In a letter sent to GameAlmighty that he claims was also sent to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Thompson claims that “Beltway Sniper” Lee Boyd Malvo, currently serving multiple life sentences for his role in a notorious shooting rampage in 2002, “trained on Microsoft’s Halo,” and that Gates himself admitted the game’s damaging potential when he said on 60 Minutes, “The cool thing about these games is that they transport you to a world you think is real.”
Concluding his letter, he writes, “Here’s the deal, Mr. Gates: Either Microsoft undertakes dramatic, real steps, through its marketing, wholesale, and retail operations to assure that Halo 3 is not sold, via the Internet and in stores, directly to anyone under 17, or I shall proceed to make sure that Microsoft is held to that standard by appropriate legal means. I have done that before successfully as to Best Buy, and I shall do so again as to Microsoft and all retailers of Halo 3.”
Thompson’s legal “successes” are dubious at best; while he has at times caused a stir in the industry with his fiery rhetoric and ability to herd like-minded individuals, much of what he has said and done has proven to be either empty threats or legally unenforceable. He was “preemptively sued” by Take-Two Games and is now effectively barred from suing them, and a Thompson-authored videogame law in Louisiana was recently struck down due to egregious First Amendment infringements. He has faced numerous allegations of professional misconduct over the years, and in February of this year, the Florida Bar began disbarment proceedings against him.