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Thompson's Open Letters

This is a collection of Mr. Thompson's open letters to various politicians, institutions and media. We are doing our best to ensure the authenticity of this page. If you know of letters that aren't listed here yet, please contact us through our contact page.

All of this letters are unedited, unless otherwise stated.

Table of Contents

  1. Letter to Senator Joe Lieberman, concerning Walsh
  2. Letter to Dean Walsh II
  3. Letter to Dean Walsh I
  4. A Modest Video Game Proposal
  5. The Warriors to be Released by Take-Two
  6. Debate, Doug, Debate
  7. Leisure Suit Larry and God of War
  8. Killer 7
  9. Distribution of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors
  10. FTC Investigation of Take-Two
  11. To Senator Clinton and Senator Lieberman II
  12. Sims 2 and Porn
  13. To Senator Clinton and Senator Lieberman I
  14. October 2005 Release of School Violence Simulator Bully
  15. Criminal Prosecution of Take-Two
  16. Probable Criminal Sale of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors III
  17. Raw Sex Now Found on Millions of Sony Playstation 2 Copies of GTA
  18. Probable Criminal Sale of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors II
  19. Open Letter to the Members of the Entertainment Software Association
  20. Probable Criminal Sale of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors I

Letter To Senator Joe Lieberman, Concerning Walsh

[posted on 17th October 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]

Dear Senator Lieberman:

I received late last Thursday a remarkably false and hurtful letter from someone who is a friend of yours and who used to be a friend of mine, Dr. David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family. Two people who got Walsh's letter are you and Doug Lowenstein of the ESA. Therein is the explanation of why it was really sent.

I have over the years repeatedly told Dr. Walsh of my admiration for his knowledge as to the harm caused by mature video games sold to minors. I have done nothing for years but praise him to others, especially those in the media. Dr. Walsh has gotten himself on plenty of prominent news shows about this issue on his own, but I got him on 60 Minutes this year and in Reader's Digest. Dave indicated that he was pleased that I did. Neither of us seeks the publicity for its own sake. We both care about the message. It will save lives.

The three of us, obviously, have shared this same concern about adult games sold to kids for a very long time. When you meet the bereaved families of these victims, they change your life forever, as did the families in Paducah whom I represented. Critics of the three of us don't understand our concern. They haven't met the victims.

The very day I sent Dave a draft of an affidavit for him to sign for our wrongful death case in Alabama, Dave, instead of calling me wrote this letter saying that I needed to stop suggesting publicly and otherwise that he endorses what I do. I have NEVER suggested such a thing, ever. Dave and I have joked about how he is the "good cop" on this issue, and I am the "bad cop."

But if Dave had a problem with my "tactics," I believe you and I both know, as people of faith, that the Biblical principle is that you go privately to the person with whom you have a disagreement and express the concern. Dave NEVER did that. Why?

You see, Senator, I am presently suing Best Buy and Target over Take-Two's planned release of Bully, a Columbine simulator in which you can bludgeon your classmates and teachers. I was on ABC World News Tonight and CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight about Bully and my lawsuit against these retailers. The stakes here are very high.

Dave's organization is funded by Target and Best Buy. Elliot Kaplan is a lawyer who defended Best Buy the last time I sued it successfully, and it is his foundation that, in Kaplan's words "has given millions of dollars to Dave Walsh." Kaplan is a director on the Board of Best Buy. You and I both learned to "follow the money" a long time ago. It can explain why friends write letters that have absolutely no basis in fact but which help those who fund them. Why else would Dave tell me publicly to stop doing something he could have asked me to do privately and which I have never done?

Dave copied you with that letter. He did that because he knew of my relationship with your office, how I have sat with your people the day we were both interviewed for Spencer Halpin's Moral Kombat documentary that is coming out this fall. I am deeply appreciative of your Chief of Staff's tremendous concern and interest in this issue. I have a lovely letter from you thanking me for my abiding involvement in this issue. Nobody here is saying you endorse my methods. You appreciate my concern.

Why did Dave Walsh send his letter to Doug Lowenstein - to make sure that it would be spread all over the world. That is precisely what has happened. You should hear the things Dave has said to me about Doug, about his prevarications. I think Doug is a liar. Dave is too nice a guy to say so publicly, but I am not. Doug Lowenstein, in my opinion, is personally responsible for a number of deaths. He is paid well to spin like the worst propagandists in history. I don't need to tell you the harm that propagandists can cause, the lives they can cost. The Third Reich was founded upon propaganda as surely as it was founded upon armaments. When Doug Lowenstein says the industry wants kids not to buy these games, he is lying. When he says there is no proof that these games hurt kids, he is lying. Dave would not say so. I say so. I'm not nice, and I don't pretend to be.

The reason Dave sent that letter is the same reason the Philadelphia law firm of Blank Rome has embarked on character assassination of me in our case in Alabama arising out of Take-Two's GTA games. Blank Rome has as one of its partners Barbara Comstock, the head of "opposition research" at the RNC. Blank Rome has unethically used her RNC techniques on me because they know they can't win this case, covered on 60 Minutes and in Reader's Digest on the merits, so they have cranked up their Swift Boat Vets approach and used it on me, with no facts to back them up. As Twain said, "A lie is half way around the world before the truth puts on its shoes." Dave Walsh's money people took a page out of the Blank Rome/RNC playbook. I am getting used to it. All it has accomplished is make me more determined to destroy the Take-Two's of the world, by God's grace.

Dave Walsh is a very nice man who blew this one. I happen to think there is room in the world for Dave's approach on games, but I also think somebody has to be willing to get in the trenches and slug it out with sociopaths. Take-Two's Mr. Houser proves in today's New York Times he is just such a sociopath.

With all respect, Dave's Annual Video Game Report Card has not slowed down Take-Two, has it? I have used lawsuits in the past to accomplish some very good things. I made enemies in the process. I am proud to count Doug Lowenstein as one of them.

I wish you all of God's best. I wish people like Take-Two all of Satan's worst. Dave Walsh would not say that, and that is part of his charm. Some of us were not called to be charming. I want to win this thing, not for my sake, but because lives are at stake.

That is what makes what Dave did so hurtful. Instead of calling me up and talking to me man to man, he wrote a letter to Doug Lowenstein.

Blessings, Jack Thompson

Letter To Dean Walsh II

[posted on 14th October 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]
October 14, 2005

Dear Dave:

It is interesting that you sent your useful letter (useful to us) to Doug Lowenstein immediately after you received my request for an affidavit in Strickland v. Sony.

If you shared this confidential affidavit with Doug Lowenstein, or with anybody else, as you shared your letter with the video game industry, then you have a problem.

