Jack Thompson Debates "Killing Monsters" Author

January 29, 2007 -
As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, anti-game attorney Jack Thompson will debate author Gerard Jones (Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence) tomorrow night at the California University of Pennsylvania campus.

From the newspaper story:
Mr. Thompson said he will argue in tomorrow's debate that First Amendment laws governing free speech "do not protect the sale of adult video games to kids and minors."

The free 7 p.m. debate was arranged through Wolfman Productions of Connecticut... Each debate costs between $6,000 and $13,000.

If you are unfamiliar with Gerard Jones, check out this excellent interview Bonnie Ruberg conducted with the author for Gamasutra.

The Thompson debate tour stirred a bit of controversy in December when Rockstar Games threatened Wolfman Productions with legal action over the use of a Grand Theft Auto graphic in the web page promoting the controversial attorney's planned debate series.

Comments

Namrepus221: You could go to the media and give a heartwrenching confession of how Jack Thompson took your pet hamster hostage and forced you to be a plant in the audience, to stand up and act rude in an effort to defame gamers.
Seriously, I for one hold nothing against you. We have our bad days - today I threw a stack of papers down and almost killed a bank manager (not with the papers, but rather with my angry, withering gaze) over what proved to be not a huge deal. Shit happens.

@Mister Gone

Good point. One I must make make use of if I am in that posistion. Which is not likely to happen.

Posting from home.

- Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

@ Namrepus221

Wow, that kind of leads me to beleive that gaming may have a negative effect on certain people. You were handed a golden opportunity to confront Jacko, a chance many of us would love to have, and you couldn't control your violent and negative impulses long enough to at least make a good showing.

I'm not saying that you're a bad person or anything, but maybe there is a game you play that makes you unable to calmly confront critisism.

Thanks for the effort man, but next time, try not to speak if you feel yourself welling up with hate.

@thefremen
LOL. I'm sure that helps.

I don't suppose anyone else was in attendance with a video camera?

Namrepus221 is made of fail.

Given past experences, he would have either ignored the questions (which he did) or he would have denied them. To me he is still trying to project a diffrent face to the mainstream public than the face he shows us. and doesn't want the mainstream public to see that face thereby either denying or ignoring comments or questions about it.

Are you still going to post the video? or have you posted it already? I'll check for it again in a bit but won't be able to hear it untill I get home. The computer hear does not have sound drivers :(

But otherwise don't worry about it. You live, learn and move on

Posting from school.

- Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

@Namrepus...

(sigh...)

Well, at least you seem to understand that you didn't conduct yourself as you should have.

Hopefully you will learn from the experience and move on...

Doesn't he have some lawsuits to attend to?

Oh, wait. The ego and publicity needs feeding.

I can't help but visualize Phoenix Wright vs. Von Karma.

CalU is my alma mater! I'm so glad this got posted. I'm going to have to see if I can't attend this.

jccalhoun, Acctaully IUP is named after the county that it's in, Indiana County.

The name has always thrown people for some reason. I mean within close proximity to each other we have California, Washington, and Indiana.

I remember one story a teacher told me about a student from Africa that came to the college. He thought he was going to the state of California and as such packed accordingly based on internet research. Shorts, T-shirts, and the like.

Remember the scene from "Cool Runnings"? Where they get off the plane and it's literally a blizzard outside? That's what the teacher said it was like (20 degrees in January and 3 inches of snow) But after adjusting to the climate, he graduated and is a computer engineer somewhere.

I hope he looks bad after this debate. He is an idiot because he is helping Rockstar Games rather than hurting them. He makes people want to buy their games more. I hate his guts, but still he is a moron. I read in a history book one time that in the 1960's, reverands used to say that rock'n roll music was satanic and the more they said it, the more young people wanted it. I wasn't even thinking about getting Bully until I heard that he was trying to get it banned and, now that I have a PS2, I think I will in a few months.

