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Thursday, September 14th, 2006
8:14 pm - Here we go again.
I wrote a new blog about the shooting in Montreal and the main stream press trying to put the blame on video games (what else is new?). Here is the link to it at my Myspace. You can read it there. http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16708875&blogID=168080883&MyToken=3f85d12d-be3b-4b02-8ec3-aff2cd76077a

Oh and to Jack Thompson? You're wrong again. As usual.

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Saturday, April 1st, 2006
10:12 pm - I wish: A poem about people who work in Emergency Services
This is a poem I received about people who work in Emergency Services. It is a very good poem and very, very true.

*******Dedicated to Paramedics, Fire and Police Officers and their
Dispatchers:*******

I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 6 in the morning as I
Check
her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway,
hoping
to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his
wife
and family to know everything possible was done to try and save his
life.

I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of
soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout
gear, the sound
of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely
nothing in
dense smoke-sensations that I've become too familiar with.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a call, Is a this false
alarm
or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What Hazards
await me?
Is anyone trapped?" Or to call and ask what is wrong with the patient?
Is it
minor or life threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he
waiting
for us with a 2x4 or a gun?

I wish you could be in the emergency room, as a doctor pronounces
dead, the
beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during
the past
25 minutes, knowing she will never go on her first date or say the
words, "I
love you Mommy", ever again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the
ambulance or
engine or cruiser, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the
pedal,
my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to
yield
the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us
however,
your first comment upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever to
get here!"

I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of
teenage
years from the remains of her automobile. What if this was my
daughter, sister,
my girlfriend or a friend? What were her parent's reaction going to be
when
they opened the door to find a
police officer with hat in hand?

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet
my
parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly
did not come
back from the last call.

I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters
and
Paramedics out and when we call for them and our heart drops because
no one
answers back or to here a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife
needing
assistance.

I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally and sometimes
physically
abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes of
"It will
never happen to me". I wish you could realize the physical, emotional
and
mental drain of missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social
activities, in
addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping
save
a life or preserving someone's property, or being able to be there in
time of
crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy
tugging
at your arm and asking, "Is my Mommy okay?"! , not even being able to
look
in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say.
Or to
have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR
done on
him as they take him away in the Medic Unit. You know all along he did
not have
his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.

Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly
understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really
means to us...I wish
you could though.

current mood: contemplative

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
6:02 am - My second email to Representative Ward
Representative Ward,

Thank you for replying back to me so quickly. I do see the similarities between the penalties, however I ask you, do you honestly believe that playing a video game, no matter how violent, leads to the same amount of harm to a minor as smoking cigarettes?

Also as far as the content of games being available for parents to peruse before they invest into the game, I would like to point to you that this is already quite available and easily attainable. I would like to point out websites like www.ign.com and www.1up.com, among many others, not only have reviews of video games as they come out for all consoles, but also have videos and or pics of gameplay freely available for parents to see before they buy the game. Plus video games can easlily be rented at a local Blockbuster Video if a parent wanted to investigate the content of a game before putting down fifty dollars on said game. Also trade magazines such as Electronic Gaming Monthly are readily available for purchase if a parent wanted to go that route. My point, sir, is that the way to investigate the material of a game is easily, readily, and freely available(online) for a parent who wanted to investigate a game purchase for their child. However this brings up another point. The amount of money that goes into being a gamer. Besides paying anywhere from twenty to fifty dollars a game, or more for the new systems that are coming out, an indiviual must pay one hundred dollars or more for the system to play the game on. Just like you can't listen to a cd without a cd player, or a dvd movie without a dvd player, you cannot play a game without a computer or video game console to put the game in. Since it is a hobby that requires such an investment, I personally don't buy a game until I investigate it on the sites mentioned above or trade magazines to see if it would be a game that I would be interested in. If I still need a little more investigation, I rent it first to see if I would be interested in it. As far as buying games for my children, I would do the same to see if it would be suitable for my child to play.

Another question for you sir, is why only video games are targeted. Why should video games get this kind of treatment over movies or music? Movies have just as much violence as the most violent video game (more so if you look at movies like Saw). In fact, it is much easier to find the rating and content descriptors for a game than finding it for a movie. On a game the rating is in a black and white box on the front bottom of the case, with a black and white box on the bottom back containing content descriptors. Easily readable and easily found. Compare that to finding the MPAA rating for a movie on a DVD. On the DVDs that I have it is on the back and usually extremely small and hard to read. For an easy comparative example, look at the case for the game The Matrix: Path of Neo, a game based on the three Matrix movies by the Wachowski brothers. Then look at the cases for the three Matrix movies themselves. Which rating and content descriptor was easier to find?

Sir I agree with the fact that mature rated games should not be in the hands of minors. However, what I do not agree with is that legislation is needed for it. I feel that that is the job of a parent. I feel that educating the public on how they can find out about game content before purchasing a game is all that is really needed.

Again I thank you for your consideration into this matter and look forward to your reply.

Sincerely

Joshua D. McGill

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2006
12:46 pm - Representative Ward's Response
Thank you for the e-mail with questions and concerns on the Child Protection from Violent Video Games Act.

The penalties in the bill are similiar to those currently in law for selling cigarettes to minors.

I have no objection to an exception for parents who purchase these kinds of games for their minor children. It would be important that the content of these games be available for parents to review to know why a particular game received a certain rating.

