Jack Thompson-Appreciation-Thread(Not really)

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Jack Thompson-Appreciation-Thread(Not really)

Postby Mad-Hamlet » Tue Oct 18, 2005 12:38 pm

Greetings,

I thought a good restart might be in order.

So I've been doing a little digging, I'm not sure how much of this is actual news to my fellow gamers but our ...betenoir...has been around for a while.
Rather than bombard you with a series of links, regardless of how well they're slipped into the commentary I'll just point you in the direction of JT's Wikipedia entry (Home of the 'Nevada-Tan' entry- Look it up, it's DISTURBING!)

The HotLink doesn't work so you'll have to do a C&P job.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson_(attorney)

Now, that's a pretty darn thorough article. I think it sums up everything that's been going on. I read it backwards, fowards, insides out and sideways...twice.

And this is my conclusion:

Jack Thompson is not crazy. He's not a looney, he's not unstable nor is he something as simple as a 'Headline Hungary, Gum-Flapping, Conservative Attention Whore'.

He's dangerous.

This is a man who has a concept of Morality. Please note the capital 'M'. The difference between Morality and morality is that the former is an idea carried by a induvidual, or a group that believes there outlook on the universe is not just the 'Right' one for themselves, or even that it is what everyone's outlook on the universe should be but rather that it is the ACTUAL outlook OF reality itself and therefore sacrosant.

This is a man without reason. That is not to say he is no reasoning capabilities; on the contrary he must be quite good at that, somehow releaseing statements that would get others crucified in the media(Indicitive of some sort of understanding between Thompson and mainstream...or at least it can be argued as such)

Now, all these little entries get written on gamer sites, written by gamers, for gamers, but where's the real education posts that non-gamers might come across?

Thompson, and the growing throngs of like minded fearful masses have me serious concerned. And you?

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Re: Jack Thompson-Appreciation-Thread(Not really)

Postby Kane Magus » Tue Oct 18, 2005 1:51 pm

(Moving this response from the "GTA: Vice City Brou-ha-ha" thread to here, even though it's partially a response to a post made there)

Mad-Hamlet wrote:Greetings,

Damnit Magus, you beat me to it.

Well, there is one more thing that we can add; acting with outrage, or even bemusement, or scorn toward the antics of Thompson and Clinton andLieberman (Remember, it's not one Looney tune here, it's three.)
is self-defeating.

And it's not just those three either. As I have said here and elsewhere, Thompson is only one among many, though he is the most prominent at the moment. However, as an aside, I found it interesting that Thompson criticizes both Clinton and Lieberman in his letter to David Walsh. He bashes Clinton for attending an ESA fundraiser, since "to take money from the ESA is to take blood money." He bashes Lieberman because Lieberman "wants with Senator Clinton to fund a study with taxpayer dollars to find out if violence in entertainment really makes kids violent. That was decided years ago. It is a dodge from having to do something about the violence." And this is after he all but officially declared his love to Clinton in that Chatterbox radio interview.

But, yeah, a reaction is exactly what Thompson and his ilk are looking for. The more enraged the better. For Thompson, at least, his MO seems to be that the bigger an asshole he is, the bigger our wrath against him will be, and then he can point and say "see?!!!" Fortunately for us, most of the responses from the gaming community have been fairly measured and end up making Thompson look like the fool that he is. On the other hand, it's not really safe to just hope that they'll go away if we ignore them, either. It's best to take the high road, if not necessarily because it will make a difference with them, since Thompson at least seems to have already made up his mind and no amount of debate will change it, but because it might make a difference with those who could potentially be misinformed by them.

There should also be a smidgen of true understanding on what exactly is going on here. Thompson, despite his appearances, is not stupid, or mentally deficient (ethically apparently); he, and his cohorts, are rather clever and to see it ...well someone else wrote it far better than I could and that would be Matthew Sakey who wrote an article Here

It's not quite as 'Entertaining' in that vapid way the Thompson Kerfluffles are but probably you're a lot better off reading it.

I agree with this, for the most part. This is why I take the writer's advice and try to spread the word as far and as wide as I can to my non-gaming family and friends that all the stuff they hear from the likes of Thompson about games is either grossly exaggerated and taken out of context or else is flat-out false, and that games, even the supposed "bad" ones like GTA and the like, really aren't as bad as they are made out to be in The Media. Well, at least, not any moreso than other forms of entertainment like movies or books or whatever that aren't currently in the spotlight like games are.

