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Jack Thompson writes open letter to Bono

Anti-games campaigner alleges Take Two lied to investors

Following the emergence of rumours that Elevation Partners may launch an acquisition bid for Take Two, anti-videogame campaigner Jack Thompson has written an open letter to one of Elevation's key investors - U2 frontman Bono.

"Dear Bono," the letter begins, "I write you as a fellow brother in Jesus Christ, appreciative of your bold witness to the transforming truth of the Gospel, in both your words and your deeds... I write to encourage you, respectfully and in a spirit of brotherly love, not to purchase Take Two Interactive Software, Inc."

Thompson warns Bono that if he acquires Take Two, he will also acquire "A Mature-rated murder simulator marketed and sold to teens that has been linked by law enforcement officials to numerous, specific, provable copycat killings around the country" - namely Grand Theft Auto.

He goes on to claim that Take Two "lied to the investment community" in its latest SEC filing, and warns that ongoing "criminal investigations" have put the publisher's very survival at risk, "Despite the fraudulent assertions in the recent [SEC filing] that they are all "without merit."

"That is akin to saying that AIDS poses no threat to life. Ridiculous."

Thompson then argues that the PS2's dualshock controller "desensitises the user to the act of killing" because it "sends a visceral jolt back into the hands of the player each time he kills."

Thompson doesn't think much of Bill Gates, either, who recently appeared on the cover of Time magazine alongside Bono. "I assume you think Gates a man of intellect," the letter reads.

"Here is what he said recently on 60 Minutes: "These action games transport you to a world you think is real." Exactly. That is why they are dangerous."

Next in the firing line is Bully, a forthcoming Rockstar title that is set in a school and which has already caused controversy despite the fact it has yet to be released. Thompson describes it as a "Columbine simulator" that will "spawn more school violence," alleging that Take Two has "lied to the public about what is actually in this game."

He also claims that he has obtained screenshots which show the game's true content, stating: "I can hear Take-Two saying to you, Bono, if I were to show you these clandestine screenshots, "Who are you going to believe, Bono; us or your lying eyes?"

Thompson warns Bono that buying Take Two "will serve as a refutation of your Christian twitness [sic]", stating that unless Elevation Partners plans to buy Take Two for the purpose of incinerating the Grand Theft Auto games and the other murder simulator titles that Take Two owns... Then you will be tying a millstone around your own neck."

The letter finishes: "I could fill another ten pages with descriptions of the criminal activity by Take-Two and [law firm] Blank Rome toward me, but I can tell you about all that if and when we meet.

"I am trying to keep you, dear brother, from being run over by a careening bus. I do this to help you. A brother in Christ has now warned you. Now, do the right thing, in His powerful name I pray," Thompson writes, before signing off: "In Jesus Christ, Jack Thompson."

The letter has been published in full by website Game Politics.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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