It is helpful if you provided your home address in e-mails. Thank you again for the e-mail.

Rep. Jim Ward

current mood: contemplative

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Monday, February 20th, 2006
1:33 pm - My email to Representative Ward about Bill HB 2921 in Kansas
Mr. Ward

I am writing to you in reference to Bill HB 2921 that you introduced. I noticed the penalties for the Bill and I am curious how the penalties compare to the penalties for someone who sells cigarettes or alcohol to a minor in your state.

I am also curious about another conern with your Bill. It appears that there are no concessions for if a parent buys a game for their child. From what I have seen of the Bill, a parent who buys an M rated or AO rated game for their child can be charged and fined under this bill as well. Do you think that it is really right for the State Legislature to be saying how parents can and cannot raise their children in regards to the type of entertainment can be brought into their home? I must ask you sir, how you would feel if a police officer came to your home to arrest you because someone reported to them that you had bought a movie that someone else deemed "inappropriate for minors", or rated R by the MPAA, for your child. Doesn't scenario sound a little ridiculous to you? This is what your Bill does for a parent who wants to buy an M rated Video game for a child.

I would be more than happy to discuss this situation with you futher. I can easily be reached at jdmcgill1@yahoo.com. I hope to hear from you soon sir. Thank you for your consideration into this matter.

Joshua D. McGill

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2006
1:27 am - The letter sent to John Bruce Thompson by "Flowers for Jack"
Here is the letter in it's entirety. It can also be viewed at http://www.pixelantenation.com. Enjoy :)


FLOWERS FOR JACK PROJECT
[addresses witheld]

Alyson L. Burch
&
George T. Ettinger III


TO: John B Thompson
[address witheld]



Mr. Thompson;

Hello, sir. This letter is, to some extent, a letter of apology on behalf of the 'gaming community' for the generally juvenile behavior exhibited to your home and your person as of late. Whether or not we, as a subculture, agree with your opinions, we came together to find that practically none of us condone the immature and unlawful actions taken by so many individuals.

Every foolish person who writes threats or makes idiotic calls is, obviously, only proving your point. The problem, as a few of us started to realize, was that idiot individuals were pulling these grossly offensive, spotlight-grabbing stunts and yet the bulk of the community was failing to do anything worthwhile. In essence, that is what has brought this unusual event together.

Our underlying issue with these people is that they have likely destroyed any chance we have of opening, much less maintaining, any respectful dialogue with you.

We knew we could write a letter, a letter not unlike this one, stating some of our better-worded thoughts without the insults, threats, and exaggerations that others have used. We wanted to find that respectful, civil line of conversation that no forum sorts ever allow. You are frequently a public speaker, we’ve seen the civil and even the lighthearted side of you, and now we appeal to that, in an admittedly unique way.



THE FLOWERS

That definitely brings us to the flowers. Well… we needed this message to stand out, right? But we didn’t want it to be some juvenile prank like all the rest; we wanted something that would catch your eye but hopefully not offend it. Obviously, we chose this. We wanted something persistent, something obvious, but not something hateful. Needless to say, that means a lot of flowers.

Personally, I really hope you accepted them. The donation drive to purchase them afforded us far more than we had originally intended; we asked people to support a cause of civility and maturity, and support it they did. If you don’t want to keep them, we’d be flattered if you donated them elsewhere. A common suggestion was local hospitals, so I thought I should mention it.

Sir, we’re lighthearted people. From the eighteen-year-old high school student who’s picking out his college prospects to the 30-something father of two who plays Madden with his son, we’re all bound by a certain fun-loving nature. If we made this letter too stern, too serious, or too ‘mature’ we’d be facetious. We hope this will reflect some level of dignity, or, at the very least, good humor.

So… flowers. In a vase, so you don’t get stuck at the door holding them while somebody tries to find some water to put them in. We figured that would be a little more considerate. Honestly, we hope you see it for the absurdity that it is, and as a satire of the behavior we are apologizing for. They’re flowers, sir. Hundreds and hundreds of gamers, from around the world, no less, joined together to send you flowers and support a cause of civility. Ahem, civility and a sense of humor, of course. Like I said, we can’t be so civil that we forget our honest nature.



AN APOLOGY

To begin, we are sorry, Mr. Thompson, for the unintelligent acts of the decidedly extremist persons of whom we speak. While as a group we can condemn it, our silence as individuals gave the false impression that we condoned it. We do not. Much of our ranks fall within the over-twenty crowd that has better sense than to make juvenile phone calls or psychotic threats.

Those people, hereafter referred to as ‘idiots,’ simply do not represent us as a whole. They are not our spokesmen. No, sir, they are idiots. We ask not that their idiocies be forgiven, but that they are not held over the rest of us just yet. We wish to make a statement for ourselves, the majority, without the idiots to get in our way.

To summarize this, the entire theme of this message, and what brought the hundreds and hundreds of people from all around the world together to write to you and send you a silly gift… is that even though we disagree with you, we do not approve of the juvenile antics, name-calling, insults, threats, and unfair treatment that is consistently directed at your person, your place of residence, and your lines of communication.



STATED AGENDAS

Honestly, and without surprise, we really don’t like you, Mr. Thompson. It’s easy to tell we don’t like your opinions. We don’t like your conduct in our forums. We don’t like the way you describe people that many of us respect. We really, really have a problem with what you keep saying about us.

