Live Blog: Jack Thompson Tells Utah Conservative Group of Plans to Legislate Games

January 17, 2009 -

A live blog of Jack Thompson's Saturday morning keynote address to the ultra-conservative Utah Eagle Forum has been published at Mormon Bloggers.

Judging by the post, Thompson delivered his standard anti-video game rap. The disbarred attorney apparently also laid out his latest strategy to legislate games:

The impact of aggressive, violent, and pornographic videos simply can’t be denied. Jack cited case after case in which people like a young Devin, immersed in things like Theft in the City, went home and shot his parents, saying to the police,  something to this effect: “Everybody has to die, just like in video games.”


The man who killed on Trolley Square, said Jack Thompson, was apparently training on Theft in the City or something similar.  One part of that violent video illustrates an individual going to a high point in a mall and shooting in random people he doesn’t know.  This training ground has made victims in Columbine, in Miami, in  Paduka [sic], and needs to stop here.


Jack Thompson– attorney, crusader in fighting the entertainment media’s marketing of violent materials to minors, and  author of Out of Harm’s Way–is supportive of an upcoming a bill, which if drafted properly and put in the hopper here in Utah will stop the sale of these games to minors.


Currently, the Fraud and Deceptive Trade Pact Act says that if you sell a product and misrepresent what it does or is, it is simply fraudulent.  Walmart, Target, Best Buy assert in corporate sites, statements, and press releases that they will not sell a mature-rated violent to a minor.  Age verification software, though available through Ideology and other programs, are dismissed by these companies.  This is something we can enforce.


If you’d like to know more, check with Eagle Forum.  If you are informed and are willing to make a call, please let your legislators know that this bill should be passed.

GP: Couple of points here... The blogger characterizes Thompson as an attorney, but as GamePolitics readers know, he was disbarred for life by the Florida Supreme Court in October. As we pointed out last week, the agenda for the Utah Eagle Forum event also lists him as an attorney. At this time it is unknown whether the audience for Thompson's keynote address was told of his permanently disbarred status. If so, the blogger makes no reference to it.

Clearly unfamiliar with video game issues, the live blogger also gets a few of the details wrong. But that's not unexpected as Thompson was apparently going on about several cases in which he blames video games for violent crimes. The "Devin" mentioned by the blogger, for example, would be Devin Moore, who killed two police officers and a dispatcher in Alabama, not his parents.

Most amusingly, "Theft in the City" would be Grand Theft Auto, of course.

UPDATE: In relation to Thompson's scheme to legislate games in Utah, the question now becomes whether the disbarred attorney has any state legislators on board. We would suspect that Gayle Ruzicka, the politically influential president of the Utah Eagle Forum and an ally of Thompson's, will be able to persuade someone in the legislature to introduce Thompson's bill.

Could the sponsor end up being one of three Utah legislators who also spoke at the UEF convention? Those would be the controversial Sen. Chris Buttars (R) as well as Reps. Carl Wimmer (R) and Christopher Herrod (R).

UPDATE 2: In its coverage of the UEF convention, the Deseret News makes no mention of the proposed video game legislation, but quotes Thompson's verbal shot at President-elect Barack Obama:

Outside of social issues, conventioneers and speakers alike expressed concern about the upcoming term of President-elect Barack Obama.


"On Jan. 20 we are entering what I believe will be a time of peril for this country," said speaker Jack Thompson. "And that is Barack Obama."

UPDATE 3: Thompson e-mailed GP to assert that he made his disbarment known to the UEF convention audience:

I told everyone there I was disbarred, and said in my first speech that I was a 'recovering attorney.'


Jack Thompson Working on New Game Legislation in Utah?

January 10, 2009 -

GamePolitics received a press release from disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson this morning in which he claimed to be "working with" state officials in Utah to pass video game legislation.

Regarding the supposed legislation, Thompson writes:

Thompson will be in Utah this coming week to work with Utah state officials to pass a new state law that will stop, dead in its tracks, the continuing marketing and sale of “Mature” video games to kids. Utah’s new approach to this problem will be constitutional and it will become a model for other states to follow.

A bit of digging shows that Thompson is scheduled to be in Utah next Saturday, where he will be the keynote speaker at the annual convention of the ultra-conservative Utah Eagle Forum. Indeed, the group appears to be a significant part of Thompson's ongoing connection to Utah. A convention agenda mentions that Thompson:

...will be talking about the research proving exposure to graphic violence leads to violent children and this year's legislation to prevent it.

We also note that, despite his disbarment, Thompson remains listed as an attorney in the program.

Via e-mail, we asked Thompson if he was talking to any specific legislators about a game bill and whether he could elaborate on what he meant by "working with." So far, we have received no response.

Still, given the local clout wielded in Utah by the UEF and its president, Gayle Ruzicka, we wouldn't doubt that some type of Thompson-authored legislation will surface there. Indeed, four state legislators are also scheduled to serve as speakers at the UEF convention.

To be sure, Thompson has quite a history with Utah:

In 2006, then-State Rep. David Hogue (R) tried - and failed - to pass a bill equating violent video games with pornography. Language used by Hogue during legislative hearings mimicked Thompson's frequent comments on game violence. Gayle Ruzicka spoke out in favor of the bill.

In 2007, Rep. Scott Wyatt's Thompson-authored bill failed as well, but not before Thompson called for the impeachment of Utah's popular Republican Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Shurtleff's offense? He had the temerity to offer a legal opinion that Thompson's bill was unconstitutional.

In 2008, only weeks after a referee recommended to the Florida Supreme Court that Thompson be disbarred for life, the controversial anti-game violence campaigner was honored with a Freedom Award at the annual America's Freedom Festival in Provo. Given the circumstances, we found his selection a curious choice.


Jack Thompson Takes His Case to U.S. Supreme Court

January 4, 2009 -

Jack Thompson is hoping that the United States Supreme Court will consider his appeal of the Florida Supreme Court ruling that disbarred him for life.

In mid-December the anti-game attorney requested from the U.S. Superme Court an extension of a Christmas Eve deadline in which to file what is known as a petition for a writ of certiorari.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has granted Thompson's request, meaning that the embattled anti-game violence advocate will have until February 18th to petition for cert with the Supreme Court.

While the extension is a positive development for Thompson, he nonetheless faces an uphill struggle. According to its website, the Supreme Court receives petitions to consider about 10,000 cases per year. Only about 100 of those will be granted a hearing.

Document Dump:

  1. Thompson's request for extension
  2. SCOTUS letter granting request

Thompson: God is Behind Take-Two Stock Slide

December 30, 2008 -

Is God behind the recent plunge of Take-Two Interactive's stock price?

When it comes to business, should one's religious beliefs even matter?

For the controversial, disbarred attorney Jack Thompson, the answer to these questions would seem to be yes.

On Friday, GamePolitics reported on Thompson's claim that he planned to lead a stockholder revolt aimed at ousting Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick.

