Certifiably sane videogame critic Jack Thompson has a warning for Valve boss Gabe Newell: shut down the School Shooter mod for Half-Life 2 or face the consequences!
Jack Thompson may have been disbarred for life but that's not stopping him from keeping up the fight against the videogame industry and what he sees as the "murder simulators" it produces. Thompson's latest target is none other than Valve Software and specifically the big cheese, Gabe Newell, who Thompson seems to think is somehow involved with the infamous School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 mod.
Thompson's letter in full:
"Dear Mr. Newell:
You either know or should know that the more moral midgets who run Checkerboarded Studios have created a mod for your company's Half-Life which they call School Shooter: North American Tour 2012. This mod is a full-blown Columbine massacre simulator which cannot function without your company's assistance and acquiescence.
Attached herewith is a letter from FHE-ASAP that expresses their, my, and others' concerns about this Columbine massacre mod. As you either know or should know, your Half-Life murder simulator was obsessively played, and thus became a training aid, for a) teenaged Robert Steinhauser, who authored at Erfurt, Germany, the worst school shooting massacre in European history, and b) Seung-Hi Cho, who authored at Virginia Tech University the worst school shooting massacre in world history. As to the latter, the sources of this information are the Washington Post and the New York Times. Now some sociopaths have made reprises of Erfurt and Virginia Tech far more likely.
Given the fact that your company has the technological ability to stop the operation of School Shooter, you must undertake steps immediately to do so.
Speaking for myself alone (for now), you have until five o'clock pm Eastern standard time this Friday, March 18, 2011, to shut down this public safety hazard I predicted years ago this school massacre game would arrive. I hate being right all the time.
GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.
Regards, Jack Thompson"
Thompson claimed that copies of the letter were also sent to Checkerboarded Studios, FHE-ASAP [the Florida Higher Education Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention], the United States Secretary of Education and "significant others."
It's a bit tricky to fathom what role Newell has to play in all of this, aside from heading the company that created Half-Life 2 back in 2004. Moral obligations notwithstanding, I'm not so sure Valve can just wave its magic wand and make mods disappear, nor that, if it can, it should. As to the implied "or else" in his message, Thompson gave no indication as to what sort of punitive measures he intends to bring to bear should Newell fail to heed his warning. Based on his history, I expect it will involve further threats, but we'll keep you posted just in case.
Contrary to Thompson's assertions, the official U.S. government report on the murders of 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007 made no mention of videogames whatsoever.