Jack Attack on GamePolitics, Pt 1: The Demonizing

Although he is regularly covered here and is a frequent source of GP news items, anti-game attorney Jack Thompson has had a contentious relationship with GamePolitics over the years.

Last Thursday PopZart published an interview with Thompson in which GamePolitics was the primary target of the controversial attorney’s spew. 

I was given the opportunity to participate, but declined when I realized the author was after a mano-a-mano feature pitting Thompson and GP. That tale is too complex to be left in the hands of a writer with whom I have no prior acquaintance. Reading the final product convinces me it was the right call.

In the article, the vitriolic attorney also takes off after Kotaku’s Brian Crecente, Take Two Interactive boss Strauss Zelnick, the Penny Arcade crew and a few others. Here are some of his comments relating to GamePolitics as well as my responses.

JT: People tend to demonize their opponents in order better to try to marginalize them. I am sure I have been guilty of that at times, and I apologize.

GP: Damn straight you’ve been guilty of that. Apology accepted. Also, check with the Attorney Generals of Louisiana and Utah on that whole demonization issue. Check with former ESA boss Doug Lowenstein, who you compared unfavorably to Saddam Hussein.

In relation to this, I’ve often wondered why Thompson believes that demonizing people helps his cause? Likening Doug Lowenstein to Saddam, for example, is not only inflammatory, but ultimately a distraction from the issue at hand.

When this question has been posed, Jack typically spouts some nonsense about Jesus calling out the pharisees as the whited sepulchre. Maybe so, but I don’t recall Jesus being so downright nasty about it. And what of the concept that men of good will may disagree? Not operative, it would seem, in this case. Finally, Thompson apparently doesn’t care that his rancor has cost him dear among potential allies. But he should, his crusade would be far more effective with influential support.

JT: I was interviewed… by a major newspaper in the UK about the Manhunt 2 victory… They know over there that I was in the middle of this effort. Industry lapdog “news sites” like GamePolitics won’t acknowledge that because now Dennis McCauley of GamePolitics has totally sold out. He is part of ECA, an industry entity.

GP: The truth is, we write about Thompson so much on GamePolitics that some readers complain about it. Jack, on the other hand, seems to feel that if we don’t print the precise story he would like to see, that we’re trying to hide his activism.

However, if you search GP for “Thompson” and “Manhunt” you’ll find at least a dozen recent articles containing those two terms. Most of them clearly delineate Thompson’s activities, including this one, which explicitly lays out Thompson’s key role in drawing the Florida Attorney General into the Manhunt 2 debate.

We didn’t cover Thompson’s interview? So what? Time is limited and so is space. There are a lot of things we don’t cover every day. When Thompson gets to be GP editor, he can make those decisions. Until then…

JT: That [UK] story would have proven I am reasonable, which the likes of Dennis McCauley do not want because to demonize Jack Thompson is to demonize all opponents of the sale of adult-themed video games to children. These people don’t report the truth, because the truth is not in them.

GP: So the issue of whether Jack Thompson is “reasonable” hinges on a single article? That’s pretty sad. What’s more, by Thompson’s logic, I guess I’m demonizing myself, too, because I don’t want adult-themed games sold to children, either. I’m on record, for example, as supporting the AO rating assigned to Manhunt 2 by the ESRB.

The issue, as Thompson well knows, is whether or not game content should be legislated. Personally, I don’t believe so, but you’re welcome to disagree. I may take issue, but promise not to call you either a whited sepulcher or a Saddam Hussein clone.

An explanation for Thompson’s penchant for attack may lie in his 2005 book, Out of Harm’s Way. In a chapter offering tips to would-be culture warriors, Thompson writes:

Be mean… Trust no one… Use the media to your advantage… Take the offensive…

I’m not sure, however, that he read this part of his own book, which says:

Remember, it’s not about you…

GP: Thompson’s attack on GamePolitics was extensive. So is our reply. Look for Part 2 soon…

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  1. 0
    jccalhoun ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    regarding “Art is that which points to what is good, beautiful, or true” I was also unable to find that exact phrase. However, in the republic Plato does talk about the good, the beautiful and the true.

    In addition, however, if you look up the words art good true beautiful then you will find a LOT of conservative evangelical Christian stuff talking about that. So obviously that is where Jack got it from.

  2. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    @ Rumpojec

    Thanks, I am very glad to hear a Christian that realizes that calling-out the fundamentalists doesn’t mean an attack on your faith itself.

