Thompson bill claim denied (updated)
Jack Thompson, the US lawyer on a self-confessed crusade to bring game publishing 'scoff-laws' to justice, has been asked by Republican governor of Florida Jeb Bush to draft a potential bill to the legislature, prohibiting the sale of violent and sexually explicit videogames to minors. Thompson has long been campaigning for a law criminalizing the sale of M-rated game to minors, and games publishers (especially Take-Two, we'd imagine) will be groaning to learn that the outspoken lawyer now has the opportunity to write that very law himself.
Thompson himself has confirmed that the governor's office made the request of him, the lawyer noting that he is the only person thus-far asked to pen a potential law related to the sale of games. The exact wording of the bill remains unclear, but Thompson has been unrelentingly critical of the dangers posed by videogames, and has pursued developers and publishers directly in court cases attempting to link real-world violent crimes with the influences of various titles. A system making retailers responsible for restricting sales seems most likely.
It is worth noting that there already exists a framework for restricting the sale of adult-content videogames in other countries, such as the UK and Australia, so many will view this move as somewhat inevitable as gaming grows in mass popularity. Didn't the same concerns surround the cinema and rock 'n' roll in years gone by?
Update: A representative for Florida governor Jeb Bush has stated that Thompson's claim regarding the bill writing is 'untrue'. More soon.
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