Volatile anti-videogames campaigner and occasional lawyer Jack Thompson has begun 2006 much as he spent 2005: slagging off Take-Two and stroking his own ego.
Speaking in an interview with Netjak, Thompson compared himself to Eliot Ness, the prohibition-era policeman who went after Al Capone, labelled Bully (a game he doesn't believe he has to play to comment on) "a revenge fantasy and a murder simulator", claimed that all he wanted to do was stop adult games getting into the hands of kids, and then claimed that videogames were exploitative, unhealthy, and "masturbatory", advising players to "get a life".
It's pretty heavy stuff, even for Thompson, a man never short of a soundbite. Take-Two executive Paul Eibeler's activities "have been criminal, and [he] has put the company in danger of several class action lawsuits," he said, and it's a message he wants to bring to shareholders now that he's become one of them. "Take Two has been marketing these games to our kids, and they just let the retailers sell them to kids. They're all wrapped up in this together; it's like a conspiracy," he alleged.
But Thompson isn't utterly anti-games, oh no. "I don't want to do away with videogames. I just want to protect children from adult games," he said. Then, apparently unable to help himself, he ranted: "Put down the controller and get a life. Videogaming is an escapist activity and you're being exploited by these companies. It's not healthy. I worry about someone who would play Grand Theft Auto for ten hours a day. It's a masturbatory activity, and it would be better if people put down the controller and went outside."
Where they could play at being lawyer, presumably, and live out their own escapist fantasies. "Eliot Ness didn't go after the small-time criminals. Eliot Ness went after Al Capone. Actually, I must offer my apologies to Al Capone. He only targeted adults, corrupt adults with his crimes. Capone never went after minors," said Thompson, brilliantly. Seriously, he's our favourite.