Opponents Comment on Thompson – Jones Video Game Debate

As reported by GamePolitics, controversial anti-game attorney Jack Thompson kicked off a college debate tour Tuesday night with an appearance at the California University of Pennsylvania.

Thompson’s opponent was Gerard Jones (left), author of Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence.

So how did things go? Thompson commented via e-mail:

Even the gamers loved it, many of whom came up to me and said:  “Based upon what we read about you at Internet sites like GamePolitics, we thought you were going to be a jerk.  We think you’re a down-to-earth guy, and we agree with a lot of what you had to say.”  One student thanked me for sharing my Christian faith and for noting the self-centeredness of his generation.  In fact, the longest applause was when I noted that gamers, in spending time with their games, are helping no one and are simply self-absorbed.

The longest part of the evening was the question and answer period, and we stayed until all the questions were asked.  One student gave me the finger from the mike and then came up and apologized.  The club in which he is an officer came up afterward and apologized and said that they were looking into how to discipline him.  I said, “He’s apologized.  This is a heated topic.  Let it go.”

I won the debate, of course.  Facts trump pop pyschology.  Gerard Jones is a very nice man.  We have boys the same age.  Hope to do it again.

For his part, Jones told GP:

I thought it was a great conversation and I enjoyed it very much. A young, clearly pro-game audience too, which always makes it easier… I’m sure Jack would have won on points in a debate class, but I just want to say what I say, and I got to do that.

The student Thompson mentioned posted about his experience in the comments section to a recent GP article, expressing regret for losing his cool.

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  1. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    “In fact, the longest applause was when I noted that gamers, in spending time with their games, are helping no one and are simply self-absorbed.”

    What about Child’s Play? Or Get-Well-Gamers? Hell, I’ve given blood before, and plan to do so next week. And yet people applauded JT for such a lie?

    I guess it goes to show we’ve still got a long way to go to shake the sterotype that we’re all teenage basement dwellers. Really, though, I would expect such a young and educated audience to know better than to fall for JT’s rhetoric.

  2. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Typical, Jack claims a victory where there shouldn’t be one. And he likely only conducted himself as well as he could for fear of a news camera or a soccer mom showing up, then again, he was likely hoping for news coverage.

  3. 0
    Yuki says:

    Nothing against MR. Jones, but the fact is Jack knows this was a fluff debate. In a real debate, any true oppenent who had done his research would have eaten jack for breakfast. hell. I could have done it with half my Brain tied behind my back as Rush limbaugh loves to say.

    Jack only agrees to debate people when he knows it’ll be in his favor, when he knows it will be against an opponent who isn’t going to fight back at all. look at how fast he chickened out of the Debate with Tom the game attorney Busgillia, least I think thats how it’s spelled. Either way, Jacks a weakling, afraid of true debate cause he knows he will lose.

    He’s lucky we weren’t there to call him on his rancid bullshit.

  4. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The usual: spin, spin, spin… I shouldn’t be surprised.

    I have this Dante-esque image of JT’s punishment in Hell, spinning on something very painful where the sun don’t shine for all eternity.

  5. 0
    squigs says:

    The thing is, Jack has a perfectly good point that I would be sympathetic towards. I agree that it’s probably not desirable for 5 year olds to be playing violent games.

    But Jack goes way further than this. He loses his temper, lies, makes unfounded accusations against the games industry. He makes ludicrous arguments both in the media and in court, exaggerates claims from studies, ignores those that don’t agree with his worldview. Anyone who disagrees with him gets insulted and accused of being in league with Take Two.

    The point is valid, but it really needs a spokesman who has a little more credibility than JT.

  6. 0
    Weatherlight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I would love to see what was all said in that debate. Or does he play on stopping by Germany on his tour?
    I like sitting in on debates and we clap for speakers that we disagreed with provided they presented their side well. I just want to know if they were clapping for him or for the debate in general, because I see a major ego poking it horns out of this little letter.
    As for the guy flipping him off, its nice that you apologized and resigned, I’m sure that if you didn’t do that he would have drag you and your club though the mud. Next time keep the finger in the holster.

  7. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I can sort of understnand your feelings about this. I had forgotten to add in my earlier post tho that you really shouldn’t be beating yourself up so hard over this. It’s Jack Thompson for frak’s sake. He’s the enemy. He deserves all the scorn possible that can be heaped on him. What you did may not have been dignified, but you gave voice to a great many people who’ve wanted to shout at him.

