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Thompson calls on police to shut down gaming site

Anti-videogame campaigner Jack Thompson is making headlines once again after writing to the Seattle police department requesting the arrest of two online cartoonists.

Anti-videogame campaigner Jack Thompson is making headlines once again - this time for writing to the Seattle police department requesting the arrest of the satirists behind online webcomic Penny-Arcade and charity fund Childs Play.

Copies of the letter were also sent to various US websites and a scan can be found on Penny-Arcade, itself. In it, Thompson claims that PA has "decided to commence and orchestrate criminal harassment of me by various means."

This, according to Thompson, is because he appeared on the CBS programme 60 Minutes to discuss a wrongful death lawsuit he launched on behalf of two Alabama police officers and a dispatcher, "who were shot in the head and killed by Devin Moore."

Thompson claims Moore "obsessively trained on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to kill them," before describing the game as "a 'cop-killing' murder simulator."

Thompson makes no mention anywhere in the letter of the fact that Penny Arcade recently gave USD 10,000 to charity after Thompson failed to keep a promise to make the donation himself.

He does observe that Penny Arcade is selling "I Hate Jack Thompson" t-shirts and claims this is "just the tip of the iceberg," before supplying an incorrect URL for the site.

The letter concludes: "I look forward to working with your fine police department to shut this little extortion factory down and/or to arrest some of its employees."

But the question remains as to whether the police department ever even received the letter - they hadn't by the time US website Gamespot called to enquire yesterday morning.

Gamespot then received an email from Thompson saying that he had fixed the incorrect URL, and confirming that the letter had been faxed - "They have it now," he added. In the email, he also took the opportunity to describe Penny Arcade as "moral midgets" who saw him as "some kind of pixellated pinata in a game."

"I'm not," Thompson clarified.

Around four hours after the email was sent, Gamespot contacted the Seattle PD again to see if they had since received the fax. Police told the website they had received no communications from Thompson whatsoever.

Penny Arcade business development manager Robert Khoo said the site was unconcerned by Thompson's actions, telling Gamespot: "I've spoken to our legal team this morning and every one of his claims that he has made is pretty ridiculous, especially given the fact that he's a public figure."

"His grounds for harassment, criminal harassment, is pretty silly. He puts himself out there as a public figure going up against the game industry. Does he really not expect that the game industry's going to fight back?"

This isn't the first time Thompson has tried to get the police to come to his defence. Earlier this year he discovered an AIM buddy icon featuring a cartoon Thompson figure being attacked on BadassBuddy, an affiliate site of Bolt.com. As chronicled on Bolt, Thompson requested the immediate removal of the buddy with a letter in which he wittily misspelled the site's URL as dumbass.com. Despite assurances that the buddy would be deleted, Thompson went on to request the arrest of those responsible in a letter sent to the New York police department and the FBI. No actions were taken.

Ellie Gibson avatar

Ellie Gibson


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.