Thompson-penned game bill moves ahead

Obscenity-based legislation coauthored by antigame activist gets approval from Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee.

by

Jack Thompson, Esq.
A proposed ban on the sale or rental of violent games to minors is another step closer to passing the Louisiana legislature this week, as The Shreveport Times is reporting that HB1381 has been approved by the Senate Judiciary A Committee and will now go to the Senate for final debate.

According to the report, representative Roy Burrell, the Democrat who authored the bill with the help of Miami attorney Jack Thompson, showed the committee a sampling of gameplay from the Grand Theft Auto series. In the clips, the player fought with police officers and attacked a woman with a chainsaw. He also engaged in implied sex with a prostitute in a rocking vehicle before chasing her across a parking lot and beating her to recoup his cash.

Representatives of the Entertainment Software Association were on hand to offer their objections to the bill, and New Orleans attorney William Rittenberg reportedly told the committee that the bill would be ruled unconstitutional, and he would make "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in a court challenge to overturn the measure should it become law.

According to the text of the bill, it would be illegal to sell, rent, or lease a game to a minor if it met the following three conditions:

(1) The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the video or computer game, taken as a whole, appeals to the minor's morbid interest in violence.
(2) The game depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable for minors.
(3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

The bill was based on obscenity laws that have previously withstood legal challenges. If it becomes law, violators could be fined between $100 and $2,000, imprisoned for up to a year, or both.

Discussion

244 comments
cheeseman777
cheeseman777

well ive been playing violent videogames since I was 10, if im ever gonna kill someone it will be Jack Thompson and thats merely because hes a jackass not because i play violent videogames.

Dessan89
Dessan89

I have said it so many times, and i will say it once more... JACK TOMPSON IS A PIECE OF $HI+

hart704
hart704

I have tons of M rated games. Come and arrest me too! Come on! I'm beggin' ya, Thompson! Make me famous!

Sohj
Sohj

Boy, the more I hear about this guy, the more I want to shoot him (in the face, of course--I am a gamer, ya know.) Attempting to put the blame on the media (of any kind) for a parent's mistake is dumb. I've been gaming since I was in diapers (go Contra!) and I dislike violence. Am I a minority in that aspect? I don't think so. If a kid is so imbalanced that a video game is going to set him off killing people, then maybe he shouldn't be playing it. Heck, if a video game sets him off, better keep him away from primetime television, books, comics, and music, too. I hate people who stereotype. Saying that gamers are violent is like saying black people are dumb, asians all know martial arts, and all Muslims are terrorists. Sure, it's easy to lump people together like that, but real life doesn't work that way. Grow up, Jacko.

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

rockstar should have ken rosenberg go on a big anti video game crusade in the next gta

superhamsterX
superhamsterX

"(1) The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the video or computer game, taken as a whole, appeals to the minor's morbid interest in violence. (2) The game depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable for minors. (3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. " (1) What? When you wrote this, did you think about it at all? (2) Most adults around here have kids that played these games when they were under 18 and grew up fine. They have jobs, they graduated school, they did fine. So apparently the standards here for violent games is fine, and this bill is ignorant. (3) SO if a game isnt an educational romp through school type stuff it's violent and should be banned? Where the F*** did YOU get the idea that if something isn't artistic or political it wasn't suitable for minors? You sir, are an IDIOT.

thedarklordrand
thedarklordrand

If you ask me GTA does adhere to number 3,. It's called satitre people. Anyway have people become so stupid that the goverment has to determine what is culturaly valuable? Are we sheltering our children so much that they will probobly never innovate or think for themselves? What is this ridiculos country coming to? I need to go I'm scaring myself.

stillplaygbc
stillplaygbc

(3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. Oh what now! Now I cant buy Mario Series Games becuase they lack all these!! I think Jack Thompson has the right idea but he is corrupt.

thejumpinChevy
thejumpinChevy

And for the love of Christ, will this dumb@$$ ever shut his mouth? Yes, I'm Catholic. No, I don't approve of this bill. It's unconstitutional, and probably against my religion because of it. Lord forgive you, J.T. 'Cause we might not.

thejumpinChevy
thejumpinChevy

You mean standards of the LIBERAL adult community? Let's face it, conservatism{and perhaps rational thinking} is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. May God have mercy on Jack Off Thompson and the rest of America.