Unfortunately, Dave, you have opened up the issue of your organization's funding. Bad move.

You liked your collaboration with me when I got you on 60 Minutes, but not when it inconvenienced your cozy relationship with Best Buy and the rest of the video game industry.

You got some pretty bad legal advice in this, Dave, but that does not surprise. You're talking to attorney Elliott Kaplan, who sits on the Best Buy board.

Regards, Jack Thompson

Letter To Dean Walsh I

[posted on 14th October 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 6:01 PM

Dave, I received your letter today. A couple of clarifications, if I'm allowed to do that.

I have never given the impression that you are anything other than a remarkably talented and insightful professional who has been sounding the alarm for many years about the dangers of adult entertainment when consumed by kids. I started doing that in 1987. Not sure as to the precise date you started, but it has been a long time.

I have never said to anyone that you and I are in league with one another. I did recommend that 60 Minutes and Reader's Digest talk to you about the Alabama wrongful death case. I think it is fair to say you would not have been on those programs if I had not recommended you. I was happen to do it. As you recall, I got you the video gamer to sit with in Tuscaloosa to show the violent content of GTA: Vice City. I was happy to do it.

You will also recall that it was I that urged you to go forward on the "Hot Coffee mod" scandal. You repeatedly called me for legal advice and I freely gave it. As you know, I prepped Senator Clinton, per her staff's request, before she had her splendid "Hot Coffee" news conference. As you will recall, you called me to let me know you were on your way to Washington to do that press conference with her. I was happy for you.

I certainly did, however, lose respect for Senator Clinton when she decided, after that, to attend a fundraiser thrown for her by the video game industry and by ESA's Doug Lowenstein. To me, that was a sell-out for campaign cash. It may be that because you raise money for your organization you understand the needs of fundraising, but to take money from the ESA is to take blood money. The parents I represented in Paducah would not understand, nor do I. I note you send Doug Lowenstein, your letter to me. That is quite odd, given the things you have said to me about him in the past.

I am wondering just who, David, these people are whom I have criticized "who have worked to improve the lives of children." Do you have in mind the folks at Best Buy, one of whom you copied with your letter? I know you get money from people connected with these folks, David, but you do know that Best Buy is presently pre-selling, to adults and to children, the Columbine simulator game, Bully? You do know that, right, David? Of course you do. I told you Best Buy was doing that. So is the Target Corporation, whose Chairman Bob Ulrich you copy with your letter. I am wondering, David, what these men have to do to get on your bad side? Do they actually have to do the physical bullying of kids, as selling a bullying rehearsal trainer to kids is okay?

Finally, Dave, I understand that your letter is more about protecting your funding sources than criticizing me, so I understand what you felt you had to do. But there is something else here. Your role in this fight is indispensable - or I should say has been, as you maybe have decided to go a different route now - and I applaud you for what you have done.

But the thing that makes you feel uncomfortable with me is no so much that I have gone too far but that you have not gone far enough. The time for hand-wringing and trying to "persuade" the bad guys to stop being bad was over quite sometime ago. Now I understand the mindset of the upper Midwest, especially in the Twin Cities. Everybody likes to get along, assume that everyone "means well," and things will all just work out for the best in the end.

I know, and you know, if you are being honest, that that is not how the world works. Evil people sometimes have to be stopped, or at least their evil has to be stopped. You can cite all the studies and all the findings and keep giving your video game report card to Congress, and it will not matter unless somebody gets into the trenches and stops these people. While you have been giving report cards on a bunch of sociopaths, the violent games have been getting more violent.

Senator Lieberman, bless his heart, wants with Senator Clinton to fund a study with taxpayer dollars to find out if violence in entertainment really makes kids violent. That was decided years ago. It is a dodge from having to do something about the violence. The entire ESRB rating system is a joke. It is a tool for marketing violence to kids. It does not stop the sale of violence to kids. You know that. It would be better if we had no system, and then parents would not have been fooled for more than a decade into thinking that the system was actually protecting their kids.

Liberals, like you, love to label things and then think that the labeling has accomplished something. If that had been the case, then Churchill's calling Hitler a Nazi would have ended the war. But no, people like me had to get into the trenches and stop the Nazis. And there were always those tut-tutting back home about what a nasty business it is to stop the bad people, and can't we all just "get along."

Actually, Dave, and this is the point: We can't just all get along. You want to criticize retailers like Best Buy, while at the same time taking their money. That is what prompts your letter to me decrying my tactics and my hyperbole and so forth.

I have been dismayed by your being on both sides of the fence, because it undercuts your credibility.

Dave, it is laughable, it is absurd, that you have copied your email to Bill Gates, of all people. This is a guy whose Halo trained Malvo to kill in D.C. This is a guy who now has put all the Grand Theft Auto games on his XBox. This is a man who is going to release Bully when the coast is clear in the spring.

Gates is a man who wants to be on both sides of a fence. Sound familiar?

Regards, Jack Thompson

A Modest Video Game Proposal

[posted on 10th October 2005]

[source: Advanced Media Network]

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule

This writer has been saying for seven years that violent video games can be "murder simulators" that incite as well as train some obsessive teen players to be violent.

I've been on 60 Minutes and in Reader's Digest this year explaining how an Alabama teen, with no criminal record, shot two policemen and a dispatcher in their heads and fled in a police car--a scenario he rehearsed for hundreds of hours on Take-Two/Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto video games.

I have sat with boys in jail cells, their lives over because of murder convictions, after they, with no history of violence, have killed innocents while in a dreamlike state. Said one cop who investigated such a murder in Grand Rapids, Michigan: "The killing was like an extension of the game."

The video game industry, through its lawyers, its spokesmen, and its head lobbyist, Doug Lowenstein, the president of the Entertainment Software Association, all say it is utter nonsense to suggest that what is dumped into a kid's head hour after hour, day after day, year after year, could possibly have behavioral consequences. Cigarette ads can persuade kids to smoke, but interactive simulators in which these same kids punch, hack, bludgeon, and maim affect not a wit their attitudes and behaviors, notwithstanding the findings of the American Psychological Association, published in August 2005.

The video game industry says Sticks and stones can break my bones, but games can never hurt me. Fine. I have a modest proposal for the video game industry. I'll write a check for $10,000 to the favorite charity of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc's chairman, Paul Eibeler - a man Bernard Goldberg ranks as #43 in his book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America - if any video game company will create, manufacture, distribute, and sell a video game in 2006 like the following:

Osaki Kim is the father of a high school boy beaten to death with a baseball bat by a 14-year-old gamer. The killer obsessively played a violent video game in which one of the favored ways of killing is with a bat. The opening scene, before the interactive game play begins, is the Los Angeles courtroom in which the killer is sentenced "only" to life in prison after the judge and the jury have heard experts explain the connection between the game and the murder.

