Friday, April 25, 2008

Letter to Hillary Clinton... (Originally posted on MySpace on Tuesday, October 18, 2005)

So I was reading articles on the web and getting pissed off about Jack Thompson's continuing crusade against video games:


He made a statement on some TV show in which he said that he'd donate 10,000 to charity of a group of modders would make a game in which the purpose was to murder the CEO of Rockstar Games (makers of Grand Theft Auto). His reasoning was that this would illustrate to Rockstar how it felt to be the target of video game violence as he alleges Rockstar has done to police and firemen.

Check out these sneering offensive quotes from his letter:

"As you may know, this incredibly violent Rockstar Games product is actually a 'cop-killing' murder simulator. There are a bunch of computer geeks out there who think that the video game industry has a constitutional right to paint a bullseye on your back and on your officers' backs".

then he continues to discuss how a group of gamers "obsessivly" "trained" on GTA before going on a killing spree. It just disgusts me. I mean I should start suing Religious fundamentalists who attack gays and blow up abortion clinics as "obsessivly reading the bible, which as you may know is a 'how-to' guide to hate and condemn." There are people out there who are sick and violent. It's not video games. I mean how long have there been violent BOOKS. Did someone see MacBeth and want to kill someone? maybe...there is a lot of fucked up shit in that play...maybe we should sue the Royal Shakespeare Company.

So anyway I got a bee in my bonnet and sent this letter to Hillary Clinton, since she's been jumping on this bandwagon:

Senator Clinton:

I am a registered Democratic Voter and a professional in the Video Game industry.

I have been deeply disturbed by your recent actions against the "media" and specifically the video game industry. I have been surprised at how easily you have been swayed by the wild eyed rumblings of Jack Thompson, a man who is obsessed with self promotion and headline grabbing.

I am disappointed that you did not do more research before condemning the games industry as pandering violent content to children.

I do not have children of my own but I have an intensely close relationship to my nephews and hold the well being very close to my heart. I would never be involved in an industry that held their emotional and intellectual development in disregard. I find your recent statements to be offensive and ill-advised. I was initially quite shocked that you would cast your lot with such a brazenly litigious individual. And now my shock has turned to betrayal.

I was once a great supporter of yours. I felt that you were a shining example to young people, but sadly of late, I feel that as you rise to prominence in the political arena you compromise and homogenized your self to appeal to a wider base of your constituency.

It is painfully clear to me that your attacks on those in the video game industry of late are designed as a means to make yourself seem "Pro-Family" by attacking a target that a large majority of Americans may not understand.

But the simple truth of the matter is that the games that You and Mr. Thompson have been railing against are not designed for consumption by children. Grand Theft Auto is no more intended for children than is an R rated movie, An M rated television show, or a CD that would have a Parental Advisory sticker.

It may not seem like I have much leverage against you politically given that you are a senator in New York. But I see these actions as a calculated scheme to lay a foundation for a political career with a national scope.

I will definatly think twice before casting my vote for you are anyone you endorse. And I will vocally encourage my friends and family to do likewise.

You have in many ways made me feel even more of a disconnect with the Democratic party. I'm not sure where to turn. Does the fact that I am a video game professional make me an unfit parent, uncle, or American?

I should say that statements you have made would lead me to believe that those are your assertions.

I should hope that you know that there are many in the video game industry who are parents and productive members of the community. Many of the people I work with are parents and are actively involved as Coaches of little league sports, boy and girl scout masters, hold positions in their churches, as well as contributing and volunteering with several charitable foundations. Your attempts to demonize these Americans has gone a long way to both insult and estrange these professional and responsible individuals.

I hope that you will take my thoughts into consideration before launching another politically calculated assault on an industry that I have chosen to devote my life to.

thank you for your time,

Thomas Arnold

That's it for's a good shirt for us video game activists:

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