BiggBoss095
BiggBoss095

Jack thompson is just mad that he didnt have the type of games we have today, since hes miserable he wants to make everyone else feel the same, READ THE BILL OF RIGHTS JACK.... dang....................moron

Bansheesdie
Bansheesdie

He reminds me of my geography teacher, weird.

hyper_kotten
hyper_kotten

You know, this really bothers me.. because, well im 14 and i play GTA, infact I have every GTA ever released and I dont smoke, dont drink, isnt criminal, ,have top grades in school. Everyone i know that plays computer games says the same thing about themself. I mean, how many criminals play Gta Vice City before they rob a bank or go out killing a cop? I would say that playing computer games (even if they are violent) and doing crimes in the virtual world is a thousand times better than going out in the real world and rob old ladies or drinking alcohol. What i wanted to say is: How many computer geeks rob banks and kill cops? // Tom of Sweden

heavylobster
heavylobster

games make people lazy not violent. Jacks stupidity knows no bounds.

MasterManiac772
MasterManiac772

This guy's just a deadbeat lawyer! What the bloody hell is he doing writing bills now?! What, so I can go writing bills, too? That sounds like it'd be fun, if I weren't so busy shooting people in the face.

gazzaboy
gazzaboy

will this guy just shut up

Gamepro88
Gamepro88

gtimandan, I can't disagree with you more. And everyone else that says stuff like "No children should not be playing GTA period." That's complete BS that children don't know how to separate fantasy from reality. Any normal child can (maybe not when they're like 3 or something) as long as they are informed. Violence and sex in the media does NOT harm children, ignorance does. And censorship is ignorance. Censorship is an extremely stupid thing and does more harm than help. If a child gets raised with nothing censored for them and parents do their job and explain and inform their children about the media and fantasy/reality, they'll be MUCH better off than a soccer mom trying to censor and ban them from everything "bad" for their child media wise and supports government making laws like the one above that parent their children for them. If you think the way to raise kids is to constantly censor and keep them away for everything "mature", then that's really sad. It's no coincidence that in Northern Europe, where they are way more open about sex all through a child's life, there are WAY less teen pregnancies and young teen sex than in the (Southern) United States where sex is censored, shunned and taboo for younger people and abstinence is pushed. It's a sad era in society when people think it's a good idea to "shelter" children from everything. It's probably the worst thing you can do.

Spartan_7008
Spartan_7008

Is this anything new. I'm a minor and I already can't buy M rated games. What are they getting at?

Sgt_So_and_So
Sgt_So_and_So

*Sings* Jacko, you wacko, you make me want to puke, Jacko, you wacko, you wont let me play as Duke(Nukem, that is), Jacko, you wacko, you make me go insane, Jacko, you wacko, of my life you are my bane! Thank you.

virtualotaku
virtualotaku

*sigh* Their parents already buy these games for them, they'll keep doing it, no matter what laws are passed. It isn't the video games, it's the parents responsibility.

SwedeMerc
SwedeMerc

Hey!!! i found something in the copyright notice. Sez it: "The publishers nor the developers encourage in any way the behaviorisms in this game." Shove it up yer a$$, Jacko!!!!!

goku2000
goku2000

Jacko still doesn't understand three things: 1. Responsibility lies with parents as far as watching what games kids play. 2. There will always be other ways of kids getting these games through other sources other than a direct sale (Older bothers?sisters, etc.) 3. All he's doing is labeling us "mindless drones." (Actually, he might be doing THAT intentionally) Just die already, Jacko. You're making me sick.

sumone998
sumone998

who decides what the average person thinks is acceptable? WHO is the average person? Jack Thompson of course! God he is an effin %$#head.

BadgerGravling
BadgerGravling

When will anyone in the US government realise that Jack Thompson knows Jack? You'd think they'd have enough sense to at least google the name.

Jrock7
Jrock7

This already happened before. Minors weren't allowed to buy Mature-rated videogames. That changed gradually and now it's going to happen again.

BlitzAce1
BlitzAce1

This would probably do some good. But... I don't think it'll work. There will still be people selling games to people underage; have they ever heard of family? If you have an older brother or sister the child/ren can just watch it or play it when nobody is supervising.

Magma_Slash
Magma_Slash

i dont even like the game, but thas bull. sheltering kids isnt protecting them, its making it worse for when they actually see things like this. and they should realize that if its actually their point..but what the hell.

jimbo102671
jimbo102671

One other thing (which a couple of others pointed out): Doesn't Louisiana have something better to do, like helping out the Katrina victims!?

jimbo102671
jimbo102671

God, what a Jack-@$$! Singling out ONE GAME to justify this BS legislation!? All of these bills need to be torn to shreds! JT has been the bane of this industry! Someone needs to glue his mouth shut!