Osaki Kim (O.K.) exits the courtroom swearing revenge upon the video game industry whom he is convinced contributed to his son's murder. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" he says. And boy, is O.K. not kidding.

O.K. is provided in his virtual reality playpen a panoply of weapons: machetes, Uzis, revolvers, shotguns, sniper rifles, Molotov cocktails, you name it. Even baseball bats. Especially baseball bats.

O.K. first hops a plane from LAX to New York to reach the Long Island home of the CEO of the company (Take This) that made the murder simulator on which his son's killer trained. O.K. gets "justice" by taking out this female CEO, whose name is Paula Eibel, along with her husband and kids. "An eye for an eye," says O.K., as he urinates onto the severed brain stems of the Eibel family victims, just as you do on the decapitated cops in the real video game Postal2.

O.K. then works his way, methodically back to LA by car, but on his way makes a stop at the Philadelphia law firm of Blank, Stare and goes floor by floor to wipe out the lawyers who protect Take This in its wrongful death law suits. "So sue me" O.K. spits, with singer Jackson Brown's 1980's hit Lawyers in Love blaring.

With the FBI now after him, O.K. keeps moving westward, shooting up high-tech video arcades called GameWerks. "Game over," O.K. laughs.

Of course, O.K. makes the obligatory runs to virtual versions of brick and mortar retailers Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, and Wal-Mart to steal supplies and bludgeon store managers and cash register clerks. "You should have checked kids' IDs!"

O.K. pushes on to Los Angeles. He must get there by May 10, 2006. That is the beginning of "E3" -- the Electronic Entertainment Expo -- the Super Bowl of the video game industry. O.K. must get to E3 to massacre all the video game industry execs with one final, monstrously delicious rampage.

How about it, video game industry? I've got the check and you've got the tech. It's all a fantasy, right? No harm can come from such a game, right? Go ahead, video game moguls. Target yourselves as you target others. I dare you.

The Warriors to be Released by Take Two

[posted on 25th August 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]

Patricia Vance
President
Entertainment Software Rating Board
317 Madison Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10017 Fax: 212-759-2223

Re: The Warriors to be Released by Take-Two/Rockstar October 12, 2005

Dear Ms. Vance:

As you know, the ESRB’s Ad Review Council (ARC), in accordance with its rules, has just required game developer Atlus U.S.A. to yank the ad trailer for its new game Samurai Western from the public domain because of the gore contained in the trailer. Your own ESRB/ARC guideline is this: "No advertisement should contain any content that is likely to cause serious or widespread offense to the average consumer." You can read all about it at www.gamepolitics.com.

Well, the ESRB needs to be consistent, Ms. Vance. Currently, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., is running incredibly violent trailers for its October 12-release game The Warriors that are clearly violative of the above-note ESRB/ARC rule. I have sent you the trailers. The trailers reflect a game that eclipses the violence level even of Take-Two/Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto games.

Why the discrepancy, the double standard, Ms. Vance, when it comes to Take-Two Interactive? Well, well, well. It turns out that Take-Two, of course, is a “Member” of your sister organization, the Entertainment Software Association whose President, Doug Lowenstein, throws money at politicians who get out of line on the video game issue. The money he throws at them comes from ESA “Members.” The “Members,” which include Sony and Microsoft, pay ESA and Doug Lowenstein to throw their weight and their money around. It is a scheme as old as the payment of a bag of silver to Judas Iscariot, only the ones being betrayed here are children. Jesus said, by the way: “If any of you should cause one of these little ones to stumble, then it would be better for you that a millstone be tied around your neck and that you be cast into the sea.”

Atlus U.S.A. is not a “Member” of the ESA and thus does not have “the juice” that Take-Two has, despite Take-Two/Rockstar’s having been, in the last several weeks, nailed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for $8.75 million for “fraudulent accounting practices” and by Senator Clinton, by the US House of Representatives, and by others, including the undersigned, for illegally placing sex scenes in GTA: SA and then lying about it.

Exactly what, Ms. Vance, does Take-Two’s CEO Paul Eibler, who is #43 in Bernie Golberg’s 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, have to do for the ESRB, finally, to do its job? Does he have to personally walk into a fifth-grade classroom and hand out copies of The Warriors to children, or does pushing Bully and The Warriors to children through corporate surrogates and pimps suffice?

Do your job, Ms. Vance. Tell Take-Two to pull down its public domain trailers for The Warriors. They violate your ESRB/ARC rules.

Oh, and the trailers prove the game has to be rated “AO,” not “M.” Be careful, Ms. Vance. I and others are monitoring you at a point in time that the ESRB is hanging onto its existence by a frayed controller wire.

Regards, Jack Thompson

Copy: New York Attorney General Spitzer
US Senator Charles Schumer
US Senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum
Congressman Upton
Assemblyman Leland Yee
Many Others

Debate, Doug, Debate

[posted on 19th August 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366

August 19, 2005

Doug Lowenstein
President
Entertainment Software Association
1211 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20036 Via Fax to 202-223-2401

Re: Debate, Doug, Debate

Dear Mr. Lowenstein:

I watched The People vs. Larry Flynt last night, and it reminded me of this: If Larry Flynt can handle debating Jerry Falwell, you can certainly handle debating me.

The two of them, several years ago did debate one another, and the nation was the richer for it. Don’t be afraid of the First Amendment, Doug. It works.

Regards, Jack Thompson

Leisure Suit Larry And God Of War

[posted on 6th August 2005]

[source: Gamepolitcs]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

August 6, 2005

Patricia Vance
President
Entertainment Software Rating Board
317 Madison Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10017 Fax: 212-759-2223

Re: Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude and God of War

Dear Ms. Vance:

Thanks to some honorable people in the video game industry and also in the gaming community, it appears to me, and to them, and I am rather certain it will appear to Members of Congress, that the above two video games should be re-rated “AO” rather than their present “M.”

Of course, you know why.

Please put on the fast track a reassessment of these two games, along with Killer 7, as I believe a failure to do so will make things even more difficult for the ESRB and the video game industry with the coming governmental inquiries into whether the ratings system is broken, as Senator Clinton has indicated.

