Will Thompson, IGDA’s Della Rocca Debate?

He called Jack Thompson a massacre chaser. Thompson called him a jackass. Both epithets were hurled on national T.V. over the last few days.

Now, International Game Developer’s Association (IGDA) executive director Jason Della Rocca (left) is considering a debate challenge issued by the game-hatin’ Miami attorney.

Thompson is fond of issuing such challenges, having thrown down the gauntlet with former ESA boss Doug Lowenstein (who ignored him) and GP favorite Tom Buscaglia aka “The Game Attorney” (Thompson backed out).

Della Rocca talks about the proposed debate on his Reality Panic blog. It’s not clear if it will actually take place, but we’d pay to see it. Actually, that may be what Thompson is hoping for, since, in an e-mail shared with GamePolitics, he suggested to Della Rocca:

You agree [to the debate] and then we get an agent to book it or them.  Nice of you to characterize me as worse than an ambulance chaser.  I was trying to stop these ambulances from being dispatched over the last eight years.  You can apologize at our first debate.  Do  you agree or not?

Thompson has a college debate tour set up already with Bob Guccione, Jr. (huh?) as his designated opponent. Bookings, to the best of GP’s knowledge, have been scant.

UPDATE: Yup, it’s a money thing, as confirmed by Jason Della Rocca in his latest blog entry, where he shares e-mails from Thompson on the subject. Thompson apparently would like to make this part of his underperforming college debate tour. He tells Della Rocca the pair would each net about $3,000.

It emerges in the e-mails that Della Rocca is not comfortable making money from the topic. Instead, he offers to arrange for the debate at Montreal’s Dawson College, site of last September’s Kimveer Gill shooting rampage. Thompson, however, declines.

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    […] Della Rocca posted his acceptance speech on his Reality Panic blog: And, I thought being called a jackass and idiot on national TV by Jack Thompson was reward adequate! …that is truly a wonderful honor. But, I’m just one person. What the industry needs now is for each one of you to get out there and be an ambassador for games, for game culture, for the profession of game development. Apathy is for losers. Fine, you don’t have duration to start a charity or fight Jack, soon after let your work do the talking. Your collective creative output is the real ambassador that touches millions on a global basis. Games have the ability to convert the world. Don’t lose sight of that. You create culture. We ARE culture. […]

  2. 0
    SinistarX says:

    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen people confused by the connection Thompson has to Guccione Jr.

    Bob and Jack butted heads over obscenity in music, mainly surrounding the group 2 Live Crew. While Bob doesn’t have much of a handle on the game industry, he does have a history of commenting on the lack of merit in censorship.

    Everything Jack does regarding the game industry is an overarching attempt at content censorship, so there is at least a tangential connection here against which Guccione has some experience.

    I realize that all that takes longer to type than “(huh?)”, but figured somebody would want to know.

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    Joe Bourrie says:

    Thompson has just proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that JDR was completely right. He is an ambulance chaser, a massacre chaser, a despicable lowlife, and a poor excuse for a human being. I feel dirty being the same species as him, let alone the same race.

    Here he is, trying to “prove” that he’s not out just for himself, and then he makes it painfully clear that THE ONLY REASON HE WANTS THE DEBATE IS SO HE CAN MAKE A BUCK! It’s clear through the first few emails in the blog that he’s trying to trap JDR into saying OK so he can book the debate before all of the details are disclosed.

    A sick, sick “man”.

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    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What I find so funny is that Jack walks around claiming that these people take money for ‘selling games to kids’ and yet seems to think nothing wrong with earning money feeding off of a school shooting.

    What a piece of work.

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    Gabriel Celesta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So some of you guys say that Jack Thompson, the Footsoldier of God , won’t do this if there’s no money involved, hmm?

    Well, since Jack likes to use Bible quotes so much, I have one for him:

    “No one can serve two masters. You will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
    –Matthew 6:24

    I wonder if Jack always skipped over that verse?

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    JB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Gameboy
    That entry was made just after reading the update that Jack won’t debate unless he’s getting paid. Here’s what I meant: Is it really because of the money that Jack declined? Or the fact that Jack has nothing to back up his “facts”? That debating with someone in the actual gaming industry who knows what he’s talking about would be public suicide?