While Thompson says that he wants to hold Zelnick accountable for T2's tumbling share price, his comments must be weighed in light of the disbarred attorney's oft-expressed distaste for Take-Two and its chairman.

As to the would-be shareholder revolt, it brought to mind a recent e-mail exchange between GP and  Thompson which may shed some light on the anti-game activist's apparent belief that divine retribution of the Christian deity is behind Take-Two's depressed stock price. Those e-mails follow:


From: Jack Thompson
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 6:44 AM
To: Dennis McCauley
Subject: Spin this, Strauss...


Take-Two dropped $2.35 to $9.72 in extended trading after the announcement and fell as low as $9.60. The shares... have declined 35 percent this year. The results contrast with comments Zelnick made in an interview on Nov. 3, when he said sales of the company’s video games hadn’t been hurt by the recession...


From: Dennis McCauley
To: 'Jack Thompson'
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 6:52 AM
Subject: RE: Spin this, Strauss...

So, if T2’s business reverse was God’s vengeance, does that mean that God struck you down too when you were disbarred?...


From: Jack Thompson
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 9:10 AM
To: Dennis McCauley
Subject: Re: Spin this, Strauss...

...If you had any understanding of the Bible and of God you would understand that persecution comes Christians' way, and we are blessed by it.  There is no blessing for Zelnick, who is not a Christian, when he gets what he deserves...


From: Dennis McCauley
To: 'Jack Thompson'
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008 6:54 AM
Subject: in relation to your Take-Two shareholder revolt...

...Are you saying that problems for Christians are blessings, while problems for non-Christians are vengeance from the Almighty? Also, how do you know what Zelnick’s religion is?


From: Jack Thompson
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008 7:11 AM
To: Dennis McCauley
Subject: Re: in relation to your Take-Two shareholder revolt...

Here's another passage of Scripture that you don't understand and never read:  "All things work to the good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose."  That group would include me and not Zelnick.  Zelnick is not a believer in the Gospel.  How do I know?  Because the man who got us together [secretly, in Manhattan in 2007] is a Christian, with a massive ministry in Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment industry.  It was because of the spiritual aspect of this struggle that he got the two of us together, and Zelnick failed the test. 

If you knew anything about the Gospel, you would understand further that Paul, whose writings are considered part of the canon, tells Christians, not unbelievers, that we are to "count it all joy" when trials and tribulations come our way. 

I have been persecuted for my faith, not because I did anything wrong, by those committed to evil.  Glad to clear it up for you.  And as it now stands, Mr. Zelnick's problems at Take-Two are minuscule [sic] compared to the eternity of punishment that is coming his way unless he repents and accepts Christ as I did 32 years ago this month.  You might do well to read the Gospel of John yourself.  Come to think of it, I'll write Strauss about all this and send you a copy...


Thompson did not respond to GP's request to name the man who supposedly brokered the 2007 meeting with Zelnick. The letter to Zelnick which Thompson mentions can be viewed here.

GP: Serious consideration was given as to whether to publish this story as I realize that some will  find Thompson's comments about non-Christians offensive. Ultimately, in deciding to publish, the opportunity to provide an insight into Thompson's mindset outweighed the other issues.

Jack Thompson Says He Will Lead Shareholder Revolt to Oust T2's Strauss Zelnick

December 26, 2008 -

Disbarred attorney Jack Thompson says that he plans to lead a shareholder revolt against Take-Two Interactive chairman Strauss Zelnick.

Of course, disbarred attorney Jack Thompson says a lot of things...

In this case, Thompson claims in an e-mail that he just scooped up some T2 shares at their current, distressed price:

TTWO is today trading at about $7 per share.  Zelnick blew it.  Thompson today bought a bunch of Take-Two stock at the $7 figure.

The reason Thompson has done this is to lead the effort by Take-Two shareholders to dump Zelnick.  It is long overdue, and there are already rumblings that Zelnick’s tenure at Take-Two has been a disaster, as anyone still holding stock that could have been sold at $26 and is now worth $7 and falling, can attest.

In the letter, Thompson refers to the Z-man as an "incompetent, reckless goofball," which is pretty funny, coming from someone with Thompson's track record.

Delicious Irony: Judge Who Nixed Blagojevich's Game Law approved FBI Wiretap of Crooked Illinois Guv

December 9, 2008 -

Pop Quiz - the following line is from:

  1. A Grand Theft Auto cut scene
  2. The potty mouth of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich

I’ve got this thing and it’s f***ing golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for f***in’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.

The answer, as you might have guessed, is Rod Blagojevich.

The foul-mouthed Guv was picked up on FBI wiretaps trying to figure out how to trade his constitutional ability to name a replacement for Barack Obama's remaining term in the Senate for something of value to himself. The chicanery over the Senate appointment is but one of several corruption charges against Blagojevich.

And, in a yummy twist of fate, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly, who ruled in 2005 that Blagojevich's video game law was unconstitutional, was one of two federal judges who authorized recent FBI wiretaps that led to Blagojevich's downfall.

In fact, a reading of the FBI's complaint against Blagojevich shows that both the Guv and his wife have a penchant for dropping the F-bomb. And this is the guy who was so concerned about the mature content in GTA?

In still more LOL-type Blagojevich news, GP reader amuler1 reminds us that - at least according to Jack Thompson - Blagojevich asserted that violent video games were behind February's shooting rampage at Northern Illinois University. In a February 16th press release, Thompson wrote:

Today at 3:55 pm, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was interviewed on the Fox News Channel about yesterday’s massacre at Northern Illinois University.  When asked why these school shootings are occurring, the Governor stated, “A lot of people smarter than I can be asked that question, but I believe we have to look to the violent entertainment that glamorizes and motivates and trains people to engage in these behaviors, most especially video games.”

The Governor echoes what Miami attorney Jack Thompson said on Fox News this morning at 10:15 am this same day, as he noted that the Virginia Tech and other school shooters have been immersed in these murder simulators.

At the time we were unable to confirm Thompson's assertions regarding Blagojevich's linking of NIU and violent games, although we have no reason to doubt that Thompson is correct concerning what the disgraced Guv may have said.


Where Have All the Critics Gone?

December 3, 2008 -

When President-elect Barack Obama announced this week that Sen. Hillary Clinton was his choice for Secretary of State, we noted that the diplomatic nature of her new job would distance the former First Lady from domestic social issues, including those relating to video game content.

And, as Hillary moves away from the video game arena, one thing becomes clear: The video game industry no longer faces any high-profile political opposition in the United States. Sounds crazy, I know. But consider that, in 2008:

  • Jack Thompson self-destructed. Sure, Thompson will still be a critic, but his recent lifetime disbarment flushed whatever mainstream credibility he had left.
  • The National Institute on Media and the Family was co-opted by the video game industry. Earlier this year NIMF accepted a $50,000 grant from the ESA, a mind-bogglingly bad decision. How does a watchdog organization justify taking money from the people it is supposed to be watching? Not surprisingly, NIMF's 2008 Annual Video Game Report Card was a valentine to the game biz.
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has, for some time, been preoccupied by internecine battles with his former friends in the Democratic Party. He hasn't been heard from as a game industry critic since he stood with David Walsh during the release of NIMF's 2007 report card. In fact, most recently, Lieberman (and Clinton) offered their support for the ESRB's new game rating summaries.
  • Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), as mentioned, will be focused on foreign affairs.

