May 08, 2007

Jack Thompson V.S. Wendy's

wendys_wii_manhunt_connection.jpg

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


Comments

Look here, the Nintendo Wii is made to "SIMULATE" the motion of the charaters in the game to the gamer's contoller. I also doubt that Wendy's will be promoting Manhunt 2 to small children. The Wii is made for children but they would lose money if they didn't also target the intrest of older gamers.

Again I stress the importance of the ESRB and for those of you who don't know what that is it is a rating system for videogames. I just think that becasue of one game THAT IS NOT MADE FOR KIDS that you should be telling anyone how to advertise and promote a gaming system in kids meals. Nintendo didn't make the game is made by Rockstar Games. So if there is a problem then you need to talk trash about them cuase that is all that seems to be done .

I first would like to applaud the MAVAV for a minute, as they did correcly report almost all of the facts correctly in this article. In my opinion, I could've used, say, a source for these "experts" as opposed to simply claiming that they exist.

However, this letter by Jack Thompson, well, let's go over some of the interesting points he makes. After all, what is this website if not a place for facts?

First of all, let us remember that Wendy's is not advertising for Manhunt 2, simply for a console system which will have Manhunt 2 available for it. So there is no link between Wendy's and Manhunt 2.

Now, the biggest problem in the Thompson argument is his claim that in 2005, the APA found a "direct causal link" between "the play of violent video games and increased adolescent and teen aggression" I did some research, and found the APA resolution calling for an overall decrease in violence in all forms of media. This study is available at http://www.apa.org/releases/resolutiononvideoviolence.pdf
Interestingly enough, I could find no use of the words "direct causal link" A link has been found between sexualised violence in the media and increased violence towards women. Oddly enough, however, I did not find any evidence that this was purely a problem of video games, nor was the word "causal" used. Interesting that Jack Thompson would make a claim that was unsubstantiated by the evidence. We've all come to know him as such a factual, objective person.

Another interesting note on the same subject is that even were Jack Thompson not mistaken, he claims that violence in video games is casually linked to violence in teens and adolescents. Luckily, that shouldn't be a problem, considering that Manhunt 2 has a rating of M for Mature, also known as 17+. Interestingly enough, the Nintendo Wii has a "PIN-operated Parental Control feature". The way that this function works is that a 4-digit PIN-number can be chosen, and then a "highest allowed rating" can be chosen. The system will then not play games which are above the allowed rating. Also, the parental controls can be used to restrict internet communications and access to downloadable content. Step-by-step instructions for activating these controls are available at http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/wii/en_na/settingsParentalControls.jsp

again jack tomson strikes at a non direct link issue reading the statement by cale has shown me more that some of the minimally linked issues are being blown to a near out of proportion state. if jack thompson honestly wants to make complaints about something he should have a talk about the way the American government has handled the issue in Iraq. otherwise lay of the ridicuolous claims some of them can hardly be supported by anyone. otherwise this would be one of the first times i have ever encounter such idiotic overreacting. what next?? ban frogger for inciting children to jump across traffic as a toad or pacman because it may cause them to 'eat' the other children!

Please tell me what a "Direct casual link" is, and why it shows relation to violent video games and aggression in youth.

I must reiterate that although the Nintendo Wii is kid friendly, it was designed for people of all ages, including adults. Keeping this in mind, you must recognize that there are already restrictions in place as to which games youth can buy. Manhunt 2 has already been rated M for mature, and therefore children under 17 cannot play.

To cancle a promotion for a system that has a violent video game among many other non-violent video games, is silly. Manhunt 2 wont be the game to be promoted, more likely the new Harry Potter game, or better, Super Mario Galaxies!

I loved Manhunt, can't wait for Manhunt 2 it's gonna be awesome!!!1

I've been playing video and computer games all my life, 90% of those games involved spreading the victim’s innards all over the place, a classic genre, it will never get old.