    Personally I think it’s all of the above.

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    Gameboy says:

    Hell, I’d like to debate him. It’d be an easy win. Even if I’m the most assine, arrogant, rude SOB on the planet, the Massacre Chaser Jack would make me look like a perfect gentleman by comparison. All you have to do to know that is watch any of his previous television appearances.

    My feelings on whether Della Rocca should debate him are mixed though. On one hand, I want to see him beat Jacky-boy. On the other, I know all Jack wants is the money and publicity and I’d hate to see him earn anything for this.

    @ Dex
    Great idea! Give the money to charity. That would make me feel better knowing that something good would be coming out of it. Then again, Jack would probably use it to boost his lagging credibility.

    @ Namrepus221
    So that was you? There was some mention of that happening on the comments associated with that story. I can’t really blame you. I’d probably of wanted to do that too (at the very least).

    @ JB
    Who are you talking about? It sounds to me like Della Rocca doesn’t want to do the debate for money reasons, not Jack. Andrew Eisen gave all the facts we need to counter 90% of what Jack can claim. The remaining 10% can be refuted with simple common sense. Jack is the one with baseless claims. I’d like to think you are referring to Jack’s fact-less arguments, but it reads the other way around.

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    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    JT is not a coward, he is a concerned father that does not want to finacially hurt his family. Is it that hard to get a little compensation in exchange for the time and effort it takes to defend his beliefs


    Its sick that he will only confront his opposition if his getting paid for it.

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    Nekojin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “So Jack is debating about gaming with Bob Guccione Jr, a guy who according to Wikipedia (yes I had to look him up – I had no idea who the guy is) is from the MUSIC industry.”

    Bob Guccione Sr. is the media mogul who created Penthouse Magazine. Now, I’ll grant that Bob Jr. doesn’t have any connection to Bob Sr.’s sex lifestyle, but I’d bet money that Thompson doesn’t see the “Jr.” on the name, and thinks that he’s going to be doing debates about sex in media. Hell, maybe that IS going to be the topic of discussion, but it’s not going to be the same “debate” that it would be with Bob Sr. – I gather that Bob Jr. holds opinions and ideals closer to Thompson’s than to his father’s.

    Now, if Thompson agreed to debate Sex in Media against someone with the clout of Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt, then maybe you’d see some real fireworks on the debate podium.

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    SilverStar says:

    Well, this proves that Massacre Chaser, Jack Thompson really doesn’t have a moral ground to stand on. He really is just in it for the money, just like the ambulance chasers are.

    Massacre Chaser, if you really were trying to fight this battle on moral grounds, you would do so for the sake of the fight, not because it’s making you money. There’s all sorts of alternatives to actually showing up. Ever hear of doing a teleconference, if you’re so worried about being out the few hundred bucks for a plane ticket? You could easily do a teledebate the same way, not like it’d be the first in history.

    Instead, you’ve shown your hand and have provided proof that you’re only in it for the money and publicity. Probably hoping to somehow come out on top and release a best-selling book or something, to keep you rolling in the dough for years to come, without having to worry about the bridges you’re actively seeking to burn, in the field of Law.

    Massacre Chaser, it’s time to go back to the real person you once were. Go back to being John Bruce, some no-name hick of a lawyer who no one cares about, who might be able to win the occasional legal battle, rather than pretending to be Jack Thompson, a man who can’t win the very battles he lunges into, head first.

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    Andrew Eisen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Can Jason Della Rocca refute the brain scan science coming out of Harvard and Indiana Universities that explain this video game copycat phenomenon?”

    Maybe he could if the studies actually explained this so-called “video game copycat phenomenon.”

    Let’s start with Harvard. First of all, Thompson has the wrong school. Unless he’s talking about Kim Thompson’s ESRB accuracy study, I believe he mean’s Sonya Brady’s University of Pittsburgh study which had 100 college kids (18-21) play GTA III or Simpsons: Hit and Run. The study showed that those who had played GTA III had higher blood pressure and more permissive attitudes towards drug use.