There are remaining critics, to be sure, but they are fragmented and most lack the national profile of Thompson, Walsh, Lieberman and Clinton. Will one of these emerge to fill the void? Hit the jump to see...

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Florida A.G. Once Fretted About Wiimote, Now on ESRB Bandwagon

November 28, 2008 -

When gamers last heard from Bill McCollum, the Florida Attorney General was fretting that the motion-controlled Wii version of Manhunt 2 would have a generation of kids practicing to be killers. As GamePolitics reported in June of 2007, McCollum apparently got that idea from Jack Thompson.

These days, McCollum is, like many political colleagues in other states, urging parents to follow ESRB content ratings while shopping for holiday gifts. A press release on his official website quotes the Republican A.G.:

Though the holiday season is one of the busiest times of year, it is also perhaps the most important time of the year for consumers to make sure they know what they're buying for their loved ones. The ESRB rating system provides parents and others with age and content information which can be informative tools when purchasing games for family and friends.

McCollum's press release also quotes ESRB head Patricia Vance as well as ESA CEO Michael Gallagher.

But not Jack Thompson.


Did Jack Thompson Lose Weight? He Looks About $42K Lighter

November 19, 2008 -

As part of Jack Thompson's permanent disbarment by the Florida Supreme Court, the anti-game crusader was also ordered to pay $43,675. The figure represents the Florida Bar's cost to prosecute Thompson's case.

That amount was later reduced to $42,525 by the Bar. It now seems that Thompson has paid up.

As Duke Nukem would say, That's gotta hurt...

This piece of Thompson news comes - as it so often does - by way of Thompson himself. The ex-attorney circulated an e-mail today complaining that the Florida Supreme Court had not yet cashed his check:

Dear Chief Justice Quince:

Please advise today what you and the Court have done with my check for $42,525.27 that was sent you on November 6 to be held in trust by the Supreme Court.  

I find today, in talking with my bank, that the check has not been negotiated.  I’m not paying any interest on this amount.  You all had it from me on the date it was due.  

Regards, Jack Thompson


GTA IV Ads Back on Chicago Buses, But Future M-Rated Game Ads Banned

November 19, 2008 -

Shortly before the April 29th Grand Theft Auto IV launch, the Chicago Transit Authority pulled ads for the game from its vehicles and facilities. Prompting the move was a rash of unrelated shootings in Chicago and a Fox News hit piece that linked GTA IV to the violence, even though the game hadn't yet been released.

Just a week later, Take-Two warmed the hearts of censorship opponents by suing the CTA in U.S. District Court for breaching its $300,000 contract. The case dragged on through the summer, but in late September GamePolitics reported that the parties were nearing a settlement.

Chicago Breaking News is now reporting that, as part of that settlement, GTA IV ads will appear on CTA buses for the next six weeks, which should give T2 a little boost for the holiday season. CTA spokesperson Noelle Gaffney explained:

The CTA made the earlier decision to remove the ads from the system following some violence in the city. The CTA felt that, based on the circumstances, it was in the best interest of our customers to remove the ads and further review the circumstances.

But wait - the CTA dropped some discouraging news as well, saying that it will accept no further ads for M-rated games once it works off its GTA IV debt. Here, the agency employs some highly questionable - read: highly political - logic:

Last week, the CTA board voted to ban advertising for video games rated "M" and above. The ordinance, which takes effect Jan. 1, cites a "demonstrable correlation" between intensely violent video games and violent or aggressive behavior.

Thus, Chicago joins Boston among major U.S. cities in which public transit systems will not accept M-rated game ads. Miami also yanked its GTA IV ads after now-disbarred attorney Jack Thompson raised a stink.

GP: Even though many M-rated games are fantastic examples of the creative arts, the transit agencies are essentially equating such games with smut. The industry needs to stand up for itself on this issue. Take-Two was right to sue the CTA over its GTA IV case, but the larger ban on M-rated games in general needs to be addressed by the ESA.


Jack Thompson's New Gig: Pundit

November 13, 2008 -

Everyone's favorite disbarred attorney has a new gig.

It seems that Jack Thompson is now penning a column for conservative website Human Events.

Thompson teased his new assignment in a post on GamePolitics yesterday:

This new ESRB bandaid just gets more of the camel's nose into the video game industry's tent. Look for a federal law prohibiting sale of mature games to minors in Obama's first term.  It will be wildly popular with parents in both  parties, as a recent video game industry poll proves.


The new statutory approach is constiutionally bullet proof...


PS:  Hey, I have a new job that began today, and I'm not saying what it is, but you kids won't be pleased!

GP: So, Jack Thompson, cub reporter?

Big thanks to: GP reader Maxamegalon2000 for the tip!


Jack Thompson Wades Into Fallout 3 Trailer Controversy

October 30, 2008 -

If you thought being permanently disbarred would cause Jack Thompson to ride off into the sunset, guess again.

The ex-attorney is currently seeing fire and damnation in Bethesda's recent recall of Fallout 3 trailer videos. A rambling letter from Thompson to the Federal Trade Commission accuses the ESRB of duplicity in the enforcement of its advertising guidelines:

The ESRB’s [advertising] Principles and Guidelines are not intended to protect the public.  They are obviously intended to protect the video game industry from the public backlash prior to a hyperviolent game’s commercial release.   The ESRB, by allowing such violence in games but not in the advertising is institutionally mandating the cloaking of a game’s real content from the public in advertising.

Thus, the ESRB is actively using its “watchdog” muscle to intimidate game developers into participating in the ESRB’s long-standing shell game by which it has tried to hoodwink Congress and the American people into thinking that the video game rating system is working, that the ratings are reliable, and that minors are being protected from the sale of “Mature” games... 

And, even though Take-Two has zilch to do with Fallout 3, Thompson cannot resist taking a shot at the GTA publisher:

Take-Two, for example, knows that if it adhered to “truth in advertising,” most of its Grand Theft Auto games never would have made it out of the warehouse.  Take-Two has figured out how to collaborate with the ESRB in this shell game by which false advertising cloaks the real nature of their games until the games are released, and then it is too late...


Bethesda’s only sin was that it advertised truthfully what its game Fallout 3 is all about.  The ESRB’s idiotic but telling response has fashioned a noose that I expect either the FTC or Congress to slip around the ESRB’s neck...

Full letter after the jump...

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

October 27, 2008 -

From the website of the Florida Bar...


