Thompson Cops Out, Penny Arcade Steps Up

Some say that widely-visited sites such as Shacknews should cease coverage of the insane antics and ramblings of Jack Thompson, attorney-at-law and rabid detractor of Video Games, and sadly I must respectfully decline to respect those wishes. The situations that build up around this guy are just too good.

So, what now? Well, last week Mr. Thompson claimed that he would donate $10,000 to charity if somebody constructed a brutal revenge murder video game based on his extremely violent specifications. Well, a team called Fighting Hellfish has done just that, crafting a mod for GTA: San Andreas entitled Defamation of Character: A Jack Thompson Murder Simulator. However, upon receipt of this news, Thompson responded that he would not be commenting on the mod, and that his so-called "Modest Proposal" (and, presumably, its promised $10,000) was intended only as satire. He notes:

"To be fair, though, you can't expect a bunch of gamers to understand the satire if they think that Jonathon Swift, the author of 'A Modest Proposal,' is the name of a new Nike running shoe..."

First off, Jack, it's "Jonathan," and the well-known piece by that legendary satirist eclipses your little charade by leaps and bounds, so don't even try it. While Swift's "modest proposal" of child cannibalization can only been seen as outrageous and purely provocative, your game design was entirely feasible--so feasible, in fact, that somebody executed it. Your offer, too, was entirely within the realms of reason. $10,000 is a lot of money, but isn't it entirely possible that charitable persons would be willing to part with thousands of dollars to serve their cause?

Apparently, yes, it is entirely possible. Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the Tycho and Gabe of Penny Arcade, have stepped up to the plate and donated that $10,000 to the ESA Foundation, which supports many charities for the benefit of children. What makes the move all the more striking is that the money was donated in Thompson's name.

Mr. Thompson's response goes on to claim that "God is in this battle, and I am privileged to be a foot soldier. You all should be concerned, not about me, but about Him." If God is keeping an eye on the two "sides" in this battle, Jack should start to be concerned that the opposition is making him look bad.