a monopoly its usual tactics won't keep it there.
          • by kripkenstein ( 913150 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:42AM (#19248631) Homepage

            At least the advantage of Gaming is that there is no real inertia, everyone starts at the same point every five years. If MS gains a monopoly its usual tactics won't keep it there.
            It does seem that way, doesn't it? Just remember, there was no OS monopoly before Windows, and no office monopoly before MS Office. Microsoft are experts at generating self-propagating monopolies (yes, they failed at many things - MSN, Zune - but a few big successes are all they need). Just watch, they are already leveraging their Windows monopoly to help the XBOX (multiplayer games with Windows and XBOX, shared credit system, etc.), they are consolidating their development tools so that developing for Windows and XBOX can be done simultaneously, and I am sure they have more tricks up their sleeve (look at the XBOX media store, I am sure we will see tight integration with Windows).

            So yes, people buy a new console every 5 years. But only the Microsoft console will integrate especially well with their Windows machine, both for the end-user and the developer. We may very well see a console monopoly in the next decade. Sadly, Sony and Nintendo seem to have no clue (if they did, we would see them standardizing their development tools, integrating with iPods, etc.).
    • by Carnildo ( 712617 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:35PM (#19246355) Homepage Journal

      I mean, they must be, since I'm going to be rooting for Microsoft to win a lawsuit.

      Microsoft is like the Black Plague: you want to avoid it at all costs, but it's great to see it go to work against your enemies.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wall0159 ( 881759 )
        I don't really agree with his position, but at least he's fighting for what he believes, rather than just selling his advocacy to the highest bidder.

        It's important to recognise the difference between someone who hold morals with which one disagrees, and someone who has no morals.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)


          Are you saying you'd prefer Mercenaries, as opposed to, say, the Khmer Rouge?

          The Khmer Rouge held morals "with which one (I) disagree", while most mercenaries have few, if any, morals.

          The traditional spectrum is (Good) ---- (Neutral) ---- (Evil), and as much as that is trite D&D stuff, I find it very difficult to generalize amoral as "worse" than having morals with which I disagree with.
          • by wall0159 ( 881759 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:43PM (#19247843)
            hmm. I guess when you go all reducto ad absurdism (or however it's spelt) it sounds wrong. However I don't think the world's really as black and white as you're trying to imply. Most mercenaries wouldn't just side with the enemy if they offered them more $$$ - this implies a moralistic component. Conversely, I think it would be possible to argue that some totalitarian states encourage amoralism (new word), under the guise of "just following orders" or whatever.

            An amoral person can do anything, as they look out for themself (also known as psychopathic) - at least a moral person behaves consistently.

            I don't really agree with your "traditional spectrum" of good -> evil. Many so-called "good" people have committed terrible (evil?) acts against "evil" people who were really just different. Look at things like the trail of tears...
  • by jnguy ( 683993 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:46PM (#19245803) Homepage
    I never thought I would root for Microsoft, but I hope they destroy Jack Thompson.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 )
      Or at least stop him from clogging the courts with frivolous lawsuits. This guy is the Paris Hilton of lawyers; just a big attention whore.
  • by MS-06FZ ( 832329 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:46PM (#19245805) Homepage Journal
    Who do you root for in a case like this? I mean, I don't always approve of Microsoft. And Thompson, well... ...I take it back. Go Microsoft! Wipe the floor with this punk!
  • by MrPerfekt ( 414248 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:46PM (#19245807) Homepage Journal
    Why does this guy feel the need to force his "morality" on everyone? What makes him right and everyone else wrong? He's likely just the biggest douchebag in the world, but I was wondering if anyone, anywhere can defend him.
    • by nikostheater ( 956769 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:51PM (#19245889)
      Because he want to expose himself as a great christian crusader against the evils of this world and shit. He is just an imposter,a nobody that all his power is via TV. I think this threat that he is doing is empty,just theatrics.You know,for the ignorant grandmas of this world and for the hard core republicans like the ones that are the core voters for GWB.
      • and for the hard core republicans like the ones that are the core voters for GWB.