Many of us honestly believe that some of your more infamous exclamations have been made out of frustration or in jest. Still, we also know plenty well that those outbursts usually do express your real opinion about us. Rather than quarrel with this, we’ve chosen to stick with what matters to the rest of the country;

What is your main agenda, stated clearly?

We’ve heard your public statements that “violent and sexually explicit games do not belong in the hands of minors.”

Well, they certainly don’t. That statement is true to everyone. Any excessively violent or sexually explicit material should be kept away from children. Even if we disagree on how to achieve this, the motive itself seems agreeable.

"I think self-regulation is the first step. Parents ought to take control over their children's lives... If it requires regulation after that, fine, but I don't think government should replace that... And sometimes we rush in to fill the void when it's more appropriate for moms and dads to be, ultimately, the best regulators." – Jeb Bush

Regardless of party affiliation, I think that states our viewpoint pretty well. While your stance is consistently reliant on legislation, individual responsibility has always been central to us; adults responsible for themselves, parents responsible for children. Many of us grew up with parents that took an active role in what we were playing and seeing. We are undoubtedly better for it.

Now, we are altogether unclear on your position. You have made claims to seek the safety of children, but at the same time have gone to lengths to demand censorship, to insist items be taken from stores and destroyed, never be released, and have gone so far as to make the statement “kiss the video game industry goodbye.” This is contrary to your other statements. This behavior implies a call for censorship, bans, and a general hatred of the very medium of interactive digital entertainment. Obviously these can be exaggerations, as almost none were ever made directly to the press. Most, however, were made to us, so we must ask, where is your final position on the nature of this industry and its future?



PIXELANTES

It’s no surprise to anyone at this point that we have embraced ‘pixelante’ as a particularly humorous and delightful title. We are well aware this is not what you intended, but it’s worth taking a closer look at.

According to most sources, you coined this term in October 2005. A hybrid of “pixel” and “vigilante,” you have given a number of definitions for it since;

-“sociopaths with mouses”

-“pimple-faced geeks who use death threats to drive people of faith and with values from the public square.”

-“…a pejorative term that puts anyone in that category in a category with the KKK and skinheads.”

Now, your admitted decision that the word was on par with “cracker,” “skinhead,” and “child molester” is mystifying. Coining what, in that context, is meant to be an ethnic slur and then demanding it be recognized as such is… awkward. By linguistic interpretation, you are the single person in the nation who uses that word as a cultural/ageist slur and its meaning as such is debatable. To understand why we find the word fascinating, we need to take a slightly closer look.

The word is a hybrid of an already funny notion, ‘pixel vigilante.’ To our culture, reference to ‘pixels,’ though a literal term in digital displays, immediately conjures to mind memories of Atari-style consoles from the 1980s. Each of these games was full of blocky 4-bit avatars attempting abstract actions towards similarly blocky goals. The instant mental image of a character like Pitfall Harry, a caricature consisting of what must be a dozen colored squares, being a menacing figure to the political arena is… well, it’s really funny.

Eliminating the ‘vigil’ aspect of ‘vigilante’ has left it with the ‘ante’ suffix that begs for an accented e. Having removed the most notably Americanized use the that suffix, you have turned it back to its basic roots of Spanish phraseology. ‘Vigilante’ is certainly your intent, but the average mind will turn to ‘picante’ or ‘caliente’ first. That’s pretty funny.

The classic rule of ‘comedy K’s’ also seems to apply here. The syllable ‘pix’ alone is a funny sound, but the full-fledged “pixelante” is an inherently funny word. The excess of syllables, unevenly distributed consonants, and the time it takes to speak and read it all keep it from being brief and inflammatory as you intended. Instead, it just sounds funny.

These are all subjective aspects of linguistics, however, and the simplest point is overlooked.

“Pixelante on, oh confused ones. Your tragic dithering because you have nothing else today helps condemn your entire generation.” – Jack Thompson, November 2005

You defined “pixelantes” as the representatives of this generation. You personally declared us to be a gestalt entity, a complete community under the moniker of Pixelante. You stretched it even further beyond ‘pimple-faced geeks,’ and so much past ‘sociopaths with mouses(sic).’ You declared us to be an entire condemned generation of hopeless Pixelantes. You just gave us a word. “Gamers” is too exclusive towards those who don’t do much gaming, so you personally gave us Pixelante to serve as title to all children of the digital age.

You said that Pixelantes are monsters and child molesters and whitebread crackers and deviants and homicidal maniacs and atheists and failures and so forth. You also said that every single one of us is a Pixelante. So, I guess we’re all going to be Pixelantes to you no matter what. May as well enjoy it.



THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR MEDIA AND THE FAMILY

This issue is a less popularized one, but still a matter we are unclear on. It is widely known that the NIMF distanced themselves from you last year, and that you went on to argue they were a corrupt organization in the pockets of retailers. It’s not necessary to take sides on what happened there, and we’ll leave it alone. However, we would like to know your current opinion and/or relationship with this organization.

Even after those incidents, the NIMF upheld its same judgmental standards towards the ESRB. Its ratings and comments were incredibly harsh and met with great criticism, obviously, but the more rational among us begged to question; isn’t their stance towards the ESRB (and the industry in general) along most of the same lines as yours?

