Won’t someone think of the children?!?!?!

Jack Thompson is still on the Bully attack, trying to make a big deal out of the game allowing you to make out with another boy. But GameSpot reports that the Entertainment Software Review Board considered that in giving the game a T rating.

Good for the ESRB. It’s been eight years since Dawson’s Creek introduced Jack to a teen audience, and I think gamers can take a brief smooch.

In other Jack Thompson news, Take-Two (Bully’s publisher) wants the Florida judge who rejected Thompson’s attempt to have the game blocked to declare the lawyer in contempt of court. Apparently for the comments he made after the decision, GamePolitics surmises. That would be sweet, sweet justice.

In other Bully news, Dennis McCauley has a good column up at Joystiq about the brouhaha. He echoes something I said in my post about Thompson’s trying to get the game declared a public nuisance. I wrote, “the nuisance statute seems so subjective and vague that I can’t believe it hasn’t been challenged. (Can Jack Thompson claim that the “annoy the community” prong is satisfied because he’s complaining — therefore someone in the community has been anoyed?)” I think that’s ultimately irrelevant because the nuisance is clearly written as a means of regulating brothels, porn stores, and gambling establishments. But if one local judge doesn’t know that and dismiss Thompson outright, will we see Thompson’s tactic repeated in the future? McCauley writes,

How is it possible for a multi-year creative endeavor to be ordered delivered into the hands of a non-gaming county judge to see what he thinks? How many federal courts have already ruled that video games are protected speech? How can any video game, much less a bloodless, T-rated one, be a public nuisance? Can anyone with an activist agenda, in any town, walk into court, file some papers and force a game developer to defend their creation? Could Gears of War be someone’s idea of a public nuisance? Need For Speed: Carbon? Twilight Princess? Where does it end?

Hopefully most judges have a better grasp of the First Amendment, and this won’t happen again.

– October 24, 2006

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