June 3rd, 2006

"Nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you're a hit man or a video gamer"

In a long-standing political debate characterized by shrill rhetoric, Miami attorney Jack Thompson has made a doozy of an assertion to a Louisiana newspaper. The Advocate, citing Thompson's suggestion to criminal investigators that video games may have been involved in a fatal Louisiana shooting earlier this week, reports that the controversial anti-game attorney said the following:

"Nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you're a hit man or a video gamer."

Funny, that. A quick Google search on "shot in the face" turns up 921,000 entries. Here's a quick sample just from the past week. We see nary a video game or a hitman among them.

"Delivery Man Shot in the Face", Brooklyn, May 25th, 2006

"A man that interrupted the robbery was shot in the face", Sonoma County, California, June 2nd, 2006

"She was able to get medical treatment, when coalition helicopters medevaced Sherifa and her cousin, who was shot in the face, to Kandahar Air Field", Afghanistan, May 31st

"...was engaged in a custody dispute over their son... shot in the face as he slept", Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, May 30th

"They had a relationship that ended prior to the shooting. Light was shot in the face at close range", Lima, Ohio, June 2nd, 2006

As GamePolitics has noted in the past, outrageous and polarizing characterizations such as this do nothing to advance the political dialogue concerning video game violence. Just the opposite, in fact.

GP can only hope that elected officials in Louisiana who are presently considering video game legislation drafted by Thompson are reading their local newspapers carefully.

Want to talk about it? You can discuss this story via the "comments" feature (click below), or in the new GamePolitics Forums...

Louisiana Cops Search, Seize Games Based on Thompson's Input

Jack Thompson occasionally seeks to interject his video game theories into criminal investigations of youth violence. Sometimes he succeeds, as in a Louisiana homicide investigation currently being conducted by the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office (WFPSO). West Feliciana Parish is a largely unincorporated area of central Louisiana.

As reported by The Advocate, Thompson suggested to the WFPSO that a murder committed in the parish on Tuesday may have been motivated by video games.

The WFPSO took Thompson's information and used it as a basis to search the home of a 16-year-old suspect in the crime. A police official told the newspaper that deputies seized several M-rated video games from the residence. Captain Spence Dilworth, however, drew no conclusions from his findings.

"I think (the murder) goes beyond video games, but who's to say?," Dilworth commented, adding that the question of whether video games lead to youth violence might be "more of a debate for the living room rather than the courtroom."

The suspect whose home was searched and a 17-year-old accomplice were arrested for first-degree murder and armed robbery on Wednesday. On Thursday a judge ruled that the suspects would be tried as adults. The 16-year-old knew the victim, 55-year-old Michael Gore and lived in a mobile home parked on Gore's property.

Thompson, the controversial antigame lawyer from Miami, told The Advocate on Friday that he suggested the WFPSO look into the video game angle because published reports describing the nature of Gore's wounds "raised a red flag."

According to Thompson, published reports that the 16-year-old confessed to police that he and the other boy killed Gore because the victim would not let him borrow his car followed "the same scenario in Grand Theft Auto."

An autopsy showed that Gore had been shot in the face and beaten.

"Nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you're a hit man or a video gamer," Thompson told the newspaper.

Thompson was in Baton Rouge on Tuesday to testify before a Louisiana Senate subcommittee considering HB1381, video game legislation proposed by Rep. Roy Burrell (D).

Want to talk about it? You can discuss this story via the "comments" feature (click below), or in the new GamePolitics Forums...