First off, I never wanted buttonmashing.com to become a place for political statements, so I will try to refrain from such comments as much as possible. Also, I didn’t want to talk about GTA:SA anymore. I think the game has no redeeming qualities. I respect the opinions of people who think otherwise, but for my money, GTA:SA is a poor game. That said, I really don’t want to beat dead horses (Jack Thompson is an idiot and the GTA scandal) anymore but if you throw in another horse (Hillary Clinton) and I’m game. As it’s been reported, Senator Clinton has thrown her considerable political weight behind an investigation into Rockstar’s peccancies.
Mrs. Clinton asked the commission to determine “the source of this content,” especially since the game can fall into the hands of young people. The game industry’s self-policing unit, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, is investigating whether the maker of the game violated the industry rule requiring “full disclosure of pertinent content.”
Do we really need “federal regulators to investigate” this? Whether this game should have been rated M or AO by the ESRB it should never “fall into the hands of young people.” The NY Times also seems to be sketchy on the rest of the details, but that’s beside the point. It’s troubling that an influential Senator has taken interest in this case, because it gives credence to nut-jobs like Jack Thompson.
In fact, this seems to have been Jack Thompson’s dream come true, as he is literally slobbering in this letter he purportedly sent to everyone in the video game industry.
(On a side note, as a conservative Republican, I am sad to learn that Jack Thompson also belongs to my party. But that is neither here nor there.)
As I read this letter, I had to pause numerous times and pinch myself. Certainly I had drifted into a parallel universe where logic doesn’t exist and saying things crazy-stupid is the norm. As few choice quotes from the letter:
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.
No, how wrong you are Mr. Thompson! It’s the ESRB, not the ESA, that needs to take action. They rated a game based on content provided to them. It is neither Lowenstein’s nor the ESA’s fault that Rockstar may have held back certain content. This is just hot air.
Doug Lowenstein could have prevented what is going to happen today, but he preferred to shoot the messengers. It is his chronic style.
I wondered if he was trained to do that in Grand Theft Shoot-the-Media. Do you think he has an option of “Shoot the Messenger” in one of his cranial menus?
News organizations don’t trust ESA because Doug Lowenstein is its head. Why should they? He treats them like dirt.
After watching 60 minutes in March, I’d say it was the other way around. They gave whackos like you all the time in the world to spout your nonsense and then gave Doug the equivalent of a couple sound bites.
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.
Whoops, Thompson has “jumped the shark.” When the “Hitler” comparisons are thrown around, it’s time to pick up your things and leave. Nothing to see here. If you made it that far in the article, you can stop there. Does anyone see the similarity between a madman who exterminated millions of people and a man who may have missed a simple bit of content in a video game where NO ONE DIED? I know you, smart buttonmashers, are familiar with history. I won’t belabor the point anymore. You’ve seen the diarrhea pour out of this guys mouth time and time again. There’s more of this garbage, you can read it if you are a glutton for punishment. You can make your own decision about this guy.
There is one nice little gem, though, from Mr. Thompson. It reminded me why I love George W:
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.”
Amen, brother! We can write all the legislation in the world, fine stores and their clerks for selling games to minors, whatever. In the end, if the parents will let little Tommy play GTA:Kill ’em All Rampage, who’s to blame, really?
Update: Here are two cents (which are actually worth more) from blogger JKL, in which he refers to Jack Thompson as Thumper. Anyone who would think of that is okay in my book.
Also keep checking out Kotaku for updates. Brian is on this case like white on rice.