Your opinion on video games addiction and violence effecting people. man... you make me laugh. I'm the most passive person on earth. And I have gone months to years without the craving for games.

I bet 1 million bucks if me and you were stuck in a room together and both of us would be at our anger peaks. you would probably become violent. I would just try to calm myself down. And you probably never even played violent games. I know hundreds of people like you, you’re all the same.

This is actually a good lesson for kids, it's the ones with the fake happy masks on all day that try to make an enemy out of everything, they are the ones you should be careful off!!

Manhunt 2 will be rated high enough that children cannot legally buy the game. Just like they cannot buy alcohol and cigarettes.

Simply don't buy your child Manhunt 2, just like you wouldn't buy them alcohol or cigarettes.

Don't blame others if you fail to read the rating.

In other news: Nintendo and Sony have agreed that the game is too violent and are banning the sales of the game in the states. The ESRB had already given it an AO (that's adults only, because no one that manages this site has heard of the ESRB) which mean that manufacturers are required by a strict code to check for ID and make sure the purchaser is over 18.
This is the first time in recent history that a game has earned an AO rating (most violent ones, including the grand theft auto games are rated M), and yet Nintendo and Sony still took the trouble to pull it, even though millions have been spent on its development.
These 'evil corporations' that 'lure kids' into 'videogame addiction' gave up on turning a profit, taking a multi-million dollar hit.
All because people don't understand the words "adults" (meaning people who can vote, drink, drive, smoke cigarettes and see "Hostel", which features eyeball removal in a much more realistic setting) and "only" (which means don't buy it for your 10-year old who can't do any of the above).

Umm...Nintendo has already openly stated they will not support Manhunt 2, due to its rating of AO, or otherwise known as Adult's Only. Let me remind everyone that this rating is set very adamantly, with no exceptions and mistakes, unless the developer purposefully hides content. (i.e. Hot Coffee). Basically the game developer shows the worst content in the game to a panel, which unlike the Supreme Court, typically come out with a unanimous decision.
However after browsing the site for a little while, my question is this. Why are the facts so miscontrued on this website? I have noted several instances on the front page, where it seems the author is overly dramatic, and not a realist but more of a radicalist in the sense of proposing some notion of banning all video games. Sorry but who would you be "helping"?

If I had to infer something about the author without knowing anything about her, I would guess she (or he) would be a 35-45 year old female, that has lost communication with her children due to her own failures as a parent, and blames something which she could never put a control on as not only the catalyst for her problems, but the actual source of it all, despite being ignorant of the true problem - herself.

If Im wrong, then may God save you. Why might I say this. Heres why: "Posted by: Jarrod | May 20, 2007 04:49 AM." Sleep Deprivation can cause many things, including deranged and hateful thoughts. I'd recommend a psychiatrist. No, im serious.
Besides, ignorant people are Tools that can best be manipulated in much better ways - namely in janitorial work.

"Thats not Shit, its Chocolate....I promise!"

Haha, oh my...


-Jonathan

I just have one quick thing to say...
Why would it matter that he's asian or white or black? Couldn't you say a teen without using race, were all people. Send him to a psychologist and watch him for a long time, I'll keep on playing videogames.:)

Sorry this debate doesn't work. The kids wont and cant buy Manhunt 2, unless a irresponsible parent buys it for them. Wendys is not (like many have said) advertising Manhunt 2 this, like many of the articles on this site (not all) Is just complaining theres no point to this. And I didn't know they were coming out with a second Manhunt game, I want it! It sounds cool. :)

again, jack thompson becomes the 'boy-toy' of MAVAV because instead of sitting down and discussing with their children about the effects of video games and encouraging 'responsible parenting' they rather just be a kill-joy for people who can distiguish real-life from a video game. It just annoys me that there are these anti-first amendment groups like MAVAV and lawyers like Jack Thompson who believe it 'their responsibility' to stand up for neglectful parents. I'm sick of entertainers being blamed for people's awful kids. They don't get credit when kids do well in math.


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