    @ Soga

    I said: “Classic Christian (far) Right Wing”

    NOT: Every Christian is just like that.

  3. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That phrase John Bruce said to google…
    Knowing John Bruce’s penchance for fouling up quotes and even names, I decided to try a few other things to Google.

    In Advanced Search, under “with the exact phrase” I put “art is that which” and under “with all the words” I put “good beautiful true” (without the quotes). Some interesting results came back. Including 2 on just the first page. One was a Lyndon LaRouche page and the other was Culture Watch. Of course, it wasn’t a big surprise. And probably not what he was referring to. And there are other pages that seem closer. Still…

    NW2K Software

  4. 0
    Gil ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Andrew Eisen

    “The only truth that it conjures up is that a bunch of wiseguys in kilts in Edinborough, sipping single malt Glenlivet, think that they can make a bunch of money stereotyping American minorities.”

    He said that AGAIN? That’s been in his Wikiquote articcle for the longest time, but slightly different. One would think someone would tell him “Stop saying that, it’s racist and retarded and kind of ironic in a bad way”

  5. 0
    neveranything says:


    When it comes to the courts, there’s a little thing called the First Amendment, which includes protection of the Freedom of Speech. No matter who’s following Thompson, any videogame legislation they’d come up with would be in violation of the Freedom of Speech, and there are FAR more people to defend that than there are ignorant groupees who’ll follow Thompson.

  6. 0
    Clyde Wyman says:

    “Be mean… Trust no one… Use the media to your advantage… Take the offensive…”

    A new Hitler loving queer? I knew this would happen. So much for calling himself “protectors of children”, I think he should be called a “evil influence of children”.

  7. 0
    Veranish says:

    Well… to be honest, GP, shouldn’t you just not care?
    I mean, JT has always been like this, and the best approach seems to be to brush him off as insignificant. He’s as a god in Terry Pratchett’s world. The less attention he has, the less power he has.

    Stuff such as this seems to merely be to provoke MORE news about him. The fact that he says to you, “You are not covering me enough!” and then you cover him about that, seems as if he’s made a small victory there.

  8. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:

    I’m still a little bummed out that people are dismissing Thompson as stupid, a nut, or in most cases a stupid nut. That is just far too dismissive when all indications are that Thompson really DOES do his research and really does read reports and experience these games for himself.

    Thompson is not preaching to gamers when he discusses his crusade on national television. We can only make a difference if we take Thompson to task for being the lying, sensationalist massacre chaser that he is, publically if possible. When he talks about games, he is preaching to the ignorant who WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TELL THAT HE IS LYING. He uses Christianity and morality to establish trust among legitimate Christians and other concerned parents. He does not want people to do their own research. Video games are a relatively unknown and still feared medium among older generations and it is for this reason Thompson has targeted them. If he can convince enough people that video games have a negative effect on society, his paid appearances increase, his work as a lawyer increases, and the courts become increasingly pressured to actually pass some of the ridiculous legislation that looks impossible right now.

  9. 0
    BlueWolf72 says:

    Hey jack look at our mod and tell the world we are bad people…We need the PR.

    JT needs media and a outlet to spew his crazy thoughts of how the world should be in his eyes. One day the media will ask Dennis and not JT for facts and you get a more respectful answer and idea on views of gaming.

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

    On behalf of, well, myself– I’d like to personally thank Jack Thompson for making the rest of the human race seem like a utopia of geniuses and philosophers in comparison to him.

    Enjoy the free publicity while it lasts.

  11. 0
    Rumpojec says:

    On behalf of the Christians that aren’t morons that spout Scripture to make an argument, I apologize for the embarrassment that is Jack Thompson. I apologize for the defamation of Christian culture by this guy. Then again, maybe we had it coming.

    *shrugs* Ah, well. Excellent points and write up, GP. I’ve got the RSS feed ready for whenever part 2 comes out.

  12. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Strauss If Manhunt 2 is “art,” then Jack the Ripper was his generation’s Rembrandt. Jeffrey Dahmer was his generation’s Picasso. Charles Manson was his generation’s Michelangelo.”

    Uh, wow. Just wow.

    So John Bruce. We need to have us a little sit down here. The topic of discussion is referred to as fiction versus nonfiction.

    Jack the Ripper – nonfiction. Jack the ripper killed real live people.