Microsoft Adds $25K to Missing Gamer Reward Fund

October 25, 2008 -

Despite yesterday's massive search effort, Brandon Crisp remains missing. The 15-year-old gamer disappeared after a family dispute on October 13th.

The Vancouver Sun reports that Microsoft Canada has chipped in $25,000, raising the reward fund total to $50,000. Brandon's parents told police that the young man left home after an argument over what they described as his obsessive play of Call of Duty 4 on Xbox Live.

A Barrie P.D. spokesman said that Microsoft was cooperating fully with the investigation: 

Microsoft said they would do anything they can to expedite the process to find Brandon," said Sgt. Dave Goodbrand, spokesman for the Barrie police.

Brandon's parents say he was obsessed with playing an online game called Call of Duty 4 on his Xbox and police have been working with Microsoft to track down the Internet addresses of everyone who interacted with the 15-year-old before he disappeared. There are concerns he may have gone to meet someone he met online.

Barrie P.D. says that it has received more than a thousand tips that need follow-up. Psychics and even the newly-disbarred Jack Thompson have offered advice. From the Sun:

Miami lawyer Jack Thompson called Barrie police offering his help. Thompson, whose cases have included a youth who committed murder by re-enacting scenes from video games, said a young person addicted to video games can be traumatized if forced to go cold turkey.

"It's a psychological and physiological condition," said Thompson. "These are tough things to have the kid go cold turkey."

Barrie P.D. has established a tip line for information concerning Brandon's whereabouts: 705-725-7025 ext. 2160

For all GP coverage on the Brandon Crisp case click here.

UPDATE: Steve Crisp, Brandon's father, is urging Microsoft to expedite the process of extracting contact information from the hard drive of the missing boy's Xbox 360, reports CTV. Mr. Crisp made this plea:

The key to finding my son lies in this XBox hard drive. Please, if you can speed up the process of handing this information over to our police, it could mean a big difference in our son's safe return. There are a lot of red tape and legal issues I know that Microsoft probably has, and the police probably have.

CTV has posted video interviews with Steve Crisp as well as with Sgt. Dave Goodbrand of the Barrie P.D.

Gamers Were Outraged But Amused by Jack Thompson

October 24, 2008 -

Jack Thompson seemed to bring out the worst - and the best - in GamePolitics readers.

Gamers who follow GP were eager to debate with Thompson, who came to symbolize the anti-video game movement. And while those interactions were frequently contentious (on both sides), some funny stuff emerged as well.

One of my favorite recollections involved Thompson posting a comment referring to former ESA Doug Lowenstein as a "self-immolating clown." 

This is typical highfalutin language from Thompson, who is a pretty smart guy (although obviously not smart enough to figure out how to hang on to his law license). Anyway, after Thompson posted the self-immolating clown remark, an old-school GP user (was it Mr. Falcon?) responded with:

Yeah. We had one of those at my nephew's birthday party. Took weeks to get the small out of the drapes.

In this post from the old GP LiveJournal site, we had some laughs over GP reader wxdiva's use of an Olde English-style tapestry (above) to satirize Thompson's nonstop Urgent! press releases, his references to his TV appearances, his penchant for reaching out to prominent political figures, his GTA hate, his threats to take GamePolitics down and his coining of the word pixelantes (pixelated vigilantes). 

Thompson meant the P-word as an insult to gamers who instead adopted it as a badge of honor. Pixelantes, by the way, is now permanently enshrined in the Urban Dictionary and elsewhere.

There was also a guy who satirized the game hatin' attorney by imagining him as a caveman, Og Thompson, who wanted to censor the discovery of fire.


Jack Thompson Disbarment Celebrations?

October 24, 2008 -

The clock has just about wound down on Jack Thompson's legal career. As of tomorrow, his lifetime disbarment becomes effective.

To commemorate the event, a U.K. gamer sent us this graphic which is apparently circulating on 4chan (although I'm too frightened of 4chan to go there and check)...

Thompson's disbarment is truly the end of an era. With his bombastic online presence and frequent media appearances, he became the face of the anti-video game movement. And as he self-destructed, he took that movement down with him.

Although the tenacious Thompson won't be disappearing, whatever clout he may have earned with politicians and like-minded video game critics over the years has been flushed by his inexplicably vicious behavior. He has essentially made himself radioactive.

So, gamers, are you planning any celebrations to mark the day?

Here at GamePolitics we'll be posting some of the more memorable graphics and anecdotes from the Jack Thompson era, with an emphasis on funny...

Posted in

Jack Thompson Whines About GamePolitics, ECA, Kotaku & Kitchen Sink in Court Filing

October 21, 2008 -

It must be awfully difficult to be a disbarred attorney. I mean, what do you do with all of that free time?

If you're Jack Thompson you file court motions. And Thompson filed one of his more bizarre ones today. It's another of those picture books filings that the disgraced attorney has taken to submitting in recent months. Apparently capitalizing upon his free time, Thompson has taken the trouble to paste in snaps of:

  • GP volunteer comment mod E. Zachary Knight
  • GP editor (me)
  • Hal Halpin, head of consumer group the ECA
  • Brian Crecente, editor of Kotaku
  • Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take-Two
  • Doug Lowenstein, former ESA boss

His purpose seems to be an attempt to make the case - yet again - that the video game industry is responsible for his disbarment. That's an odd approach as most of the people he names in today's filing aren't part of the video game industry.

Thompson seems particularly upset over the amusing Disbarment Countdown Timer created by EZK. On that score Thompson writes:

If there were any doubt as to the core purpose of this disbarment, instigated by the video game industry, note... The Jack Thompson Disbarment Countdown Clock is at the center of a commerce-driven lynch mob... This court should grant the emergency stay to at least freeze the Countdown Clock pending an evidentiary hearing on this nonsense.

It's so clear now! The multi-billion dollar video game industry reached down from its perch on Wall Street and demanded the creation of a free Disbarment Timer add-on for Firefox. Makes perfect sense...

As to my involvement, he writes:’s operator is Dennis McCauley, who filed his own Florida Bar complaint against Thompson for being mean to videogamers. GamePolitcs ran a multi-part series about Thompson’s Bar trial, court transcripts and all. Mr. McCauley, pictured below, worked with Referee Dava Tunis to place court documents at his site before Thompson got them...

It's true that I filed a Bar complaint about him in 2006. I've written about that in the past. The Bar complaint certainly wasn't about "being mean to videogamers."

GP did indeed run a multi-part series on Thompson's Bar trial, complete with transcripts. I'm very proud of that series. The assertion about working with Judge Dava Tunis is simply a lie.

UPDATE: Thompson also mentioned that has been tracking his court filings. All part of the conspiracy, eh, Miami Jack?

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

Read the court filing here.


NYPD Spokesman Outraged by Saints Row 2

October 14, 2008 -

GTA knockoff Saints Row 2 launches today, and a spokesman for the NYPD has criticized THQ's new crime game for its graphic depictions of virtual violence against police officers.

