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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Extortion Factory

Posted by on October 18 at 13:46 PM

This is all over the Internets today: Jack Thompson, an anti-video game activist, wrote a letter to the Seattle Police today, asking for their help in arresting the guys at Penny Arcade, a local site featuring a web comic about the gaming industry.

Some background: Thompson hates video games like Grand Theft Auto, among others, and he recently posed a challenge to the video game industry to craft a game that targets the gaming industry (the game would feature a vengeful father goes and kills video game execs). He offered a $10K donation to “the favorite charity of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc’s chairman, Paul Eibeler,” maker of Grand Theft Auto.


So then people made the game he requested. And Thompson reneged on his $10K pledge, declaring that his original challenge was simply satire.

Which brings us to Seattle. From the guys at Penny Arcade:

You know what, Jack? We’re going to be the men you’re not. You said that your insulting, illusory ten thousand dollars would go to the charity of Paul Eibeler’s choice. We’ve got a good guess that he’d direct your nonexistant largesse toward The Entertainment Software Association Foundation, a body that has raised over six point seven million dollars over the last eight years. We’ve just made the donation you never would, and never meant to. Ten thousand dollars’ worth. And we made it in your name.

You’d think that’d be the end of it. But it’s not. Thompson got all upset at Penny Arcade, to the point where he sent a letter to SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske this morning, alleging criminal harassment and calling Penny Arcade an “extortion factory,” while failing to mention Penny Arcade’s generous $10,000 donation in his letter.

No word on whether the SPD plans to storm Penny Arcade.