    I can understand why you felt you did what you did in resigning your position. I’d feel bad if I had to do it too. But if I had to lose my postion over something, I’d personall have it be over mouthing off to Thompson. At least it’d be over something I passionately believed in. There is some satisfaction in that.

  8. 0
    Namrepus221 says:

    I’m glad Jack accepted my apology and is willing to admit it instead of attempting to spin it like he normally does.

    The club he refers to is one in which I was the acting secretary. I resigned my position from the group 10 minutes after the debate ended as I knew it would be the correct thing to do for the well being of my friends and our group.

  9. 0
    KungFu-tse says:

    You know, I’m not at all surprised by the post-debate comments. I knew from the beginning that this whole thing was an ego trip meant to boost publicity.

    You could argue all day long about who was right or who won the debate. In the end, the only thing that really matters is what happens in the courts and what judges think.

  10. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    While i will agree that my generation is self-centered and somewhat materialistic. I call bullshit on the longest applause comment till I actually see it for my own eyes.

    Then again nothing I would have asked, while a valid question, would have been appropriate for a public venue.

    Winning a debate is a matter of opinion unless you are in a judged debate.

  11. 0
    Kajex ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    His “I won” comment bothers me far less than one might think. There will always be scaremongerers and ambulance chasers who believe that they’ve won ANY debate with “facts” that they seem to make up at random. Joseph McCarthy is one such person, Fredric Wertham is another. For him to accuse a younger generation of self-centeredness despite having no evidence to support that claim and too much evidence to support the fact that he’s looking in a mirror is for him to lose touch with reality more an more.
    I’m really surprised he isn’t in an asylum, at this point.

  12. 0
    Iliad says:

    @ Squigs

    …That isnt the point he is trying to make.. at all, thats not a valid point thats something so obvious it isnt being said by anyone.

    His points are that video games produce copycat behavior, that they train people to kill other people, that they make them lethal shots, that all gamers are 15 year old basement dwellers, and that they make them shoot up schools.

    He hasnt said ‘5 year olds probably shouldnt be playing violent video games.”
    That is not a point, its not something anyone would disagree with, its like debating the color of the sky.

  13. 0
    Snakestream ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I really want to see a video of this debate before I make any judgements. A transcript might be nice, but I would like to see the type of audience he was talking to and facial reactions and such. However, I would probably say that the applause thing was a piece of BS.

  14. 0
    Korrd says:

    You and me both. Jack isn’t really known for being firmly grounded in reality, and I’d like to see exactly how the debate went rather than hearing the ego-filtered version.

    Although, without having seen the debate, I also call BS on the applause quote.

  15. 0
    Vinzent says:

    Hamas claimed it won in Lebanon too, Jack.
    If JT generates fear to scare people into doing what he wants them to do, doesn’t that make him a terrorist? Granted he’s not blowing up schoolbuses, but he is using fear his chief weapon.
    And has anyone considered that maybe the applause was because the debate was finally over and JT was finally going to shut up. Again, I don’t know since I wasn’t there and haven’t red the transcript. But I find it hard to believe real gamers would applaud someone who has just insulted them.

  16. 0
    F**ked up says:

    I just found out Jack thompson has signs of schizo-affect well it could possibly be schizophrenia, I wonder if heard god speak to him yet. But he must have something were he has delusion and seperation from reality to hear clapping for insulting majoruty of the audience by calling them self asorbed. wait maybe he aint suffering at all maybe he brought a tape recorder. nah. its probable some form of schizophrenia.

  17. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There’s certainly massive inidication that’s he’s more concerned with Winning than Being Right. For all his comments about Facts, he knows full well that his facts are distorted and blinkered opinions gained from his own interpretation of reports, many of which are inconclusive, I don’t accept for one moment that JT doesn’t know precisely to what extent he is twisting those ‘facts’ of his.

  18. 0
    AJ says:

    “I thought it was a great conversation and I enjoyed it very much.”

    Is it me or does this sound like he didn’t think it was a debate rather than a chance to talk about video games?

    “I’m sure Jack would have won on points in a debate class, but I just want to say what I say, and I got to do that.”

    Oh, he just wanted to speak his mind rather than debate? I was very confused at first.

