Video: Jack Thompson Angered by IGDA Head's Criticism

April 22, 2007 -
On Friday, MSNBC ran a lengthy web feature detailing how video games were being blamed for the Virginia Tech massacre in some quarters, most notably by controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson.

Included in reporter Winda Benedetti's story was this acid quote from Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA):
It's so sad. These massacre chasers — they're worse than ambulance chasers — they're waiting for these things to happen so they can jump on their soapbox.

On Saturday morning, Thompson was interviewed on MSNBC. He rehashed his theory that madman Seung-Hui Cho trained for the VTU rampage on Counter-strike some five years ago, when the 23-year-old mass murderer was still in high school. Nothing new there; it's the same thing Thompson has been saying for days.

Near the end of the interview, however, anchor Alex Witt threw the Della Rocca quote at Thompson, whose anger was palpable. Check out the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS1xhnXDpe0

Comments

The fact that he reacted so badly doesn't help him in any way. No one may critisize him yet he has the right to bullshit something about being the "saviour" that will use this "9/11 of school shootings and videogame involvement" to save America.

JT....why is 9/11 mention so much in your bs, wtf has the deaths of all those people have to do with this, your just cheapning their memory.

I sent this email to Fox News and MSNBC:

"I do not believe that Jack Thompson should get any air-time on MSNBC. Just do a Google search on his name and you'll see how crazy he really is. He makes crazy assumptions and insults those who do not agree with his stance on violent videogames, with the sole intention of being on the news and getting more publicity.

As Jason Della Rocca stated, "It’s so sad. These massacre chasers — they’re worse than ambulance chasers — they’re waiting for these things to happen so they can jump on their soapbox.". Jack Thompson takes advantage of real tragedies to further his own cause."

Oh, btw, for my last message ^^ I obviously replaced "MSNBC" with "Fox News" for my letter to Fox.

[...] After the break we have a video of Jack Thompson responding to IGDA Director Jason Della Rocca’s quote about him being a “massacre chaser.” Particularly choice moments are when Thompson calls Della Rocca an “idiot” and “jackass” on national television. The anchor concludes the piece, “Clearly on a campaign, we appreciate your sharing, attorney Jack Thompson.” [...]

Not only that, but I also tried searching through the New York Times archive for the past thirty days and could find nothing about Seung-Hui Cho and Video Games.

@Hack Angel:

Didn't the Washington Post retract the piece about violent videogames?

[...] Gotta say, being called an idiot (advisedly) and a jackass on national news by Jack Thompson feels like a special milestone for me. Not so much for the name calling, but just to see good old Jack get all flustered and frustrated. [...]

I agree. Rocca hit it properly.

There was released the slightest bit of behavior that Jason Della Rocca is in the age group and didn't come off to write these massacres as long as the top of it is a new whipping boy. Referring to do some other solid proof, I hope he doesn't change the talk about constantly trying to use proper grammar and what happened in germany. Say that this man as the NBC article reminded me is twisted and didn't invite them to IGDA Director Jason Della Rocca's quote about events; apparently he needs to foreclosure proceedings against being like MSNBC or they would've killed anybody.

But are all of stuff happen in question; you sent to his own words - he IS a lot of Monday in the country.

Devil's Advocate for every day? Seriously! I'd love to be torn apart by him until now.

Totally worth it. Thank you.

@p51

Agreed. Start this petition.

Exactly Association vs Causation. Just because something is associated does not make them cause and effect. Hence why his logic is flawed. Another thing he is say this there is a systematic problem. That most gamers become violent. Of course we all know this isn't the case. While is is true that a game, a movie, even a forum post can set people who are unstable over the edge. It really isn't what coursed them to be unstable. The instability was caused by something less. In Cho case, he was a paranoid schizophrenic who thought god was tell him to kill rich people. Did the game cause him to become a paranoid schizophrenic. No so in the end Jake Thompson will just make a fool out of him self.

Michael Brooks: Do it yourself, you lazy boob. Dennis has his hands full doing a fine job covering politics and games, he doesn't have to be your personal executive to promote your view, regardless whether he agrees with it.

Oh, now that T2 has dropped the bomb on him, you'll see him leaping on every possible opportunity to attack on video game out there.

Personally, I'm sick of the man, he's a liar, a feeder on death and an insult to lawyers, he has no interest in impartial facts, he will hear what he wants to hear, rather than being balanced.

