Jack Thompson Weighs In on Mass Effect

January 30, 2008 -
Kotaku reports that frequent video game critic Jack Thompson has weighed in on the Mass Effect situation - with, perhaps, a surprising view.

Editor Brian Crecente quotes from Thompson from a recent e-mail exchange:
I don't see any problem with [Mass Effect]. The guy who shot his mouth off about it [on Fox News] had no idea what the Hell he was talking about... This contrived controversy is absolutely ridiculous. Report that, why don't you?


It's not the violence. No, the violence is done to aliens, so that is perfectly acceptable. That and it isn't R*, TT, or Microsoft, so Jack simply isn't interested at the moment.
Wait, didn't he say his kid got a copy of Mass Effect in one of his stings? Maybe he was...*gasp* informed on the issue?

"I don’t see any problem with [Mass Effect]. The guy who shot his mouth off about it [on Fox News] had no idea what the Hell he was talking about… This contrived controversy is absolutely ridiculous. Report that, why don’t you?"

Who are you and what the hell have you done with Jack Thompson? Also, did he just call Cooper Lawrence a dude?

Hackangel had it right. Like I said in the earlier thread, Thompson's comments were totally offhanded. He really didn't have anything to say about it simply because he wasn't asked to appear on the segment and be involved in it and therefore it didn't matter to him. That he couldn't even get the details right, such as Ms. Lawrence's gender, shows that he didn't give two shits about it.

His comments to me sounded like typical Thompsonian arrogance. The attitude he conveyed sounded to me like: "Why should I bother to answer your questions? I'm a busy man. I'm out to destroy Take2/Rockstar. Go back to your silly video games."

Like Hackangel said, if it was a Take 2-published game he'd be all over it. And again like I said earlier, that proves this is no moral crusade he's on. It's a personal vendetta. Otherwise he'd be condemning every game that was percieved to be offensive in some way. The only time he takes exception is when a big name game comes out that's been generating a lot of advance publicity and he tries to attatch his name to it in some way to get more exposure. To wit, like when Halo 3 was about to come out and he tried to get it declared a public nuisance.

Jack knows he's in deep shit now too and he's at least smart enough to lay low and not say anything too outrageous except when it comes to his favorite targets. It still won't help him. By now everyone's seen him for the self-righteous prick that he is and that all his threats of lawsuits are all huff and bluster. I'm fairly certain Judge Tunis will tear up his license by spring.

Finnaluy JB you use reason instead of jumping on the blame train. Kudos to you.

He called Copper Lawrence a man, and I find it hilarious. He obviously read a transcript and didn't watch the video.

I am not surprised by JT.

In his mind he believes violent games are murder simulaters and will turn people on too violence.

He feels playing Mass Effect will not make people want to have sex, not a sex or a rape simulater by any stretch.

Makes sense.


either 1) Jack Thompson is only out to get TakeTwo


2) Thompson's issue with Bully and GTA is these are modern settings... Mass Effect gets a pass because it's clearly Sci-Fi.

My money is on option 1.

I, for one, want to hear JT's response to Sexy Beach 3



@ Davcube

I completely agree with you. This simply shows that JT has a personal vendetta that is really against Take Two and R*. You could possibly link it in with FPS and human on human violence, but I personally won't make that leap. There just isn't enough information to make it.

All of us know JT is far from an ally to gamers.

Maybe this is Jack backlashing against Fox News because HE wasn't invited or setup as the expert versus Cooper Lawrence? Just a thought.

posted this last night in the forums before it was here :P

Hmmm... let's point out the irony in JT's quote, shall we?

First off, the commentor was a woman, not a man, and him going off about them being misinformed is appropriately ironic.

Secondly, JT is almost always misinformed about the games he crusades against, also ironic for him to lambast someone else for it.

Thirdly, him being critical about someone going on a new program and not knowing what they are talking about is equally ironic, as he does that all the time. In fact he considers those as ''victories" for him.

Fouthly, after the whole Sims 2 controversy he created, he has no room to say that any unfounded controvery is rediculous.

Holy. Crap.

Jack, Satan called. He needs about a dozen heaters down there.

Maybe he just found he was good at the game. And got owned hard in GTA?

its not rockstar, gang based, rap or gore based.

I've said this before in the other thread but it bears repeating:

"Jack just doesn’t want someone else stealing his limelight. He isnt defending anything at all, he just wants headlines to himself."

