Jack Thompson 2: Still Sucking

posted in Games, People on Apr 23, 2007

As I was carousing through Digg today, I came across a blog post written by Paul Levinson, a novelist and self proclaimed First Amendment defender, who recently got on TV to debate Jack Thompson on the difference between causality and correlation. Well, the debate wasn’t necessarily about that exact topic, but Levinson got to that point, and essentially blew Thompson’s face off because, outside of having to speak through a wicked, cattle-rancher mustache, he couldn’t quite grasp the concept, it seems.

Kudos to Mr. Levinson for putting up a good fight and getting in some good points. It’s unfortunate that 24 hour news stations can’t pull themselves away from covering Anna Nicole or some other crap that no one cares about to have meaningful debates. I’m not saying video games are more important than everything else, but they gave Levinson and Thompson a whopping five minutes to discuss things. Good job, CNBC.

Outside of the TV news scene, Take Two is trying to hold Jacko in Contempt of court for doing is regular “I didn’t get my way and now I’ll act like a baby” spiel. Or it could also be described as: “I want to destroy the First Amendment and they won’t let me! Waah!” Either way it all ends up about the same: a judge reviews the case and brings logic into the picture, which generally blows out anything Thompson tries to bring to the table.

UPDATE: I found this article soon after writing this post and had to come back and augment it. Essentially, it’s a “do video games make people kill junk” article, but it’s one that doesn’t let Jack get away with slandering video gamers. They offer up good points to the contrary that Jack is just full of crap. One of the best being:

And for all of Thompson’s claims that violent video games are the cause of school shootings, Sternheimer points out that before this week’s Virginia Tech massacre, the most deadly school shooting in history took place at the University of Texas in Austin… in 1966. Not even “Pong” had been invented at that time.

“One thing that people often don’t realize is that in the years since video game sales have really exploded, not only have youth violence rates decreased but violence rates in the U.S. have declined precipitously,” she added.

In addition, they give some nice quotes from Jack that don’t really help his cause, unless he just really wants to be known as that crazy old guy who spouts crap (although that’s nearly what he is now already):

“This is not rocket science. When a kid who has never killed anyone in his life goes on a rampage and looks like the Terminator, he’s a video gamer,” he told MSNBC.com.

“He might have killed somebody but he wouldn’t have killed 32 if he hadn’t rehearsed it and trained himself like a warrior on virtual reality. It can’t be done. It just doesn’t happen.”

Yeah…people killing other people just doesn’t happen when they’ve never played video games. Nope. Never. In fact, before the first video game patent in 1964, not a single person was ever killed. The creators of the first video game, Tennis For Two, played on a 5 inch oscilloscope screen and then immediately wielded high powered rifles to kill the rest of the people in their lab. That’s just science, folks.

But alas. I don’t want to put out too many words concerning Jack Thompson. I’ve beat that dead horse to death two years ago, but this hopefully is the beginning of the end for the media thinking Thompson is a credible source for anything other than conjecture.