He is only making people want Grand Theft Auto, Bully, The Warriors, and Manhunt more. He isn't helping anybody but Rockstar Games. I hate his guts still because he's an anti-game activist, but I think he is the best free advertising agency that Rockstar Games has. He makes himself look like and idiot and makes more people buy their products. It's ironic. He says, "I'm absolutely out to destroy Rockstar Games," and he's doing the exact opposite. Way to go, moron, you're either a great marketing executive, secretely working for Rockstar Games, or you're the DEE DEE DEE of the year.

@ Namrepus221

Awesome.
Video or Audio?

And where will it be posted at?

Posting from school.

- Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

@ Namrepus221

Posted mine too late. Google Video? cool. Will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Still posting from school.

- Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

If you record this PLEASE post it online for us!

On an unrealted note, what is the deal with Pennsylvania haing universities named after other states? A California University AND an Indiana University in Pennsylvania? weird.

I figure I can get the video uploaded to Google Video (Youtube has that stupid 10 minute limit thing unless you pay) within 2 hours of arriving home.

@NoFish

Gerard Jones's book, "Killing Monsters", has a whole chapter about baised studies on media effects, so it's more than likely that he'll be very prepared to debunk most evidence that Jack Thompson can provide, at least, as well as can be done in a debate. I imagine that Jones would be familiar with the most well known sources that JT often cites.

Personally if I had the chance to go, I would boycott it. This is just funding Jack now that his career in law is coming to a self-induced end.

Oooh, I've wanted to see these two go at it for some time now. Could someone please post coverage and/or a recording on GP? Namrepus, I thank you immensely if you can get it posted here or send it to Dennis.

@NoFish

I'd give Jones the benefit of the doubt. Screw it, I'll give JT the benefit of the doubt also. Maybe pigs really will fly out of my...

Knowing Jack Thompson he will probably pull a Bill Oreilly when he cant get his way and starts losing.

This is very good news. I've been urging Jack (via these forums, which I'm sure he reads) to have a real debate with a gamer in order to intelligently express his points and show us that he really does have a case here.

Of course, whether or not this will happen depends on his maturity level in this debate. Hopefully this debate doesn't resemble his childish response to Dennis' questions last week.

We are in your debt Namrepus221.

@Grahamr

Debate has one crucial flaw that Mr. Thompson will surely take advantage of: There is no way to disprove a lying debater. Thompson will say that games have been proven tobe harmful to children, then will cite a clearly biased study, and unless Jones is familiar with the specific study cited he can do nothing but present his own evidence in contradiction, but there is no way to prove empirically which one of them is using the botched information.

And if that fails Thompson will simply provoke Jones into making an ass of himself, as he's shown to be quite good at that.

Sorry for double posting, oy. Just go to http://www.mavav.org/ for what I talked about. Oh, and try sending it to politicians just to make fun of them, oy.

He's screwed......

Or, he's going to pull out of the debate at the last possible moment.

I just can't feasibly see him engaging in a debate. Will he try to make himself a martyr?

Ladies and Gentlemen...

I WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE AT THIS EVENT AND WILL BE RECORDING IT.

@ChrowX

And then to top it off: don't M/AO games make up the *minority* of all games being released? If the video game industry really has this so-call "corruption conspiracy" going on. Then why are M games the minority?

So wait.. this is a debate and all Jack has lined up is that the first amendment doesn't cover sales? I can punch a few holes in his argument right now.

1- The first amendment allows these games to be produced and sold, be they violent, sexually explicit, or otherwise deviant from the JT path of spiritual purity.
2- If the game is purchased then the purchaser is therefore allowed to do with it what he/she sees fit. Even if that something is give it to a child to play.
3- A majority of stores in the nation that sell videogames do not allow AO or M rated games to be sold to children, if that does happen, it's due to cashier negligence, not because the evil videogame industry is trying to undermine your strong Christian values.
4- Free speech does not have an age limit.
5- Adult Videogames are merely produced, no one is forcing them on children or minors, even if you believe that this is some tobacco industry style demographic targetting campaign.

What I expect is a well balanced argument from jones, nad form THompson "I was part of pudacah, murder simulator, rockstar will be gone, i was on 60 minutes" and all the stuff he repeats over and over.

Apology accepted. How did he do against Jones? Were you able to get the video for that?

Well the debate went without incident....untill I spoke...