    Why does Thompson keep referring to that as the Harvard study? Because he read about it here which talks about two other studies, the aforementioned ESRB accuracy study and a TV violence study, both from Harvard.

    As for Indiana, the study used an MRI to look at the difference between the brains of normal kids and kids with disruptive behavioral disorders when playing violent games. The conclusion: kids with DBD have less activity going on in the frontal lobe (decision-making and behavioral control) then kids without DBD when playing violent games. The games used? A racing game and a James Bond game.

    “What is his rebuttal to the US Supreme Court case striking down the juvenile death penalty that cited those brain scan studies?”

    Probably the fact that that case has zero to do with video games. Did Roper v. Simmons cite these specific studies? No. In fact, near as I can tell, no specific brain scan study was cited period. Got lots of reading time? Hear you go.

    “Is he willing to refute the American Psychological Association formal finding that there is a direct causal link between violent video games and teen aggression?”

    For the simple reason that it did not find a direct causal link I’d say yes. It’s not a finding, it’s a resolution. It read studies that suggest there may potentially be an increase in aggressive behavior when playing violent games so the APA recommends, in light of this possibility, that children be taught media literacy, the entertainment industry links violent behavior with negative consequences, a content-based ratings system, and that game developers address the possibility of game violence increasing aggressive thoughts and behaviors.

    Andrew Eisen

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    Khyris says:

    Someone needs to use the phrase “massacre chaser” as often as other certain people have used the words “murder simulator”… until it becomes a common turn of speech.

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    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    LOL @ the update…

    Someone should suggest to MSNBC that they take a look at those Emails, it should answer all their questions about Jack.

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    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    JT is not worth debating, let alone watching. The time is better spent getting the word out about his behavior and less-than-sane demeanor.

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    Namrepus221 says:

    I was at one of these attrocities and ended up making a huge ass of myself in the process.

    All jack does is spue his retoric.

    Doesnt’ give any new insight on anything or expound on things. Just quotes “When I represented the family at Paduca…” and “I predicted columbine” shit that you see him do in every interview he has ever been in for the last 3 years.

    And Jack is gonna wuss out of this one the same as he did with Tom Buscaglia. That he’s already won because of god and that he doesn’t have to prove anything.

    I swear if this happens. I want to be there. I wont’ flip jack off again. But damnit. I want to see Jack get his.

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    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’d also like to mention that Della Rocca didn’t mention any names, so it’s obvious Jacky Boy knows what he is deep down if he took offence at it.

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    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If I were him, I wouldn’t bother getting involved with Jack, it’s just JBT looking for yet another platform to pimp his bad science from, he failed on National TV, so now he’s trying to make an issue out of his own actions that made him fail. Let him rot in the Media no-go zone he himself created, there are far more worthy people to debate this with, who would provide an intelligent response and not one motivated by hatred and ignorance.

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    Phantom says:

    I hope Della Rocca turns it down. If he decides to accept, it should only be on the condition that nobody profits from the event. The last thing we should be doing is giving Jack another platform from which he earns a profit while spewing lies.

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    Muetank ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I will eat my pants if Jack accepts the debate. Della Rocca will crush Jack no problem. It would be like that scene from Jurasic park with the dood on the toilet (Jack) gets eaten by the T-rex (Rocca).

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    Russ says:

    I love it. I was talking with some buds at our office, we make vid games so we love jacks exploits. But this is what we came up with. They should do it, put it on pay per view. I’d happily pay like $15 for it. Then get a group together and take a drink/shot every time jack says something stupid.

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    KungFu-tse says:

    Considering that he chickened out of debating video game lawyer Tom Buscaglia, I wouldn’t be surprised if JT did it again here.

    My suggestion to Mr. Rocca is to do the same strategy that Doug did, that is to IGNORE JACK THOMPSON. The only thing the debate will accomplish is giving him free publicity and more bragging rights to him. “I am Jack Thompson! I am an expert! And I just went on another debate with the crooks of the video game industry!” You see what I mean?