Sincerely, Jack Thompson

Copies: Senator Clinton, Senator Lieberman, Senator Brownback, Senator Santorum
Assemblyman Yee
Federal Trade Commission
Congressman Upton
Class action counsel
Media
Others

Killer 7

[posted on 5th August 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]

August 5, 2005

Patricia Vance
ESRB
317 Madison Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10017 Fax: 212-759-2223

Re: Killer 7

Dear Ms. Vance:

I have just learned facts that indicate the above violent game most likely deserves an “AO” rating rather than the “M” rating which your ESRB has given it.

As you may or may not know, more than forty states have “sexual material harmful to minors” statutes which prohibit the sale of sexually explicit material to anyone under 18 years of age. This hiatus between the “M” (age 17) rating and the statutory criminal standard (age 18) has always posed significant peril to the industry through games that contain sexual material, and it appears that those pigeons may come home to roost in Killer 7. “Hot Coffee” is a fairly recent example of the peril. As to Killer 7, please note:

The following is found in a review of Killer 7 by Matt Casamassina at http://cube.ign.com/articles/630/630908p1.html which contains the following observations at this pro-violent game Internet site:

“…profanity, sex and bloodshed are commonplace… We can't stress it enough: kids should not play Killer 7. Not just because there's an M on the box, but because for once that M really means something. There's much more than blood and guts in the game. Everything from the design of puzzles to the subject matter is designed for older players and it's really that simple…. And there are cinematics that feature full-blown sex sequences…. Killer 7's adult themes, which encapsulate extremely violent, profane and sexual situations, as well as a wide range of issues from terrorism to the sale of children, make the M on the box really mean something.”

Ms. Vance, this game was released on July 7, 2005. It may be that the stir caused by the “Hot Coffee” in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas distracted all of our attention from Killer 7.

There is no question in my mind that a video game containing “full-blown sex sequences” cannot be rated anything other than “AO” rather than “M.” The reviewer above in fact says that this game’s “M” actually means something, and he says it twice for emphasis.

There are those who would say that people such as I are “prudes” who have no problem with violence but get uptight about sexual content in games. That is a disingenuous charge, and you know why. I have been on national television programs, as early as the week before Columbine, complaining about 13-year-olds being enabled by the ESRB to violent “M” games. But it is your sister organization, the Entertainment Software Association, that is in court right this second in Illinois trying to prevent the extension of the “sex” argument to the “violence” argument. It is your industry, then, that thinks violence is okay for kids but that sex, given state laws already on the books, is not okay. Well, the Killer 7 game underscores the fact that your organization and the industry it fronts for appear to try to get away with anything that is harmful to kids, whether already illegal or not.

What it also means is that if jurors in a criminal prosecution were asked whether Killer 7 contains “sexual material harmful to minors” in violation of statutory standards, then, based upon the above enthusiastic review at IGN.com, the answer to that question would probably be “yes.”

That answer would put the Entertainment Software Rating Board, in my opinion, in the middle of a criminal conspiracy to distribute sexual material harmful to minors in violation of criminal statutes. This is not a situation in which the ESRB has been blind-sided by hidden or embedded content, Ms. Vance. You all have known that the “full-blown sex sequences” are patently present in the game, yet you chose to put an “M” rather than an “AO” rating on it. Big mistake.

If I were you, Ms. Vance, I would immediately ask the makers of this game, and all retailers, to pull it from store shelves. If you don’t, expect for others to use this latest scandal, which I am hereby officially kicking off, to call for a dismantling of the ESRB.

The fox has guarded the chickens long enough. Killer 7 seems to prove it.

Sincerely, Jack Thompson

Copies: All sorts of folks

Distribution Of Sexual Material Harmful To Minors

[posted on 24th July 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 24, 2005

The Honorable Leland Y. Yee
Speaker Pro Tempore
California State Assembly
State Capitol Sacramento, California Fax: (916) 319-2112

Re: Distribution of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors by the Video Game Industry


Dear Speaker Yee:


I was privileged to be involved in the successful effort, as were you, to compel the ESRB to finally do its job regarding Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I have information for you, however, about a matter that may be an even worse abuse by the video game industry.

The Sims video game franchise is the most popular in history. These games are rated “T” for teen, which means they are supposedly appropriate for kids 13 and over. However, this game is a prime example of the “ratings creep” about which Dr. Kimberly Thompson of Harvard University has written. There is some rather remarkable sexual content in the Sims games which I and others believe would warrant an “M” rating as to the content that is patently in them.

Proof that parents should be concerned as to what is the sexual content in this supposedly “T” game is that one site on the Internet is offering parents a means to shield their kids from the known sexual content of the Sims games. But this gets worse.

It turns out that Electronic Arts, the publisher of all the Sims games, has allowed the player, with a simple cheat code that even the New York Times is distributing, to remove a “censor flag” in the game in order to make the players nude, including the Sims children. A similar cheat code allowed players to access the “Hot Coffee” content of GTA: SA. The nudity is not put into the game. It is already there, put there by EA to be accessed by all. But this gets worse.

Electronic Arts has encouraged the “mod community,” by comments of the game’s creator and by a failure to protect its copyrighted code in the game, to create “skins” for the nude figures that are explicit in nature as they depict genitalia, with some specific mods appealing to “fetishists” as well. The unlocked nudity dovetails nicely into this modding.

These mods are offered at all sorts of “porn” sites on the Internet, and they use the Sims name. EA is fully aware of this and is doing nothing about it. If Electronic Arts wanted this activity stopped, it believe they could shut it down in a New York minute. However, as you and I both know, this industry, including EA, has benefited financially from such collaborations with the “mod” industry. That is what is occurring here, and the damning admissions of the game’s creator, Will Wright, and his enthusiasms for “mods” prove it.

I should like to encourage you to conduct hearings on the full breadth of the scandal within the video game industry, which now includes collaborating with those who are putting sexually explicit material into the hands of children by making an “M” game that is labeled a “T,” then facilitating the unlocking of nudes in the game, and then looking the other way when others are apparently using their copyrighted code to modify the nudes into images that appeal to the prurient interest.

This is not artistic license, in my opinion. It is conspiracy to violate the law at the expense of vulnerable children, behind their parents’ backs.

The ESRB has always been a joke. Now ESRB is a cruel joke.


Regards, Jack Thompson

FTC Investigation Of Take Two Interactive

[posted 24th July 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 24, 2005

The Honorable Fred Upton
U.S. House of Representatives
Kalamazoo District Office
157 South Kalamazoo Mall
Suite 180
Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Fax: (269) 385-2888

and

Washington D.C. Office
2183 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515 Fax: (202) 225-4986

Re: FTC Investigation of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

Dear Congressman Upton:

I wish to thank you for your call that the FTC investigate Take-Two Interactive in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas “Hot Coffee” scandal, specifically as to whether Take-Two lied.