While I still think Thompson at least is, at best, deluding himself if he thinks he's actually doing some sort of good or, at worst, exploiting for his own ends both the game industry and victims of violence by drawing an illusory connection between the two, I don't at all deny that the man is a genius when it comes to stirring up controversy. Even if he sucks hard at defending his points in true debate, he's a master at putting forward the impression that he knows what he's talking about, at least with those who aren't familiar with games (like the aforementioned Clinton and Lieberman, among others). It's obvious that he doesn't care about the truth, since he makes the most blatantly asinine statements as if they were hard fact. He just cares about making as big a scene as he possibly can. While, on the surface, I find his antics amusing, deep down he scares the shit out of me, because I realize he's only one of the most vocal and that there are plenty of others out there who share his views.

Honestly, Thompson himself isn't a real threat, at least not anymore, since what credibility he might have had is all but totally gone now. However, there are still plenty of others like him out there, who have more influence and potentially more believeability, and who will act more cautiously than Thompson does but who will still spread the same lies and misinformation. All of these people have agendas beyond the surface issue, which in this case is video game content. They couldn't give less of a rat's ass about video game content, except that they think it's an easy target for them to take on so that they can further those agendas.

I dunno, maybe a new thread should be started with a slightly broader topic area then JUST GTA Brouhaha.

That's a good idea, especially since we're in the process of expanding the Push Start forum with new content. Maybe a general game news/game politics thread for stuff like this. It's up to Alessar if he wants to make it an official thing.

...or we can just use this thread. *nods sagely*

Now to respond to this actual post in this thread:

Mad-Hamlet wrote:I thought a good restart might be in order.

So I've been doing a little digging, I'm not sure how much of this is actual news to my fellow gamers but our ...betenoir...has been around for a while.
Rather than bombard you with a series of links, regardless of how well they're slipped into the commentary I'll just point you in the direction of JT's Wikipedia entry (Home of the 'Nevada-Tan' entry- Look it up, it's DISTURBING!)

The HotLink doesn't work so you'll have to do a C&P job.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson_(attorney)

Now, that's a pretty darn thorough article. I think it sums up everything that's been going on. I read it backwards, fowards, insides out and sideways...twice.

I'm pretty sure I've posted that particular link before, though I can't remember if it was here or to the Digipen LJ community, though I'm thinking it was to the latter. At any rate, If it hasn't been posted here before, then it certainly needs to have been, so thanks for doing so.

And this is my conclusion:

Jack Thompson is not crazy. He's not a looney, he's not unstable nor is he something as simple as a 'Headline Hungary, Gum-Flapping, Conservative Attention Whore'.

While he's definitely not just those things, all of those do describe him rather well. But you're correct that it's bad to just write him off with that.

He's dangerous.

That he most certainly is, though less so now than in the past, before he shot his credibility all to hell. Though I'm sure there are still plenty who consider him some sort of hero.

This is a man who has a concept of Morality. Please note the capital 'M'. The difference between Morality and morality is that the former is an idea carried by a induvidual, or a group that believes there outlook on the universe is not just the 'Right' one for themselves, or even that it is what everyone's outlook on the universe should be but rather that it is the ACTUAL outlook OF reality itself and therefore sacrosant.

Note his frequent and repeated invocation of the name of God and Christianity. I really really really really really don't want to turn this into a religious debate at all, but I would just like to point out that the Bible has been used as the justification, however tenuous that justification may be, for many more crimes than video games ever have.

This is a man without reason. That is not to say he is no reasoning capabilities; on the contrary he must be quite good at that, somehow releaseing statements that would get others crucified in the media(Indicitive of some sort of understanding between Thompson and mainstream...or at least it can be argued as such)

He is, at least, finally starting to draw fire from his own side for his outlandish tactics, so that's something at least.

Now, all these little entries get written on gamer sites, written by gamers, for gamers, but where's the real education posts that non-gamers might come across?

Thompson, and the growing throngs of like minded fearful masses have me serious concerned. And you?

I'm concerned, true enough, but not so much so. With every passing year, the number of video gamers versus non-gamers in this country alone continues to grow. I'm just hoping that sooner, rather than later, we'll so outnumber the ranks of Thompson and his bunch that this issue will pretty much become moot, no matter how loudly and often they raise a ruckus. But until then, we'll just have to put up with him and deal with him as best we can. So far, with the possible exception of Rockstar Games, I think we've been doing a fairly decent job of it.

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Postby Kane Magus » Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:23 pm

Amazing. Simply amazing.

He's trying to get Tycho and Gabe arrested and Penny Arcade shut down.

I am dumbfounded.

They're not too worried about it though, naturally.

(EDIT)
His fifteen minutes of fame may finally be running out.

I'm not sure what good a few letters from angry Penny Arcade forumites to the Florida Bar Association will do, but here's to hoping....

Unfortunately, as I have already said in my last post here (and which Gabe has also recently said), the next person who comes along and takes the position currently occupied by Thompson may be far worse. They may actually be semi-competent.

