This is an open letter from Jack Thompson to Bill Gates. All I can say is Jack Thompson is the worst sort of person, pushing his agenda using a tragedy.
After no games violent or otherwise were found in Cho Seung Hui’s possession, the Washington Post edited the story to remove references to video Games.
Counter Strike is not a Microsoft title, while they were the publisher for the title on XBox, and have maintained Xbox Live support for the game they neither created it, nor are they responsible for the PC Version of the game which is owned by Vivendi.
Tonight I am attending a Lecture by Peter Moore on Violence in Video Games at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. I am interested to hear his thoughts.
1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052 Via Fax and e-mail
Dear Mr. Gates:
On Monday, April 16, at 3:10 pm, I was a guest, as I often have been in the past, on the Fox News Channel. News anchor Bill Hemmer asked me to profile the Virginia Tech rampage killer. I did so, noting that until that day the worst school massacre in world history was at the hands of Robert Steinhaeuser, who literally trained on the Microsoft on-line, hyper-violent shooter game, Counterstrike. I mentioned your companyâ€™s game by name. I explained that the rehearsal for such a massacre is key to being able to pull it off, as efficiently as Cho, whose name we didnâ€™t even know at the time. Cho and Steinhaeuser were able to do what they did the first time because it was not the first time. This is why the military uses this same virtual reality simulation to train soldiers to want to kill and how to kill calmly, as the witnesses of Cho said he did.
Sure enough, last night I was doing a west coast radio interview when the host said to me, “Mr. Thompson, you are right. The Washington Post is reporting right now the following:
â€˜Several Korean youths who knew Cho Seung Hui from his high school days said he was a fan of violent video games, particularly Counterstrike, a hugely popular online game published by Microsoft, in which players join terrorism or counterterrorism groups and try to shoot each other using all types of guns.â€™”
I thus went back on the Fox News Channel, and Bill Hemmer and I explained not only that I was right about your game figuring in the Virginia Tech massacre but also that the Washington Post excised the above excerpt from the story this morning. That is yet another story. The bad news for the Post however is that you can still get the excised excerpt at http://www.washingtonpost.com/…AR2007041700563_3.html?hpid=topnews. Thus, the cat is out of the bag, and his paw prints are still on the bag. Is this a great Internet, or what?
As you know, I similalry [sic] went on NBCâ€™s Today Show with the DC Beltway Sniper still unidentified and at-large a few years ago and told Matt Lauer and the nation that the triggerman would most likely be a teen video gamer trained on a sniper video game. The tarot card was a clue, but there were other clues. I was right, as Malvo trained on your Microsoft game, Halo. NBC reported that three months later, and it was part of the criminal trial of Malvo.
Mr. Gates, your company is potentially legally liable the harm done at Virginia Tech. Your game, a killing simulator, according to the news that used to be in the Post, trained him to enjoy killing and how to kill. You knew five years ago that your on-line game, Counterstrike, so clearly figured in the massacre by a student in Erfurt that the event and the game impacted the race for Chancellor in Germany at the time!
Yet, here you are, five years after “Erfurt,” still marketing Counterstrike. having done nothing to disable the server(s) for this mass murder simulator, and it looks like “Virginia Tech” is a consequence. Thereâ€™s more going on in the world than Vista. Just ask the bereaved Virginia Tech families.
Mr. Gates, pull the plug on Counterstrike today, or do we need more dead to convince you? “Virginia Tech” was the 9-11 of school shootings, and it appears Microsoft is in the middle of it, in more ways than one.
Regards, Jack Thompson