Jacks in this for the money, that's all, remember the stabbings in Russia, where there was a load of Nazi stuff found, but Jack was up and screaming that Video Games did it? In fact, there are probably about 8 times I can mention where Jack has contacted authorities claiming that computer games were involved with crimes which, in many cases, it turned out they were nothing to do with it. But Jack always preferred showmanship to facts.

Particuarly annoying is Jacks claim that the Computer Industry knows what effect Video Games have but are choosing to ignore it, that is sick and insulting for a start, but also tries to paint an image of them being like the Tobacco and Petroleum industries of several years ago, trying to hide the truth from the public.

Considering that this vast 'conspiracy' is going on, it's surprising how easy it is to get the results of the tests Jack talks about and find out how he's twisting the facts the suit himself. If the facts are so 'telling' as Jack claims, why is he more or less the only one advocating this idea out of the entire over-arching FTC commision? But then, when their results aren't helpful to Jack, they are in the ESA's pocket, when they are, he quotes them all over his letters.

Frankly, I do believe the man needs help, he's so filled up with anger and hatred for youth in general, and youth culture in particular, he's become so enamoured with the 'Rose Tinted Spectacles' view of when he was a child that he thinks society is 'worse' than it used to be. It's not, Society is what it is, there is only perspective to go by. There were more murders in New York in the 70's than there are today, for example, but, thanks to Media people are more aware that they take place, so it seems like more, it's all a question of perspective.

@Mr. Gone

"The recent Imus fiasco showed the damage that can be caused by allowing a nut job with a skewed view on reality free reign on the air."

Imus was a Radio Shock jock, that had been on the air for 50 years (an impressive run in the radio industry), he made a poor joke, that was very out of taste, was also the victim of a slow news day (nothing else was going on so the media ran with this, despite the fact that it's really a non-story), he was not a nut job with a skewed view on reality


unless the nut job you were referring to was Rev. Al, i think that statement comes off a little ignorant of what the Imus controversy really was

Heh I just wanted to had this: I'm not a genius, yet I can manage to punch holes through Jack Thompson's argumentation again and again. I just connect the dots.

Jack Thompson reminds me of this simpsons clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ8kraRzE7A

Yes, Jack will try to run with it, but at the end of the day, it's hookey and obviously so, he played basketball obsessively as well, who's to say the constant metallic 'ping' of ball on concrete didn't push him over the edge? People who are unstable are like that.

The fact is that playing computer games years ago is a pretty weak excuse for what Cho did, and is certainly no explanation, as Jack well knows, it's like saying that all killers born in the 50's listened to Rock and Roll, therefore it must be a contributing factor.

What the article actually says is that the boy lived in a shell, first at home, then at college, what he chose to do in that shell is irrelevent, other killers collected weapons or exhibited other obsessive behaviour, often not making friends or communicating. The moment someone retreats from society and starts showing compulsive/obsessive behaviour, they become vulnerable to this, and that is where the key lay, not with Thompsons' rhetoric, but with identifying the fact that some people just get fed up and retreat from humanity to the point where they no longer even empathise with them, it's not the computer games doing that, it's the lack of interaction of the right kind.

Thompson will try to run with it, but I don't see him getting any success, using his reasoning, you could blame just about anything on anything.

OWWW!!!! My head hurts!!!! Mr. JB Thompson's theories make my head hurt.

@ Roger, and anyone who decides to write these news stations
I would advise to use proper grammar and punctuation. A letter written professionally will have more impact on those who read it than letters that are just written off the top of your head (which would typically be ignored).

I would also like to suggest to call the "massacre chaser" by his full REAL name 'John Bruce Thompson,' when making reference to him in your letters to these news stations

so THATS how you spell rhetoric

@Michael Brooks

"Listen pal, you think the major news channels in the country are going to give a rat’s ass on what a sophomore in college writes to them? I asked Dennis to because he’s actually a professional journalist, unlike myself."

Yea, they are. The 18-35 demographic is covted by these compaines. It's like gold. So do they care what a sophomore in college writes to them? Damn straight they do. If they get enough letters saying "hey, what do you think you're doing? We don't like this. And if you keep doing it, we aren't going to watch it" will get them to stop it.

You heard of Don Imus right? What he said was wrong and all, but not worth getting fired and kicked off the air. But enough people get behind an issue, write to them, results happen.

And you know what? Lay off of Roger. At least he's got the balls to write them himself. Yea, the formatting, spelling, and punctuation could have been better. But at least he's trying to defend his hobby. He's doing it better then you are.


@Roger

Writing is a skill. Its one that has to be practiced over and over, like anything. Keep at it, you'll only get better.

