Jack Thompson Says GTA 4 Mission Target is Him; Threatens to Block Release

September 18, 2007 -
Plenty of gamers would give their left arm to be included in Grand Theft Auto IV.

Miami attorney Jack Thompson, however, claims that he's depicted in the game and wants out. And he threatens to block the release of GTA IV if Rockstar doesn't comply.

In a document filed yesterday with a federal court in Florida, Thompson includes a letter written to Take Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick which reads in part:
I have this morning read with interest an article on page 80 and 81 of the September 2007 issue of Game Informer magazine which was generated when, according to its author, Rockstar Games "stopped by the Game Informer offices for an impromptu hour-long gameplay session with the Xbox 360 version of the game."

The showcasing play of the game to Game Informer revealed that the first killing mission of the "hero" of the game, Niko, is to kill a certain lawyer. When Niko comes into this lawyer's office, having used subterfuge to do so, Niko pulls a gun on the lawyer who says, "that the firm supports the second amendment and that 'Guns don't kill people. Video games do.'"

...The fact that the lawyer, killed on Niko's first mission, would bring up video games, makes it clearly a reference to me... This is not the first time Rockstar Games and Take Two have targeted me in this fashion. Take Two references to me as a bisexual pedophile on its corporate website...

GP: What's he referring to here? See GamePolitics' September, 2005 article Jack Thompson Accuses Rockstsar of... Parody. Thompson's letter continues:
You have until five o'clock P.M. this Friday... to inform me that you are going to delete the above references and any other references that could reasonably be construed to be references to me in Grand Theft Auto IV and any other video games that are pending release...

Now you have descended this low - using one of your games to threaten my physical safety... Failure to comply with the deadline... will result in my having to take necessary and proper means to stop release of the game which targets me personally... given the copycatting of violent games...

Comments

Re: Jack Thompson Says GTA 4 Mission Target is Him; Threatens

Hahaha, Jack Thompson acts like he's the president of the universe. "I'M GONNA BLOCK A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR FRANCHISE GAME WITH A RIDICULOUSLY LARGE FANBASE BY SUING PEOPLE."

@Waffles
That's part of the point, I think. User-created content is the work of a single user while this GTA4 mission is the work of the actual company. There is a difference in the two but whether the latter falls in to the category of parody is up to those who practice law (JT excluded).

If JT really and truly wants to block GTA IV's release, which he promised he wouldn't do under their agreement, then he's defninitely rendered it null and void. No big surprise there.

And before he says anything, note that all we have is his say so - which is questionable to begin with. I doubt that Game Informer's article will be as specific.

Take 2 then is free to go after him. The smackdown they give him, combined with the one from the Florida Supreme Court, could be the one-two punch that knocks him out for good.

Haha, now that's awesome. Take it like the man that you aren't Jack, stop being such a pussy. You deserve ever bit of negative publicity you get your lying, crazy, massacre chasing, waste of a human being. I know you like think you're "holier than thou", but that's far from the truth. You're a scum bag asshole who practically abuses yourself forcing him to do your dirty work for you. Leave us alone, leave your son alone, leave video games alone, and just go and curl up in the corner of a nice padded room.

oh here we go again. good luck with that Jacko. They could put a parody of the pres in and as long as they dont use his real name they're in the clear. You know this. and you know its doomed to fail.

Waffles had it right. This is just as bad as the Mortal Kombat Kreate a Fighter cease and desist. Seriously, did this guy EVER go to legal school. His knowledge of it is quite lacking.

Dennis really hasn't left any possible arguement for Jack.

Goldenberg (the lawyers given name) is killed by Niko because he got on Mr McReary's bad side. Not because of his views.

@Jack.
actually, they didn't threaten you, nor your personal wellbeing. You just WANT people to take it that way.

Case in point;
1. I am going to kill Jack Thompson.
2. The showcasing play of the game to Game Informer revealed that the first killing mission of the “hero” of the game, Niko, is to kill a certain lawyer. When Niko comes into this lawyer’s office, having used subterfuge to do so, Niko pulls a gun on the lawyer who says, “that the firm supports the second amendment and that ‘Guns don’t kill people. Video games do.’”

