Thompson attacks Mortal Kombat
But not for the reason you'd think.
Internet comedy hero Jack Thompson - famous for his anti-game lawsuits - has put in another strong performance this week, writing some more of his trademark long-winded, shouty letters about how videogames teach us all how to kill beavers with our teeth or whatever it is he's bothered about, and his latest target turns out to be one surely long overdue: Mortal Kombat.
So what manner of ills has he found in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon? Perhaps it's the incredibly gruesome fatality moves, which, since the days of 16-bit, have allowed us to pluck digitised spines from bodies, stamp on our opponents with Monty Python boots, and launch four-armed women onto rows of spikes? Maybe it's that "Yooooou suck" sound effect that sounds a bit distorted in just the wrong place?
Nope - he's annoyed because you can make a character who looks a bit like Jack Thompson. In a "cease and desist" email fired off to Midway president and CEO David Zucker, CCed to various news organisations as is his bent, he wrote: "It has today come to my attention that the newly recently [sic] Mortal Kombat: Armageddon contains an unauthorized commercial exploitation of my name, photograph, image, and likeness within the game. You are commanded to cease and desist immediately from the distribution of this game because of this unauthorized, illegal content."
However, GameSpot reports that the attached image showing a Jack Thompson character is actually from a Gaming Target feature that shows you how to use the game's character creation tool to make fighters who resemble real people, calling to mind the time Marvel sued Cryptic Studios for the City of Heroes character creation tool which allowed for workable facsimiles of famous comic characters. That suit was settled out of court, although since Thompson hasn't realised what's going on yet, Midway can probably keep its lawyers on standby for now.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is on sale today in Europe on PS2, and judging by all the online stores we checked in the UK and America, Midway hasn't exactly leapt to attention. Expect this one to run and run - they usually do...