It's been a roller coaster ride of a year for embattled Miami attorney Jack Thompson. Being the most maligned person in the gaming industry (besides whoever made the ET game) can't be an easy job. Even now he is fighting to keep his license after a series of behaviors that have left the worlds of gaming and law wondering "What the hell is this guy's problem?" So it should come as no surprise to anyone that ol' JT has decided to stir up some more trouble as a last ditch effort to be the guy with the most outrageous lawsuits of 2007.
This time, Thompson doesn't just have the gaming industry in his sights, but the US military as well. He claims that he has caught the two seemingly disparate branches getting cosy out of the public eye. To be specific, he says that the US Department of Defense and the gaming industry have created an unholy alliance that is teaching "an entire generation of kids that war is glamorous, cool, desirable, and consequence-free."
It's no secret that the government uses video games as simulators for it's soldiers. The Army's presence at PAX was proof of that not to mention the various reports we've already heard about this subject over the years. So, what is Thompson's point? He seems to be telling us something we already know. According to a story on Wired, a little digging shows that the real "argument" behind this latest outburst is that Thompson believes that the military is using the same games to train its soldiers as the ones that are being sold to "the children." This seems a bit odd since it is well documented in statements from several sources that retail purchased games don't provide the kind of training the government requires so they pay companies to create special games that are tailored to their specific needs.
Interestingly (but not surprisingly), the evidence Thompson is using to support his "same game" claims are the same ones I mentioned above which seem to be in direct competition with the arguments he's trying to make. I'm sure mere hours after this article is published, a missive will be deployed from the house of Thompson telling me how I've got everything wrong so I'll let you read for yourself the website that Thompson referred Wired reporter Chris Kholer to when he inquired about the subject. From what I can tell, Kholer's view on the report seems to be right on and Thompson is yet again creating a mountain out of the proverbial molehill. Am I (or are you) surprised? Not really. Just one more log added to an already raging fire that will ultimately end up burning its starter.