You can call Jack Thompson many things, but modest is not one of them. In the wake of EA’s decision to change the name of the Taliban in Medal of Honor, Jack Thompson has claimed victory, and has a message for gamers.
Like it or not, as a gamer, you’ve probably heard of Jack Thompson. The outspoken and now disbarred Florida attorney who has made it his life’s mission to stop the sale and production of violent video games.
Well, as you may know, his latest crusade was against EA’s controversial Medal of Honor. The game which was to include the Taliban as a playable side in it’s multiplayer. Jack sent a letter outlining his opposition to Robert Gates, the U.S. Secretary of Defense. He also criticized the U.S. military who took part in the design of the game. Part of his letter reads:
With all respect for everything else on your plate, but as someone who has represented the surviving family members of such video game-caused massacres, I personally urge you, as Secretary of Defense, to do what is necessary, proper, and legal to stop the release of Medal of Honor on October 12 on the basis that it poses a demonstrable danger to our troops by providing a training tool for those who wish to kill them.
I would also strongly suggest that the Defense Department find out who these Special Ops people are who have acted so foolishly in this regard.
Finally, I believe the full weight of the federal government should come down upon Electronic Arts and the video game industry’s Entertainment Software Association for their allowing, presently and fraudulently, despite promises to Congress, the widespread pre-sale of this adult game to minors throughout the country and around the world.
No response was made to Thompson’s letter or actions, yet after much debate and heated argument, including opposition from Liam Fox, the U.K. defense minister, segments on Fox News and the game itself being banned from U.S Military bases, EA finally decided to change the name of the Taliban within the game to the Opposing Force.
Here is part of the statement from the game’s Executive Producer, Greg Goodrich:
We have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion of our game. This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team. This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force.
So therein lies the reasoning behind the changes in Medal of Honor. Upon learning of this change, for some reason or another I decided to reach out to Thompson, who I’ve previously spoken with about games like Mafia II and Grand Theft Auto, to see what he had to say on the matter. In a simple e-mail, I said the following:
I’m sure you’ve heard by now that EA changed the name of the Taliban in Medal of Honor. Care to comment?
And this was his response:
Sure. I win again, as usual. Any gamers who don’t think so and who don’t appreciate what I do to protect our culture can go to Hell.
Wow. I had expected perhaps a long diatribe about gamers and the industry as a whole, as is common in Jack’s emails, but I was not expecting a statement like that. Yet, as I was still in near shock from the audacity of his previous statement, a follow up email arrived …
and please add: Any gamers that don’t know how to get to Hell on an expedited basis, let me know, and I’ll send along the cheat code to get there more quickly.
So EA claims to have removed the Taliban due to the outcry of the families of fallen American soldiers, and yet Jack Thompson claims a personal victory and tells us to go to hell. Bravo Jack, you have proven once again that you are a world class asshole.
*The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the RipTen staff, although we all pretty much agree that Jack Thompson is an ass.
Excerpt from Thompson’s Letter: PC MAG
Headline Image: Chad Lakkis
If you’d like to speak with me further about this article or have questions you’d like me to send to Jack Thompson, feel free to email me at Dave@RipTen.com or find me @DaveOshry on Twitter.