    Mario- Mario is what we refer to as fiction. All the goombas that he stomps on are not REAL. Therefore there is no real murder to get up in arms about.

    Dahmer- Dahmer killed and consumed real life people.

    Hanibal Lecter- From the book and movie. Much as Dahmer Hanibal Lecter killed and ate people, difference being the people that he ate, much as he himself are FICTIONAL. Now if you like you can try to bring charges against Mr. Lecter (as you would no doubt try as you’ve lost your marbles), but you will run into some difficulty as he doesn’t exist.

    Charles Manson- Ah yes, the charismatic murderous hippy who had a murder cult. Yes Sharon Tate was a real live person.

    C.J- From the Grant Theft Auto series. In the game C.J. kills, as he himself is, fictional characters.

    Now where is this all going johnnie? Well comparing fictional work (which is art regardless of what you think) to the real life equivalent is really ridiculous. And remember the good book also has killings in it, such as David and Goliath? But I know that you wouldn’t desire the Bible to be drawn down to such levels as Charles Manson now would you? But you know what they say, in for a penny in for a pound. So what do you say Johnnie? Want to throw the bible into that stack as well?

  13. 0
    JBourrie says:

    “McCauley even went so far as to link his site to my Tyndale House book offering at Amazon.com to assure that it would be “bookstormed.” The number of obscene postings at my book offering there were so voluminous because of what McCauley did that Amazon had to delete many of them.”

    You know, up until this point he almost sounded reasonable. Wrong, deluded, egotistical… but reasonable. Then he criticized you for giving him free advertising, because somehow you plotted against his book by linking to it, even though it has everything to do with Game Politics (you know, the topic of the site?)

    You’ve also linked to Ian Bogosts book. Is he going to criticize you if it gets bad reader reviews on Amazon now? I doubt it, because he’s not a paranoid fruitcake.

  14. 0
    Andrew Eisen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Here are my favorite Thompson quotes from the article:

    “”Art is that which points to what is good, beautiful, or true.” Go google that phrase. You’ll find it.”

    I did. I came up with nothing. Maybe I just suck at Google.

    “The only truth that it conjures up is that a bunch of wiseguys in kilts in Edinborough, sipping single malt Glenlivet, think that they can make a bunch of money stereotyping American minorities.”

    Oh good one. Atta way to stereotype those nasty entrepreneurial stereotypers.

    “Strauss If Manhunt 2 is “art,” then Jack the Ripper was his generation’s Rembrandt. Jeffrey Dahmer was his generation’s Picasso. Charles Manson was his generation’s Michelangelo.”

    Wow. Forget comparing games to drugs, Thompson’s now comparing them to murdered people.

    “I get money, by the way, from nobody, nor have I ever accepted any in my twenty years of fighting the entertainment industry’s marketing and sale of adult entertainment to children.”

    Pretty funny coming from the guy who backed out of the Della Rocca debate because there’d be no money in it.

    “My only issue really has been whether adult products should be sold to kids with no parents in sight at the point of sale. That’s it.”

    Then you’ve been barking up the wrong tree all this time; your issue is with the retailers.

    Andrew Eisen

  15. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yet I can wager that in 20 years time, all of us will be thinking ‘whatever happened to JT?’, simply because he was demonised as our number one enemy, instead of ignored like the rambling old fool he is.

    Doubtful. I’m guessing that for me at least it’ll be more like Joe Lieberman. His name pops up years after I last hear it, and my response is “Oh, is that guy still around?”

    If Jack wasn’t constantly forcing himself into the spotlight, he’d fade away and be forgotten in short order. He’s no different than your average troll in that respect.

  16. 0
    CyberSkull ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m rather disappointed that the interviewer did not address Thompson’s insults aimed at gamers while talking about those aimed at specific people. It’s mostly because of his name-calling that I just can’t take him seriously.

  17. 0
    x(wai)x says:

    And another post from me. Sorry for the double-post, I’m kind of reading over the PopZart article and posting my reactions as I read.

    It is very difficult, in some instances, to correctly guess at motives. All I know is that this industry decision to isolate Manhunt 2 and ostracize Take-Two for its very long history of thumbing its nose at corporate and artistic responsibility is long, long overdue.