We know you are not on good terms with Dr. Walsh, but what we are interested to know is your opinion of the actions they have taken since. The NIMF’s position remains rooted in about the same spot, demanding massive industry and ratings reform and possible legislation.

Are you not in favor of this? Do you support the actions of the organization despite your opinion of Dr. Walsh, or do you feel he has turned the entire group astray?

There are many of us out there who disagree with the NIMF as much as we do with you. We’re simply less vocal about it. To us that puts you on the same side, but time has proved that’s usually not the case. How do you feel about their current state?



MINOR QUESTIONS

There are obscure rumors circulating that you seek to be a Presidential candidate in 2008 or later. Most of us find these unfounded (and more than a little bizarre,) but we felt it best to ask you. Do you have any immediate or near-future plans for entering into the political arena, state or federal? Again, the subject has passed by a few of us but no concrete evidence has been found.

Why did you not debate Attorney Tom Buscaglia? It is believed that you offered to at least once. Is it possible you will in the future?

What can we, as a community, do to maintain some kind of non-threatening open forum with you? Are there any people, mediums, or sources we may go through that will receive your earnest attention? If there is, I can assure you it will receive ours.



IN CLOSING

In all honesty, sir, what began as a small project to accomplish this escalated into much, much more. It would almost be safe to say we accomplished our goals before even having sent this to you.

We are the ‘condemned generation’ of ‘pixelantes’ of whom you have spoken. We communicate and entertain through digital means. We are not just children, we are the entire bracket of men and women that live in and understand the digital age. We all play video games. We also do much more.

You insult us, berate us, call us names, cover us with blanket statements, and I don’t know why we put up with it.

It’s people like us that manage the servers your website operates from. People like us that keep email functioning, that keep nasty viruses out of computers like yours. People like us are doing things as miniscule as serving you food, and people like us are at every go-between step of getting your correspondence from one place to another.

Pixelantes are all around you, sir. We range from fourteen to forty, and then some. We can be full-time students. We can have full-time jobs. We can raise families or we can raise buildings. We manage food, money, entertainment, communication, and nothing short of knowledge for everyone around us, including you.

We are everywhere, all the time, and you refuse to acknowledge it.

This little project was originally intended to band together a few dozen people, hopefully across the country, to buy one nice vase of flowers to send to you alongside this nice letter. We hoped it could come together in a week or so.

We have had at least two hundred unique donors and another two hundred signatures of support from around the world, from almost every state, from Canada, all across the United Kingdom, from Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Australia, China, and Japan.

We have received names and letters and support from network administrators, store owners, financial consultants, journalists, college students, school teachers, law students, mothers, fathers, athletes, software engineers, architects, nurses, pastors, men and women from each branch of the armed forces, and all sorts of deliverymen. A pixelante may very well have handed you this letter.

These are people integral to every function of society. These are people that make it even possible for you to spread your messages of hatred. These men and women, the obvious underpinnings of society all around the world, have heard you constantly comparing them to klan members, child molesters, and murderers. They’ve all heard it. Quite frankly, they don’t appreciate it.

It should be easy to relish in this attention. You, sir, have worldwide acclaim. Your name has reached other countries, other continents, and (off the record) seems downright hated in Australia.

You’re famous, around the world.

Now look at the truth that has assembled behind that.

Two nineteen-year-old college students in Flint, Michigan, who have never been on television, have never written a book, and don’t have much in the way of leadership training took a moment to say, “pixelantes, unite.”

In two and a half days, the world had rushed in. We hoped for dozens in a week. We had hundreds in days. We hoped for a pretty bouquet, and now you’ve got this.

We are all people who can’t stand you, who may not even respect you, but banded together because we wanted to approach you with civility. In calling us monsters, hating us, belittling us to the rest of your generation, you’ve worked towards uniting our own. We are the pixelantes, we are the geek activists, we are the mass that can spawn in a matter of days simply for a cause of decency.

We, the two fools who began this, started an accidental movement in two days. We found support in letters, on servers, in people everywhere. Those pixels, the digital lifestyle, our gaming nature… the very internet itself was our means.

We, however, are good enough people to use it as a tool for a message, and not as a weapon. We used it as a means to send you a long letter and a lot of pretty flowers, because we’re nice, silly people like that.

Imagine what will happen if real leaders take charge among us.



Sincerely,

George T. Ettinger, III and Alyson L. Burch, Founders Flowers For Jack

PS: Because we accidentally overshot our maximum donation goal by over fifty percent, we decided to donate the excess to charity in your name. Thanks for making this possible, Mr. Thompson! Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play Charity appreciates it.