        Actually you'll find that "core" Republican voters REALLY REALLY hate trial attorneys.

        They'd much rather have some religious figure battle this sort of thing out in the media, not in the courts.
      • by Khaed ( 544779 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @02:09AM (#19249143)
        Actually it's not just Republicans who want to talk about this kind of gaming regulation. A lot of butt-kissing Democrats have made suggestions that way, including the rather liberal Hillary Clinton. This is not a Republican/Democrat issue. They both suck on this issue for the most part. They're all from the same generation that doesn't freaking understand games and how Thompson and his ilk are just publicity whores.

        It's the same thing as when dumbass Hatch suggested blowing up people's computers remotely for file sharing. It's simply a lack of understanding and pandering to someone who benefits them. In that case, the RIAA. In this case, the old people vote who think the current culture is just soooo awful.

        The problem isn't going to go away because most younger people only vote on American Idol.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fuzzums ( 250400 )
      When I read your comment I was thinking of christian moralists and anti-abortion-fundamentalists who... well, they just want to force their moral on.... EVERYBODY.
  • But what can they do (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gbulmash ( 688770 ) * <semi_famous@ y a hoo.com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:46PM (#19245809) Homepage Journal
    First, the title of this article is a misnomer. He's threatening to sue. He hasn't sued yet.

    How is Microsoft supposed to take drastic measures to ensure retailers don't sell its games to people under 17? I wouldn't be upset if Microsoft started a "17 means 17" program, where if they received proof of a retaler selling "M for Mature" games to people under 17, they would cut off that retailer from all shipments of Microsoft products for 6 months. But is it practical?

    If it was Wal-mart, would Microsoft cut them off or give them a stern warning? When I was young and working temp gigs at Disney, I spent a few days calling video stores that had broken street date on video releases, getting a store manager on the line, then handing them over to a Disney manager to chew them out and threaten them with not getting future releases.

    But one thing that was interesting was one of my co-workers told me how Costco got away with it all the time. They were such a huge retail channel for Disney videos, Disney couldn't afford to threaten Costco, so they just had to take a "grin and bear it" posture in those cases, filing a protest but unable to make threats.

    I'm sure Microsoft doesn't want to see young kids getting their hands on violent games and they're not doing tobacco industry style strategy sessions on how to sell "Halo 3" to 10-year-olds. OTOH, how much can they actually do when they're not the ones actually controlling the point of sale?

    • by Angelwrath ( 125723 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:50PM (#19245865)
      Thanks for setting the record straight on the title. The more I read articles on the Internet, the more I see misleading, over-stated article titles meant to grab extra attention. Frankly I'm getting tired of it.
    • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:06PM (#19246053)
      Thats what I was thinking initially. Their Lawyers can't just come out and rip him a new one because it looks bad. Forcing a 'solution' on all their distributors is just impractical. I imagine the first response will be a nice spokesman coming out and making all the right noises about how MS are concerned about kids being exposed to violence and all the measures they take to prevent this and that because they are concerned members of society their games are not really 'violent' its just a tiny part of the gameplay and while they respect and share Mr Thompson's concerns they are currently doing everything in their power to prevent improper sales etc.

      However after all the public bs I and considering that gaming and the XBox is going to make them quite a bit of money over the next few years I expect Thompson will find MS much more abrasive and confrontational should he do anything they feel is going to threaten their margins.
  • by mendax ( 114116 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:47PM (#19245819)
    I think that God was trying to blast Jack Thompson with his lightning bolts and got Jerry Fallwell instead. A pity.
    • Re:God has bad aim (Score:5, Informative)

      by cosinezero ( 833532 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:57PM (#19245951)
      No, no, Falwell has at least 20 more years of being a jackass than jack does. God doesn't always answer prayers on your timeframe.
    • by zolaar ( 764683 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:27PM (#19247313)
      No, his aim is fine. It's his ping time that is the problem. Jerry Fallwell had just been ludicrously evil for longer than Jack Thompson has, and (due to the stupid hardcoded speed-of-light thing**) it currently takes a couple decades to establish a TCP (Thunderbolt-Chucking Protocol) socket over ether. Oh, and don't even get him started on packet collisions between other deities on the network, either...