That's it. That's not the real Jack Thompson.


If that's not Jack, he's done his homework.

Is this the REAL Jack Thompson? Or Jack after medication?

Seems alittle akin to the character at the end of the book '1984'.

The end is nigh!!!!

@ Nitherean

OK, you're going to have to clarify that. There were alot of characters at the end of '1984'.

Also, it's been a few years since I read it.


I'm sure it was the real Jack Thompson. Apparently he e-mails kotaku regularly. This wasn't an out of the blue e-mail.
Also, it seems like Jack is more concerned about violence then sexuality in the games. Mass Effect really doesn't have THAT much violence in it. At least no more then Star Wars and less then James Bond. After that, he probably saw the video's when the game was first released.
I think that the main difference between the people who try and villianize the game and those who shrug it off as nothing is what they thing the video is of.
The detractors think it is an ad, a sample of what the game has. 'All this and more can be yours' type thing, meant to hint at what you get when you play the game.
The people who realize that it isn't much know that is ALL there is. That movie is ALL the sex in the entire game. The worst sexual content in the game is FREE and AVAILABLE to watch on YouTube. Most of the clips don't even have the objectional content flag, you don't even have to click an "Over 18" button to see it.

*News Flash* Most people saw the Mass Effect sex scene at work without even violating company policy within a day or two of the games release. Shows that ARE marketted to kids for reviewing games, and during prime time, have shown the scene, and only blurred out about 2 seconds of the whole clip just to stay on the safe side of censors.

Sorry, I'm not buying it. I see this as an attempt by him to pander to the judge to show that he has changed or is willing to after having folks put up with years of his garbage in hope of a lesser sentence or ruling in his favor.

I notice that he blasts the male panel member but not the host OR Copper Lawrence, no, just the random schmuck the pulled on. I guess he figures if he bashes FOX news folks he won't be invited back on. I have to laugh at him mocking other folks for not knowing what they are talking about when it comes to games. Man....how many times has he been down THAT road eh?

I also find it odd that he blasts the upcoming GTA as a murder simulator yet mentions nothing about Mass Effects FPS play.

He's playing it safe in hope to keep his career...nothing more.


Very true.


Makes one wonder, does he let his son play Mass Effect at all? And if so, then he should also let him play Halo 3 out of all fairness.


Hang on.. What's the US rating on Mass Effect?

It's Rated M (17+)

I'm with BaronJuJu.

I suspect that, as we all (Jack included) await the report of Judge Tunis, Jack's gone into a lower-profile holding pattern. He's been unusually quiet (relatively) since his hearing concluded. Could it have finally dawned on him that he's going to get dinged with at least a 3-year suspension, after which he'll be required to prove "rehabilitation" before the Bar'll reinstate him? He's not the brightest star in the night sky, but I'd like to think that even he can see the writing on the wall. So, he may have concluded that it's one of two roads: (1) continue to be the Jack Thompson we all know and love and kiss any chance of reinstatement good-bye or (2) finally start to act with some semblance of a rational human being sufficient to carry the "proof of rehabilitation" burden.

Can the leopard change it spots? Hmmm.

Something big is about to happen, to the fallout shelter!

I respect Thompson for this, and for looking snazzy in those new glasses.

This rationalism must be new, considering the crap he pulled with "Bully" way back when.

he isnt dead yet???

...Somebody check the temperature in hell.

@ Mogbert

I'd disagree with Jack being more preoccupied with violence than with sex. When the Hot Coffe sotry first broke in GTA:SA, he was one of first peopel to rush to condemn it.

As far as violence goes, Halo 3's violence level probably wasn't that much more than Mass Effect's and was also on par with Star Wars, but that didn't stop him from condemning it and trying to get it listed as a public nuisance days before it was released.

No, Jack's dismissing of Mass Effect is simply because he was not involved with it. He was not asked to appear on FOX to discuss it, and in his mind he's got bigger fish to fry in the form of Take 2 and Rockstar. Also as has been pointed out, he's in deep doo-doo with his law license and he doesn't want to focus any undue attention on himself.

i smell diversionary tactic here... or he'll use this quote to prove he's not as reactionary as his "distractors" make him out to be.

Its because Mass Effect isn't a Rockstar/Take-Two game, that or he's just trying to cover his ass and kiss up so he doesn't get disbarred.

He's just pissy HE didn't get to go onto Fox News.



lol, you are probably right. He doesn't like that someone else stole his spotlight.

