May 08, 2007

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Jack Thompson is demanding the fast food chain giant Wendy's to cancel its upcoming kids' meal promotion featuring the Nintendo Wii. The Wii is considered by experts to be the video game system of choice for gamers awaiting Rockstar's upcoming murder simulator Manhunt 2.

Dear Mrs. Anderson:

I should like to alert you to the inappropriateness of the above upcoming promotion at Wendy’s, in light of the below information.

On July 10, an extremely violent video game will be released for “play” on Nintendo’s kid-friendly Wii game platform. It is called Manhunt 2. It will feature, according to video game news sites, beheadings with hatchets, bludgeonings with baseball bats, the jamming of syringes into eyeballs, cutting opponents’ testicles off, and “environtmental [sic] kills” in which common objects in the field of vision, such as electrical cords to strangle victims. I attach news reports in these regards.

What makes this Nintendo Wii game all the more troubling is the nature of Wii platform itself. Instead of holding in one’s hand the typical game controller, the player holds motion capture devices, so that by moving one’s hands and limbs one is actually acting out with one’s own body the violent behavior. The American Psychological Association in August 2005 found a direct causal link between the play of violent video games and increased adolescent and teen aggression. One pro-video game industry site is referring to Manhunt 2 as a “true murder simulator” when played on Wii.

A dear friend of mine worked for Wendy’s and with Dave Thomas closely for years. From that I know that Dave Thomas never would have tolerated the use of Wendy’s good name to promote Nintendo’s Wii, not with this game available on the Wii platform.

Please cancel the Wii Kids’ Meal promotion immediately.

Regards,
Jack Thompson

Related: Jack Thompson Interview, Burger King Serves Up Games with Obesity

May 01, 2007

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Shocking news comes from Fort Bend of the removal of an asian high school student possessing a custom made video game level based on a local Texas high school on his home personal computer. Many swords were also confiscated from the suspects bedroom.

Police discovered five swords in the bedroom of a Clements High School senior whose home they searched after getting complaints about a 3-D computer “shoot-‘em-up” game map the student designed, which depicted a portion of the school.

FBISD officials said Tuesday school administrators weighed the violent nature of the computer game – a modified version of Counterstrike – along with the discovery of swords in the boy’s room, and other undisclosed information, and decided to classify the matter as a “Level 3” situation.

“When you have the floor plan of a high school that houses over 2,000 students in a game about killing people, you have to have consequences,” FBISD spokeswoman Mary Ann Simpson said. “And also realizing what the reaction would be in the community,” district administrators “still felt very confident in their decision.”

Local officials were very fortunate to apprehend and investigate the gamer before any possible crime could have been committed.

Much better to be safe than sorry.

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Video game industry news site GameDaily BIZ reports of the consequences developers face when making realistic video games.

Most developers understand that well-known individuals have legal rights protecting them from the unauthorized use of their identities. But did you know landmarks and buildings do too? And famous (and not-so famous) stars and rights holders are asserting these aggressively against unwary developers and game publishers.

These legal rights aren't just theories in a text book. Two recent lawsuits in California have tested the boundaries of the law, and while the video game defendants prevailed, developers and publishers cannot disregard the identity rights of real world personas, brands, or locations.

Video games are nothing more than a menace to society. Developers show no sense of moral responsibility and a complete lack of respect for intellectual property. This is another major blow to the video game industry.

January 23, 2007

Going Cold Turkey Against Video Game Addiction

The Charlotte Observer Health section has an interesting article on serving cold turkey to starve video game addiction.

I began to argue in the early 1980s that video games were addictive, and if the research to date is not completely clear on the subject, the anecdotal evidence is compelling, to say the least. More and more parents refuse to allow their children access to these nefarious devices, but most stories that come my way involve children who are already addicted.

"What do we do now?" their parents ask, to which I advise the most effective, albeit painful, of all anti-addiction programs: cold turkey.

[…] After initially complaining that her son was on the computer "pretty much every waking moment unless he was at school or work," and after I told her that she needed to take control where he had lost control, she and her husband lost their nerve and cut him back to four hours a day on school days and eight hours a day on weekends. No, seriously. She later admitted "I obviously am a total wimp" and "I feel really stupid about not having much backbone."

The cold turkey program proved to be a success in curing video game addiction after a single day. “We stuck to our guns,” says the mother of a 17 year old gamer. “The next day, he worked part of the day and was as pleasant and relaxed as can be for the rest of the evening.”

January 18, 2007

News of the world’s first level 70 character shocked the World of Warcraft community on Wednesday. Twenty-four year old French gamer by the alias Gawell played 28 frightening hours straight to beat the Burning Crusade expansion pack, a video game which experts predicted, “would take months to complete.”

Some gamers applauded such an achievement, while the disgruntled majority ridiculed Gawell as being a “loser” and having “no life.”

MAVAV has previously raised the threat level to red in preparation of the possible dangers, such as this, from the Burning Crusade expansion pack. This is a major concern for MAVAV, as Blizzard recently announced that the World of Warcraft surpassed 8 million players world wide. We urge all parents to be on high alert until further notice.

Related: Burning Crusade Gone Gold, Threat Level Red

January 09, 2007

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The China Post reports that a Taiwanese psychiatrist at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei has concluded the first studies linking violent video games and 'textspeak', an awful slang language spoken by a subculture of underground gamers and computer hackers.

Textspeak is the process of shortening words and adding numbers to a text message to make it "cooler." The form of text messaging is highly annoying. One example suffice: "RU cmin out 2nite?" Deciphered: "Are you coming out tonight?"

[...] Twelve young adults were given tests in an experiment Dr. Chow conducted at his hospital. They were required to play one popular game, "PS2:Real Three Kingdoms;Nonpareil 4 Generations," for half an hour. Blood circulation in their brains was scanned. The entire process was repeated half an hour later. Chow found the blood circulation in the frontal lobes of all the samples reduced. "Reduction in blood circulation in the frontal lobe," the psychiatrist said, "indicates that it may affect language proficiency."

The psychiatrist urges parents to limit the exposure of violent video games to their children if “they don't want to receive any more 'textspeak' messages."

January 04, 2007

play.tm interviews Jack Thompson, an attorney and a leading figure in the fight against violence in today's video games.

Jack Thompson

"[victims] sometimes harmed by kids made more aggressive and more violent by the murder simulators..."

I'm sure that many people in the gaming community don't disagree with most your views on selling violent games to minors. Given this, don't you think you would get more support for your cause by being less overtly threatening towards what remains a popular past time?

I'm not out to make friends. I have enough of those. I'm out to accomplish something to protect children and the innocent victims who are sometimes harmed by kids made more aggressive and more violent by the murder simulators on which they practice that violence.

[...] Cocaine is a popular "past time," too. That doesn't make its consumption, certainly by kids, something we ought to look away from. I don't gauge what I do based upon polls, and certainly not polls of gamers. I couldn't care less what some 14-year-old thinks is good or not good for him. I listen to scientists, health care providers, public safety officials, and I base what I do based upon their findings, not what some readers of Game Informer magazine wish was true because of how they waste their time.

We recommend this three page interview to all parents as Thompson freely discusses about sex, violence, pedophilia, rape, murder, and video games as a form of mental masturbation.

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