John Bruce "Jack" Thompson
A native of Ohio, Jack Thompson graduated in 1976 from Vanderbilt
University School of Law. He is a practicing medical malpractice attorney
He has had an event-filled history primarily
revolving around first amendment issues. He staunchly supports regulating
offensive media. Some of his more notable attempts include:
Ice T: As a representative
of the Freedom Alliance, Jack convinced Time Warner that Ice T's
song, Cop Killer, was too dangerous to air. Time Warner quickly
dropped Ice T.
Jack Thompson is also known for his exceptionally vigorous communications,
which frequently attack not only the content of the video game, but
also threaten and debase the people who play them. This extends to
all people he considers his opponents, from other lawyers to musicians
2 Live Crew: He led a campaign against
their album As Nasty As They Wanna Be in 1989. In 1990, a federal
trial influenced by his input ruled the album obscene. This led
to the arrest of several members of the group and a record retailer,
but the ruling was quickly reversed.
Paducah Shootings: Jack spearheaded
a $130 million dollar liability lawsuit for the parents of the
victims, targetting the producers and distributors of The Basketball
Diaries, sex web site operators, and several video game producers.
This case was dismissed in 2002.
Continued Shootings: Jack continues
to try to hold video game producers responsible for shootings,
including the Columbine High School Massacre and the Washington
Sniper. Originally, he targetted mostly first person shooters
(when the player sees through the "eyes" of the character).
He holds that "god mode" codes, which make you invincible,
lead to extreme aggression. Recently, he has changed his target
over to RockStar's games (distributed by TakeTwo), such as Grand
Theft Auto, Manhunt, and the not-yet-released Bully. These games
are, or will be, notable for their extreme violence and disregard
for human life. However, the attempt to get them rated as Adults
Only rather than Mature usually revolves around their rather tame
The Games Made Me: Jack is also one of
the foremost proponents of the "Video Games Made Me Do It"
defense, which has so far failed to convince any judges. This defense
is employed in an attempt to lessen the sentence of violent murderers,
shifting the blame over to video game makers and distributors.