      (** -- It was the night before the big presentation to the department heads, and it was between fixing that or the 'vaginas-might-grow-fangs' bug...)
  • by Jackass Thompson ( 932628 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:48PM (#19245831)
    I will not be happy until every last video game is banned. Video games are the cause of all of society's problems. Stop creating them, you godless hackers.
  • by stastuffis ( 632932 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:48PM (#19245845)

    He's a lunatic that feeds off attention.

    Why give him ammunition?

    • He's a lunatic that feeds off attention.

      Why give him ammunition?

      Because the news media is SUPPOSED to EXPOSE such abuses of power - to give us warning. Then we can dodge, and mobilize opposition, etc.

      Keeping silent about such abuses perpetuates them. Talking about them gives their opposition more intelligence (in the military sense) for organizing against them, and lets them know that action is needed.

      The most powerful propaganda technique is to selectively not report. The media already does this with en
  • What, what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by grassy_knoll ( 412409 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:50PM (#19245867) Homepage
    So wait.. Thompson is essentially barred from suing Take Two over it's games ( see here [gamealmighty.com] ) so now he's after Bill Gates?

    And what's this nonsense?

    As you also know, Lee Boyd Malvo trained on Microsoft's Halo to further enable him to become the remarkably efficient "DC Beltway Sniper." That was reported by NBC News at the time and was noted in Malvo's criminal trial.

    Yeah... killer training... because pushing buttons on a controller is exactly like firing a rifle.

    Seems like more grandstanding. I'd say Thompson is off his meds... but frankly, I'm not sure he was ever on them.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:51PM (#19245887) Homepage Journal
    Who wins in a deathmatch between Jack Thompson and Bill Gates?

    Answer: Humanity.

    It'd make a good video game...

    I don't seem to recall there being an actual law saying that you couldn't sell AO games to minors. Isn't it just a guideline?

  • by FlyByPC ( 841016 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:53PM (#19245899) Homepage
    The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right?

    ...so who do I root for here?
    • Microsoft... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by afxgrin ( 208686 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:07PM (#19246073)
      ... because really, they're just distributing a video game. This attack on gaming is stupid, just like many other laws trying to prevent social activities. It's a futuristic combat game, there is nothing REAL about any of it. The supposedly realistic world the game takes place in is a complete fictional fabrication. Unless Jack thinks Microsoft has a fucking time machine and knows that this is the true future. :-)

      Why doesn't he focus his effort on banning violence from news reports ... cause that's like real. Or how about violence in film? That is a depiction of real people, handling pseudo-weapons that are designed to look like real weapons, and through the use of special effects, depict the actual killing of people in as much graphic detail as possible (cause it looks cooler). He really needs to stop acting like a fucking crusader for the war on video games. I am under the impression that there is no "moral majority" backing any of his actions, and the generation of adults who grew up playing video games will just want Mr. Thompson to shut up.

      And if he brings up the recent VT shootings, from what I understand of Cho's background, that he didn't play video games.

      Can someone please throw a cream pie at Thompson, like ASAP? Someone already nailed BillyG with a pie, someone needs to get Jack.
  • by Jeff Carr ( 684298 ) <slashdot.com@jeffcar r . info> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:01PM (#19245987) Homepage

    Jack Thompson's goal isn't to prevent Halo 3 sales.

    It's quite clearly to get himself and Microsoft's lawyers in the same room at the same time. That much concentrated evil will surely create a gateway to hell and let through all the imps, pain elementals, and cyberdemons. Then his purpose for preventing people kids from playing Doom will become clear as his armies rampage unhindered and he begins his thousand year reign over all the nations of the earth!

