News

PA and Thompson square-up

Donations, allegations and more

After challenging the games industry to make a satirical game proposal sent to the media last week, lawyer Jack Thompson (infamous in gaming circles for his efforts to ban violent titles stateside) offered-up a 10,000 USD donation to charity, if the game got made. Thompson said that Take-Two chairman and all-round pal Paul Eibeler could even choose the charity to receive the donation, nice use of irony there, you might think. Well, the story doesn't end there (sadly). Last week the team behind the Old Grandma Hardcore blog released a text-adventure adhering to Thompson's proposal, but the lawyer did not make good on his promised donation.

We now learn that a second game, a GTA San Andreas mod, has now been released by Fighting Hellfish (who have in the past been linked with the San Andreas Hot Coffee mod), titled Defamation of Character: A Jack Thompson Murder Simulator. The tongue in cheek mod, which works with the PC version of the game, allows you to control Jack trying to blow-up trucks delivering copies of GTA, trying to catch Doug Lowenstein trading kinky Sims images over the internet and even choose the lawyer's statements in a press conference. The script of the latter is apparently derived almost entirely from his own comments.

Thompson was quoted subsequently, stating that those developing the mock-games had missed the point, and that the joke - the 'satire' - was effectively on them.

Gaming site Penny Arcade however then picked-up the baton, donating the 10,000 USD promised to the games industry funded Entertainment Software Association Foundation, which supports worthy causes across America. Thompson however is not greatly amused by PA's actions, the site reporting that the lawyer grew angry and hung-up on them when pressed to discuss this latest development. Indeed, Thompson is now pressing for the Seattle police to arrest certain PA staffers on grounds of harassment, the GamePolitics.com website quoting a fax to the Chief of Police which states "There are a bunch of computer geeks out there who think that the video game industry has a constitutional right to paint a bullseye on your back and on your officers' backs... That is what this criminal harassment of me by Penny Arcade is all about. They're even selling an 'I Hate Jack Thompson' t-shirt, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. These idiots have been so careless as to post on their www.pennyarcade.com web site what they are doing regarding the harassment of me."

Finally, Penny Arcade have made a fresh update including a scan of the cheque they're donating and commenting that "Some people have suggested that it might be time to start ignoring the guy and honestly that's what we had decided to do. However, that was before he tried to have us arrested. Jack is not scary, if you speak to him for even a couple minutes you realize that. What's scary is that people in the mainstream media listen to him. I don't think we can just ignore him anymore."

We're guessing this saga is set to run-and-run, we'll keep you posted (if we can muster the energy).

Sources: Eurogamer.net, Gamepolitics.com, 1up.com

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