    That’s a pretty big assumption about motive right there. Rockstar finally went too far over the line in the ESRB’s eyes, and they judged the game as they felt was fair. He makes it sound like the ESRB was ready to use their rating to punish Rockstar, like GTA4 would have gotten an AO rating if it was released first. (-_-);

  18. 0
    x(wai)x says:

    I get money, by the way, from nobody, nor have I ever accepted any in my twenty years of fighting the entertainment industry’s marketing and sale of adult entertainment to children. I’m clean. These sites are not. They need to stop the charade that they are.

    Whoo…. Oh, boy. This is coming from the guy who expected to make money off a debate and refused to make it free when his opponent indicated that he wasn’t comfortable making money off it? I nearly fell out of my chair on that one from laughing too hard…

  19. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Aiyah…I just read the whole thing and now I don’t feel so good…may have to trade in my new Civic for a short bus.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever read anything so blatantly self-aggrandizing. A burst of light, huh? This interview was more like a burst septic tank. Go get ’em, Dennis!

  20. 0
    las says:

    Another thing to mention:

    Jackie Boy is a 1950s politician working in the 21st century. No matter what he tries to do to the industry now, bear in mind within 10, maybe 15 or 20 years, there will be a new generation of politicians and lawyers who grew up with video games and know they aren’t the evil that JT claims they are. The next generation of parents will be tech-savvy and will actually know how to parent their kids, rather than whine at the government that the ESRB isn’t doing their job right. You don’t think every other creative industry – art, music, cinema, theatre – had old-fashioned bible-bashing prudes whining about the downfall of society that the art form they hated perpetuated? Can you remember the names of those fools who failed? No. Because those industries ignored them and had the support of the silent majority. Yet I can wager that in 20 years time, all of us will be thinking ‘whatever happened to JT?’, simply because he was demonised as our number one enemy, instead of ignored like the rambling old fool he is.

  21. 0
    x(wai)x says:

    Random question about the article.

    All that aside, the AO rating by the ESRB of Manhunt 2 and the outright banning of it in the UK is the single best thing to happen to the video game industry ever on the issue of the public’s perception of whether the industry can be trusted to police itself. The jury is still out on that (trust me) but what an incredibly powerful argument the side that does not want the government to get involved here in the US now has, because that side can say: “Look, we nailed Take-Two, finally, for breaking the rules, and you can trust us to do it again to anybody who breaks the rules.” There are still other rules being broken, but at least now the ESRB and its head, Patty Vance, are not so clearly the industry lapdogs that they have previously appeared to be.

    He mentions “the rules” several times. Which rules are these? I wasn’t aware of there being any “rules” to game design. As far as I knew, the ESRB judges each game individually rather than having a set of “the rules” that all games must abide by.

  22. 0
    las says:

    I’m not saying that JT isn’t a potent enemy – I am fully aware that there are idiots out there that consider JT to be an expert of sorts. However, this is clearly a case of ‘preaching to the converted’. JT merely vents his rage against games and the only people that listen to him are those who had prejudice against games in the first place.

    However, this is the same case with GP. Who reads this, apart from gamers (and perhaps JT, to check if we’re actually reporting on him)? If there are any readers out there who are not gamers, I encourage them to speak out. Unfortunately, this is a site for gamers by gamers, and I can say without a shred of doubt that this site gives Jack more press than every other news outlet combined. As they say, ‘no press is bad press’. Do Fox News harp on about Michael Moore all the time? No, so why should GP harp on about JT all the time? If a major games outlet keeps giving one idiot press, it gives the image that we consider him to be some kind of authority on the subject.

    This is a man who uses the press as his weapon, and all GP does is give him an infinite supply of ammo. Et tu, GP?

  23. 0

    Unfortunately Ias, it isn’t the media which necessarily is using him all the time — but they do have him available and referenced as an “expert” enough times, particularly places like CNN. But the bigger problem is that politicians are listening to him, and if sites like GamePolitics completely ignored him, he’d just sit back and pull his manipulative strings to get more and more oppressive, and unconstitutional laws written, and he’d be able to, in secret, lash out and attack the game industry, undermine and erode any public face the game industry may have — painting a very dark picture. At least by responding to Jack Thompson, people like Dennis are able to show that there are sane people who can respond to Thompson’s insanity, and call him on it.

  24. 0
    cfulp says:

    Any longtime gp reader will tell you to take anything JT says with a grain of salt. The things he’s been saying about gamers, as well as the game companies (sony – pearl harbor anyone) is completely rude and unacceptable. Or maybe I’m just not familiar enough with lawyers.