  • Wait...what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by amuro98 ( 461673 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:07PM (#19246069)
    I seriously hope that idiot goes through with this. It'll be amusing to watch Microsoft counter-sue idiot into oblivion.

    Isn't there a law about threatening a lawsuit? Could this finally be the last straw that causes idiot to be disbarred entirely? Not that he couldn't still hire another idiot to act as his attorney, but I suspect it'll become more expensive for idiot to continue threatening companies in this manner.
  • Oh my God. (Score:5, Funny)

    by adam.dorsey ( 957024 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:11PM (#19246109)
    He just kicked the 800-pound gorilla in the nuts.

    This is so wonderful. This story just made my day.
  • Jack Thompson (Score:3, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:13PM (#19246135) Homepage Journal
    greatest troll that ever lived
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:14PM (#19246157) Homepage Journal
    A truly wonderful occurrence as a mentally lacking persona is taking a hulking giant head on. Only that, he is no david.

    and this is a chance for microsoft to clean up some of the bad karma that they have accrued over the last 25-30 years.
  • by NinjaTariq ( 1034260 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:18PM (#19246185)
    As a parent I wish to let someone have the responsibility of bringing up my kids right, I am tired or trying to stop them doing things that they shouldn't...

    I am going to buy Halo 3 for my own enjoyment, and I want Jack Thomson to personally come to my house here in PA and keep them out of the room so they don't see the graphic violence as I take the convenant and flood once more... You go Jack, I assume because your self righteous head is so far up your own self righteous ass, that you won't even need me to pay you...

    I love you Jack, you are my hero, I hereby grant you all of my parental responsibility, since you are so much better at it than me. I urge parents on slashdot to do the same.

    The man is an idiot, I bet the guy who reads Bill's mail got a good laugh. Jack Thomson should NOT breed.
  • by TheChromaticOrb ( 931032 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:20PM (#19246205)
    Can we please return parental control back to parents? I was under the impression that Thompson et al preach traditional values and the "reinstitution" of family. If you really want to feed the lawyers, please ask the courts to force families to be responsible for raising their kids, not to take the responsability away from it. Thank you.
  • by Breander ( 1013461 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:20PM (#19246207)
    Not that I would be against a law to state that it is illegal for someone to sell mature video games to kids, but come on a violent video game is way less dangerous then drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. 99.9% of kids can play violent video games and not be any way affected by them. And those that are affect usually have other contributing factors that make it so. There is no way Microsoft could assure that there game is never sold to children. Look at all the before mentioned products, they still get sold to kids all the time even though its illegal by law. Jack Thompson is fighting the wrong people. He needs to be helping parents learn how to be parents. Most young kids don't have the money to buy a 50 - 60 dollar game. Let alone a several hundred dollar console.
  • by Gertlex ( 722812 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:24PM (#19246255)
    The quote (bah, I didn't RTFA) says nothing about age.

    Just let him do it, and then when he sues, Microsoft can just tell him that they didn't sell to anyone under 17" of height. Or cm, or mm, or lbs, or you get the idea.
  • by netcrusher88 ( 743318 ) <netcrusher88@g m a i l.com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:42PM (#19246413)
    How do I know?

    * The writing style is juvenile, and though Thompson may be a fool, he is a lawyer, which means he knows how to write official-looking documents, and that was too casual for even a professional memo.
    * Who the hell has ever heard of GameAlmighty? Attention whores like Thompson don't CC legal threats to unheard-of small gaming blogs with about a hundred readers. They CC it to NBC or something.
    * Who the hell has ever heard of GameAlmighty? Claiming to have received a letter from Jack Thompson is an extremely effective way to get hits.
    * Thompson already sent a letter to Bill Gates, about Counter-Strike. If he was going to send a letter about Halo 3, it would likely go to Steve Jobs.
    * Again with the writing style. It just feels very, very wrong. Can we get a literature/psychology professor/professional to analyze these?

