Executives throughout the video game industry may be breathing a big sigh of relief. That's because it looks like one of the industry's biggest critics, Florida lawyer Jack Thompson, has had his voice cut off at the knees, to mix a metaphor or two.
According to a Thursday report on the popular video game blog Kotaku, Thompson has been disbarred by a Florida judge who ruled he has been guilty of some seriously unbecoming conduct.
Essentially, according to Kotaku, the court ruled that Thompson "made false statements of material fact to courts and repeatedly violated a court order...communicated the subject of representation directly with clients of opposing counsel...engaged in prohibited ex parte communications...publicized and sent hundreds of pages of vitriolic and disparaging missives, letters, faxes and press releases to the affected individuals...targeted an individual who was not involved with (Thompson) in any way, merely due to 'the position (the individual) holds in state and national politics'...falsely, recklessly and publicly accused a judge of being amenable to the 'fixing' of cases," and so on.
Thompson might best be known for his withering attacks of Rockstar Games for the sexual content that was hidden in its hit game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. But he has also been vocal in his criticism of countless other games for what he saw as too much violence and sexual content.
Kotaku also said Thompson sent it a note explaining his situation and including the following language: "The timing of this disbarment transparently reveals its motivation: This past Friday Thompson filed a federal civil rights action against The Bar, the Supreme Court and all seven of its Justices. This rush to disbarment is in retribution for the filing of that federal suit. With enemies this foolish, Thompson needs only the loyal friends he has."
A big question, of course, is whether Thompson's disbarment will do anything to stop his broadsides against the video game industry. His stark anti-game press releases don't require a law degree, and he's still going to be famous and the source of good quotes, so don't expect him to go silent just because he can no longer take law clients.
Still, his inability to make a living as a lawyer may force him to take up other pursuits that could occupy his time and leave him little room for pursuing his anti-game agenda. Knowing him to be a fan of publicity, I would expect no less.