I happen to have been in the middle of that scandal. Further, the current issue of Reader’s Digest (August) features an original article about our wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama arising out of the Grand Theft Auto games. Take Two’s alleged responsibility for the deaths of two officers and a police dispatcher was also recently aired on CBS’s 60 Minutes.

There is a lot I could tell your staff about Take-Two, including the recent $8.75 million fine Take-Two had to pay for fraudulent accounting practices and other matters. The “Hot Coffee” mod matter is just the tip of the iceberg. This is an industry totally out of control.

Please feel free to have your staff contact me at their earliest convenience.

Regards, Jack Thompson

To Senator Clinton And Senator Lieberman II

[posted on 23th July, 2005]

[source: forwarded to us]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 23, 2005

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. Via e-mail

The Honorable Joseph Lieberman
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. Via e-mail

Dear Senator Clinton and Senator Lieberman:

I have had a number of video gamers threaten to kill me in the last few days in the aftermath of the success against Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This is noteworthy in a number of regards:

1. The people threatening to kill me so are doing so in the name of the First Amendment and “freedom of expression”—not mine, of course, just theirs. Don’t you love it?

2. The use of death threats in retaliation for my participation in the public square serves to prove, rather convincingly, that the violent video games are having the attitudinal effect that psychologists such as Dr. David Walsh and others who have testified before Congress say they have.

3. None of the “video game media” will report that the gamers are threatening to kill me, although I have asked them to report this phenomenon, as it reveals the validity of the above two points.

I would appreciate any help your respective offices could give me in persuading the FBI to act in response to these threats. I don’t think anyone should have to put up with such dangerous nonsense.

Regards, Jack Thompson

Sims 2 And Porn

[posted on 23th July, 2005]

[source: forwarded to us]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 23, 2005

Steve Bené, Attorney
VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Electronic Arts Inc.
209 Redwood Shores Parkway
Redwood City, CA 94065 fax: 650-628-1422 email: copyright@ea.com

Re: The Sims 2 and Porn

Dear Mr. Bene:

Mods are readily available via the Internet to turn the characters in your company’s The Sims 2 into nudes with exposed genitalia. This includes the children in the game. EA has made this modding easy by making it readily possible to remove “the blur” from the genital areas. Even the New York Times’ web site is providing this cheat code to remove the blur.

Adult “porn sites” are featuring, via free downloads, the mods that allow the consumer to customize the appearance of the labia, nipples, pubic hair, and penises. As you know, The Sims 2 already features reproductive activities in this “T” rated game.

Such modding is made more likely by public statements by the game’s creator, Will Wright, that he supports the modding of the game.

To the extent that your company does absolutely nothing to crack down on this apparent infringement upon EA’s copyrighted material, which is in possible violation of its various software agreements and warnings, then EA collaborates, in every sense of the word, with the modders to put this material into the hands of consumers, many of whom are children, given the inviting “T” rating on the game.

I urgently ask Electronic Arts to stop this modding activity by appropriate means, otherwise the “T” rating given the game by ESRB means, for all practical purposes, nothing and breaches trust with parents.

Regards, Jack Thompson

Copies: Media

U.S. Senators Clinton, Lieberman, Brownback, Santorum

California Assemblyman Leland Yee

To Senator Clinton And Senator Lieberman I

[posted on 23th July 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 23, 2005

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. Via e-mail

The Honorable Joseph Lieberman
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. Via e-mail

Dear Senator Clinton and Senator Lieberman:

I have had a number of video gamers threaten to kill me in the last few days in the aftermath of the success against Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This is noteworthy in a number of regards:

1. The people threatening to kill me so are doing so in the name of the First Amendment and “freedom of expression”—not mine, of course, just theirs. Don’t you love it?

2. The use of death threats in retaliation for my participation in the public square serves to prove, rather convincingly, that the violent video games are having the attitudinal effect that psychologists such as Dr. David Walsh and others who have testified before Congress say they have.

3. None of the “video game media” will report that the gamers are threatening to kill me, although I have asked them to report this phenomenon, as it reveals the validity of the above two points.

I would appreciate any help your respective offices could give me in persuading the FBI to act in response to these threats. I don’t think anyone should have to put up with such dangerous nonsense.

Regards, Jack Thompson

October 2005 Release of School Violence Simulator Bully

[posted on 21th July 2005]

[source: forwarded to us]
John B. Thompson, Attorney
1172 South Dixie Highway, Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146-2750
Phone: 305-666-4366
Jackpeace@comcast.net

July 21, 2005

William H. Gates
Chairman and Chief Software Architect
Microsoft Corporation
Redmond, Washington 98052-6399 Via Fax to 425-936-7329

Howard Stringer
Chairman and CEO
Sony Corporation

Paul Eibeler
CEO
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
C/o Sony’s and Take-Two’s Counsel

Robert Baugh, Attorney
Sirote & Permutt
2311 Highland Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205 Fax: (205) 930-5101

Re: October 2005 Release of Take-Two/Rockstar School Violence Simulator Bully

Dear Mr. Gates, Mr. Stringer, and Mr. Eibeler:

As you all know, your respective three companies plan to make available to adults and to teens a hyperviolent video game called Bully in October 2005 for play on Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft XBox game platforms.

As you also know, a mole within Rockstar called me in March after my appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes and told me about this game, which he said would be the equivalent of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in a school setting on which kids can rehearse bludgeoning their fellow students and teachers. The Rockstar employee said “This will be Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in a school setting.”

I put out, nationally, a news release about all this after the mole called, and, sure enough, Take-Two confirmed weeks later, at E3, that it had in fact made such a game for Sony and Microsoft. Take-Two has foolishly put up at its www.rockstargames.com website a screenshot showing students beating up one another in the Bully game.

Additionally, the school’s slogan in which this violence is rehearsed in virtual reality is shown at the Take-Two website to be the Latin phrase Canis Canem Edit. Those of us who grew up in a place and time in which sociopaths were not running major entertainment companies and who did our Latin homework know that phrase means “Dog Eat Dog.” How quaint.

Thus, in six years you three men have helped take the video game industry from the nation’s knowledge that Klebold and Harris trained for their school massacre on the game Doom to the point at which Sony, Microsoft, and Take-Two have come up with a game for kids to rehearse for new massacres. Of course virtual violence will spill over into reality.

A major event is going to occur in a matter of days regarding your companies’ collaboration to unleash this game on the world’s parents and their kids. I have given you, yet again, by this letter, fair warning that I and others are out to stop you from doing so. This is possibly the most reprehensible thing yet that the video game industry has done.

In light of the ESRB’S revelations of yesterday, what a surprise that scofflaw Take-Two is in the middle of this looming outrage.

