Eleven Classic Jack Thompson Face-palms

With his legal career now possibly over, we pay tribute to the greatest ever screw-ups of anti-game activist Jack Thompson

Face-palm #4: Jack tries to get Take-Two murdered in a videogame (2005)

In a heavy-handed act of “satire”, Jackwrote toESA head Doug Lowenstein and various members of the press, detailing what he referred to as “A Modest Video Game Proposal”. The title alludes to Jonathon Swift's classic 1729satirical work. Ego nicely in check, as ever.

In the letter he proposed an ultra violent game detailing the pan-American killing spree of the father of a boy murdered by a gamer, taking in hefty baseball bat/face interaction involving characters closely modelled on Take-Two, their lawyers, and eventually every game company exec at E3. Jack’s delightfully unhinged justification was that the world’s videogame filth-peddlerswould all be too scared of meeting their deaths in copycat killings to actually produce such a title. But as an incentive he offered to donate $10K to the favourite charity of Take-Two’s head if the game was made.

With agonising predictability, Jack’s plan instantly went feral and bit his arse clean off. The internet quickly provided both a GTA: San Andreas mod and an original game entitledI’m OK, fulfilling the request. Jack however, refused to cough up the cash, so Penny Arcade paid $10, 000 to the ESA's charitable wing on his behalf. Classily, Jack tried to set the Seattle Police Department and the FBI on them, claiming extrortion and harrassment, but needless to say, he failed.

Face-palm #5:Jack fails to get Bully banned, insults the judge andfaces a misconduct charge(2006)

After a long and characteristically misguided campaign against the release of Rockstar’s Bully, Jack accepted Take-Two’s offer to demo the game in front of a judge. The judge unsurprisingly sawno problemwith the game whatsoever.

What he did have a problem with was Jack’slater protestsand self-righteous attempts to undermine his legal integrity. Comments like “What you conducted in your chambers, Judge, was the equivalent of Iran leading UN weapons inspectors around the country taking them places where the illegal activity was not occurring” don’t exactly endear a person.

The judge filed an official complaint against Thompson with the Florida bar, for behaviour “inappropriate by a member of the bar, unprofessional and contemptible”. That complaint was upheld, and is a part of the bubbling cauldron of hot sticky trouble that old Jacky boy now finds himself in.

Face-palm 6:Take-Two block Jack from screwing with GTA IV (2007)

With GTA IV and Manhunt 2 on the way, Take-Two were taking no chances. Beating Jack to the punch, theyfiled a lawsuitpreventing him from taking action against any of their releases, on the grounds that his actions broke the first ammendment. And lo, gamers did cheer.

Jack came out with a typically showboatingstatementdetailing how the move was “dumb”, “arrogant” and would allow him to “destroy Take-Two”. Whether he was wearing a cape and tights and standing on the edge of a skyscraper looking moody at that point is unsubstantiated. Regardless, once settlements came around, he attempted to destroy Take-Two by using the pioneering technique ofagreeingto keep out of their way, legally at least.


Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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