OUR SUPPORTERS, CONTRIBUTORS, AND DONATORS

STAFF AND ORGANIZATIONS
Adam "Andy" Levine and the staff of GamerAndy.com
Phillip Roncoroni and the staff of www.goodcowfilms.com
Jacob A. Krogol, Woodhaven, MI
The staff of Orange Lounge Radio, www.orangeloungeradio.com
Kenneth Powers and the staff of http://www.game2life.com
Patrick Hoffer, Owner of Caife Cistin, Post Falls, ID
David C. Campbell, Owner/Reporter of Nwizard.com, Raleigh, NC
The Staff and Community of www.flashflashrevolution.com
Dan Mattia and the staff of www.game-overdrive.com
Bram Weinreder, Enschede, The Netherlands


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NORTH CAROLINA
Noah Smith, Shelby, NC
Chris Morrison, Greensboro, NC
Tracy Beck, Morrisville, NC


OKLAHOMA
Matthew McKay, Norman, OK
Rebecca Anne Blackmore, Tulsa, OK


OHIO
Rachel Bender, Dayton, OH
David Miranda-Klein, Cincinati, OH
Alex Goewey, Cincinnati, OH
Elijah Moreland, Lebanon, OH
Robb Williams, Youngstown, OH
Maegan Foster, Youngstown, OH
Greg Mercer, Toledo, OH
Amy K. Watson, Columbus, OH


OREGON
Sean O'Hollaren, Portland, OR


PENNSYLVANIA
Christopher Martarano, Scranton, PA
Joseph Matt, Yardley, PA
Joshua D. McGill, Lock Haven, PA
Wendy Reigle, Lock Haven, PA


SOUTH CAROLINA
Evan Hildreth, SC
Charles David Tupper, Charleston, SC


TENNESSEE
Micah Jones, Chattanooga, TN
Zachary Weston Lewis, Shelbyville, TN
Tim Horner, Knoxville, TN


TEXAS
Dillon Votaw, DFW, TX
Eric Henson, TX
Jonathan Hull, San Antonio, TX
Adam Fields, Mt. Pleasant, TX
Andy Husak, TX
Alan Macon, Fort Worth, TX
Josue Reyna, Donna, TX
Patrick Faulkner, Deer Park, TX
Chris Garrett, Victoria, TX
Tejeev Patel, Dallas, TX
Nick Pate, Georgetown, TX
Austin Long, Georgetown, TX
Matt Covey, Georgetown, TX
Jeremy Romine, Georgetown, TX
Brady Myers, Georgetown, TX
Mark Pergil, Georgetown, TX
Zach Trevino, Georgetown, TX
Curtis Peterson, Georgetown, TX
Cody Pope, Georgetown, TX
Jason Hammock, Georgetown, TX
Kenneth Judge, Georgetown, TX
Stephen Sullivan, Georgetown, TX
Kyle Wasson, Georgetown, TX
Chase Labenski, Georgetown, TX
Justin Kasulka, Austin, TX
Randi Bottomley, Grapevine, TX
Michael Mahoney, Houston, TX
Jack Glantzberg, Austin, TX
Chris Bistany, San Antonio, TX


UTAH
Sean McTigue, Salt Lake City, UT


VIRGINIA
Justin Gaines, Chester, VA
Todd Belcher, Richmond, VA
Adam Brinson, Colonial Heights, VA


WASHINGTON
Stephen King III, Redmond, WA
Nick Burrows, Seattle, WA
Taylor Risley, Kelso, WA
Mike Thompson, Walla Walla, WA
Steven Chen, WA
Tom Martin, Tacoma, WA


WEST VIRGINIA
William Long, Gary, WV


WISCONSIN
Brian Rojas, Madison, WI
Ethan Zlomke, Madison, WI
Patrick Shawn Church, Oshkosh, WI
Brian Hughes, Elm Grove, WI
Jeff Witthuhn, Appleton, WI


WYOMING
Avery Lee, Green River, WY


CURRENTLY SERVING IN US MILITARY
Adin Burroughs, Capt USAFR & Jen Burroughs



CANADA
Meghan Nowosad, Toronto, Canada
Rob Leveille, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dave Lundrigan, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Maximillion Guy Johnson, Parksville, BC, Canada
Nathanael Ritz, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
David Van Den Bossche, Brandon, MB, Canada
Nathan Da Silva, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Cal Hilde, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
Tito Martin-Nemtin, Victoria, BC, Canada
Cam Blatchford, Kamloops, BC, Canada
Allison Yan, Toronto, Canada
Timothy Ng, Toronto, Canada
Liam MacInnes, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Paul Cousins, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Jonathan Roe, Ontario, Canada
Martin N. Sutton, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Mia-Stephanie McPhail, Montreal, Canada
Keith Fitzpatrick, Labrador City, Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada
Michel Hau, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Steven Crawford, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Lucas Woelfel, BC, Canada
Amber Johnson, Regina, SK, Canada


AUSTRALIA
Jason Bourne, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Craig Bourne, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Dan Renfree, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Jason Maddocks, Chelsea, Victoria, Australia
Luke Shillabeer, Parkdale, Victoria, Australia
Edward Ward, Perth, Western Australia
Mitchell Edwards, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Brendan O'Connell, Albury, NSW, Australia
Adam Savage, Tasmania, Australia
Guy Hawdon, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Rob Raisch, Sydney, Australia
Massimo Magee, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Nathan Slater, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
David van der Heide, Ayr, Queensland, Australia
Alistair Wallis, Adelaide, Australia


UNITED KINGDOM
Stuart Pooley, London, United Kingdom
Matthew Fowler, Fareham, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Tristan Fernie, Cowbridge, United Kingdom
Neale Cranna, Scotland, United Kingdom
Richard Evans, Gloucester, England
Christopher Allen Higham, Liverpool, England
Robin Marlow, West Midlands, United Kingdom
Oliver Barker, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Simon Whitten, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England
Mark Crosby, Manchester, United Kingdom
Robert Cowie, Portmsouth, Hampshire, England
Edward Higgins, South England
Jon Betts, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Iain Bruce, London, United Kingdom
Jim Collins, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Paul Cosgrove, Belfast, N. Ireland
Katie Collins, Barkway and Egham, England, United Kingdom
Liam Slater, London, England