As reported by the New York Daily News:

A blood-soaked new video game boasts enough violence, guns and gratuitous sex to make Grand Theft Auto seem as tame as Pac-Man - and it has cops hopping mad.

The over-the-top Saints Row 2 encourages players to butcher cops with chain saws, smoke drugs, annihilate rival gangsters and run prostitution rings... Many in law enforcement and politics don't find any of it remotely entertaining.

Patrick Lynch, who heads the NYPD union, told the Daily News:

These horrible and violent video games desensitize young people to violence while encouraging depravity, immorality while glorifying criminal behavior.

The newspaper also has a quote from our old pal Jack Thompson:

Jack Thompson, a Florida lawyer and longtime critic of violent video games, called Saints Row 2 a "Grand Theft Auto ripoff."

"As is true with pornography, as is true with violence, the subsequent products tend to push the envelope even more," he said.

An unnamed THQ spokesman defended SR2:

Saints Row 2 is not a gang simulation game. It's a tongue-in-cheek game.

Meanwhile, the Daily News does acknowledge some of the satirical elements in the game:

Despite the outrage, some of the scenarios depicted in the game seem hilariously over the top. Players can commit insurance fraud by faking injuries, spraying the contents of a septic tank to bring down property values or appearing on a "Cops"-like reality TV show.

If things get boring, competitors can just strip and run around naked.

Jack Thompson Offers His Expertise to Sarah Palin

October 10, 2008 -

Q: What do you get when you cross a media sensation with a guy who loves to see his name in print?

A: A letter from Jack Thompson to Sarah Palin.

Facing imminent disbarment, the Miami attorney has written to the Republican vice-presidential candidate, urging her to take a stand against violent video games. And, of course, offering his own services in that regard.

In a letter to America's best-known hockey mom, Thompson writes:

The McCain-Palin campaign, with all respect, is missing the boat on this issue. I strongly urge your campaign to tell American parents that if elected you will present to Congress a bill that prevents the sale of adult games to kids while fully protecting the First Amendment. 


I have this crucial, constitutional legislation drafted and ready to go.  You will see voters flock to your proposal.  The American entertainment industry’s assault upon our children and our values must stop, and you are the person to stop it. 

Thompson's previous attempt at "this crucial, constitutional legislation," however, was declared unconstitutional in stinging language by a federal judge in Louisiana. Utah's Republican attorney general also dismissed a Thompson-drafted bill as a violation of the First Amendment. State legislatures in Delaware and Massachusetts have likewise passed on Thompson's proposal.

Full text of the letter after the jump... 

Crispy Gamer Roasts GP Over Thompson Coverage

October 7, 2008 -

Over at Crispy Gamer, game scribe Kyle Orland pokes fun at the whole Jack Thompson is a media creation bit, with GamePolitics coming in for some extra attention:

A group of prominent game journalists is gathering together to fight the recent disbarment of anti-game crusader Jack Thompson. The group, headed by GamePolitics editor Dennis McCauley, issued an open letter to the Florida Supreme Court this morning, urging them to reinstate the controversial former lawyer...


The statement also included a link to an online petition where gamers could sign up to "get Jack Thompson off the bread lines and back in the headlines, where he belongs." Signatories on the letter include prominent writers for Kotaku, Joystiq, Destructoid and dozens of other gaming blogs...


McCauley is worried that those reveling in Thompson's fall from grace haven't fully absorbed what the game journalism landscape will look like without him... McCauley went on to argue that Thompson delivered "the spittle-flecked, borderline-incoherent rants that gamers wanted -- that they needed -- and in that he'll be nearly impossible to replace. We've lost a giant, and we need to do everything we can to get him back."

GP: Funny stuff, Kyle.

Oh, and I have just one word for you: paybacks...


Countdown to Jack Thompson's Disbarment with Firefox Add-on

October 6, 2008 -

Wondering how long it is until Jack Thompson's court-ordered disbarment becomes effective?

Wonder no more.

Longtime GamePolitics reader E. Zachary Knight (who is so dedicated that he volunteers for double duty as our comment moderator) has created a nifty extension for FireFox which counts down the time until Thompson's law career is just a bad memory.

Download it here.


ECA's Hal Halpin: Disbarred Jack Thompson Still a Threat

October 2, 2008 -

Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) president Hal Halpin told The Escapist that, despite his recent disbarment, anti-game activist Jack Thompson will still be on the attack.

I did take some selfish joy in receiving Jack's email announcing his formal disbarment, but you need to understand that Jack and I have a long and quite personal history, and in addition, I must receive a half dozen emails from him a day, so this was one that I appreciated receiving. Let's put it that way.


It's important that gamers, while having every right to rejoice in their karmic victory, should understand that this really doesn't diminish his ability to be a force against us. Jack's not going anywhere... believe me.

Halpin also touched upon the controversy triggered by former ESA boss Doug Lowenstein's criticism of the gaming press over its coverage of Thompson:

I read Doug's reaction statement with a lot of interest, actually. As many who have been around the industry for some time know, Doug was my mentor when he ran the ESA and I the IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association).


I believe I've gone on record before saying that one of the single largest mistakes we, collectively, made was ignoring Jack. I was certainly culpable in following Doug's lead, but in doing so we left Jack as the only voice at the microphone; we empowered him, and it was strategically unsound and, in hindsight, altogether wrong.


I know that Doug stands by his decision and instead hoists the blame on the enthusiast press, but I respectfully disagree. It was the endemic media which cast the light on Jack, his misstatements and factual inaccuracies and point-by-point, systematically addressed his assertions… all the while educating their readers, and the mainstream media and public who cared to listen, on the realities of the situation.


I've always felt that the gaming press was the most underutilized weapon in the arsenal when it comes to battling our detractors and it was one of the first things we went about rectifying when we launched the ECA, just under two years ago.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.


G4's Adam Sessler Reacts to Thompson Disbarment

October 2, 2008 -

In the latest installment of Sessler's Soapboax, G4TV's Adam Sessler offers his take on the end of Jack Thompson's legal career as well as former ESA head Doug Lowenstein's claims that Thompson was a media creation...


Thompson: Feds are Monitoring Me

September 30, 2008 -

Posted at the risk of incurring the further wrath   of Doug Lowenstein:

Disbarred attorney Jack Thompson thinks the feds are tapping his phone. Or maybe his computer.

In a letter sent earlier today to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Thompson grumbles about once again being detained while trying to access the federal courthouse in Miami:

When I went to the Ferguson Federal Courthouse today, the Deputy Marshals were waiting for me because they clearly knew I was coming.  The black binder that contains alleged “threats” was opened to my page, featuring two pictures of me, and with the explanation, read to me by the Deputy, that I am to be escorted because I am about to be disbarred, because I have filed lawsuits that have been dismissed, and because I allegedly wrote inappropriate letters to judges...