Marty_Chonks
Marty_Chonks

Ha... that's awesome... the country is in a multi-billion dollar deficit and they're debating VIDEO GAMES... What a load of chicken feces. Put him in front of Michael Jackson and tell him to bend over.

siiixbox
siiixbox

this is wrong, parents should decide whats good or bad for a kid not the govermant, plus kids should be teched the diference between game and reality not shelter them from everything, i'm deeply discusted by the people that try to push this trough

Snake718718
Snake718718

parants need to stop thinking there kid are so stupid / the government wouldent know what the people wanted if it bit them in the ass probly way more then half of the people dont vote n the congress n senete r just full of rich people lol and to the he needs to get laid thing he probly cant he probly plays gta all the time n j.o to it n he feels guilty so he wants to ban it

pomminator
pomminator

KILL HIM KILLKILLKILLL!!!1 what does he mean videogames make us violent? KILL err right ITS A GAMER! STOP HIM HE WILL KILL US ALL! I live in England so sales are restricted here anyway, but I don't see why it is so important that kids cant play violent videogames, I played the first GTA when I was 7 and all games since then (i am 14 now) and I literally get upset when mum swats a fly, I am dead set against killing but I love violent games, chaos theory never tempted to make me pick up dads cutting knife and sneak up behind him! its a load of B.S

DragFire24
DragFire24

This one doesn't realy want these games not to be played by kids... he only wants to be famous by doing redicolous rules that cannot be implemented in real life. My cousins played this game and they are 14, 12 & 8 year old. They act normally though they have played this game for days and won it. Rockstar Games where beeting everyone out there!

lu31605
lu31605

"that guy should go get laid " agree..

dim2192
dim2192

that guy should go get laid

allmont
allmont

if a kid kills someone because of a game, its not because of the game, its because the kid is stupid, and kids can tell the difference between fantasy and reality You shouldnt ban all violent video games, just let the parents decide if it is suitable

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

The chaos will never end...especially with a person who has no morals like JT. He's so full of himself, it's funny. He's turning out to be this generation's Joeseph McCarthy. :roll:

n64nut
n64nut

The government should not be left to clean up the mess left by unfit parents; if their kids screw up then it should be the parents and the kid who suffer for it, not an entire nation.

bpc99149
bpc99149

This is just one more excuse for parents to shirk responsibility. They just need to take the time to know what their child should be playing based on their age; it's not that hard considering the ESRB puts a rating on just about every game box. Also, this law is too vague; what is found offensive to someone is entirely objective. Taking their guidlines into account, especcialy the one which talks about the game having "literary, artistic, political or scientific value," we could hypothetically get rid of most of the games on today's market. What are we left with then? The Bible Game?

WombatGuy
WombatGuy

"What are "community standards?" What constitutes a "morbid interest in violence?" What are the "prevailing standards in the adult community?" " Two words... Mardi Gras. Yeah, good choice of states to try that out in...

ArabianKnight52
ArabianKnight52

I do not have problem with violence in video games. I do not even have a problem with keeping them out of the hands of minors. But this bill is filled with ambiguous language that leaves violence in video game open to too much speculation. What are "community standards?" What constitutes a "morbid interest in violence?" What are the "prevailing standards in the adult community?" Congress has the right idea by not wanting young kids exposed to violent video games but this bill is not the answer.

gtimandan
gtimandan

Protecting children is not unconstitutional. If it was, then it would be A-OK to let them drive, carry a gun, smoke, drink beer, etc. Children lack the capacity to separate fantasy from reality, which is why ADULTS [that's me & you, btw] need to make those decisions for them. A young, absorbent mind no more needs the "rights" to play a violent, disrespectful video game than he or she needs to be handed a loaded handgun and told to go play with it or given a pack of smokes for dessert. It is up to us, as responsible adults, to monitor and censor what *children* are allowed to see. When we fail at that [as many pathetic parents have], the governement must intervene. It should never reach that level, however, but simply because there is an unaddressed problem, they do what they must for the protection of our society. I whole-heartedly support the government's ongoing regulation of determining what is and what is not appropriate for CHILDREN [the aformentioned drinking, smoking, gun handling & driving ages]. If you're not a child, but merely an adolescent, then this does not apply to you so don't get your joystick in a knot about it. I know, being a teen myself once, that you largely don't give a rat's patoot about children - only yourself. Your viewpoint will, however, change in time when you have kids of your own. At least I pray to God that it does.

pocket16
pocket16

bcfish, GTA hasn't been banned in Australia.

Steven_L_19
Steven_L_19

I read the actual bill they are trying to pass. That bill says ALL games being sold to minors, that means a 10 yr old that loves, lets say, bob the builder couldnt even buy it.

bcfish
bcfish

It could be worse though, Australia outright bans games so NOONE can buy them, GTA included. So it could be worse, but could be alot better too.

firefruze
firefruze

wow a state actually taking advice from Jack Thompson, I thought he was disbarred and discredited the world over already.

fozzie1974
fozzie1974

the game is already rated 18 in the UK. Does this mean that it didn't have a rating in the US? It makes sense to me, works for films so it should work for video games.