NORWAY
Kim Johansen, Tønsberg, Vestfold, Norway
Eivind Eggen, Porsgrunn, Norway
Geir Smestad, Bergen, Norway


NETHERLANDS
Bart Sikkes, Enschede, Netherlands
Jorick van Doorn, the Netherlands
Lars Cornelis, Almere, the Netherlands


NEW ZEALAND
Thomas JR Graham, Auckland, New Zealand


MEXICO
Angel Garcia, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico


PERU
Rodolfo A. Cabada Jr., Trujillo, Peru


SINGAPORE
Tiffany Leong, Singapore

current mood: ecstatic

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Friday, January 13th, 2006
3:27 pm - My email to Concerns of Police Survivors about 25 to Life
Dear Sir/Madam

Please know that I come to you as a 911 dispatcher who works with police officers and not as a video game player (or gamer, if you will).

I have seen where you are protesting the release of a video game from Eidos Interactive called "25 to Life" (source: http://www.abc4.com/local_news/featured_websites/story.aspx?content_id=2570007E-3F54-4784-8F92-263759B1118C). I understand your concern with the video game and its contents. However I believe that you may have been misled to come to this conclusion. I understand that your organization has hired Miami Attorney Jack Thompson to help file a lawsuit against the video game. I must bring to your attention this man's true attidtude to this matter and his true intentions.

First of all, please know this about me. My name is Joshua McGill. I am a 911 Emergency Dispatcher for the community that I live in. I have heard of your organization before and totally support the wonderful things you do for the survivors of fallen police officers. My greatest fear going into work everyday is hearing a call for an ambulance because I have an officer hurt or worse. I pray that day never comes.

The reason I think that you have been misled about this game is because this game is more than just a "thug" or "crime simulator". This game is one where you can play as a police officer going after the criminals as well. The best way to describe this game is a virtual online game of "Cops and Robbers". Here is a link to an interview with some of the creators of the game (http://ps2.ign.com/aticles/599/599485p1.html) with IGN, a modern culture and entertainment related website. They talk not only about this aspect of the game, but also go a little into the story line of the single player experience of the game and say that you do go back and forth playing a police officer and a criminal.

Also about Mr. Thompson. He is not the type of person you think that he is. I would like to point you to a number of sites that have his his press releases, open letters, email responses to certain individuals, but also news bits about the things that he has been doing and references to his responses in regards to people who are his opposition. These are all of his own words and I implore you to please look at these writings and see the man for what he truly is. I do not beleive that he has the best interest of this organization in mind. These are the sites I would like for you to see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson

http://www.jackthompson.org

http://www.livejournal.com/users/gamepolitics/176526.html?thread=10289294#t10289294 --This is a response to a news story on website http://www.gamepolitics.com that Jack Thompson wrote. The title of his response is "Jack Thompson Here". In it he compares himself to Jesus Christ.

http://www.theflabar.org/ --This is Jack Thompson's website. He did this in retaliation to being investigated by the Florida Bar for incidents with Howard Stern and the Sony v. Strickland case in Alabama.

If the information that you got on this video game came from Mr. Thompson, then I do apologize that he has misled you and your organization so completely. I urge you to read the interview I referenced to you above and the other articles on the game that IGN has. I feel that this game could have been used as a recruiting tool by Law Enforcement personnel and officials if Eidos would have been contacted by said officials soon enough. It is a shame that it appears that these officials, including your fine organization, were so clearly misled from doing that. Please feel free to contact me regarding this matter. I am always more than willing to talk. My email address is jdmcgill1@yahoo.com. I always have access to it and will respond back immediately.

Thank you for your time on the matter

Joshua D. McGill
jdmcgill1@yahoo.com


Journal note: I sent this email because I felt that this organization needed to know just what type of person that Jack was and that I believed that they have been misled as to the content of the game.

current mood: happy

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Tuesday, January 10th, 2006
2:41 am - Sensationalism strikes again.
http://www.livejournal.com/users/gamepolitics/174414.html

http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060107/NEWS01/601070319/1010

Sensationalism in journalism strikes again. A link made to video games where none exists. It is a shame that people feel that they need to lie to generate news. Reading the article from the Tallahassee Democrat the flier in question appears to be from "The Zombie Survival Guide", a humorous parody written by Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks. There is no link to video games, but somebody, whether it was one of the officers or the journalist herself, decided to try and make one where one does not exist.