    As for discrediting JT, there’s no need. Newspapers, media, GamePolitics, bloggers, Wikipedia, and lots of other sources are already doing that right now. He already contradicted himself in the foot with his Nightline appearance, and he did it again with the VT shootings. Plus add to the fact that he’s currently in trouble with the Florida Bar.

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    Majestic_12_x says:

    Jack’s flakier than a box of corn flakes. Even if he does participate, he’s probably going to be interrupting Della Rocca every five seconds. Once the debate is over (and Jack is clearly humiliated) he’s going to go on a huge rant and claim that the entertainment industry is out to ruin his life. Della Rocca will probably be reported to the FBI (and the FBI will wonder why they haven’t blocked Jack’s FAX number yet). Yeah, that’s the debate in a nutshell.

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    Dex says:

    First off, I’d say ignore the debate. Just point out that Thompson isn’t a good person to debate against, as he isn’t a dignified opponent, and thus isn’t worth the time. As much fun as it would be to see Thompson get his keister kicked (yes, I just used the word “keister”), I don’t think it’d be worth giving Thompson any more possible credibility as a worthy opponent of the gaming industry.

    I’d say if the debate were to happen, have one condition as a priority: All money raised goes to charity.
    Any charity works really, but something preferably neutral and involved with the topic. I somehow doubt you could get Jack to agree with the charity being Child’s Play. This should test whether or not Jack is willing to push his beliefs without a paycheque waiting for him afterwards.

    I agree with the formal debate structure for this one, helps keep things pointed.

    As for apologizing, I doubt it. If anything, allow him to explain himself. It’s not too hard for that claim to be substantiated with quotes from Thompson himself, as well as his behaviour. And really, you don’t hear Thompson offering to apologize for his insults.

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    darkSide says:

    Jack will not participate on anything. He has been losing way to much integrity since last week. And a debate with this guy would take away anything he had left, if any.

    Also Jack will be like a kid:
    “*crying* he called me stupid, my daddy said im just special, im not doing anything until he says he is sorry.”

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    Salen says:

    Jack would get torn up by this guy. Frankly, there’s no proof that stopping video games would have stopped Cho from doing what he did, since there isn’t much in the way of proof that he was into games. I’m banking JT will be a punk and back out of the debate, again.

    Anyways, let us know when the debate will be! This will be must see TV!

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    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So Jack is debating about gaming with Bob Guccione Jr, a guy who according to Wikipedia (yes I had to look him up – I had no idea who the guy is) is from the MUSIC industry.

    Jack really doesn’t like debating with people who have any clue what they are talking about or like to call him on his bullshit. What a complete coward.

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    Robb ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I seriously recommend a formal debate structure(Intro-point/counterpoint, conclusion/closing). If JT’s tactics are interrupting every 5 seconds, then a formal debate would eliminate that w/the moderator in control of the microphone feeds.

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    Kharne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You know, that threat would work better if it had some backing. Jack doesn’t exactly have a good track record for debates. What with the constantly backing out and all.

    Oh, and I know there was the college tour awhile back, but honestly? I think we can safely say there was some rigging involved there.

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    HandofCrom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thompson’s just a pathetic coward and massacre chaser. He will never follow through with this, because he knows his lies will be exposed and he will be humiliated.

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    Wolf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Take it, Rocca! Either way, you could win! You can twist his nuts on the floor, or he can kick himself in the face again by backing out! Damn it, man, take it!

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    JB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The only place this debate can be held is: After school; by the monkey bars!

    Honestly, I don’t think Jack has the nerve to go through with it though. And if it does then be prepared to some extreme name calling (by Thompson of course).

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    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I guess if John Bruce can’t make money from it, or help someone else make make from it, then it isn’t of any worth to the “Warrior for God”. (Claim backed by his bowing out of the XFire debate, his desire to make money off of these college debates, and the civil suits such as the Cody Posey case that ignores the various abuses that Cody went through and merely blames violent video games, among other evidence).

    The probability that John Bruce will find an excuse to back out of the debate exists also. He’ll come up with some lame excuse. And if he doesn’t, LET’S GET READY TO TO (debate) RUMBLE!

    NW2K Software

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