August 25th, 2006

Manhattan Bully Protest Confirmed For Today

GamePolitics has confirmed that the Peaceoholics, a Washington, D.C.-based community group, will stage a protest demonstration outside the Lower Manhattan offices of Take-Two Interactive later today.

Ronald Moten, co-founder and chief operating officer of the Peaceoholics, confirmed to GamePolitics last night that group members would board buses this morning for the trip to the Big Apple. The Peaceoholics are cooperating with anti-game activist Jack Thompson on the action, which is designed to draw attention to the upcoming release of Bully by Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar Games.

The grass roots community group is quite active in the D.C. area on anti-violence initiatives, including a failed 2005 attempt by City Councilman Adrian Fenty to regulate the sale of violent games. Thompson and the Peaceoholics teamed up to stage a similar demonstration outside Take-Two headquarters last August. That effort received coverage by New York television stations and newspapers.

Your PS3 Can Do Good Deeds While You Sleep

Stories like this warm GP's cynical heart...

Out of Stanford comes word that the PlayStation 3 will be powerful enough to participate in the university's Folding@Home distributed processing project.

FAH, which targets the study of protein folding and protein folding diseases such as Alzheimer's and Type-2 diabetes, has been ongoing since 2000. Thus far, the project has utilized the power of hundreds of thousands of volunteer home PC's to "perfom calculations which were previously considered impossible."

However, the FAH team is now looking ahead to the launch of the PlayStation 3. From the project's website:

"... we are looking forward to another major advance in capabilities. This advance utilizes the new Cell processor in Sony's PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) to achieve performance previously only possible on supercomputers. With this new technology... we will likely be able to attain performance on the 100 gigaflop scale per computer..."
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Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Louisiana Law

Jack Thompson's Louisiana video game law was supposedly written as to be immune from constitutional challenges.

But it's not looking that way this morning.

Last evening Federal District Court Judge James Brady ruled in favor of the video game industry's request for a preliminary injunction to keep the law from taking effect. Granting the preliminary injunction indicates that Judge Brady believes the industry is likely to win the case on its merits when a final decision is rendered at some future point.

The judge's 30-page ruling took Thompson's law apart piece-by-piece. Judge Brady wrote, in part:

"The State's argument overlooks a line of cases holding that video games are protected free speech..."

"Defendants (Louisiana) contend that the legislative record contains social science evidence demonstrating that violent video games are harmful. It appears that much of the same evidence has been considered by numerous courts and in each case the connection was found to be tenuous and speculative..."
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GP on Joystiq: "The Circus Comes to Louisiana"

Check out GamePolitics on Joystiq...

In today's column GP examines the circus atmosphere surrounding Louisiana's video game legislation. It's especially timely given Federal District Court Judge James Brady's trashing of the Louisiana law in a preliminary injunction ruling issued last night.

By the way, it looks like the GP column will appear every Friday on Joystiq. There was some discussion of Thursdays, but that's the day GP feeds his WoW addiction...

GP Reader Submits Video of Bully Protest

A GP reader who goes by the screen name Software Pirate has just sent us a link to some YouTube video which was shot during the Peaceoholics protest outside the Manhattan offices of Take-Two earlier today.

It's pretty good footage, including an interview with a man who I believe may be Ronald Moten of the Peaceoholics. Jack Thompson is not seen in the footage, and it's unclear if he was present.

An e-mail from the Software Pirate reads, "I'm starting a series of videos of various game and tech-related subjects. Since I'm in NYC, the Peaceholics' protest seemed like a great place to start. I went down there and got some good footage, cut it together (albeit poorly), and uploaded it to Youtube. Please share this video and put it on your site if you'd like. I hope you enjoy it!"

UPDATE: Software Pirate got back to GP with more info: "Jack Thompson himself wasn't there. I had actually called Mr. Thompson to get details about it. I'm fairly certain that the guy I talked to was Ronald Moten, but I wasn't completely sure so I didn't ID him in the video..."
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E-mails Show Louisiana Court Defeat Reaction

GP was just forwarded a series of e-mails by controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson. The e-mails were provided, without comment, by Thompson. They appear to reflect reactions by key Louisiana political figures to the news that Federal Judge James Brady had just issued a preliminary injunction blocking the state's video game law.

We'll let the e-mails tell their tale. For new GP readers, the exchange will make more sense if you understand that Thompson and the Louisiana Attorney General's office have been feuding over the handling of the court case.

The first of three e-mails included here was sent last night from Deputy Attorney General Burton Guidry to Rep. Roy Burrell (left), sponsor of the ill-fated bill:

"For your information this is the courts ruling which was issued today. i anticipate a motion for summary judgement to be filed by the plaintiffs in the next two weeks. Unfortunately we have no facts or experts to contradict their motions due to Mr. Thompsons reluctance to help. We have very little choice but to wait for the bomb to fall."
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