JT: "There can be only one!" - lops off head of Fox news reporter.

OK first finland wins eurovision song contenst and now this!
Harmageddon is near peoples!

*checks the Bible* I could have sworn there was something about this in Revelations.....

yet Jack freaked out about the main character from Bully being able to kiss other boys.

I cant believe Im going to say this but I actually agree with Jack for once. Im happy for him.

I really think Jack Thompson could really do something about underage kids playing mature rated games if he would realize, as another poster said, he should be focusing on retailers and making parents aware. I really think the gaming community would back him if he stopped attacking games, gamers, and the gaming industry. I, as a gamer, do not want my little brother playing games like GTA and Manhunt, but realize that he is mature enough to play Bully. There is a big difference between GTA and Bully.

Wow, I'm thoughly shocked.

It's all just a stunt for the judge if you ask me. This was probably a tough cookie to swallow for Mr. Thompson. I can imagine his awkward face while he was typing that up.

brane hertz!

I think he knows the game is just not an easy target to attack, so he doesn't bother with it. Probably the whole backed by M$ & EA thing.

Of course he has no problem with Mass Effect; Rockstar and Take-Two had nothing to do with it.

I bet he's laughing his ass off reading these comments right now.

This is really, really scary. The body snatchers are here.

@ E. Zachary Knight, regarding your comment about Australia banning games.

Complete & utter over-exaggerated nonsense. Australia on average bans about one or two games annually and looking at the number of classifications handed out to games over the last few years (over 1000) it's really an insignificant number. Although I despise censorship and the classification system for games is obviously severely handicapped, Britain bans about the same number of films as Australia does games. Games are routinely banned, censored or simply not submitted for a rating in places such as Singapore or Germany. Comparing Australia to countries such as those is just plain ignorant. Mass Effect was released totally uncut in Australia with a 15+ rating and there has been absolutely no controversy regarding it. You forgot to mention New Zealand which has banned Postal 2, Manhunt and Reservoir Dogs. Censorship exists within every nation on Earth, even the USA, so before you go spouting your mouth off insulting other nations why don't you take a look at your own?

Sure government imposed censorship in regards to media isn't rife, but because of the sheer prudish nature of Americans, self censorship is all over the place. American TV is arguably the most censored in the Western world, you have retailers, publishers and console manufactures preventing developers from creating truly adult games. You have retailers and theatres treating MPAA ratings as though they carry legal restrictions. You also have the government telling you it's OK to own a gun and go to war before your 21, but you can't buy or drink alcohol WTF? Self-censorship is far more lethal because there is nothing to prevent it from stepping over the line and in the end the consequences are far worse. Sorry buddy but the USA isn't any more free than any other Western nation. I'd hate to bring you back into the real world for a second but, in the end it doesn't matter whether it's self-censorship or government censorship, the end result is exactly the same. Your precious Bill of Rights doesn't mean anything when non-government organizations are playing the de-facto censor role.

What you fail to realize is that the majority of games with extreme content do get released in Australia totally uncut. For example, Gears of War, Saints Row, GTA San Andreas, Doom 3, Resident Evil 4, The Suffering (1& 2), God of War (1 & 2), Killer7, The Warriors, Condemned: Criminal Origins, True Crime NYC, Dead Rising, Mortal Kombat (all games to date), SOF 1 & 2, Mass Effect, The Darkness, Fahrenheit, the Hitman games and plenty of others have all been released in Australia with a 15+ rating. Which is lower than what they have been released with in the USA, Britain or New Zealand. Most of these games have been banned or censored in Germany and not even submitted for a rating in places like Singapore.

In all honestly, the whole "Australia bans everything" is a statement often spouted off by ignorant journalists and people like you who DON'T ACTUALLY know what you're talking about.

Mate, take a step into the REAL world please and get off of your computer for a day......Americans are no more "free" than Australians. Hey at least our nation doesn't go into turmoil because someone's boob gets shown on TV.

The end times are upon us.


While I do agree with alot of the things you say, there is such a thing called being nice.You can make your point, but don't make too much of an impact with you 2 cents. Not many people like the feeling of get a speech from somone who sounds like a douch to them.

Anyway, adamJ kind of hit it on the spot. Compared to other coutries, America is kind of a censorholic, one "offencive" thing and the fur flys. Don't even get me started on seperaton of church and state, I personly think that we are doing a BAD job on that.

Note: got to go no time to spell check.
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