Let me tell you all something else: When the violence ensues from this game, in light of the crushing scientific, medical, and law enforcement evidence that such a game will spawn real violence, I and others will be there to punish your companies for that.

Mr. Gates, let me say something to you directly, as most Americans have grown to expect such recklessness from Sony and Take-Two: You give away close to $8 billion a year through your and your wife’s Foundation to help quite a few children. You and your wife are to be commended for that.

But you substantially undo all this good and the goodwill for your company when you do something as stupid and/or as reckless as the above. This is akin to Dr. Jonas Salk selling heroin to children.

You, Mr. Gates, appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes II recently and said, on camera: “The cool thing about these games is that they transport you to a world you think is real.” I may have to make you eat those words in a courtroom.

I was on national television the other day with an internationally known and respected religious leader who mentioned you by name as acting irresponsibly in making the 25 to Life cop-killing game for the Microsoft XBox.

Mr. Gates, have you become so rich and powerful that you have lost your bearings? I beg you, on behalf of all the children at least in America’s schools, of which my 12-year-old is one, to stop the release of Bully for Microsoft’s XBox.

Either you will do it, or I and others will do our best to do it for you, and if we can’t, then we shall punish your company and the other companies for the consequences of your recklessness.

Sincerely, Jack Thompson

Copies: Senators Clinton, Schumer, Lieberman, Santorum, Brownback

Media

Others

Criminal Prosecution Of Take Two

[posted on 20th July 2005]

[source: Gamepolitcs]

John B. Thompson, Attorney
1172 South Dixie Highway, Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146-2750
Phone: 305-666-4366
Jackpeace@comcast.net

July 20, 2005

The Honorable Alberto Gonzales
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530 Via Federal Express

Re: Criminal Prosecution of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., and Others

Dear Attorney General Gonzales:

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has announced today that Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. of New York, New York, has been distributing sexually explicit material to children on its Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game.

Take-Two for more than a month has knowingly misled the ESRB and the public about the explicit sexual content on this game. They have been caught today in the web of their lies.

In addition, certain major retailers such as Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Gamestop, and Circuit City all knew for quite sometime that this sexual material harmful to minors was on the games, yet they continued to sell the product to minors. I have correspondence from Best Buy’s general counsel that is intended to facilitate these sales to minors.

Additionally, both Sony and Microsoft knew that this sexual material was on their versions of this game, and yet they continued to distribute the game for sale to minors.

There is no question in my mind that Take-Two and the above-noted corporations have engaged in a knowing conspiracy to distribute sexual material harmful to minors in violation of state and federal laws and must be prosecuted. At the very least, your Department of Justice must investigate this matter and act appropriately.

Regards, Jack Thompson

Probable Criminal Sale of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors III

[posted on 18th July 2005]

[source: forwarded to us]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 16, 2005

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
Hennepin County Attorney
C-2000 Government Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota Via Fax to 612-348-9712

The Honorable Mike Hatch
Attorney General of the State of Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota Via Fax to 651-282-2155

Re: Probable Criminal Sale of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors by Best Buy

Dear Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Hatch:

The following information is now in the public domain:

“Evidence to support the claims of the modders exists in the game’s scene itself, which includes the game characters’ professionally recorded voices, something the modders are highly unlikely to have created.” http://www.gainesville.com/…/entertainment

Best Buy and its attorney have assured both of you that the “Hot Coffee” material is likely not on the discs flying off their store shelves to minors. Best Buy’s position would require that a Dutch “modder” has somehow persuaded actors Peter Fonda, Ice-T, and James Woods to go to his apartment in the Netherlands to help him create Hot Coffee. If Best Buy’s and Targets CEOs believe that, then maybe what the State of Minnesota should do is initiate lunacy proceedings immediately.

I want to be very clear about this. Either Best Buy and Target stop this apparent criminal activity immediately, or I shall proceed against them, which may include a writ of mandamus action to compel certain prosecutors to start doing their jobs, now.

Regards, Jack Thompson

Copies: Senators Clinton, Lieberman, Star Tribune and Pioneer Press, other media

Raw Sex Now Found on Millions of Sony Playstation 2 Copies of GTA

[posted on 18th July 2005]

[source: forwarded to us]

Immediate News Release – July 18, 2005

Raw Sex Now Found on Millions of Sony Playstation 2 Copies of

GTA: San Andreas Sold to Kids;

Criminal Prosecution Around the Corner

This morning there is a huge new development in the scandal highlighted last week by United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. She expressed concerns that sexually explicit material might be accessible on the PC version of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two of New York City, appeared to claim through a disinegenuous non-denial/denial that computer hackers, not Take-Two had placed the sex on the personal computer version of the game.

Today, however, the mainstream video game publication GameSpot is reporting that it has found that the sex scenes are even on the store shelf Sony Playstation 2 version of GTA: San Andreas and not just on the PC version. A Playstation 2 game cannot be modified. Material can only be accessed that is already there, unlike on a PC version of the game.

See: http://www.gamespot.com//ps2/action/gta4/news_6129301.html

What is the significance of all this, if true?

1. Take-Two lied. Not a good idea when you have just been whacked by the SEC for nearly $9 million for fraudulent accounting and you are enmeshed in other legal tangles.

2. This explicit sexual material is now in the hands of millions of children, in violation of state and federal criminal “sexual material harmful to minors” statutes. Expect Take-Two and its corporate officers to be prosecuted for felony criminal activity. Sony might also be caught in this prosecutorial web.

3. This voids the entire ESA/ESRB rating system and shows it to be the sham that Miami attorney Jack Thompson said it was as early as 1998.

4. Look for all retailers around the globe to pull all copies of this game from all store shelves immediately. If they don’t, they will be open to criminal prosecution as well.

5. Other things are going to happen, too, which is for the undersigned to know and for the media to find out.

CONTACT Miami attorney Jack Thompson at *** (land phone line down today) or on his cell today at ***.

Criminal Sale Of Sexual Material HarmFul To Minors II

[posted on 16th July 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]

July 16, 2005

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
Hennepin County Attorney

The Honorable Mike Hatch
Attorney General of the State of Minnesota

Re: Probable Criminal Sale of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors by Best Buy and Target in Hennepin County in Violation of Minnesota Statute 617.291, et sequitur

Dear Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Hatch:

There is a Q & A available today at http://xbox.ign.com/articles/634/634243p1.html between game site IGN and California Assemblman Yee, who is the Speaker pro tempore of the California Assembly. He is a child psychologist who has been actively seeking legislation prohibiting the sale of mature video games to kids. What he has to say about GTA: San Andreas flies in the face of what Best Buy's attorney, Elliot Kaplan, has written to you all, as you can see.

