The primary bone of contention was Penny Arcade’s desire to keep Thompson’s appearance a closely-held secret, revealing it just prior to the actual debate in late August at PAX.
The volatile Thompson, however, blew that possibility sky-high late last week by revealing the ongoing debate negotiations to several media outlets. Kotaku was first to run with the story on Friday evening.
Having declined the terms of the debate, Thompson now says he blames Penny Arcade. In an e-mail to GP this morning he wrote:
I have repeatedly emailed… Penny Arcade and told them of my willingness, from the start and now, to engage in the debate. They are the ones who canceled the debate, not I.
Their concern about “security” is absurd and a contrivance. All they have to do is limit the number of admitees to 6000… This is not rocket science. This is not going to be like the Stones at Altamonte, for Heaven’s sake. Real security, not Hell’s Angels will be providing security.
What GamePolitics or others need to do is get to the bottom of why they really wanted to announce the debate one hour before it occurrs. Now THAT would cause a stampede that would not allow them to have passes in the hands of those who want to go.
I’m surprised, Dennis, frankly, that you have so naively taking this dodge. I believe what happened is that they thought I would never accept the debate offer, and they planned to use that for p.r. purposes.
GP: As I said to Thompson in a reply to his e-mail, his contention doesn’t hold water. How could Penny Arcade be using the debate for P.R. when it was their intent to keep it secret right up until PAX? What’s more, Thompson was the one who revealed the debate proposal to the world, not PA.
As we wrote on Saturday, the anti-game activist missed a huge opportunity here. Despite all of the negative history between the embattled Miami lawyer and Penny Arcade (which includes Thompson’s 2005 attempt to get the Seattle P.D. and F.B.I. after PA), the PA crew was ready to afford near-rock star (oh, the irony…) treatment to Thompson to make this debate a reality.
Sounds like there may be someone here who doesn’t want to debate but still craves the publicity. However, we don’t think it’s Penny Arcade.
GP POLL RESULTS: Despite its apparent demise, GP readers overwhelmingly would like to see a Thompson debate. Of more than 1,100 respondents to our recent poll, 74% favored a Thompson-Penny Arcade debate. 20% said no, and 6% were undecided.