How the hell does this guy expect save lives by fighting against video games? Video Games are entertainment. Also, How the hell do you train on Doom? CS is just a game and not all gamers are potential shooters.

The truth hurts.

I don't think we need to be mad at MSNBC. They didn't call Jack there to be an expert on anything... Think about it, the first time they called him was for Hardball and that was to expose his lies and show Fox's crappy reporting, then they had him on again to get his reaction to being exposed for even more ratings. So basically, I figure they were using him to boost their ratings just like he uses tragedy to grand stand on.

@Dog_Welder

That is a likely reason. Unfortunately since Counter Strike both lacks a hot coffee equivalent to use as a weakness and it's developer Valve is on safer ground than T2, that game is even more of a brick wall than GTA ever was.

The poor fool failed on GTA, and now he's choosing an even stronger target to break himself against? That's just bad planning.

*Emperor Palpatine voice*

Yyyeeesssss....I can feel your anger!

...sorry.

So, Jack says there is ethical killing!? And that the military is there to kill people? LOL...

"Not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer, but noone would try to deny the link between the two."

Comparing smoking to video games is like comparing a hamburger to a car.
I still don't see how a game he played five or more years ago trained him to do.....well, ANYTHING. Again, if you can train to do something like this from a video game then why don't NFL training camps consist of the players sitting around playing the newest version of Madden Football? If it works for teens and the military then surely it could work for them....right?

@Michael Brooks
whats your problem at least i tryed instead of saying the hell with it or acting like a noob and writing JaCks A N00b. until you at least thank people for trying than you can go save your own fucking games.

Jack finally responded to my latest email. Here it is:

Jack Thompson right again:

Today's New York Times: Cho, according to parents, "retreated to video
games." See below.

Washington Post this week: "Cho's favorite video game was Counterstrike,"
making it the violent shooter game of choice of the authors of the two worst
school shootings in world history (V Tech first, Erfurt, Germany second).

"When Mr. Cho entered Virginia Tech, which is crouched in the Blue Ridge
Mountains of southwest Virginia, his parents drove him to school with
guarded expectations. Perhaps he would no longer retreat to video games and
playing basketball alone the way he did at home. Perhaps college might crack
the mystery of who he was, extract him from his suffocating cocoon and make
him talk."

What do you guys think? Y'know he's gonna run with this.

Well were talking about the guy who tried to pin the columbine murders on Marylin Manson, come on who can take this guy serious anymore..

I like his statement that kids "train by playing CS"
sure.. okay so because you play CS you can handle a gun??

*shrugs* expert witness my ***

ROFL. He brought up 'The Basketball Diaries'. I remember that movie being pulled from the shelves after Columbine and slapping my forehead. It's an anti-drug movie about how terrible addiction can be, in case anyone hasn't seen it... they used an anti-drug movie as a scapegoat. Even more ridiculous than blaming Doom, Ramnmstein, KMFDM, Marilyn Manson or the Matrix. I wouldn't be surprised if Thompson was to blame for initially drawing that connection as well.

Yep. Tompson is still a loser.

"I'm saving lives!" No you're not. You're creating noise pollution.

no errors? anyone? anyone? I'll send them at 9 then.

Yeah, it seems the question "Should violent video games be banned?" was largely asked in a rhetorical way. This interview mostly felt like "Here is what the people saying games should be banned look like. Ooooooh. Now let's poke him and see what happens."

Isn't that Google video they were showing the fan-film where the guy was "staging" a massacre of enemies to show how 'leet he was? Where he even shot at the ceiling, and then shortly after a bad guy falls through the ceiling, because he "knew" there was a baddy hidding up there, that's how amazing he was?

And then it's followed by a hilarious misunderstanding about a tea-party...

Did they only pick that video because it shows the player killing enemy after enemy, flashing the word "pwnage" on the screen?
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

This man is making me sick. I work in the industry and he still keeps on bringing up the same old tired arguments. I get the feeling Jack couldn't get past Wave 1 of Space Invaders and since then has got a vendetta against them.

"I'm no genius".

Only correct thing you've said, Jack.

@AbsumZer0

yea they banned that flick and because of that i sought it out and watched it myself (wasnt pulled over here in blightey) as im interested in watching films that have been scapegoated. I remebered that the school shooting parts were very minimal and it focused more on the negative aspects of drug addiction (such as the things he'd do to gt money for his next fix)

Oh and anyone who would blame rammstein for insighting violence isnt familiar with the band or their veiws.

