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Comic for: April 19th, 2007
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Gaming News: "Stick to your Guns"
Posted: Thursday April 19th, 2007 by

Yesterday Take Two Interactive and attorney Jack Thompson settled a couple of their existing Florida lawsuits. In the settlement Thompson agrees not to file or threaten further lawsuits against Take Two ("T2"), it's subsidiaries, or any company doing business with T2 in an effort to block the sale/distribution of any of the publishers games. He also agrees that future contact with T2 will be conducted through their attorneys. In return, Take Two will drop their current "public nuisance" suit against Thompson and will not persue the "comtempt of court" charge still lingering from the Bully trial. A Miami-Date County court was supposed to hear the contemp charge this morning (4/19/07).
Source: GamePolitics [ more info ]

I know I said I wouldn't mention Smackywack in a comic ever again, but the news cited above nearly drove me into fits. The chances that Smacky would be held in contempt of court was significant. And the settlement does NOT bar him from slamming Take Two games and accusing them of all manner of foul behavior. It simply keeps him from filing further lawsuits.

I have to think the recent Take Two shareholder shakeup has everything to do with this. But, I'd be lying if I said I was okay with the announcement of a settlement. I wanted to see Smacky fight the contempt charge. And then when his other lawsuits failed, I wanted to see Take Two petition the court to force Smacky to repay their legal fees. A precedent set by the recent ESA vs. Louisiana suit that required the Louisiana State Government to pay the ESA's $92K legal fees.

I think we may very well be reaching a breaking point. Either we gamers alongside game companies will rise up to beat back the tide of anti-gaming ignorance, or large portions of the industry we love will be swept away by heavy handed legislation. I'd like to don the rosey-colored glasses of hope and say we'll prevail. But, I'm honestly concerned about the mass media's eagerness to place the blame for all violent occurances on us. I would say that the American public is too be smart to see through the bullshit, but the more I read the less I believe that. And politicians prey on the public's ignorance, their own ignorance, or a gloriously flaming combination of both.

In a country where the local news is little more than an unending stream of sensationalist, blood & guts reporting, and there are a wealth of violent television shows, violent movies, and even violent music... videogames have somehow become the scapegoat. In looking at the issue I can only surmise that it's because we're not defending ourselves well enough. We raise our eyebrows and wave off the accusations, dismissing them as stupid, honestly believing that intelligence will eventually win out. I think maybe we're giving them too much credit.

And Take Two, I know you guys just want to be done with Smackywack... but we needed someone to take a stand for us. As a member of the gaming community, I'm a little disappointed.

Today's Pimpage: The Angry Gamer is wearing a "Memories, Sweet Memories" shirt from Threadless.Com.

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