Jack Thompson, the whimsical and lovable old kook that enjoys discussing videogames has recently and proudly announced that he sent his own 15-year old son into a Best Buy so that he could purchase a copy of the M-rated BioShock. In using members of his family like this, Thompson claims to have proven that Manhunt 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV will be "widely sold to children of all ages" despite what the ESRB, Take-Two Interactive or the major retail chains have promised. Destructoid has sent Jack Thompson's medal through the mail.
Now, what we have here is an interesting question of perspective. Best Buy was not right to sell BioShock to a 15 year old. That much is true. What this proves, however, is that the problem lies with retailers more than Take-Two, and that Jack Thompson is wrong to attack members of the games industry, who did not personally sell that game to his child. That's my take on the situation, though obviously not Jack's, who seems to believe he has proven that everybody in the whole world -- except him -- is to blame for a man sending his son into a store to purchase a game he knows he shouldn't be buying.
Of course, this also raises the question of parenting. Jack Thompson sent his son in there, first and foremost, and allowed his son to buy a mature-rated game. I would say this also proves that the parents are where this whole issue begins and ends. Should a parent be educated enough to say to their child "do not play this game" and actually enforces such a rule, then there really shouldn't be an issue. If, however, they act like Thompson and stuff sixty bucks into their kid's hands with orders to buy as much violent entertainment as they can, well then we have a problem.
Education, not legislation. Parents should be told about these games in a way that doesn't cause mindless hysteria and actually helps us all move forward into enlightenment. If only Jack Thompson used his manipulation and straw manning to make sensible points like that, I think we'd have an old kook who would deserve a lot more respect. Also, I should point out that whoever did sell that copy of BioShock to a kid is a moron, I don't want that part forgotten.
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