@A-wel Cruiz

Yes, he might run with this. After all, it's not like used facts for the basis of his arguments before. EVen his parents didnt know what videogames he played in his teenage years. What I find funny know that I think about it is his arguments while he insists that Cho still played Counterstrike. Something like:
"His suitemate said he didnt know him very well yet he said he never saw him play videogames. He doesnt know what Cho was doing on his computer".
Yet he bases his "fact" only on the Washington Post statement that some korean kids said that he played Counter-strike in his highschool years and that you don't usually give it up. Based on nameless Korean kids while every other newspapers quote his parents and neighbors saying he didnt have many if any friends.

He bases his "fact" that there was some kids that knew what he played in his highschool years better than what his suitemate said he didnt play in his college years.

I have decided to write MSNBC and Fox. Please point out any errors in these two letters so I can fix and send.
Dear msnbc,

You have lost much of your credibility as a news organization today. You had John bruce Thompson as a guest commenting on violent video games causing real-world violence. Even if you did no check to see if he was truly qualified to speak on the subject, even if you did no check to see if his comments had any factual basis, his actions while on your show should be a clear warning of what will happen if he is featured on your news program ever again. He is biased, rude, and altogether not a nice character. For example, I sent him an email commenting on the worst massacre in history before the Virginia Tech massacre not being in Erfurt, Germany, as he claimed on several news programs (including yours), but being in Bath, Michigan. His reply was "let’s just ban idiots like you. It would be a start. duh." If you continue to have him on your program he will tarnish any reputation you have ever had in regards to fair reporting of facts related to video games. Since almost half of all Americans are gamers this could prove disastrous to your ratings. Please reconsider your policies on guests before you lose more than this one viewer.

Tony Russo

Dear Fox News,

In regards to your Virginia Tech coverage, I am shocked and apalled you would have as biased and rude a guest as Jack Thompson on your show blaming video games before there was any evidence of games being involved at all (there still is no evidence of games being involved.) You are enabling him to spread his lies and slanders to an unwilling populace. You have tarnished any reputation you have ever managed to get in regards to facts about video games. If he is ever on your show again I can almost guarantee a large number of gamers turning there backs on you for news. Considering the large population of gamers (almost 50% of Americans) this could prove disasterous for your ratings. Good Day.

Tony Russo

In responses to A-wel Cruiz
Hmmmm..... Again there are flaws in Mr. Thompson logic. I guess he still does not know the mean of percentage. Three school shoot and he see a pattern? I see it too. But I only see it among violent psychopaths rather then gamers. Of course none of this matter because he has truthness. There are, after all, more nerve endings in ones gut then ones brain (note a Stephen Colbert reference). He is, after all, a lawyer and an expert at modern psychology.

*shakes head* You are such a victim, aren't you Jack

@Hackangel

His email is somewhere on this site. amendmentone@comcast.net

upgray3d: there's a number of spelling and punctuation errors. At least put the letter through Microsoft Word; it'll take care of most of the problems :)

@Vansau

ty I'll do that

I'll post any answer I get if any. Then we' ll have to see if I get facts or lies.

So does any one else wonder if MSNBC had Jack on the air just so he could make a fool of himself reacting to their online article painting him in a negative light?

I've just got this sneaky feeling that they consider him to be a ratings getting, not an expert to consult.

Haha, I am totally digging the "Should Violent Video Games Be Banned?" title on the headline there.

You know, when you send e-mails to places such as NBC or Fox, it would probably be a good idea to spend a few seconds to write it properly with capitalization and broken into paragraphs when needed.

Anyway, along with Andrew Kehoe do we know what videogame ex-Marine Charles Whitman trained on before he climbed that tower at his University and killed 15-17 people? I almost completely forgot about this until that NBC article reminded me of it. There was even a scene in an old (well not that old but from the late late 80s or early 90s) movie called Parent Hood that scene where Steve Martin's character is invisioning his son doing something similar while yelling "YOU MADE ME PLAY SECOND BASE!" Didn't really make the connection until after I looked up Charles Whitman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman

Kyooryu:

I toyed with starting a wikipedia entry and having that redirect to JBT's entry... but I just lacked the heart and the know-how. But feel free to do so.

upgray3dd:

Surely you've heard about this dumbf**k's antics when people email him, so expecting an intelligent response is like expecting a check for a million dollars from him for no reason.

@upgray3dd

There's a few questions I'd like to ask but I probably know the answers already. Where did you get his email anyway? What is it?

upgray3dd-
In reply to Jack's reply:
"let’s just ban idiots like you. It would be a start. duh"
Like when Hitler tried to ban the Jews? Way to think, Jacky-boy.
 
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