NEWS - Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thompson Reneges On 10K Promise

Thompson refuses to keep 10k promise Anti-videogames critic claims charity offer was merely ’satire’ As another group of developers brings Jack Thompson’s infamous game concept to life, the notorious anti-videogames critic is still refusing to keep his part of the bargain and give USD 10,000 to charity. Thompson wrote an open letter to the gaming community last week in which he outlined his idea for a game where fictional characters based on Take Two chairman Paul Eibeler and assorted industry figures were brutally murdered. He offered to make the donation to the charity of Eibeler’s choice if anyone was to actually make the game. The owners of blog Old Grandma Hardcore took up the challenge with a text-based adventure, and now modders Fighting Hellfish - part of the modding community which gave the world the infamous GTA: San Andreas "Hot Coffee" mod - have created Defamation of Character: A Jack Thompson Murder Simulator. It’s a mod for the PC version of San Andreas which lets players take on the role of Thompson himself "As he lives through an insane weekend which changes his life," according to the authors. After receiving a series of mysterious phone calls, Jack falls under a hypnotic spell and transforms into his criminal vigilante alter-ego, Banman, who goes on to "Commit violent acts in the name of Thompson’s morality" - such as destroying trucks trying to deliver copies of Rockstar’s Bully to stores. He also embarks on a mission to catch Entertainment Software Association president Doug Lowenstein in the act of exchanging naked Sims pics with a hacker - and subsequently hosts a press conference where players get to choose Thompson’s soundbites. Around 85 per cent of them are comments he’s made in real life. But Thompson said he won’t be coughing up the USD 10,000, since the whole thing was simply a "satirical piece." "I’m not interested and won’t be commenting on the mod," he told US website Game Politics. "The satirical piece entitled ’A Modest Video Game Proposal’ was intended to highlight the patent hypocrisy and recklessness exhibited by the video game industry’s willingness to target cops, women, homosexuals, and other groups with some of their violent games." "To be fair, though, you can’t expect a bunch of gamers to understand the satire if they think that Jonathon [sic] Swift, the author of ’A Modest Proposal,’ is the name of a new Nike running shoe..." Thompson reasoned. His refusal to pay up so enraged Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik - co-founders of gaming site Penny Arcade - that they’ve personally donated USD 10,000 to charity in Jack’s name...The charity in question being the Entertainment Software Association Foundation, which raises money for sick and disadvantaged children and young people.


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