The fact that this multi-page binder was already opened up to my page as I walked through the front door suggests surveillance by some means by the US Marshal.  There have been other bits of evidence suggesting this surveillance, but this is the clincher.  The most likely means of doing so are my cell phone use by satellite monitoring, land line phone taps, and/or taps on my home computer. 


When the Deputies illegally visited my home [in June, see: U.S. Marshals Pay Jack Thompson a "Visit"] they stated that I was in fact being “monitored...”

Ultimately, Thompson was escorted to his destination. This was not the first time he has been barred from entering. (see: Stopped at Courthouse Door, Thompson Says He Will Sue U.S. Marshal). He currently has multiple open lawsuits against entities including the Florida Bar and Florida Supreme Court.

UPDATE: Full text of JT's letter here... 


Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson Coverage

September 27, 2008 -

Hey, Doug Lowenstein. Don't shoot the messengers.

While I've got a lot of respect for Lowenstein, the former ESA president sent a letter to Kotaku yesterday that simply blew my mind.

Commenting on Thursday's Florida Supreme Court order disbarring Jack Thomspon for life, Lowenstein blamed the gaming press for "making Thompson what he became."


On this issue Doug Lowenstein should look in the mirror. It was Lowenstein's own unwillingness to stand up to Thompson years ago which emboldened the game-hatin', soon to be ex-attorney. It is a remarkable piece of spin to blame Thompson on the gaming media, but that's exactly what Lowenstein has done:

Time and again, the game press... would ask ESA to engage with, or respond to Thompson's latest excess. The media knew well that he was a charlatan who wholly lacked credibility. But hey, they said, he was news and could not be ignored. That was a cop out. It gave Thompson a platform... 


Mainstream outlets... were worse but the game press knew better. But he was the game press' crack. And even as they said privately he was a kook, they treated him as if he was a credible, fair minded critic. That represented an abdication of the critical filtering role the media should play.


...for the game press it was all Jack all the time... You help set the tone for mainstream media coverage and if you validate extremists you give license to the less informed to follow your lead.

To be fair, Doug is no stranger to Thompson's tirades. During his days at the helm of the ESA he was a frequent target of the disgraced attorney's most outrageous vitriol.

But, by refusing to respond, Doug dropped the ball. Thompson, finding no resistance from the top of the video game industry, was empowered to push harder. In retrospect, it's important to understand that bullying is the essence of Thompson's strategy. In fact, one of the tips he offers in his forgettable 2005 book, Out of Harm's Way, is "be mean." And, since caveman days, bullies have pushed and pushed until someone got up the nerve to push back.

Doug never pushed back.

Instead, Lowenstein's ESA operated in a sort of la-la land in which Jack Thompson did not exist. As a journalist, I soon learned not to waste time asking the ESA to comment on anything Thompson said or did because, ostrich-like, they pretended that there was no Jack Thompson.

The gaming press, on the other hand, deserves kudos for helping reveal to the larger world the kind of vicious tactics Thompson employed in his culture crusade. And isn't that the function of a free press? You'd think that Doug Lowenstein, a former journalist, would understand that.

Given the nature of what we cover at GamePolitics, Jack Thompson was undoubtedly written about here more than anywhere else. Did the Thompson coverage draw traffic? Yes, as much from the Miami activist's eagerness to mix it up with GP readers in the comments section as from the actual stories. Through his publicity-seeking, over the top antics Thompson came to symbolize anti-game prejudice. Gamers - unlike Doug Lowenstein - invariably wanted a word with him and they often had that opportunity here at GamePolitics.

Was there a price to pay for GP's coverage? Yes. Without going into detail, Thompson threatened me with lawsuits on an almost continual basis. While some might write off such threats as bluster, that's easy to say when you're not the one being threatened. He actually did add my name to one of his million dollar lawsuits until a federal judge ruled that he couldn't. But he didn't stop there. He vilified me to the newspaper that I write for and to the company that formerly hosted GamePolitics. He reported me to the FBI at least a half-dozen times. For a guy with a mortgage and kids and (back then) a day job, this was more than a little stressful. Frankly, I'm incensed at Doug Lowenstein's implication that GP did it for the traffic. I can't speak for other sites, but GamePolitics covered Thompson because there was a story there, a story that needed to be told.

In the end, it was Thompson who carved out his own record. The things that he did and said eventually told the world all it needed to know about Jack Thompson and where he was coming from. It was Thompson, for example, who told a Louisiana newspaper that nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you're a hit man or a video gamer.

It was Thompson who appeared on Fox News while the bodies were still warm at Virginia Tech to claim that video games were responsible for the tragedy. And it was Thompson who carried out the vicious and unprofessional conduct outlined in his 2007 Florida Bar trial, behavior that one victim compared to the emotional equivalent of stalking.

In fact, if there is one thing in GamePolitics' four-year history of which I am most proud, it was our exclusive coverage of those transcripts containing witness testimony from Thompson's Florida Bar trial. If you think Thompson - who can turn on the charm when he wants to - is not such a bad sort, read the transcripts and then decide.

To be sure, GamePolitics wasn't the only game site in Thompson's crosshairs. He filed a lawsuit against Kotaku in 2007. He threatened My Extra Life over a Jack Thompson Photoshop contest. He tried to get the Seattle Police to bust Penny Arcade, and when he found out PA isn't actually in Seattle (doh!), he called the FBI, instead.

As for Doug Lowenstein, he's way out of line to suggest a "critical filtering role" for the gaming press. He is essentially saying that game sites should censor news that the video game industry doesn't like - in this case, news about Jack Thompson. Doug seems to be laboring under the impression that the gaming press works for the benefit of big money game publishers instead of readers.

Doug Lowenstein, of course, left the video game industry in 2007 for a new gig lobbying on behalf of the hedge fund crowd. Come to think of it, isn't there enough for Doug to worry about on Wall Street these days? Perhaps he should leave the gaming issues to the gaming press.

We can handle it. We always have.


UPDATE: Destructoid has weighed in on the issue:

Can the coverage of Thompson be defended from a journalistic standpoint? Perhaps. JT was a loudmouth with more words than common sense, but in a world where reality TV stars can become credible icons, ignoring Thompson could have been a bad idea. It was thanks to us that Thompson was exposed for the duplicitous, vulgar and disrespectful man that he is. His personal attacks on industry figures and his many documented online flame wars with youngsters helped to damage whatever credibility he may have been able to forge. 

UPDATE 2: Simon Carless of Gamasutra offers his thoughts:

Probably one of [Thompson's] closest reports, and therefore subjects of his harassment was GamePolitics' Dennis McCauley, and he has a passionate, angry editorial on the subject up on GamePolitics. His view? "By refusing to respond, Doug dropped the ball. Thompson, finding no resistance from the top of the video game industry, was empowered to push harder."


I'm not sure I completely agree. There's an argument that you empower trolls by acknowledging them, and then nobody comes out of the situation looking good. Lowenstein realized that preventing state-based legislation against violent games was more important in practical terms than debating Thompson regularly ad infinitum.