  25. 0
    gs2005 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ias, ignoring John Bruce Thompson isn’t that simple-there are plenty of uninformed people with political ties, who would listen to the massacre-chaser, which then gives a warped perspective on video games in the political arena.

    I used to feel the same way as you, until John Bruce Thompson was able to get others to believe him, and not actually look at the truth of each situation. Sound bites, vague assumptions, leading questions, and the idea that if you are loud enough, someone will listen to you, coupled with the mainstream media’s pro-sensationalizing attitude and then adding some kind of justification by claiming that somehow, a supreme being is guiding him…

    Hopefully, you get the picture. In a perfect world, he could-and should be ignored, but this is not a perfect world.

  26. 0
    las says:

    GamesPolitics is a site about games and politics, yes. So where does JT come into this? He is neither a politician, nor is he a gamer, or an expert of games, or, judging from his various accusations of games and the gaming industry, knowledgable about games and in fact anything whatsoever.

    Apart from his meaningless lawsuits, whereupon I guess a lawsuit, despite how ridiculous and doomed it is, becomes political, there is nothing that Jack does or says that is worth reporting on this site. Hell, why not ask some moron on the street on his opinion on games? Chances are that he will know a lot more about games than JT does or ever will.

    You might compare JT to a cancer on the games industry – a violent, malevolent force that is trying to intoxicate and destroy something we love, but simply referring to him, let alone reporting entire articles about him, gives him power. He is more like an itch or a sniffle. Ignore it and it will go away.

    Seriously. You people say that if GP or Penny-Arcade or any other gaming website stopped attacking him and he would become powerful, but in the last 24 months, despite reading several newspapers and looking on many news websites, the only websites that give JT any press are, quell surprise, gaming sites, such as *gasp* PA and GP. If you guys hate him so much, just ignore him. He is not a noteworthy figure and should be treated thusly.

  27. 0
    Insanejedi341 says:

    how big of a deal did jacky boy make the “gay sex” thing in bully out of…

    “Jimmy can kiss another boy, just like he can kiss girls. Thompson reacted like the gameplay was interrupted to display goatse.cx.”

    nah he called it far more hideous sounding “We just found GAY SEXUAL CONTENT in Bully”

    Gamespot reference.

  28. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The ECA isn’t an industry organization, so I don’t think it’s a conflict of interest in the way Jack is making it out to be. You’d think the video game industry created his wife’s cancer and Gabe & Tycho injected it while Dennis distracted her to hear him talk.

  29. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I must admit, it does sound like rampant back-pedalling to me…

    ‘Oh sure, I may have been a rude, intolerant bigot before, but that was just for show, if only you got to know the real me, you’d think differently’

    Doesn’t mean he wasn’t a rude, intolerant bigot.

    I find myself more and more interested in what the deal is with the Bar as we see more of this ‘Look at me, I’m sane and reasonable’ behaviour from Thompson.

  30. 0
    point09micron says:

    how big of a deal did jacky boy make the “gay sex” thing in bully out of…

    Jimmy can kiss another boy, just like he can kiss girls. Thompson reacted like the gameplay was interrupted to display goatse.cx.

  31. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Soga

    We don’t mean to paint Christians with such a broad brush. We know there are all types. One of my best friends is a Christian and she finds Thompson’s antics completely reprehensible. Unfortunately as I have told her, my experice with the Born-Agains left me with a sour taste in my mouth (I feel the same way about my time with them the same way Picard did about his time with the Borg Collective and have the same kind of hatred for them). People like Thompson, while they may be in the minority, do nothing to change my attitude as they embody the worst aspects and thus enforce the sterotype. I realize it’s not always true, but the damage has been done. And really, sometimes it is.

  32. 0
    hilaryduffgta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    seeing as how i was out of the loop for a while im curious

    how big of a deal did jacky boy make the “gay sex” thing in bully out of…

  33. 0
    Chris Pereira ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The thing I found particularly interesting was that the interview was even called an ‘interview.’ It was nothing more than an opportunity for JT to voice his opinions without opposition. I think Carbonatedgravy makes an excellent point where he states that Thompson has stated things that are completely untrue, such as the “gay sex” in Bully. And the suggestion that he wasn’t going to PAX because the opposition was scared is absurd; the real reasons behind why that particular event fell apart have been aired publicly and are completely reasonable.