On the other hand, this could potentially lead to actual debate of the issues rather than the cycle of ad hominem attacks by Thompson against what he seems to think of as a homogeneous entity called the "game industry" and similar counter-attacks by the gaming community against Thompson.
(/EDIT)

(EDIT 2)
And in response to the above, Jack Thompson himself has apparently written a letter to the Florida Bar Association, threatening them with retaliatory legal action if they attempt to take any action against him over this. (Linked below, from the PA forums. Scroll about two-thirds of the way down that page to see the actual letter, in its entirety.)

[url=http://www.penny-arcade.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=201729&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=1475&sid=634eae9e31ba0775f9977213c9606c24]"Now, let me be clear. Any Bar complaint coming from these morons arising out of the above incident is baseless and itself constitutes a violation of a specific federal civil rights statute.

If The Bar proceeds with any of these, it does so at its own peril. The Bar paid me once. I am certainly willing it pay me again, along with others.
[/url]

I usually loathe to wade through the relative sewer that is the Penny Arcade forum, but sometimes I do find gems like this.
(/EDIT 2)

(EDIT 3)
Found a slightly better source for Thompson's letter to the FBA. It was posted, apparently by Thompson himself (again, assuming it's not a poseur), in the comments section of a joystiq.com article that was similar to the above linked arstechnica.com article.
(/EDIT 3)

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Postby Kane Magus » Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:19 pm

This guy has a point.

Also, this one as well.

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Postby Mad-Hamlet » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:09 am

Greetings,

Well, Kane, I can't say I directly agree with the first article.

Not with anything it says per se but more to do with the ideas expressed...better stated the form of the ideas expressed. What I mean is: Of course that odd one year difference is a bit ...well odd. And the realization of it is a very easy one to notice, point out, and argue for in a collected, professional manner.

Now I don't know how J.T. here is working; that he be PongBrained Bonkers or attempting a crude form of manipulation and whoremongering, but either way the 'Attention Grabbing' has become his M.O. So it doesn't matter; he had the chance to preach the message and blew it, now having someone else come along and do so actually weakness J.T's position because if this no-name could do it, why couldn't he have?

J.T's obsessive threatening attitude will bury him; even if he did a total one-eighty and becamse the Mr. Spock of the Video Game Issue Debating Team, it wouldn't take with the readers. He chose his audience to be the reactionary, easily scared, no-nothing parental units and that isn't paying off.

Ah well.

As for the second link...yeah, that I can get behind. As titled: This is appreciation thread.

As far as I'm concerned if we got Jack Thompson and Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahaf -The Former Iraqi Minister of Information on the same side we'd have a comedy that would live for ten thousand years.

JT: The Video Game Companies are Nazi Paedophiliac Obese Psychopaths who Don't Eat Their Wheaties while reading their bible!!

MSAS: We are in the destroying of the evil, video gamers. They are destroyeded. Penny Arcade is of the destroyeded. VG cats is of the destroyeded. Glory to the forces, march as they do over the destroyeded bodies of Penny Arcade and VG Cats. Destroyeded I tell you. I'll bring pictures.

JT: And if they are not destroyeded- I mean destroyed, I'll sue them for failure to die and selling their souls to evil as they obviously have done for if they hadn't they would be destroyed at our say so.

MSAS: Destroyeded, yes. Soul selling whipping people of darkness they were. Won a great day for you all. Freedom from the oppression. Yes!

JT: Whipping people, yes.

MSAS: Destroyeded.

JT: Mmmm...whipping.


It would be hilarious.

The blind leading the blind(and stupid)

the next person who comes along and takes the position currently occupied by Thompson may be far worse. They may actually be semi-competent.


I wouldn't worry about that anytime soon. Whoever this person were to be would be fighting against the memory of 'The Thompson Bozo Manoeuvres'; that would require a person really, REALLY good.

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Postby Kane Magus » Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:14 pm

Oh my. "Jack Thompson Thrown off Alabama Case by Judge."

Also, there is this, which deals with his new book. I must admit that I'm... almost... tempted to try to give Jack's book a read, just to see if it really is as bad as all those reviews make it out to be, assuming I could get my hands on a copy somehow without actually having to buy it of course. Obviously, a lot of those reviews are attacks on Thompson himself by people who probably haven't even actually read the book, which does kind of suck. Even if it is JT to whom it's happening.

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Postby Mad-Hamlet » Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:25 am

Greetings,

So I DID read the book and all I can say is that I'm planning to sue Mr. Thompson for Chronological Theft(Two hours of my life I can never get back) , mental anguish brought on by the demands of the author that I, the reader, being in no way a cryptologist, somehow decode what the HELL he was saying.

