Sisyphus ain't got nothin' on Jack Thompson. The infamous anti-games lawyer, who former ESA head Doug Lowenstein said should be ignored by the gaming press, is suing Take-Two Interactive to prevent the sale of Manhunt 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV. Thompson plans to file suit the week of March 19 and he is looking to "prevent the sale of two hyperviolent video games set to be released this year and sold to anyone under 17 years of age." Which reads like two objectives.
In the following paragraph, the clarification is that the games shouldn't be sold to anyone under 17 because both games will be rated "mature." According to the ESRB website, neither game has been rated at this time. Not to mention that even if they are rated M, they shouldn't be sold to anyone under 17 anyway. At this stage we know little to nothing about either game, Grand Theft Auto IV's trailer hasn't even been released yet. For all we know it could be sunshine and lollipops. This lawsuit is a bit premature and could simply be viewed as Thompson trying to get another advanced copy of a Rockstar game. Don't give in Take-Two, we expect him to wait for the game just like everyone else. Thompson says he is going forward with the lawsuit because he "still has his testicles, both literally and figuratively" despite Take-Two's efforts to have him disbarred.
Get the full Jack Thompson treatment with the release after the break.
Immediate News Release – March 10, 2007
Lawsuit to Be Filed to Stop Sale of Two Murder Simulation Games to Kids
Miami attorney and anti-violent video game activist, Jack Thompson, will file a lawsuit the week of March 19 to prevent the sale of two hyperviolent video games set to be released this year and sold to anyone under 17 years of age.
The two games are Manhunt 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV. Both are made by Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Both games will be rated "Mature." This ESRB rating is an admission, both in the legal sense and in the common sense of the word, that neither game can or should be sold to anyone under the age of 17 years because of the harmful, mature content.
The United States Federal Trade Commission has recently found by its own stings on stores that despite the "Mature" rating on video games, they are still sold 42% of the time to kids under 17. Take-Two aggressively markets its "Mature" games to children, as it was caught this past year placing Grand Theft Auto ads on public transport in major US metropolitan areas despite promises by the industry to stop that practice after Columbine. Take-Two also runs ads for its "Mature" games in video game publications purchased by hundreds of thousands of kids under 17.
The United States, unlike countries such as Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Japan, Germany, and others, labels video games harmful to minors and yet allow sales of them to minors. Such sales are illegal in these other countries. The video game industry has fraudulently persuaded various courts in the US to strike down constitutional laws prohibiting the sale of adult games to children, lying to courts by saying that there is "no evidence that these games are harmful to minors." This is from an industry that places "Mature" labels on games. The American Psychological Association in August 2005 found a clear causal link between violent games and teen aggression. Law enforcement, since the school massacre at Columbine, has increasingly linked violent video game play to violence around the country. The US Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons, in striking down the juvenile death penalty, cited brain scan studies which prove that minors process violent info
rmation in a different part of the brain than do adults. Brain scan studies (MRIs) at various institutions prove that violent video games are processed in the midbrains (amygdala) of teens, which leads to copycat violence.
Killings have been specifically linked to Take-Two's Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto games. Thompson is legal counsel for two sets of families suing Take-Two for video game copycat killings. Thompson has asked Take-Two and retailers to stop selling Take-Two's "Mature" murder simulation games to kids. They all refuse. They are about to be told by a court of law that they must adhere to the logic of their own "Mature" labels.
Jack Thompson drafted Louisiana's harmful to minors video game law last year. It was passed unanimously by both houses in the Louisiana legislature after Thompson's live testimony, and the bill was signed into law by Governor Blanco. The Attorney General of Louisiana then chose not to defend the law aggressively in the resulting court challenge after the video game industry threatened to pull video game companies out of the state.
Thompson will thus use, successfully, existing nuisance laws to stop the distribution of Manhunt 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV to anyone under 17. This comes at a very bad time for Take-Two, which is set for a corporate coup on April 23 when shareholders will take over control of the company, fire scofflaw CEO Paul Eibeler and flush the entire board. This upcoming coup and its details have been reported around the world this past week.
The court-ordered prohibition of the sale of these two Take-Two murder simulation games to anyone under 17 will adversely impact revenues to Take-Two. This should be of great concern to all Take-Two shareholders, especially those who are poised to take over the company.
A review of Manhunt 2 can be read at the following link:
As any reader can see, the player can plunge a syringe into the eye of his foes and removes their testicles. A Houston boy was arrested and placed in jail by law enforcement there after he called Jack Thompson threatening to castrate Thompson and kill him. The teen's point in calling was to convince Thompson that Take-Two's games had not affected his attitudes. Pause.
Now Take-Two is set to sell to children a simulator showing them how to castrate their foes.
Contact Jack Thompson, who still has his testicles, both literally and figuratively, despite Take-Two's efforts to have him disbarred, for more information at ***-***-****.