I do believe that Mr. Kaplan;s letter to you all sinks to the level of intentional deception, so much so that his letter of yesterday actually facilitates the criminal distribution of sexual material harmful to minors. He has now written you two prosecutors and said there is no problem. There is a very big problem. You will note that in the below exchange the representative of the gaming magazine states that there is "a lot of evidence that the third-party mod simply reveals what is already in the game..."

Mr. Kaplan either does not know what he is talking about (the benign option) or he is knowingly deceiving both of you to facilitate the possible criminal activity of Best Buy.

I do believe you ought to impanel a grand jury. Maybe Mr. Kaplan would like to start saying what he says under oath.

What we have here is an AO game, as you can see below, masquerading as an M game. Mr. Kaplan is masquerading, as is Best Buy, as being concerned about children. Hogwash. (EDITOR'S NOTE: a lengthy cut-and-paste of IGN's interview with California Assemblyman Leland Yee follows. We've taken it out for space reasons. You can read it if you'd like at the link Thompson mentions in the letter).

Regards, Jack Thompson

Open Letter to The Members of The ESA

[posted on 14th July 2005]

[source: Kotaku]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 14, 2005

Open Letter to the Members of the Entertainment Software Association:

Activision, Inc.
Atari, Inc.
Buena Vista Games, Inc.
Capcom USA, Inc.
Crave Entertainment
Eidos Interactive
Electronic Arts
Her Interactive, Inc.
id Software
Konami Digital Entertainment America
LucasArts
Microsoft Corporation
Midway Games, Inc.
Namco Hometek, Inc.
Nintendo of America Inc.
NovaLogic, Inc.
SEGA of America, Inc.
Sony Computer Entertainment America
Square Enix, Inc.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
THQ, Inc.
Ubisoft Entertainment, Inc.
Vivendi Universal Games
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc.
Wild Tangent

Dear ESA Members:

Today, United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, with initiatives she will announce at a 10 am news conference in our nation’s capital, is acting decisively in furtherance of what for her has been a strong leadership role on these issues since Columbine-a tragedy caused in part by the violent video game industry. Millions of American parents should be thankful to the Senator for striking back against what can be fairly called “Grand Theft Innocence” at the expense of our children by only some within your industry.

It has been my privilege, as a lifelong Republican, to provide facts-not feelings-about the reckless practices of certain members of this industry, some of which are Members of the ESA, in the midst of responsible fact-gathering by Senator Rodham Clinton’s staff. The Senator is not a newcomer on this issue. She has been an abiding and loyal advocate for parents who oppose predatory, fraudulent practices by some within your video game industry.

I am happy to help the Senator, just as I have worked with Democrats like Senator Joseph Lieberman and Washington State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson, as well as with fellow Republicans, for what for me have been nearly seven years of effort to try to get certain companies within the video game industry to start acting like good corporate citizens. Senator Rodham Clinton is today at the forefront of an issue that is not partisan in nature, nor should it be. The Republican Party would do well to wake up and realize that Senator Clinton is about the work that needs to be done. Today is a mere extension of her years of commitment. This is not politics. This is leadership.

As a lifelong Republican who ran against Janet Reno, I can note that whereas the largest chapter of the National Organization for Women, located in New York, has had me address them regarding the misogyny and violence against women depicted in the Grand Theft Auto games, the supposedly “family values” Republican President of the United States, George W. Bush, has consistently turned away from parents who have asked him to speak out against the entertainment industry’s assault on our children.

The evening in January 2000 that I appeared on NBC Nightly News to talk about the link between violent games and Columbine, Tom Brokaw asked then Governor Bush about that link and what he as President would do about it? George Bush simply said “Parents just have to be better parents.” He should trying telling that to my clients in Paducah whose three daughters were gunned down by 14-year-old video gamer Michael Carneal, who trained on Doom to become a more efficient killer. What did they, as parents, Mr. President, do wrong? Was sending their kids to school their mistake?

George Bush, as Governor of Texas, gave a state tax break to Id Software of Dallas, the makers of Doom, after Columbine, for Heaven’s sake, and it is his Department of Defense which has subsidized with taxpayer dollars the creation of violent video games for teen consumption at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has increased funding for this taxpayer rip-off since my appearance on ABC’s World News Tonight more than two years ago exposing this scandal. Don Rumsfeld is supposed to be catching terrorists, not training them.

But I turn to the one man most responsible for the valuable initiative taken by Senator Rodham Clinton today. That man is the Entertainment Software Association’s president, Doug Lowenstein. Let me explain to you ESA Members exactly why that is the case:

The inept fashion in which ESA has “managed” the “Hot Coffee” mod scandal swirling around your industry and Take-Two’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has given Senator Rodham Clinton a reason and a mandate to act. She has filled the leadership void caused by Doug Lowenstein. For a month Doug Lowenstein and his ESA pretended that there was no mod, that there was no scandal, that there was no need for any action whatsoever by ESA. How wrong he was. Today proves it.

While Mr. Lowenstein dithered and fiddled, concerns about the scandal grew deeper, and knowledge about its details were more widely disseminated. When the scandal spread, I found out about it and acted, as did Dr. David Walsh, a clinical psychologist who is going to be at the Senator’s side today in Washington. Doug Lowenstein could have prevented what is going to happen today, but he preferred to shoot the messengers. It is his chronic style.

Instead of acting like a responsible adult by trying to get to the bottom of this scandal, Doug Lowenstein did what he has always done at the ESA: He has first said there is “no problem” and then he has embarked on his scorched earth policy to try to discredit anyone who suggests there is a problem. Lowenstein has unleashed his p.r. (pillory and ruin) squad on respected and powerful legislators like California Assemblyman Yee, also a psychologist, who have expressed concerns about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the mod scandal. Lowenstein’s approach, as always, is to question Assemblyman Yee’s motives. No opponent could possibly be acting upon principle, in the world according to Doug Lowenstein. Only he is the oracle of truth. All others are scum. It is his way.

His approach, as the President of your Entertainment Software Association, is to demonize critics and to engage in ad hominem jihads intended to obscure real concerns about real industry abuses. All this does is deepen the resolve of your critics to act. I know.

I saw this attack dog mentality by Lowenstein in full bloom in the two appearances I was privileged to enjoy on CBS’s 60 Minutes in 1999, the Sunday after Columbine, and more recently in March of this year. Lowenstein tried to bully CBS both times, achieving by his scare tactics the distrust of an entire news organization. News organizations don’t trust ESA because Doug Lowenstein is its head. Why should they? He treats them like dirt.

