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Tue, Oct. 18th, 2005, 01:12 pm
American Idiot

So, Jack Thompson, an embarassment of a human and someone the Democrats would do well to distance themselves from pretty damned quick made a modest proposal asking videogame makers to release and distribute a game where the father of a kid who was killed by violent gamers goes on a rampage and kills the people who made the game that inspired his son's murderers. If they do, he will donate $10,000 to the charity of choice of Take Two's MD. His reasoning being that since gamers automatically mimic the actions they see on screen, they'd go out and kill the producers of violent video games. Since game makers KNOW this but refuse to acknowledge it because they're all evil people, hell bent on destroying the fabric of something something yadda yadda, they'll be exposed as hypocrites by Jack's challenge! Lets leave aside the fact that he used the title of one of the most famous pieces of satire ever as the title of his clumsy, thinly veiled attack.

He also contacts a number of websites, Penny Arcade included when they query some elements of the offer. Mostly wondering if he'd have to sue himself if the game got made and someone got killed. So, he states in some comments that Yes, the money is real, the money will be donated, all is above board and legit - so convinced is he that it'll never happen.

Well, it did. Adhering to the admittedly vague nature of his offer, several groups of gamers produced mods for some games that covered all the bases. It was produced, it was distributed, all according to the letter of his proposal, AND they did it before 2006 (though maybe not adhering to that criteria explains what happened next). Of course, not being man enough to put his money where his mouth is, Jack backs out, claiming that it was all a satire, including the bits where he said it wasn't a satire. Theres so many double negatives involved in this that I'm afraid I might break my brain but the upshot is that he's not paying out or making good on the offer he laid out in full view of hundreds of thousands of people.

Then, the two blokes at Penny Arcade, who are neither lawyers nor fabulously rich, donate the $10K in Jack's name. I'm guessing this one isn't satire, which would make them two of the classiest human beings on the planet.

Tue, Oct. 18th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC)

This is indeed fabulous.

Tue, Oct. 18th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)

i've been following that whole little saga myself. it's pretty funny. thompson is a misguided, pompous asshole on a crusade. And, Tycho and Gabe are awesome. Don't forget to give to child's play this year.

funnily enough, though, he may be right on one thing... -should- young kids really be playing the likes of manhunt, GTA, etc? not that they're "training" kids to kill people or anything. hell, go watch TV for that. Some of the stuff on broadcast TV (let alone cable) is fairly horrifying in that respect. The floodgates may already be open, as it were, anyways. Maybe let them open all the way, and deal with the momentary turbulence as society readjusts and people learn to distinguish fantasy from reality on a whole new level. (read: don't bother regulating at this point, people's minds will sort it out eventually).

Tue, Oct. 18th, 2005 11:14 pm (UTC)

To my mind its fairly simple - its a good point, he's the wrong person to make that point, there are entire organisations out there trying to do it in a way that doesn't paint the entire movement as reactionary morons.

He'd do the whole thing a service by shutting up and letting people with a clue fight this particular battle.

Wed, Oct. 19th, 2005 02:30 am (UTC)

First time I have ever seen a push bike with reverse gears.

Fair play to those guys from Penny Arcade though, modern heroes.