And finally I'll be bringing suit for all the innocent trees butchered in the printing of his offal. I'm thinking that buying this book is the TRUE cause of social violence as buying books that waste trees are REALLY murder simulators.

My demands are going to be based on the Carl Sagan Syndrome(BILLIONS AND BILLIONS!)

I couldn't even figure out what Thomposon's central thesis was other than 'GAMES BAD, OOGA, OOGA GRUNT GRUNT!'

It would seem though, the poor response to his 'book', coupled with the whole Alabama fiasco, has driven Thompson back under his rock.

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Postby Kane Magus » Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:09 am

Hmm, looks like we may have a potential contender to Jack Thompson's crown.

Honestly, I've never heard of this guy before, but apparently he's been around for a while now. Maybe that means he's not as bad as JT, in that he's maintained a lower profile... or that could just mean he's smarter than JT, and thus more dangerous.

But then, he's saying that violent media and video games are the largest single threat to modern civilization, so he is at least as kooky as JT, if nothing else.

(EDIT)
Okay, so maybe he isn't quite as bad as JT, judging from this interview with him that I found, and he does make a couple of decent points, but still, anybody who says something like "You need three things to kill people. You need a weapon, you need the skill, and you need the will to kill. Video games provide two out of the three." is pretty out of touch with reality in my not so humble opinion.

Oh, and I suppose I should link the source from which I found most of that other stuff.
(/EDIT)

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Postby Mad-Hamlet » Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:00 pm

Greetings,

Well, I don't know where he's getting his fact, and I'm sure they're more valid than my own considering he has time and probably a lot more recources, but from what I've been able to tell violent crime is at a twenty year low.

However, citing 'statistics' is a tricky buisness, unless you yourself gathered those statistics. Personally I think a lot of this 'fear factor' in the air these days is directly a part of non-stop media attention to 'The Danger'. That aside.

One thing I can tell you about this Grossman is his proposal for legal action against violence has...very little chance. Even under the Republican govt. it probably wouldn't have flown but, from what I've read, the pendulum appears to be creaking in the opposite direction. Who knows?

Under a Democratic Govt this proposal would have even more trouble I think.

It's this line:

On the legal front, Grossman advocates suing the media for negligent portrayal of violence when it is a causal factor in mass killings or suicide.


Impossible to prove. There's allusion, hypothesis but no possible way of presenting such an idea as a workable theory. Lawyers using such a tack would have to depend on rhetoric, moral-superiority, emotional manipulation and moral outrage.

Of course some juries would eat it right up which then would require the case spending several years working its way up to the Supreme Court only to be smacked down.



There's also this:

Grossman believes that we are literally training our children to become highly efficient mass killers.


Again, statistics do not favor such a proclomation since there have been several generations of gamers and no great slaughterfest other than digital ones. The current manufacturer of games don't even have children as the dominant target audiance as most well know and thus the 'We Must Protect The Children' stance is rendered moot. It's up to, as it always has been, the parents.


And for pure entertainment we have:

Grossman seeks the answer to the dilemma through legislation and litigation. Legislatively he promotes treating violence as a destructive commodity such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, and restricting access by minors.


Um...That's what they do already. True, stores are not being that responsible at times but most of the time the situation is more akin to:

Bobby: Mommy, buy me Nun-Munchers Death-Fest 5?

Mommy: Sure hon.

Again, it's the parents.

AND IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME I'LL KILL YOU ALL!!

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Postby Farix » Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:52 pm

Not necessarily a JT topic, but somewhat related.

Wall Street Journal Online wrote:Yesterday a trio of Democratic senators with presidential ambitions introduced federal legislation that they believe can pass constitutional muster.

The legislation, unveiled at a press conference by Democratic senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Evan Bayh of Indiana, would essentially codify the industry's current voluntary rating system. It assigns games letters from "EC," meaning appropriate for early childhood, to "AO" for "adults only." Retailers who sell games rated "mature," "adults only" or "ratings pending" to children under 17 could face fines of $5,000 per violation.

In the words of Glenn Reynolds, "This Sounds Dumb"

Addendum: Further reading the article, I run across this:

Legislatures have struggled to draw sharp boundaries around what should be forbidden. The Illinois law would ban sales to minors of games that portray "human on human" violence. That phrasing led to debates on the floor of the Illinois legislature over whether human-on-space creature violence, or an alien impersonating a human fighting another human, would be prohibited. (emphasis mine)

Wow, that terminology is so vague. That would ban every fighting game and most other games such as Pirates, Total War, Warcraft and The Settlers: Heritage of Kings just to name a few. Yes, it really does sound dumb.
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