Which of these is a direct threat on your life, and the only one that would bring any harm to your person?

But when you make statements like number 2, its first amendment protected speech. Like the whole "Paula Eibel" thing? The game you wanted to see?

@ Jadedcritic

"You know, I think you’re probably right. I sit here and try to think when he’s ever succeeded in blocking ANYTHING. He couldn’t stop Bully, couldn’t stop Manhunt2… Has he stopped anything at all? Since Cop Killer??? "

Heck, he can't even stop his son from buying Bioshock.......

Hear that sound Jack....?

That's the sound of you violating your court agreement and opening yourself up to litigation. I hope your wife has DEEP pockets, because you're about to empty her coffers. Unless of course you believe that signing that agrement was 'satire' so you don't have to adhere to it. Try telling THAT to any judge, it will probably get you contempt of court at the very least.

I don't recall him complaining about his depiction in The Matrix: Path of Neo.

With the slightly crazy and hectic day that today has been, this was just chuckle I needed.

Here's to Jack and his willingness to continually make an ass out of himself. It's like having front row seats at the circus.

Hey, JT, I'm going to put you into Street Fighter II. No, no, not you... Just a likeness with the name "Tack Jompson".

Oh, right, that's too much of a resemblance, I'll put you in Phoenix Wright, then. It's a more lawyer-suited ame. You'll be the replacement for Prosecutor Payne.

Ah, now Jack thinks he's in GTA VI. Thanks for guaranteeing GTA's continued survival, Jack. Notice that most anti-game legislation has failed at the State level, and that the ones that have succeeded in being passed are slowly being overturned? Calling for a ban only increases interest in the subject of the ban. How's Prohibition turning out? :P

I'm happy I live in Canada, where they're not trying to pin the blame on video games (or music, or D&D, or spanking, or time outs...) for all the ills of society.

What will be even more interesting is when Friday comes and goes and Take Two does absolutely nothing to change the game as it is. I then forsee John Bruce "Jack" Thompson filing a claim to block the release of the game due to illegal use of his image.

This will backfire on him for 2 reasons... maybe 3

a) Jack will violate the previous agreement he made with Take Two as he will be taking LEGAL action against a game's release (something the agreement clearly stated he wouldn't do for that would be grounds for Take Two to counter-sue and ruin him).

b) Take Two can prove Jack's full of it as all they have to do is prove that he is a parody and NOT the actual game-hating attorney.

c) Jack Thompson is sued, loses, and is FINALLY ruined. I can't wait to see it.

As the Genius Bakabon's father puts it:

"Kore de Ii no da!"

(Translation: "It's all good!")

~Otaku-Man

Sometimes i have to wonder if Thompson is just an elaborate viral marketing scheme.

OK, first thing - I do hate Jack Thompson. He is clearly the devil incarnate, and I am sure that he is responsible for all the evil and murder and self-touching in the world.
However, he's got a point here, although I doubt he has the mental capacity to do anything about it at this point. The lawyer described is an obvious reference to Jack Thompson. All this crap everyone keeps posting about pie-loving doctors and how there are other video game lawyers misses the point. There is *one* lawyer which has been giving T2 fits in public about violence in video games and how he has deluded himself into believing it leads to real life violence. There is no need to start a contest with JT over who can make the most absurd claim.
I don't know what the court order said, so perhaps I am wrong here, but I am fairly sure the judge did not order Jack Thompson to refrain from filing any suit against T2. At most I can imagine he was ordered to cease filing frivolous suits about violence in games and generally acting as a self-appointed guardian of the public. To do much more would be an *extreme* abuse of discretion.
Last, there is a big difference between, well, most of the examples above and what happened here. Free speech doesn't allow you to shout fire in a crowded theater, no matter how awesome and funny you may think the results will be. Further, just because it's happened before without incident doesn't mean that this is parody, it just means that other people don't have a broken humor detector. I'm not familiar with what happens to Michael Jackson or Gary Coleman or whoever in video games, so I can't comment, but again you are compelled to sue just because you have a cause of action.
It's different than TV, since (last I checked, anyway) South Park is not an interactive environment. I don't remember steering Cartman around and making him eat cheezy poofs, anyway. It's not user-created content. It is definitely funny, but that does not make it parody. The representation of him definitely is, and if it were left at that it would be a no-brainer. But the game not only allows you to kill the character, it sounds like you are *required* to do so. The argument that video games make violent people by virtue of including violence has been tried and failed. The argument that suggesting that a specific individual should be killed may lead to violence against that individual has also been tried, with much more success.
As funny as we all may find it, courts have a definite aversion to being mocked, and T2 looks to be abusing the court order if it is their intended protection from the consequences of this. They very well may have given this obnoxious little imp a means of achieving a courtroom victory, thus shoring up his ego and ensuring we all get to put up with him for a few more years.