And then we have more from Jack Thompson:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/columnists/story/5446063p-4916552c.html

In it, Jack claims that the terrorists that hijacked the planes on Sept. 11 "trained" using the Microsoft Flight Simulator. However it is proven fact that while the hijackers did play flight simulators, they trained at real flight schools in Arizona, Oklahoma, Florida, California, and Germany. Some of them also took classes at colleges in regards to aeronautics and airplane construction (source: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/683026/posts This is a time line of the hijackers. It is very well put together with links to show their proof.) Once again your lies are debunked. Also, you claim that Malvo (one of the D.C. Snipers) "trained" playing Halo. Again I ask you, have you forgotten that his partner was John Mohammad, a military trained sniper. It's not hard to formulate from there that more than likely it was Mohammad that trained Malvo, not Halo. And as far as Bully goes. I have been trying to follow this game quite a bit. There has not been much released on the game, other than your releases. And just because you bought stock in Take-Two Interactive, doesn't mean that you know either, nor does it make you an expert on video game and video game content. In fact, the very fact that I have been playing games since I was 5 years old, plus that I read the trade magazines and visit numerous trade sites (including gamepolitics.com), makes me more of an expert on video games and video game content than you will ever be, and I'm not even an industry insider.

current mood: good

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Thursday, October 27th, 2005
5:52 pm - This is disgusting.
Just saw this on Joystiq. Got the link from gamepolitics.com

http://www.joystiq.com/entry/1234000987065327/

That video is completely disgusting. This is a 9 yr old child playing an M rated game (Rainbow Six 3)over X-BOX Live! treating his mother like shit. I I would have acted like that my parents would not only turned the game off, they would have taken the system, all the games I had and sold them. Then I would have had my face slapped for treating my mother in that manner, sent to my room and grounded for a month. The fact that not only did the mother not turn the system off, but let him abuse her like that over a service like X-BOX Live! for the entire world to hear is absolutely disgusting.

The only thing that you can say "positive" about this gross display of parental negligence is that it shows what the true problem is when it comes to keeping mature rated titles out of minors. The true problem are parents exactly like the mother in this video.

Think about this. An X-BOX costs $150. $300 if the thing was bought earlier in the system cycle around 2001-2002). For a 1 year subscription of X-BOX Live! the price is $50. If it was a new subscription then they paid $60 in store which got them the headset and another game with the 1 yr membership. To get X-BOX Live! activated if the subscription was new, you have to enter a credit card number (I had to to activate mine last year). The cost of the game new is $50. Are you going to honestly tell me that this 9 yr old child paid for this all on his own behind his parents. Even IF he was able to get his hands on the game behind his parents back there is still the fact of the other expenses, and the fact of the credit card requirement for X-Box Live!. To me this accentuates what I have shown to be the real problem.

Parents, a little advise. Spanking your children for them misbehaving is not abuse!! Children and Youth Services will not take your children away from you for disciplining your child. You will not go to jail for giving your child a smack on the ass for misbehaving. The type of negligence that is so blatantly obvious in this video can be considered abuse just as much as true physical abuse. Educate yourselves about all things in your children's lives. Your lives and their's will be much richer for it. My parents allowed me to be a gamer. They also allowed me to watch all sorts of movies, listen to various music, and read all kinds of books. I was reading Anne Rice, Stephen King, and Tom Clancy by age 13. By 15 I had read The Silence of the Lambs 6 times. However they decided when I could read them. When they felt I was mature enough to handle such matter, I was allowed to partake in it. If I ever acted out or misbehaved, I was disciplined for my actions. Sometimes severely. I thank my parents every day for the way they raised me because I feel they raised me right. My dad is going through a nasty divorce with my Stepmother and an even nastier Child Custody case. I have learned a lot about what is and is not considered abuse by C&Y services. What I described above is definitely NOT considered abuse.

current mood: nauseated

(1 comment | comment on this)

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005
5:43 am - Some things I have found out
I'm sitting here at work, watching CNN. They're running a story on the Iraq bombings. As I am watching the report and they show the bombings, I notice that they cut a piece of the story from what I saw on the internet from MSNBC. On the MSNBC video it showed that the cement truck went through the security wall that was made by the first blast towards the hotel. However as it approached the U.S. Military in the area pushed the truck back and it detonated outside of the breach in the street. On CNN, they cut this part out and made it look like it detonated inside the security wall. Even the reporter reporting the story made it sound like it detonated inside the security wall. This got me to thinking about some things, and I started to think back to reports that I have seen on CNN or other news sources and the truths or half truths I have seen. I wonder if Jack Thompson would like to comment on these that I have seen.

During 9/11, before it was found out who was responsible and how they were trained, I saw a report on CNN that the terrorists responsible trained using the MSN Flight Simulator. This report so thoroughly disgusted me due to the blatant lie that it was (we didn't even know who it was at the time, let alone how they trained, but they instantly went to video games. I remember this report VERY vividly. It was Paula Zahn who reported on it) that vowed I would never watch CNN again. The only reason I watched it this morning is because my partner was watching it.

Jack Thompson stating that the Malvo boy involved in the Washington Sniper case trained by playing Halo. I guess the fact that his partner in the crime was a Military trained sniper and that the Malvo boy even stayed with this person (John Mohammad) is a non issue. Using a fictional energy weapon in a Sci-Fi fantasy game will give you more training and make you a better shooter than being taught by someone who was taught by the military? riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. If that were true then I am the best football coach around and the Houston Texans should hire me because not only will I turn their season around and start them winning. I'll actually take them to the Super Bowl and they will win it this year. Why do I know that I can do it? Simply because playing Madden trained me to do it. I have no real world football experience whatsoever. But I do have about 10 years worth of Madden experience so that should actually make me a better coach then Madden himself. Just ask Jack Thompson. I'm just using his logic in that all games are "training simulators".