I asked why Jack called gamers worse than Nazi's, Skinheads, and others...why he said someone should go play a suicide simulator and get really good at it....

unfortunately... I attempted to interupt him several times, very unprofessionally....

After he changed the subject arround on me a few times I became disgusted and turned my back and gave him the finger....

I'm ashamed to call myself a gamer right now....I really am. That I attempted to confront him about how he treated individuals like gamers, and in the end became the confirming factor.

After the debate was over I did approach Mr. Thompson and offered my apologies for doing something like that the way I did.... Luckily he accepted them. unfortunately this will be written about in the newspaper and other news sources, will be on video on television here....

I'm really sorry guys.... I really am..... I've failed you all

I'll put 2-to-1 odds Jack chickens out at the last moment. I'm pretty sure JT said he'd debate our good buddy the Gaming Lawyer, and then decided to chicken out of that as well.

If he does show, I'm sure it'll be a wonderful trainwreck to watch though. I hope we get to see a YouTube video of it.

In my quite subjective opinion, this is a debate between a man of reasoning and acceptance and a man of accusations and blind hate. The monk versus the crusader, if you will.

With this in mind, I would expect this to turn into a one-sided shouting match if it's not moderated. Sad, but I have yet to see Thompson react with courtesy to someone disagreeing with him and I don't expect Jones to be able to be the bigger bully when it gets ugly.

Even if he is getting paid for it, Jones is still going to shoot his arguments full of holes. Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade once said you don't go up against someone like Thompson and "wing it," but I have to disagree, as his views can be easily disproven with at least a modicum of good research.

I can see what's going to happen. Jack's arguments will be calmly and intelligently discounted and shown to be wrong/baseless opinion, which will make him heated and frustrated and he will eventually resort to shouting over the other speaker.
You all saw what happened with the footage of him in court when the judge was giving him a dressing down. Instead of calmly waiting until the other person was finished speaking (which is an especially good idea if the person is a Judge), Thompson kept interrupting and trying to bully across his opinion, as he is so convinced he is right he will not even consider other points of view. The same thing with the G4 interview.

Hopefully there will be a mediator for this debate who is not affiliated with Mr. Thompson and will actually call him up if and when he does this and explain the rules to him: "You speak, the other guy listens, then it's his turn to speak and for you to listen."

I hope this follows standard debate format (point, counterpoint, etc.) and Thompson doesn't get the chance to turn this into a shouting match like that G4 interview. Knowing JT, however, I wouldn't be suprised.

I'm surprised Thompson agreed to this in the first place, considering previous debate challenges that he weaseled out of. That said, I hope this debate actually accomplishes something.

@Pokemaster

Jack 'weaseled' out of the other debate challenges because no one was paying him then.

He must be getting compensated for this debate tour.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Yes and the definition of an adult video game is?

In Jack Thompson's mind anything violent and anything where there is women.

That can be applied to TV, movies, and the bible. So whats ur point?

hmm makes me wonder if Jack Thompson takes his child to the beach? or the the mall.

Apology accepted...this time. People, we need to keep in mind whom we are dealing with. It is not only unacceptable, but also inexcusable to stoop to his level in our encounters with this low-life ambulance chaser. It is much easier to become as he is than to stay on the high road and avoid the traps he lays. If we want the general population on our side, we need to keep this in mind, always.

Mysticgamer

I wish Capcom would parody his ass. Not like he'd notice anyway.

HA HA! It doesnt matter that Jack thompson will ban gta from being sold to minors! I can still play them all I want because my cousin gives them all to me and he's 18. I'm 12 years old and I've played and beaten GTA3, GTAVC, GTALCS, and GTAVCS. Plus i love violent games and i understand all of the innapropriate content in them because i hear all of that stuff in school! BUT Jack thompson is still a faggette because because he wanted to ban Bully when they haddent even released any screenshots from the game. Rockstar said that they would be making a freeroaming game that takes place at a boarding school. He said it is gta in a school which its not! the studio that was making the game wasnt even rockstarleeds (the studio that makes GTA) it was rockstar vancouver and that was to be their first game. It didnt get banned and i own that game too. Jack thomson is still a faggette.

PEACE!
 
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