    I know I'm going to get modded down for this, but I'll be the one laughing. Or maybe you will, and I'll be laughing at myself. I could be wrong.
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:48PM (#19246465) Homepage Journal
    Please crush Jack Thompson in a very public way. Show the world how mistaken he is, and make him a laughingstock.

    For this, I would change my position and buy an XBox.

    Thank you.
  • You know... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:58PM (#19246563)
    ... perhaps it's time Jack Thompson had his own icon.

    It could look like that Marge Squirrel from that episode of The Simpsons when Marge was all upity against Itch and Scratchy.

    Just a thought.
  • Self-regulation (Score:5, Informative)

    by Aeron65432 ( 805385 ) <agiamba AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @08:06PM (#19246629) Homepage
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the ESRB's rating system have no legal ground at all? Therefore it's not illegal for stores to sell to u-18s....depends on store policy.
  • by wilgibson ( 933961 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @08:56PM (#19247077)
    it would be one case I would hope Microsoft wins. Seriously, Jack Thompson is a blithering idiot. I find it quite funny that there are many games out there far more violent than the ones he chooses to single out, yet it is like he is oblivious, Oh wait, that's right... he is!

    What really amazes me is the man hasn't gone after the Wii(at least to my knowledge). Come on, a game like Red Steel should be a big fat target for this guy. Not to mention Metroid Prime 3, which is a game that is making some buzz. You would think the controls used in these games would seriously disturb him, those Wiimotes are more like guns than any 360 or PS controller could ever be!
    • My mod points literally expired minutes before I loaded this, but I'm giving you a virtual +1 Interesting.

      The thing that always seems really stupid to me about these claims is that with the exception of joysticks for (combat) flight sims, the controls used in (violent) videogames are nothing at all like the ones used in real life. I'm a half-decent shot with a pistol and much better with a rifle, but I absolutely suck at FPS games... and I bet the reverse is usually true as well. FPSs just don't account for things like the weight or length of the weapon, the affect recoil has on aim (I mean, see above comment on FPS games, but even I know how to tip the sight control stick slightly down in Halo 2 so my SMGs don't climb from recoil... whereas real full automatics are far harder to control and vast amounts of R&D has gone into the invention of 'governers' that limit the number of shot fired in a burst, because otherwise people tend to shoot most of their ammo into the sky. The grips are also different, and even the triggers don't feel the same at all.

      The real difference, however, is the aiming. Mouse, keyboard, analog stick, joystick, control pad... it doesn't matter, not a single one is anything like actually trying to hit a target with a real weapon. I don't shoot at people, obviously, and usually not at terribly mobile targets, but even lining up on a stationary target is a major difference. This is especially true if shooting 'from the hip' (which is WAY harder than movies make it look) where you don't have any kind of crosshairs, zoom, or direct LoS along the barrel. Until now, no videogame* I've ever seen has even approached what real-life aiming is like.

      Now, along comes the Wii. You aim by... aiming. Your hand is on a object not terribly unlike any firearm without a pistol grip. You are shooting in a way that's pretty much 'from the hip' with perhaps the equivalent of a laser sight added (crosshairs on screen). I haven't played Red Steel or any other Wii game involving shooting with a Wiimote, and I'm sure the best of them still isn't terribly realistic, but it's a hell of a lot closer than any other mainstream control scheme I know of* and if JT actually gives a damn about the supposed reason behind his crusade (keeping people safe) and has an IQ of better than 40 (not sure about this either, but he did supposedly make it through law school) he should be terrified/outraged by this!

      *Ok, duckhunt. But seriously, the aim in that game was a joke; it was more about learning how to game the system than about how to target accurately. There may have been others - I wasn't much into console games at all until recently - but by and large what I've said above holds true.
  • gl (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:15PM (#19247239) Journal
    good luck with that jack.

    and by 'good luck' I mean, 'I hope you die in a fire'

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