Lowenstein has done this time and time again, alienating lawmakers and turning off media with his “You’re a fool, and I’m a genius” mindset. With friends like Lowenstein, your industry doesn’t need any enemies. But he winds up growing them like topsy.

Jack Valenti, as the head of the MPAA, had the grace and the courage to debate me and other critics on occasion. He felt that was his job. Lowenstein, on the other hand, has a standing policy to refuse to appear together with me on any stage or on any television program in which I might debate him face to face. Jack Valenti had the courage of his convictions. Doug Lowenstein travels with his own private make-up artist. Did you all know that? Obscuring personal and industry warts is a full time job for this man.

Doug Lowenstein has merely the courage to stand up at E3 and rant to the video game faithful about people like Senator Rodham Clinton. This is not courage. This is cowardice. It is the cowardice that all bullies display.

Take-Two’s new game coming out in October featuring violence by students in a school setting (the next scandal that is brewing on Lowenstein’s watch) ought to be renamed “Doug.” Bullying is not real leadership. It is a stopgap measure until real leadership shows up. Enter Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Is Lowenstein’s the kind of “leadership” the Members of ESA are paying for?

When Hitler invaded Russia, opening up an Eastern offensive on the eve of winter, Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill noted that “Hitler must have been rather loosely educated, not having learned the lesson of Napoleon’s autumn advance on Moscow.”

Your Doug Lowenstein is similarly “loosely educated” about the United States Constitution. I have never, in my eighteen years of public interest law practice against the excesses of the entertainment industry, run into an individual more devoid of even an elementary understanding of the meaning and scope of the First Amendment. Even Howard Stern’s lawyers look like Alexander Hamilton compared to Lowenstein.

Doug Lowenstein embarrasses each and every one of you when he holds forth about what the “Founders” intended when they drafted the Bill of Rights. For Doug, the Founders are GTA’s Tommy Vercetti and Carl Johnson. Doug never met a pixilated prostitute he didn’t like, and I’m sure James Madison would be impressed.

If the ESA wants as its president a thug who demonizes critics of your industry’s criminal, frauduelnt excesses, thereby earning their wrath and their determination, then by all means keep Mr. Lowenstein at the helm. Only someone like Doug Lowenstein would embrace Take-Two, a company that just had to pay the Security and Exchange Commission $8.75 million for fraudulent auditing practices, while scourging under-siege parents.

My fervent prayer as a Christian is not “Lord, give me more friends.” It is rather “Lord, give me more enemies like Doug Lowenstein.” He makes what I do so easy.

Your ESA leader in all of this is a man who has gone way, way out of his way to mock every single parent who has said to the Take-Two’s of your industry “Enough already!” When well-intended citizens and legislators have tried to get your industry to adhere to the logic of the “M for mature” ratings label, Lowenstein has flown into a fury, claiming children have a constitutional right to consume pornography and violence. Nobody but Doug Lowenstein and the sociopaths at Take-Two believe that.

After today, when Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks the truth and calls upon Americans to act on that truth regarding the violence and the scandal and the hurt coming from the extremists in your industry, pause and ask yourself: Whom can we thank for this day? I, as a lifelong Republican, am going to thank Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

You all, in your industry, ought to thank Doug Lowenstein. His extremism has painted a bullseye on your industry. Doug Lowenstein has the brush and Take-Two has provided the blood red paint.

If you want your industry destroyed, keep Mr. Lowenstein right where he is. If those of you who understand that any technology can be used for either good or for ill and that “responsibility” is something that adults are supposed to exercise in all walks of life, even in the entertainment industry, then get rid of this highly-paid thug and replace him with someone with sense.

Maybe Jack Valenti should be asked whom he would recommend who can act like a grown-up in this role. I’ll bet he has a list without Lowenstein’s name on it.

Senator Rodham Clinton, thankfully, is filling the void of real leadership in your industry created by Doug Lowenstein. It is about time.

If you want your fledgling industry destroyed for all of you, keep Doug Lowenstein right where he is. Events, like Columbine to the factor of ten, will take care of that. You won’t be able to blame Senator Rodham Clinton. She is trying to prevent that calamity.

But if you want to be a partner with America’s parents by together taking our children out of harm’s way, then look for an ESA president who has the common decency to recognize the truth, speak it, and then act upon it.

It’s your choice. You’ve made some pretty bad choices to date. Make a good one for a change. Dump Doug.

Regards, Jack Thompson

Criminal Sale Of Sexual Material Harmful To Minors I

[posted on 14th July 2005]

[source: Gamepolitics]

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 14, 2005

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
Hennepin County Attorney
C-2000 Government Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota Via Fax to 612-348-9712

The Honorable Mike Hatch
Attorney General of the State of Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota Via Fax to 651-282-2155

Re: Probable Criminal Sale of Sexual Material Harmful to Minors by Best Buy and Target in Hennepin County in Violation of Minnesota Statute 617.291, et sequitur

Dear Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Hatch:

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of meeting personally with two fine lawyers in the Hennepin County Attorney’s office regarding the distribution of violent, mature-rated video games to minors. I appreciate that opportunity.

My wife, who is also a lawyer, is from the Twin Cities area and a graduate of St. Olaf College. I have spent many wonderful days in your community over the past thirty years. Unfortunately, I was sitting in the old Bloomington stadium with my future father-in-law when Drew Pearson committed offensive interference to catch Roger Staubach’s “Hail Mary” pass in the 1975 NFC title game.

I write to inform you of a flagrant breach of the rules far more consequential. It involves the knowing theft of the innocence of hundreds of thousands of children in the Twin Cities and around the country by two Hennepin County, Minnesota corporations-Target and Best Buy.

I spent time this week working with U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office which effort culminated in her nationally-reported news conference today from our nation’s capital. Senator Clinton decried the ongoing distribution across the nation of a violent video game entitled Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which sales are resulting in the viewing of sexually explicit material by minors.

Given the facts, which are too numerous to relate here, it would appear that there is probable cause that Best Buy and Target are at their highest corporate levels involved in the criminal distribution and/or conspiracy to distribute sexual material harmful to minors in violation of Minnesota Statute 617.291 et sequitur.

As you both know, your respective offices have certain injunctive remedies available to you under that statute, in addition to straightforward criminal prosecutions of the companies and their corporate officers.

I encourage you both to proceed on this urgent matter immediately. I and others can provide sworn testimony to any grand jury before whom you might choose to bring this disturbing matter.

Finally, I have urged both Best Buy’s and Target’s CEO’s, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Ulrich, to stop this activity, and they refuse. Please enjoin them or indict them or do both.

Regards, Jack Thompson



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