For those of you that were wondering what happened to Jack Thompson – the lawyer who felt that Grand Theft Auto and Bully were too violent for the video game market – guess what. He’s back.
Rolling Stone has reported that Thompson, who was later disbarred in Florida after attempting to remove the likes of Rockstar Games’ efforts from shelves, has stepped forward to offer pro bono assistance with the recent Marshall school shooting, which took place last month.
The original report came from the Paducah Sun, with Thompson offering a sworn statement to officials regarding involvement in previous cases, thus proving his expertise in them. Thompson has made note that the 15-year old suspect involved with the shooting was a user of violent video games, and may have led to his actions, which resulted in the deaths of two and the injury of 18 others.
"What happens in the case of heavy users of video games is that when they have the virtual reality taken from them, they will set out to make it real reality," Thompson noted while speaking to the Sun. "They do this without being fully appreciative of what they are about to do."
The governor of Kentucky also noted a possible connection, noting, "We can't celebrate death in video games, celebrate death in TV shows, celebrate death in movies, celebrate death in musical lyrics and remove any sense of morality and sense of our higher authority and then expect that things like this are not going to happen."
A number of scientific studies have proven that violent video games actually don’t have a connection to violent behavior in real life. In fact, in some cases, it actually quells said anger, allowing gamers to get their actions out on virtual people, instead of real ones.
Thompson is no stranger to attempting to prove video games are harmful, as he filed a number of lawsuits against the Grand Theft Auto franchise, noting they were training simulators for violence. Eventually Take-Two, who owns the publishers at Rockstar Games, were able to get him to agree to file no further lawsuits, nor seek legal restriction against its games.
The same year, Thompson was found guilty of 27 violations during disbarment proceedings, eventually leading to his permanent banning from practicing law in Florida. But that apparently isn’t stopping him from sounding off in this particular case.
We’ll let you know if any movement is made in the case, but, more than likely, video games won’t take the blame on this one. Nor should they.