Gaming's staunchest, most irritating critic (for all the wrong reasons) has finally been disbarred. Jack Thompson rose to fame during that awkward "Hot Coffee" controversy. Remember that one? Where a Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sex scene that was essentially deleted by Rockstar games but later discovered in the game's code by hackers and brought to the surface via a user-created patch and distributed without Rockstar's approval?
Jack responded like any media jackel would--by ignoring the real issue (illegal mods) and focusing on the T&A, which Americans love to hate. He tried to get the ESRB dismantled and replaced by a government agency, and he tried to have several games banned in the United States, including "M-rated" games. This is a controversy I could cover in another blog post, but the point is that Jack Thompson is an attention whore and an idiot. He responded to criticism with threats. I had the displeasure of emailing him and telling him that while I agreed that parents need to keep an eye on the games their underage children play, you can't punish everyone else by banning certain games, and you can't blame the developers for user-developed mods.
He responded by basically covering his ears and yelling "LA LA LA" while threatening legal action. You're a real gentleman, Jack.
At any rate, his antics overflowed to games like The Sims and World of Warcraft, where user-generated patches had created "nude codes." It's a wonder Jack wasn't railing against Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball, which by default was somewhat raunchy (in a lighthearted manner), but also resulted in a user-generated "nude" patch.
The worst part is that politicians joined in. Hillary Clinton got on that bandwagon and started railing against the ESRB and gaming in general. These people act like the only video games out there are Grand Theft Auto and Postal 2. No mention is ever made of the Mario games, Tetris, or Ratchet & Clank, but I suppose it's tough to get media support when you're attacking Mario for stomping on turtle shells.
This is a topic I feel strongly about, not just because I'm a gamer myself, but also because I lean toward being a libertarian. I'll blog about this issue one of these days. For now, though, I'll leave you with Jack's douchebag response to being disbarred.