UPDATE 3: Aaron Ruby, editor of our sister-site GameCulture adds:

...what the discussion so far has lacked, including Lowenstein's inciting letter, is that it doesn't matter who "created" Jack Thompson. The real issue is that the entire gaming community — journalists, developers, lobbyists and gamers alike — let a hack lawyer with a stunningly unsuccessful track record as a videogame vigilante become its most prized bogeyman...


Jack Thompson was a perfect storm, a confluence of circumstance, political climate and the maturation of a medium that now dominates entertainment...  we were allowed to knock down straw man after straw man, irrational argument after unsubstantiated claim, and poorly written law after spurious legal theory. We went after him because he was an easy target. Someone who made us feel smug, superior and ritually oppressed. And in our self-righteousness, we all had a hand in keeping the bogey man alive.


In the end, Jack Thompson was the Wicked Witch of Gaming, that evil wretch who always seems ready to poison the world, until, finally, one day she's dowsed with water and melts. And after we're done singing "ding dong, ding dong" from every hill and rooftop, we stop and wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place. And as we catch our breath, we realize the power was ours all along.


Jack Thompson: Disbarment Time Line

September 26, 2008 -

Yesterday the Florida Supreme Court permanently disbarred Jack Thompson. Barring an unlikley reversal, the 56-year-old attorney will be stripped of his license to practice law in 30 days.

How did things get this far? GamePolitics, which has covered Thompson extensively since the site went live in 2005, has compiled a timeline of key events during that time:

November 18, 2005: Thompson is lead attorney in a $600 million dollar lawsuit against Take-Two, Rockstar, Sony, GameStop and Wal-mart which alleges that 18-year-old GTA player Devin Moore was influenced by the games when he killed two police officers and a police dispatcher in Fayette, Alabama. Following a motion by Take-Two's lawyers, Alabama Judge James Moore revokes Thompson's right to practice in Alabama, essentially throwing him off the GTA case. Moore will later file a Bar complaint against Thompson over his conduct and be a key witness at his Bar trial.

October 13, 2006: Miami Judge Ronald Friedman dismisses Thompson's bid to have Bully declared a public nuisance. Friedman will later file a Bar complaint against Thompson over his conduct and will also testify at his Bar trial.

October 22, 2006: Thompson announces he is running for Judge Friedman's seat on the bench. However, he never follows through.

January 23, 2007: Thompson calls for the impeachment of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff after Shurtleff advises Utah legislators that the Thompson-authored video game law they are considering is unconstitutional.

March 16, 2007: Thompson is sued by Take-Two Interactive. The publisher seeks to block Thompson from damaging future sales of Manhunt 2 and GTA IV. A month later, the parties will reach a settlement.

April 10, 2007: In a harshly-worded ruling, U.S. District Court Judge James Brady declares Louisiana's video game law unconstitutional. Thompson, who wrote the legislation, has blamed Louisiana officials for its failure.

April 16, 2007: While the Virginia Tech shooting rampage is still ongoing, Thompson appears on Fox News to assert a violent video game connection. Later, a blue ribbon panel will find no evidence that the killer played violent games.

June 14, 2007: GamePolitics reveals that Thompson met secretly with Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick in Manhattan shortly after Zelnick took control of the company.

August 3, 2007: Thompson writes in a court filing that he is experiencing cardiac arrhythmia as well as chest pains due to the stress of his campaign against the Florida Bar.

August 21, 2007: Thompson claims that he underwent a psychological evaluation at his own expense and was pronounced mentally fit.

September 21, 2007: Thompson seeks to have Halo 3 declared a public nuisance in Florida

September 26, 2007: U.S. District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan reprimands Thompson for including gay porn in a court filing.

October 3, 2007: Thompson tries to add Judge Adalberto Jordan as a defendant in a case against the Florida Bar over which Jordan is presiding.

November 3, 2007: Thompson debates game developer Lorne Lanning at vgXpo in Philadelphia.

November 16, 2007: Thompson tries (and fails) to get GamePolitics & the Entertainment Consumers Association added as defedants in one of his numerous federal lawsuits against the Florida Bar.

November 26, 2007: Thompson's Florida Bar ethics trial commences in Miami with Judge Dava Tunis presiding. It will last nine days.

December 18, 2007: Thompson's $600 million New Mexico lawsuit which attempted to draw a link between GTA and a grisly triple murder is thrown out by a judge.

December 28, 2007: Trying to prove a video game connection, Thompson sues the Omaha Police Dept. for records of mall shooter Robert Hawkins.

March 7, 2008: Thompson circulates an e-mail which says that the Florida Bar will look like a bombed-out building if the Florida Supreme Court files an order against him.

March 18, 2008: GamePolitics begins serializing transcripts of testimony from Thompson's November, 2007 Bar trial.

March 19, 2008: Thompson threatens legal action against GamePolitics for publishing the Bar trial transcripts, which are a matter of public record. Despite the threats, the series continues.

March 20, 2008: Florida Supreme Court informs Thompson that, due to submitting porn and other inappropriate filings, the Court will no longer accept any filings from him unless another attorney signs off.

April 9, 2008: Thompson complains in a court filing that the FBI will no longer take his calls.

April 26, 2008: Thompson persuades officials of Miami-Dade Transit to remove GTA IV ads from bus kiosks

May 20, 2008: Judge Tunis finds Thompson guilty of 27 of 31 ethical misconduct charges

May 26, 2008: Thompson tells a Florida radio show host that he has plans to run for the Florida legislature.

May 30, 2008: Thompson swears in a federal court filing that Judge Tunis leaked documents to GamePolitics. Actually, we got the documents from the court via public records request.

June 4, 2008: The Florida Bar recommends to Judge Tunis that Thompson be disbarred for 10 years. Thompson storms out of the hearing after Tunis refuses to let him read a statement in court.

June 16, 2008: Thompson alleges that a pair of U.S. Marshals visited him at his home.

July 2, 2008: Thompson is honored as winner of "America's Freedom Award" at America's Freedom Festival in conservative Provo, Utah.

July 9, 2008: Thompson alleges that he was barred by U.S. Marshals from entering the U.S. District Court building in Miami alone. An officer escorted him to his destination. Thompson sues over the incident.

July 9, 2008: Citing both his ethical misconduct and his behavior during his Florida Bar proceedings, Judge Tunis one-ups the Florida Bar by ignoring its recommendation for 10-year disbarment and instead recommends a permanment disbarment for Thompson.

September 25, 2008: Florida Supreme Court orders Thompson permanently disbarred, effective October 30th, 2008.


Disbarment Not Likely to Silence Thompson

September 26, 2008 -

If you were thinking that yesterday's lifetime disbarment would end Jack Thompson's crusade against violent video games, you may want to think again.