  19. 0
    Anon. Fan says:

    “…In fact, the longest applause was when I noted that gamers, in spending time with their games, are helping no one and are simply self-absorbed…”

    Uh huh… So I guess the reclusive and self-absorbed behavior of, say, reading books or watching television should be equally condemnable.

  20. 0
    Shadow-Breaker says:

    From what he had to say, with things like gamers coming up to him and actually getting along with him, I doubt many real gamers who know the truth about him actually attended (sound like most of them were anti-game, since he said that they applauded when he said “In fact, the longest applause was when I noted that gamers, in spending time with their games, are helping no one and are simply self-absorbed”. That is a shame, but since this is a tour, he’s definantly going to wind up one way or another in tons of debates that hes obviously going to loose, since it’s happened plenty of times before on the net.

  21. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And I’m sure the debate he “won” was neatly changed in subject until it was something he knew vaguely about and against someone who isn’t as adept a speaker as Lawyer.

    Unimpressed and still think the guy needs to crawl back under his rock somewhere. I again state I would not contribute to his fund-raising.

    I also note that this debate isn’t donating to charity but just putting money in his back packet? Maybe he could be a little less “self-absorbed” and put some of that $10,000 everyone but he thinks he should pay some deserving good cause. Oh and preferably one not for assistance disgraced lawyers.

  22. 0
    Mnementh2230 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I won the debate, of course.
    He’s modest, too!

    People need escapes, and have had them for centuries. This is why we have FICTION. There are no facts necessary beyond this one, on the particular topic of the debate.

    As for any OTHER debate, I wanna see some of the heavy hitters from here debate JT – Jaberwock would be ideal, IMO. He’d have JT in tears by the end of the debate, I’m sure.

  23. 0
    HandofCrom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Funny, then, as now, the supporters of censorship must lie to make their arguments. Thompson lies about statistics and studies, and claims game have content they don’t. This kid claimed that rock music promoted incest, and attacked Zappa when he demanded him to name even one song that did. When you have to lie to make a case, you don’t have a case. The pro-censorship folks like Thompson and this character lie and attack their opponents, rather than debate intelligently with facts and rational arguments.

  24. 0
    Meggie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think we should congratulate him, “winning” a debate is the only success he’s had in quite a while.

    Where did his Christian faith factor into the debate?

    I’m surprised he was so collected. Perhaps he went on meds after doing something so reckless as to call for the impeachment of the Utah Attorney General over a game law.

  25. 0
    Flynn says:

    Ok, I would love to bash Jack here, we all know he’s basically the devil, but everyone involved seems to have thought that it was a civil debate, with intelligent conversation and little crap slinging. Regardless of how I feel on the topic, I have to give credit to all those involved and say that this kind of thing needs to be done more often, perhaps some mature, healthy debate would improve the image of everyone involved, and help spread awareness for the issue..

  26. 0
    Siftr says:

    I can win anything when I lie too.

    of course jack thompson is going to spout bull—- about videogames about all he really wants is them out of the hands of minors, I mean he’s only called Take2 and their lawyers a pornography company and “porn lawyers” in public, but you don’t expect the standard gamer to know that. JT is simply trying to make gamers go against other gamers to stir trouble.

    I wonder how self-righteous you have to be to ignore all the sin JT has committed.

  27. 0
    Thefremen says:

    Based on what people have read about him on GP and the internet? How about based on what he’s written in emails and on the GP comments section?

    I think these punks have too short of a memory and his comments need to be collected, hosted off-site, and linked from his wiki page.

    hobobucket.com would be a good host. ^^

  28. 0
    FreedomGamer says:

    What “Facts” has Jack brought up… ever?

    His “fact” that you can train to kill on a game like Doom is a point that is ridiculed greatly by my friends in the armed services. Using a cursor to aim a crosshair floating in the air? How about recol? Fixing a jam? Reloading the gun (which is more in depth than pressing the R button). And one from personal experience, gunsmoke stings the eyes rather badly. To get that effect in a game I’d have to be squeezing jalapeno juice into my eyes.

    I hope Jack comes up with a new bag of tricks soon. He’s getting kind of boring. I’m growing weary of the same arguments he always makes being proven wrong again, and again, and again.

    How long till he mentions “teh brainwaves!11!” again. Heh.

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