May 08, 2007

Jack Thompson V.S. Wendy's

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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

Asian Gamer Designs Level Based on School Floor Plans for Violent Video Game, Many Swords Confiscated at Home

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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.

New Level of Realism Brings Lawsuits

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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.



 

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