    I completely understand why you didn’t take part in this particular ‘interview,’ Dennis, and ultimately I think the main problem is that there will never be a place without enough space or time for the issues to be debated without having one side argue that they weren’t given a fair opportunity.

  34. 0
    Soga says:

    Wow, what’s with the uber stereotypes of Christian far right wingers? You people do realize you’re stereotyping a broad group based on the few that actually get press attention? Please.

  35. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    Classic Christian (far) Right Wing. Self-depricate yourself with one hand, fluff your ego with the other. Add enough, “I’m just a simple God’s servant,” Serve with a touch of fire and brimstone for your evil enemies who torment you so.

    And then pretend that you don’t enjoy every minute of the spotlight.

    I love how he talks down about himself, and almost in the same paragraph, tells us just how successful he is, how he’s winning, how many TV shows he’s been on …

    What an amazing ego.

    Beat your breast a little more, Jack. Didn’t your main-man Jesus call out the man who fasted, prayed, and flagellated himself to gain recognition? Humility seems to be a virtue you have no concept of. Neither do I, but I don’t pretend to be a humble servant of God.

    I will say this, he’s got a clever angle to discredit those unfamiliar with GP. Calling GP an industry shill is an easy lie to swallow for folks new to the ECA idea, or those who don’t like advocacy groups in general. I wonder how GP can respond to that, without giving it too much credit by way of a response. But letting such a half-(or quarter)-truth go uncontested has been damaging; in the case of SCRPG being labeled as industry product, or Bully being labeled as the ‘Colombine Game.’ I am waiting in earnest, as an ECA member.

  36. 0
    GamerDad says:

    As a true independent, I’m a little discomfited (maybe jealous too) that Dennis is funded by the ECA.

    But clearly he’d no “industry lapdog.”

    He’s, or this site has, been very critical of Sony, Microsoft, and Take Two in recent months. More critical than I might have been myself, had I this size of microphone. That kind of hand biting goes a long way toward showing that, while slanted in favor of the industry, Dennis isn’t running an industry cheerleader here either.

    I’ll refrain from any other comment, but I wanted to voice at least that fact for readers.

  37. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:

    @ Black Manta

    Sounds to me like a good candidate for his new nickname around these parts. Massacre chaser was fun, but it’s getting a bit stale.

  38. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Also after looking up the phrase “whited sepulchre,” I think that could just as easily be applied to Thompson himself:

    “a person who is inwardly evil but outwardly professes to be virtuous.”

  39. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I just read the whole interview. Just as I thought he suffers from full-blown persecution/martyr complex as all religous fanatics do. As an ex-Born Again I know this. Christians just love to paint themselves as the victims, even when they’re being total pricks as somehow this makes them more noble.

    Look how he tries to garner sympathy. Basically all he says is, “I’m a sinner. I’m not perfect. The gamers are after me. Dennis and Koataku and Penny Arcade are after me. All I want is to do the right thing. I’m a husband and a father and all the nasty gamers want to kill me. Wah! Wah! Wah!” Notice how he also brings up the late Ed Bradley and his death and mentioned that his wife has ovarian cancer. There was no other reason for it than to elicit a sympathy. Makes me sick. If he’s as imperfect as he says, then maybe he’s in the wrong job. God may excuse bad behavior, but it’s very unprofessional for a lawyer.

    As I quoted Solomon Short before:

    Not all lawyers know when they’re lying. Only the good ones do. The best can even cover up this fact.

    Jack claims he has a different persona than the one he shows in public and that he’s not crazy, but I think he’s been at this so-called “fight” for so long that he’s become totally confused that he’s actually started to believe the things he says and the personas have bec=come so mashed together that he can no longer separate them. In other words, he has become as so many others have said, delusional.

    I especially love the jabs he took at Wikipedia. No, they may not be completely 100% accurate all the time, but a lot of what is there has yet to be refuted by others and it’s pretty consistent with his documented behavior elsewhere. So it is the truth. He just doesn’t like it when the truth hurts him. 😉

  40. 0
    EOTD says:


    The assumption that ceasing talking about Thompson will shut him up is dead wrong. All it will do is turn him into the proverbial elephant in the room. Not to mention the fact that if Dennis does start ignoring stories involving Thompson, he’ll be doing exactly what Thompson has accused him of: abandoning his journalistic duty. Face it: GamePolitics reports on major news items that invlolve both a) games and b) politics, and it’s not Dennis’ fault that Thompson has a hand in a large amount of those stories.

