Jack Thompson's modest proposal was answered earlier this month in the form of I'm OK, a side-scrolling action game described by Thompsonsoft's lead sprite artist Derek Yu as "kind of like Metal Slug, but with much worse graphics."
In an interview with Gamecloud, the 23-year-old Yu explains why Thompsonsoft decided to undertake their namesake's game design.
"Because the potential for comedy was just boundless. Thompson's design was vague enough that we knew we could add plenty of our own jokes. It was an opportunity to stick it to him really nicely and it couldn't be passed up."
Yu was surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response I'm O.K. received and estimates that it has been download tens of thousands of times. "We knew there was a camp that believed that the best way to defeat Jack was to ignore him, but we didn't know how large that group was. In the end, we had nothing to worry about. We've received countless offers for free hosting of the game and its soundtrack. People just want to help out. It's really wonderful, actually. The game community is tight-knit and very friendly when it comes down to it."
Thompson himself was less than impressed. "The creation of this "game" does not meet the terms and conditions of the Modest Proposal. Not even close; thus, no cigar."
"Didn't care one bit," says Yu when asked about Thompson's refusal to donate $10,000 to charity, "since we never actually intended to meet his "challenge." He's a coward, and one does not take a coward's challenge seriously. He has no intention of ever paying up, and we knew that he would find some way to weasel out of it."
Yu doesn't buy into the idea that violent games make for violent gamers. "I think if you're a person that's prone to violence, you will find a way to be violent, with or without the help of video games... Which isn't to say that I think playing violent video games is going to help. But in most cases of violence, I would say with certainty that there are other, much more relevant factors at work. Like Danish newspaper cartoons, for instance."
Will there be more games from Thompsonsoft in the future? "Ah, I doubt it. But you never know. My personal feeling is that Thompsonsoft is a bit of a one-trick pony. I don't think we could ever replicate the success of this game. Might as well go out on a high note than end in a whimper."
AE: Visit Yu's blog for more of his games and artwork. Also, check out a video of the game being played from beginning to end if you don't have the means or skill to do so yourself.