Good job!

Hahaha, wow. Doesn't Jacky know by now that he has no power? And doesn't he remember that one little legal agreement he had with Take-Two where he's not allowed to attempt to bar them from selling their games? It's a free country and Take-Two hasn't broken any laws :)

BWAHAHAHA!!!! what a crybaby, wanker, wuss, moron, take your pic... if ever anyone deserved a good ribbing or roasting it's this guy

Nice to see other people remember that so called "satire/parody" offer.

For someone concerned about their personal safety and life being threatened, you sure do post your personal info at the drop of a hat, and you do not address others in a respectable manner. Have you *really* looked at yourself and the stuff you say/write?

While we here disagree with the likes of Grossman and Yee, we address them in a respectful manner because they in respect do the SAME! If they were as vile as you, we probably would address them in the same manner as they address us.

Too bad this is just one of those cases where the individual doesn't realize or want to admit how harmful their own personal actions are to themselves & others, and do NOT seek the professional help they need to improve themselves. And there are all sorts of medicines out there that can help with such matters, like stress....

Wow, over 300 posts, and only 2 from the man of the hour? I'm freaking shocked.

Really, there's nothing I can say at this point that hasn't been repeated at least 2 or 3 times: This is a work of satire at worst, and no relation at best, Jack is a doof, blah blah blah...

Honestly I was hoping for more JT-related gold in here, what with him believing this to be a death threat and whatnot. He openly mocks a guy who just had a heart attack repeatedly, but can't be bothered to post about how he thinks GTA4 is killing him, except to comment "HAY! I'Z DEBATIN' AGAINST HOMOS SOON! COME WATCH!"

Where's my comedy gold, JT?

It wouldn't be a true parody of Jack Thompson unless they made the lawyer racist too.

(Click my name if you have no idea what I mean)

Jack Thompson is to attorneys what Fred Phelps is to organized religion *rolls eyes*

Now in San Andreas you could slap a C4 on him and blow it up when he runs away far enough.

@Dennis, GP editors in general:

Might I make a suggestion (actually two):

First, I look for Jack's posts, so I search for "Jack Thompson says". Unfortunately, it's in the text of the headline, which causes it to show up in all of the trackbacks. So if I might humbly suggest not writing the exact phrase "Jack Thompson says" into a headline?

Second suggestion, and it's just my opinion: don't even allow trackbacks. They're useless linkspam to 99.9% of us, only useful in large part to self-important "blogerati" who think links are more important than content.

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for Jack Thompson. What a comedian. Every time he makes headlines it cracks me up.

Heads up to gamer idiots (sorry to be redundant):

Parody is one thing. Targeting someone who is a critic for copycat violence is quite another. Take-Two's deadline approaches.

@ CJ is that nessecary? i mean come on

I can careless about Gay rights you bnch of homo's. These types of games are played by the damn blacks and hispanic community who go and cpy cat shit rigt I freaking said it. I do as I please it needs ot be done. it would have been bette rot take a whole bunch of gays and kill thme off in GTA. TRUST ME ON THAT SHIT. More mature thne picky on Little old me..

