Like many gamers, controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson is hoping for a sneak peek at Bully.
Thompson's interest in the much-discussed game however, is hardly that of a fan.
In a lengthy, rambling suit filed earlier today with the Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Thompson has demanded that publisher Take-Two Interactive supply him with a copy of Bully "so that its content can be fairly assessed by someone, prior to its commercial release, other than a) a hand-picked member of the media and b) the ESRB with its history of, at best, ineptitude in analyzing the content of Take-Two products... If Bully is indeed safe for children's play, then petitioner (Thompson) will be the first to say so."
The request that a game publisher supply a multi-million dollar development project to an outside source for evaluation is unprecedented, and is certain be turned down, if not ignored completely. Attorneys for Take-Two will no doubt move for a dismissal of Thompson's suit.
As he has in the past, Thompson based his latest Bully suit on a Florida law relating to public nuisances. In this case, however, the "nuisance" is "that Bully will lead to increased bullying in our schools... Marketing and selling a school bullying virtual reality simulator to school children... is preparing at-risk students here and elsewhere for another Columbine."
In addition to Take-Two, Thompson's suit names major retailer Wal-Mart. As GP types this, Thompson is circulating an e-mail claiming a "Huge Initial Victory: Wal-Mart Stops Selling Bully."
Indeed, Bully does not currently appear at Wal-mart.com. It's unclear why at this point. Previously, the site had been taking pre-release orders. Absent an announcement from the giant retailer, however, Thompson's victory lap seems more than a little premature.
GP readers can download the Miami attorney's complaint here in MS Word format.