News of a game based on TV's "Judge Mathis" is jawdropping for two reasons: First, I mean, we're talking about a goddamn Judge Mathis video game. A third-person shooter, even.
Second, his honor makes perhaps the most flip comment about prison rape in the history of American jurisprudence.
For those who don't know The Honorable Greg Mathis, he's one of the leading ex-judges dispensing nonbinding but take-no-shit justice in the kind of lower-class kabuki dramas favored by daytime TV. Judge Mathis, a gangbanger who bootstrapped himself to law school and the bench, says he's teaming with filmmaker Matty Rich to put out this game, which sounds like a cross between Saints' Row and Scared Straight!
As the judge tells it, the player inhabits the role of La-Ron Washington, a two-time con who gets out of the pen early thanks to overcrowding. La-Ron "must stay out of trouble, perform community services and avoid negative street influences and temptations. One more strike and La-Ron gets a life sentence from Judge Mathis."
Ah, but there's a spanner in the works: "The entire Detroit underworld wants him dead for the alleged murder of a crime boss – a murder he didn't commit." Just like Grizzly Adams!
This will be a game with a message, kids, which of course means it's going to toss salad. Speaking of:
"When you go to prison, you gain credibility when you come back on the streets. On the other hand, when you go to prison you can also be raped," Mathis tells Yahoo! Games. "So take your chances. We may see young people who make the wrong choice and go to prison and are assaulted repeatedly (in this game)."
Whoa, uh. A few problems here.
• If Judge Mathis intends this game to be a message to young kids, there is absolutely no way even implied prison rape gets lower than an M rating.
• This is a shooter? And you're a con with two strikes, in a game that threatens to jail you for life on your third? As a judge, he should know that possession of a firearm by a felon, much less the discharge of one, is enough to send one back to the joint. So is assault, reckless driving and pretty much anything else you can think of. So either the game's clear-your-name premise fails from the get-go, or he's gonna teach kids that some kinds of violent crime are OK. Me, I'd rather be in the world where I know all violent crime is not OK, so I do it online where it doesn't count.
• In the interview, Judge Mathis cops to playing Grand Theft Auto IV with his sons. Ruh roh ...
• Again, we are talking about a goddamn Judge Mathis video game.
This was dated April 2, so, while it may be a smidge old, I don't think it's an April Fool's joke. If in fact it's a hoax, someone needs to tell Yahoo! And tell me, I'll take this down. But good godamighty, while it may sound bizarre, so did Guitar Praise.
TV's "Judge Mathis" Goes Virtual in New Shooter Game [Yahoo! Games]