Monday, August 21, 2006

The Jack is back

About ten months ago, I did a writeup of Jack Thompson's actions up to that point, which included throwing hissy fits over video games such as GTA, The Sims 2, and unsuccessfully bullying several online comics about video games. Well, there is some good news for people who, like me, love watching the first few rounds of Idols (American Idol in the US) just because it's so much fun to watch people crash and burn.

As most of you should know, Rockstar Games is close to releasing a game called Bully, where you play the role of a schoolyard bully, beating your fellow wimps, uh, students, ultimately taking over the school. It's like GTA for kids, by kids, with kids. Except that it's not for kids. With all the beating and stuff. The game will be released in October.

Anyway, Jack has taken it upon himself to make sure this game is a-ok to play for people. In early 2005 he supported a campaign to discourage Rockstar Games from releasing the game at all, calling it a 'Columbine Simulator' (though there are no guns in the game as far as I know). How did he do this you ask? Simple. On August 16, 2006 he filed a petition, demanding that Rockstar Games provides him with an early copy of 'Bully'.

Wait, what?

Yes. He wants it for himself and others, to analyze it "to determine whether it still poses a threat of copycat violence in our schools."

Not surprisingly, Rockstar ignored him. So, ever the resourceful fellow, on August 18 Jack Thompson sued Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, GameStop and Toys 'R' Us seeking an order to stop the release of the game in October.

This is great, I can't wait for the outcome of this, so much fun. I'll definitely be playing this here Bully game. Finally I can get revenge!

Oct 12 update: The judge actually ruled that a Take Two representative must play Bully for 100 hours while the judge watches, to determine if it's bad enough to be banned. Take Two seems to think this all publicity is good publicity for them, but this is starting to cross the line between 'funny' and 'what the hell'. Ars Technica has the full scoop.

Oct 13 update: The verdict is in! After only two hours of viewing, the judge decided that while he wouldn't want his children to play it, Bully will appear on store shelves normally. Jack Thompson states "I may be full of crap about this game, and I may be wrong, and that's fine." And I intentionally misquoted him on that. Source: Ars Technica.

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