Don't get me wrong. The stripping of Thompson's law license will certainly have an impact on his activism. For example, will Fox News want a disbarred attorney as their resident game-bashing expert? Not likely, not even for Fox.

While his TV appearances may be scaled back, Thompson will still be a player, as I told VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi yesterday:

I don’t expect that we have seen the last of Thompson, not by a long shot... After all, most of his culture crusade takes place outside the courtroom. And he’s still able to file lawsuits, just as any private citizen can. Moreover, he understands the mechanics of how to file suits. The difference is that the word “disbarred” will invariably be attached to his name from this point forward.


The Two Words That Might Have Saved Jack Thompson's Career

September 26, 2008 -

With yesterday's lifetime disbarment order by the Florida Supreme Court, Jack Thompson is finished as a lawyer.

Oh, it won't be effective for 30 days, but he's toast. Thompson, of course, will be papering the courts with motions, appeals and e-mails between now and then. In fact, he has already begun to do so. But, put a fork in him; he's done. The anti-game activist worked very hard to dig this tunnel into legal oblivion and now he is destined to occupy it - forever.

It didn't have to end this way.

While battling with the Florida Bar, Thompson has occasionally made reference to other lawyers who committed serious - if less flamboyant - offenses and received suspensions of only a few years.

The difference, of course, is remorse and Thompson hasn't shown any. The Florida Supreme Court noted this in yesterday's disbarment order, citing a "complete lack of remorse" on the part of the controversial anti-game attorney. The justices also gave weight to the recommendation of Judge Dava Tunis, who presided over Thompson's November, 2007 ethics trial and saw no indication that Thompson would change his ways:

[Judge Tunis] cited various cases indicating that disbarment is an appropriate sanction and recommended permanent disbarment because "[Thompson] has repeatedly stated in these proceedings that he will not change his conduct" and she "finds no evidence whatsoever to indicate that [Thompson] is amenable to rehabilitation, or even remotely appreciates the basis upon which a need or purpose for such rehabilitation is warranted."


...In fact, the referee reported that [Thompson] walked out of her courtroom at the final hearing in this matter because she would not allow him to "to turn the [d]isciplinary proceeding into a press conference."

It's universally acknowledged that the first step along the path to forgiveness and redemption is admitting one's wrongdoing. That's something that Thompson apparently wouldn't or couldn't bring himself to do. And it has cost him dear.

So, what are the two simple yet powerful words which might have salvaged Thompson's career?

I'm sorry...


Gamers Search, Celebrate Thompson's Disbarment

September 26, 2008 -

Jack Thompson's permanent disbarment by the Florida Supreme dominated the gaming news yesterday.

In fact, a site which tracks Google searches ranks "Jack Thompson disbarred" 73rd among all news searches for yesterday, ahead of terms like "bailout," "letterman-mccain-video," and "Crystal Cox."

Kotaku reports that disbarment parties are "starting to pop up" but offers only some pix of one JT-decorated cake by way of evidence.

Are you partying? If so, leave a comment and let us know.



September 25, 2008 -

In a four-page written order (download here), the Florida Supreme Court today affirmed a referee's recommendation to permanently disbar controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson.

The action, which takes effect in 30 days, means that Thompson will no longer be licensed to practice law and may not apply for reinstatement. Ever.

In citing a litany of offenses, the Court noted Thompson's extensive pattern of misconduct and cited a "complete lack of remorse." The Court also quoted extensively from the June, 2008 report of Judge Dava Tunis, who served as referee at Thompson's November, 2007 trial on charges brought by the Florida Bar:

In her report, the referee states: Over a very extended period of time involving a number of totally unrelated cases and individuals, [r]espondent has demonstrated a pattern of conduct to strike out harshly, extensively, repeatedly and willfully to simply try to bring as much difficulty, distraction and anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes.


He does not proceed within the guidelines of appropriate professional behavior, but rather uses other means available to intimidate, harass, or bring public disrepute to those whom he perceives oppose him.

Noting that "The Court concludes that the facts, as even more extensively detailed in the referee's report, support the referee's numerous recommendations as to guilt," the justices of the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Thompson's offenses as delineated by Judge Tunis.

Some of these include findings that Thompson made false statements and accusations, repeatedly harassed those he considered opponents, and, while falsely accusing others of "the criminal distribution of sexual materials to minors," himself attached pornography to court filings.

  • [Thompson] made false statements of material fact to courts and repeatedly violated a court order
  • [Thompson] communicated the subject of representation directly with clients of opposing counsel
  • [Thompson] engaged in prohibited ex parte communications
  • [Thompson] publicized and sent hundreds of pages of vitriolic and disparaging missives, letters, faxes, and press releases, to the affected individuals
  • [Thompson] targeted an individual who was not involved with respondent in any way, merely due to "the position [the individual] holds in state and national politics"
  • [Thompson]falsely, recklessly, and publicly accused a judge as being amenable to the "fixing" of cases
  • [Thompson] sent courts inappropriate and offensive sexual materials
  • [Thompson] falsely and publicly accused various attorneys and their clients of engaging in a
    conspiracy/enterprise involving "the criminal distribution of sexual materials to minors" and attempted to get prosecuting authorities to charge these attorneys and their clients for racketeering and extortion
  • [Thompson] harassed the former client of an attorney in an effort to get the client to use its influence to persuade the attorney to withdraw a defamation suit filed by the attorney against respondent
  • [Thompson] retaliated against attorneys who filed Bar complaints against him for his unethical conduct by asserting to their clients, government officials, politicians, the media, female lawyers in their law firm, employees, personal friends, acquaintances, and their wives, that the attorneys were criminal pornographers who objectify women.

The Court also upheld a fine of $43,675 against Thompson.

For his part, Thompson offered his standard-issue bluster, announcing his disbarment in an e-mail which carried the subject line "Now the Fun Begins." Thompson has also filed a request with the U.S. District Court for an emergency stay of the FLSC's order disbarring him.


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PHX Corp although it's a little late, a comic strip on neogaf about the "release it now, patch it later" culture08/30/2015 - 7:37am
Papa MidnightBack to when, RedMade? A week ago? (seriously, though...)08/30/2015 - 1:55am
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Big PermBrad - Matt Lees was also quick to say the company "Gamers Gate" lies about getting abusive messages thinking they were an official GG channel08/29/2015 - 9:11am
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Goth_Skunk@Brad: I can.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkI assume "Stacy" is a pseudonym. After reading what she went through, I would not be one bit surprised if it is.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkA Year of #GamerGate: From Neutral To Anti To Neutral To Pro by "Stacy" - - 6:12am
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MechaCrashI use a Dynex DX-840 headset, but it's discontinued. :( I wanted a mono headset so I could keep the other ear free for my speakers, but it has the bonus of being very light and comfortable, so you don't notice it.08/29/2015 - 12:41am
Big PermSora - I was just having a slow day at work earlier. Now I'm home with vidya!08/28/2015 - 7:54pm
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