Up until now I thought Jack Thompson was being very specific in his attacks against Rockstar and violent video game developers, players, and distributors. I’ve read some of his emails in the past, and I have to say that he’s much better at grammar and punctuation these days. I am sure he gets lots of hate mail from people, especially from kids who can’t do much more than repeat what they say when playing Counter-Strike.
While my opinion of him was never very high, I always tried to assume he at least believed what he was doing was right, that he was doing his best to make a difference in the world for the better. I never liked the idea of calling him an ambulance chaser or accusing him of just trying to make money off of the fears of parents. He was just uninformed or misguided, right?
So when I read that a Miami DJ had to get a restraining order due to harrassment from Thompson, when I read what he did at a public debate with Janet Reno, and when I read that he compared ESA president Doug Lowenstein to Goebbels, Hitler, and Saddam Hussein, I can no longer have respect for this guy. There are people who legitimately feel that video games are teaching children to kill. I can respect their opinion and respect them as people. But the moment people get hysterical and start spouting off nonsense as facts? That’s the point when I make my last statement and sign off.
Unfortunately, the media doesn’t care about Godwin’s Law. Thompson can make all the claims he wants, and it seems he will continue to be taken seriously. EA and Maxis are conspiring to peddle vile to children? Studies show that children’s brains can be damaged by violent media? Seriously?
And all of his (mostly unprovoked!) ad-hominem attacks against gamers and reporters? He claims that the agitated and emotional responses he gets in return are proof that video games have an adverse effect on attitudinal behaviors.
Jack Thompson as The Pot: Hey, Kettle, you’re BLACK!
I also can’t understand this at the bottom of his site “If you have kids, have them start shooting hoops instead of humans.” Why isn’t anyone outraged at the insinuation that parents are pushing their children to shoot people? I mean, if it is just a matter of parents pushing their children to play sports, what other interpretation is there? Or maybe it is just a sly way of admitting that it is the parents who let their children play these games, that the children aren’t just picking up Grand Theft Auto from the proverbial Streets?
I still don’t like the idea of calling him a nutcase or crazy or question his sexuality or anything personal like that. Why? Because I refuse to bend down to his level. Sure, in politics, emotion trumps reason, but maybe I’m just an idealist who thinks that that calling my opponent names isn’t going to help in the higher debate. I was able to communicate with the Illinois state governor’s office, and both parties were quite respectful. No one accused me of being a nerd or on drugs. We disagreed, but I didn’t send threats to kill anyone or sue them for contacting me back. We didn’t call each other names or question sexualities. Even when emotion did enter it, it was at least related to the damn issue. It was civilized.
It is clear that Thompson can’t handle this level of respect when in a debate. Either you must agree with him, or you’re an idiot. I’m waiting for him to call someone a doodoo head next.
So I won’t bend down to his level by calling him names that are unwarranted or irrelevant, but I will say he is disrespectful, dishonorable, and manipulative. Even if I ignore his opinions on violence in video games, his actions and his words have demonstrated to me that he is not worthy of real debate or real discussion. He can’t seem to handle a civilized discussion.