Those cheeky GTA modders are at it again.
The fan-based mod community which unleashed Hot Coffee upon the world continues to tweak their favorite video game series. Their latest effort lampoons a rather well-known figure in gaming circles. Defamation of Character: A Jack Thompson Murder Simulator places a likeness of the controversial anti-game crusader into typical Grand Theft Auto action sequences.
As described by the mod team, which calls itself "The Fighting Hellfish," the mod "allows players to adopt the role of prominent anti-videogame attorney Jack Thompson as he lives through an insane weekend which changes his life... It turns out that all the time Jack spent studying violent video games has turned him into a Manchurian Candidate. Receiving calls at random that begin with the classic line, 'Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?' Jack immediately falls under a hypnotic spell, transforming into his criminal vigilante alterego Banman to commit violent acts in the name of Thompson's morality. While Thompson enjoys legal immunity as an attorney, Banman has both regenerating armor and bullet time to help him make his way."
The modders have obviously been paying close attention to gaming's current political and cultural landscape. In the DOC mod, for example, the Banman character undertakes a mission to destroy 18-wheelers before they can deliver Rockstar's Bully to retail stores. Meanwhile, the Jack character gathers news for a press conference by traveling to GTA locale San Fierro in order to catch ESA boss Doug Lowenstein and a hacker exchanging a disk full of naughty Sims character images.
According to an e-mail received from Hellfish, players can choose the Jack character's comments at the subsequent press conference, with 85% of his dialogue coming from real-life Thompson quotes. Before the mod ends, the Jack character will have the chance to take on both Lowenstein and former attorney general Janet Reno, both longtime targets of the real attorney's ire.
The Fighting Hellfish added, "We decided early on in doing this mod that we wanted it to be fun on its own, even if the player doesn't know who Thompson is, much less Reno or Lowenstein. That said, we also wanted to use it as political satire, and firmly convinced that Jack is already his own best parody, we simply went about adopting bits from these diatribes... "
"As Jack Thompson recently outlined his proposal for a violent video game, we have decided... to develop a version of Thompson's game for San Andreas, sticking as closely to his proposal as possible save one major change: instead of playing as O.K., players will resume the role of Jack Thompson..."
The mod is native to the PC version of GTA: San Andreas. However, Hellfish tells GP, "With a bit of technical know-how, it's possible to ftp DoC to a xbox and play that way." Videos and screen shots of action sequences from the mod can be found here.
Reached for comment, Jack Thompson e-mailed GP, "I'm not interested and won't be commenting on the mod. The satirical piece entitled 'A Modest Video Game Proposal' was intended to highlight the patent hypocrisy and recklessness exhibited by the video game industry's willingness to target cops, women, homosexuals, and other groups with some of their violent games. 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...
...I will say this though, the 'video game community' (what's next, 'the necromancy community'?) surely seems exercised about someone who is a 'joke' and who is accomplishing nothing. You all seem rather bothered and worried about a nonentity. 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."