Ironic ..

Jack... please, honestly, get off the imaginary horse.

You're only going to fall off...

You're so vain, you probably think this game is about you...

Well if Jack doesn't want to be in the game then can they put me in?

I'd love to be in a video game even if I was getting shot!

Also I have read that the JT on here is an imposter, I was meant to be talking to the real JT if he ever bothers to read what we say.

So Jack Thompson says take two parodied him by having a reference to a "bisexual paedophile" on their corporate website?

Poor Jack...imagine when he gets to court..

Basically he'd have to either a) admit the parody was nothing like him (and incur take two's legal expenses) or b) claim to be a bisexual paedophile (offering names of victims etc) and get arrested!!!!!

What's the character's name in the game? Might i suggest "Zach Johnson"?

I just hope nobody manages to shut him down completely, he's too entertaining...

Jack thompson....
U think u felt threatens ya???
Well, y dont i send a bullet into ur brain???
Problem solve....
There r alot of lawyer which r better than u ....
U such a puny little lawyer ....
What the hell!!!
U such a jerk....
Go to hell...
What does the game have to do with u???
If u r going to stop whatever game that got kill lawyer...
Y dont u try to stop the whole world???
Did u use ur brain to think???
I guess u only got pig brain which is stupid...
Cant even think ya....
If u really stop the game from publishing...
Well i guess u not only make enemy with rockstar...BUT the whole world!!!

@Erik

Am I a mentally handiccaped violent thug?NO.I play Bioshock,Gears of War GRAW 2 and pretty much every war game and what happened because of that? I had fun,hes threatening that fun so thats why I bloody hate him and his crusade.

@Mike

"Am I a mentally handiccaped violent thug?NO."


Don't say it, show it.

Who The fuck is Jack Thompson?
Im gonna write a flash game that features
FRAGGING a Guy named Jack Thompson over and over.
sue me.

If you can't take being in the public square....

hey guess what? Parody Rights.

how is it i know more about lawyering from watching Night Court?

hey guess what your not legally allowed to block the games!

you have fun getting your ass kicked in court AGAIN!

Yea, there's the right to parody covered under free speech.

And you know what, here's some other interesting facts:
- Jack Thompson is not the only anti-gaming lawyer around (although they are rare)
- Take Two will not relent to a 2 bit lawyer moonlighting as a crusader

What a jerk. Niko is no "here". He is the ANTIHERO. Use the correct names jerk!

Besides, he can do nothing if his name is not mentioned or if his figure is not used.

Good Lord! Not everything is about you, Jack! Contrary to your belief, the word does not revolve around Jack Thompson, Attorney.

Huh, I meant "hero"... sorry, my mistake :P

This is getting absurd. I think I understand why the state bar wants to examine Mr. Thompson's mental capacity; Jack's behavior is starting to approach the realm of delusion.

Are you a second amendment rights advocate, Mr. Thompson? For God's sake, you don't even fit the parody you're griping about. And even if you did, you couldn't file suit over it. If you could, don't you think the industry mucky mucks who were depicted in an FPS mod you called for would have sued you by now?

It was only a matter of time before this came up.

Does anyone think that Take two did this on purpose to get ole Jack to come out and try to sue them?

Knowing that they already had the settlement deal maybe they threw this in there to put the final nail in the coffin.

If that is true looks like T2 can use one of Jack's phrases to describe what they knew he would do. "So sad, so predictable."

OMG c0nsp1r4cy!!11!!

So now not only are video games not a form of speech in the same way as other protected media like movies and novels, but they can't even include satire? You know maybe this hasn't occurred to Mr. Thompson, but he isn't the center of the world. Other lawyers are out there trying to make a name for themselves by badmouthing video games.

The world does not revolve around you. In fact, outside of a small portion of the internet that seems obsessed with every little movement you make, most of the outside world doesn't even know who you are.
 
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