  41. 0
    Hilaryduffgta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I personally cant stand thompson at all and any time anything happens at all he uses it to his advantage so i say good riddance

    Cant wait to read part 2 though dennis and see what jacky boy complains about now

  42. 0
    las says:

    Why does he keep pressing a Christian agenda? Surely separation of church and state and all that?

    Anyway, GP is the only way I find out about JT’s latest activities. Please, for the love of God, stop giving him press. He doesn’t need it. He has nothing of note worthy of repeating. No one cares. Once you stop giving him that little ounce of press, he will die.

  43. 0
    GamePolitics ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dais: quite simply, I don’t have an unlimited amount of time to write articles, nor does GP have unlimited space – well, I guess it does, technically, but I don’t want to devote an untoward amount of it to his stuff. He gets plenty of ink as it is.

  44. 0
    Insanejedi341 says:

    JT: That [UK] story would have proven I am reasonable, which the likes of Dennis McCauley do not want because to demonize Jack Thompson is to demonize all opponents of the sale of adult-themed video games to children. These people don’t report the truth, because the truth is not in them.

    Oh and let me guess YOU DO? Don’t forget you’re the guy that said during the V-tech shootings that the killer played Counter-strike while the roommate said he never saw him play video games, and yet you kept pressing on a issue that did not exist.

  45. 0
    Mike B. says:

    Oh … my … goodness, this PopZart site is TERRIBLE. Check out this graf from a “culture” story about a Barack Obama-as-Christ sculpture created by an art student. Is this racist? Or just dim-witted?

    “You know there’s something about this Wunderkind Barack phenomenon that seems to speak to a trend I’ve noticed lately. These ethnically mixed Blacks that seem to have the Midas Touch in the culture. Barack Obama brings to mind other people, such as Black Samoan Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson from movie & pro wrestling fame, not to mention Cablinasian golf emperor Tiger Woods. They seem to have this ‘Golden Boy’ type of power that transports them to the very top of their fields in short time. The meteoric rise to stardom, replete with the natural charisma and the ability to inspire, have the ability to transfix and awe. When I see Obama on the campaign trail I concurrently see The Rock and imagine Obama saying “Barack’s laying the smack-down” raising an eyebrow.”

    I think Omaba just found his running mate! Barack and The Rock ’08 FTW.

  46. 0
    EOTD says:

    “‘Surely, there are “good” people working in all fields, even some lawyers, present company excluded of course.’

    What’s he saying here? I think he’s tripping over his own words.

    Is he saying he’s not a holy crusader for Jesus?”


    I think that was another stab at self-deprecating humor. He does lay that stuff on a bit thick.

  47. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And did anyone else notice, that in any interview or debate Jack is in, he projects his voice and tries to be louder than anyone else?

  48. 0
    EOTD says:


    I don’t support Thompson or his views at all, but I do like it when his views are presented in a coherent fashion, which makes it a lot easier to debate them.

    @E. Zachary Knight/Oldmankeebler

    Thompson and popZart are a perfect match: Thompson wanted a site who he hadn’t yet antagoized, and popZart wants more exposure. That almost certainly explains their allowing him to go on for three long paragraphs explaining with Biblical allusions how he doesn’t cast a “dark shadow” (and didn’t correct him and point out that they only said “shadow”).

  49. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dennis, you proved that you are afar bigger man than he.

    “JT: People tend to demonize their opponents in order better to try to marginalize them. I am sure I have been guilty of that at times, and I apologize.”

    Bullshit Jack. Your apologies hold as much water as a cheese grater.

  50. 0
    Oldmankeebler says:

    I regreat giving popzart’s website a hit, I don’t want to be counted as one of their readers. Could they have been more biased? The didn’t ask any hard hit questions to Jack. They gave him all nice easy lobs to let him spew his rant/preaching.

  51. 0
    Timmay! says:


    I can kinda see where you’re coming from, but I can never support someone who wants to outright ban something just to “protect the kids/innocent”. I for one would more than welcome a system imposed by the game industry itself to keep adult oriented games away from kids, but each and every piece of legislation, and each and every crusader, that I’ve seen come through want direct involvement from all levels of government to create ledislation that would be tantamount to censorship.