There are a few more, however I have to do a bit more research. Unlike Jack Thompson I like to do thorough research on something before I write or say something about it

current mood: annoyed

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Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
2:56 am - Some random stuff
Can't wait for GTA: Liberty City Stories to come out on PSP. That is looking pretty good. I hope this marks a turn around as far as games go coming to PSP. I'm hoping for some great games.

I was talking with my fiance on the way home from EB Games earlier today and we got to talking about Mario Games. We both go to thinking, what if they made a Mario football game? Since Nintendo seems to be allowing EA to put Mario in a lot of the sports titles from their EA Sports Big line, why not allow them to make a Mario football game using the engine from NFL Street? I think that it would be a pretty good game.

I was checking out Wikipedia.org today. I never really played around with that site. There sure is a lot of info on Jack Thompson on that site. All I have to say is wow. Talk about coming out of left field. I'm not talking about the recent stuff with Penny Arcade or the misadventures with Scott from VGCats a few months ago. I'm talking about a few years back from his exploits of running for office against Janet Reno and then the subsequent article in the one Miami Newspaper that the site has referenced. Those are your own words Mr. Thompson and all I have to say is just......wow.

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Saturday, October 22nd, 2005
1:24 am - Jack Thompson and his "crusade" against gamers.
I have been following what has been going on with Miami Attorney Jack Thompson and Penny Arcade, as well as reading the posts that are supposedly from Jack Thompson on the sites gamepolitics.com and joystiq.com. I must say that I am shocked that a man would act in such a manner as this lawyer has.

Mr Thompson, I direct the rest of my journal entry to you. I have a few questions to ask, and while I know you will probably never read this unless you actually look up every single little thing that is written about you on the internet, I will place them here none the less. I will not email you or contact you in any way. If you read this then I hope you will answer my questions, I will leave my email address at the bottom making it easier for you to find to contact me if you want.

First let me tell you a little about myself, I have already filled out the profile provided on this site, but again I leave it here for easier access if all you are looking for are mentionings of yourself. My name is Joshua McGill. I am 28 years old. I am work as a 911 Emergency Dispatcher for the community I live in. I am also a gamer. I have been playing video games since I was about 5 years old. The first game I ever played was on an old Texas Instruments "computer" that was nothing but a keyboard that understood BASIC and took cartridges and hooked into your TV. That game was called Parsec. I have never ever had a notion to want to kill someone or do anything violent of the like. If you would like to know more about me, again email me and I will tell you what you would like to know.

My first question is this: What is the problem that you have with the Gamer Community that you continually degrade and insult us like you have recently done on sites like www.gamepolitics.com and www.joystiq.com? Why must you constantly be calling us such callous things as "cretins" and "drooling idiots"? You do realize that the gaming community is not some small cult group but an entire global community that reaches into the hundreds of millions quite easily, right? We are not just the common dregs either. We list amongst our ranks very prominent athletes, musicians, actors, politicians, the list goes on and on. I wonder if you truly know the group that you are fighting against?

My second question is this: You do realize that every time a falsehood is uttered about the gaming industry as was readily demonstrated 2 nights ago when you were on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, that the truth will be told through a virtual flood of letters, emails, phone calls, and complaints to these shows to make sure that the truth is told. My example is when it was falsely stated that Blitz: The League by Midway does not have the NFL license attached to it because the NFL wouldn't allow it. The real truth is at the end of last year the NFL and Electronic Arts (from now on called EA in this writing) struck a deal stating that EA would be given exclusive rights to all NFL properties for I believe the next 5 or 6 years? The game was made to look like it is and play like it does in answer to this deal. That sir is the truth and can be verified quite easily.

My third question is this: You claim you want to keep mature rated games out of the hands of minors. I agree with that claim. However is this your true goal or are you trying to have video games banned all together? Your actions seem to verify the latter. My evidence in this matter is your frivolous lawsuit against Target and Best Buy for pre-selling the game. Again, in my eyes and my evidence in this matter is your lawsuit against these companies, as referenced in articles that I have read on the matter on IGN.com, Kotaku.com, gamepolitics.com, and joystiq.com, you are trying to have this game banned all together so not only won't it reach the hands of minors, but also adults who happen to enjoy games such as myself. That sir is wrong and I believe a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

My fourth question about your logic in a few matters. You claim that the Malvo boy that was involved in the Washington Sniper case trained on the game Halo. You referenced this on your site www.stopkill.com. I am wondering, sir, if you are forgetting that Malvo was joined by a military trained sniper by the name of John Mohammad. I am also wondering, sir, that you are forgetting that Malvo stayed with John Mohammad as told in numerous articles on the story, from CNN, Fox News, and other creditable news agencies.

You also claim that Grand Theft Auto is a "murder simulator" that "trains" people to kill. Taking that same wording, since the Madden NFL series and NFL 2K series of football games are considered real world football simulators, does that mean that I am now a fully trained expert on coaching football and should be good enough to not only run a team, but take a floundering team like the Houston Texans or the Minnesota Vikings in their current state, and not only turn them into winning franchises, but make them Super Bowl Champions within a year? After all why not considering that I could do that very thing in those games.

I leave this as it is for now, it certainly is long enough. I have more questions but I leave them for another time. Again my name is Joshua McGill and I hope you have a nice day

Sincerely

Joshua D. McGill
jdmcgill1@yahoo.com

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