    Jack himself has tried to use the courts to effectively ban games in the name of “protecting the children”, which directly contradicts what he said in the interview.

  52. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:

    @ Matt

    I’m not going to start another rant like my last one, but from everything I’ve seen, I’m not sure Mr. Thompson actually believes in God. If he legitimately believed in the full teachings of the bible, New Testament and Old, his public behavior would be far different than it actually is.

  53. 0
    EOTD says:

    Now, this is the Jack Thompson I like to see: the one who speaks calmly, makes his points and intentions clear, and can get through an entire interview withut using an insult commonly heard on kindergarten playgrounds.

    If he just used this persona when dealing with the gaming community at large, he would be much less villified. I’ve known all along, from reading and watching Thompson’s statements, that he’s got something of a Jekyll-and-Hyde complex (this Jack, for example, is very different from the Jack that debated/yelled at Adam Sessler on G4), and I’ve never understood why he chooses to let that get the bestof him – he certainly seems controlled enough to keep himself in check when he wants to (or needs to). Letting himself explode does a great disservice to both himself (for obvious reasons) and to the gaming community (which can’t argue its point effectively while dodging infantile insults) – so why do it?

    And Dennis, what of Thomson’s allegations against you?

  54. 0

    Based on that second-to-last quote (in the post), Jack’s hardly demonstrating the spirit of Christ. I don’t think “Be mean” was one of those two most important commandments that Jesus mentioned. I will never understand where this man’s head is at, his ass not withstanding.

  55. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s something he figured out long ago, people love a show, and Thompson gives a show, he enjoys being the bad guy. What’s dangerous about him is not him, it’s the fact that other people are stupid enough to believe him without checking the fine details.

  56. 0
    Gil ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A point of interest I’ve always been curious about, and that’s the excessive amount of coverage each and every one of your actions seems to gather within the gaming press. What’s always struck me as odd is how each of the various media outlets seems particularly bent on your admonishment, rallying behind calls for your suppression while at the same time continuing to publish and give them exposure.

    Mostly, we think he’s crazy and wanna see what he’s gonna say or do next while making no sense and being so sensationalist.

    I mean that @#$%’s fascinating.

  57. 0
    Gil ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Surely, there are “good” people working in all fields, even some lawyers, present company excluded of course.

    What’s he saying here? I think he’s tripping over his own words.

    Is he saying he’s not a holy crusader for Jesus?

  58. 0
    Ryan T. says:

    I think you made the correct choice in choosing not to go 1 on 1 with Jack Thompson in the forum of his choosing. I believe Jack Thompson fails to understand something crucial about this site, it’s run by a gamer, FOR gamers. That there would be a considerable amount of “pro gamer/game industry” tilt would seem to follow logically. He seems stuck on the fact that while you DO publish a considerable amount of his exploits, you do not place them in a positive light.
    He’s also using a very interesting debate tactic known as “assign your opponent an argument.” You, and the game industry as a whole, have a fairly large and complex theoretical point, that the ESRB is indeed a somewhat flawed entity but to go in attempt to legislate changes to it would create far more problems than it solves. Changes must instead be made to the ESRB itself, or better yet, to the retail industry itself, to prevent the sale of these games to minors. Parental education also takes the forefront on our side, since parents lack of education about the industry contributes to more minor sales than any other single problem. Jack has, instead of providing counterpoints to this in favor of legislating video games, has instead provided counterpoints to the non sequitor argument “we want to sell video games to children”. I think we can all agree that’s far easier to do, and also serves to assign a terrible point to the game industry.

  59. 0
    Gil ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I remember what was written on the check the most:
    Because Jack won’t

    And then Jack tried to get them on extortion or something, right?

  60. 0
    Doctor Proctor ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Industry lapdog “news sites” like GamePolitics won’t acknowledge that because now Dennis McCauley of GamePolitics has totally sold out. He is part of ECA, an industry entity.”

    I’m surprised you didn’t comment on this… The ECA is a CONSUMER advocacy group, not an industry group. The twit would have realized this had he actually bothered to look up what the acronym stands for…

    The irony of it is that the ECA represents the very people that JT completely overlooks in everything he does, the (adult) gamers!

  61. 0
    Gil ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I’m aware of the details of the incident. It just caught me off guard that he says “nuh-uh, they made it up” in this interview.

  62. 0
    Gil ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    ut McCauley filed a Bar complaint against me over a year ago, claiming that my tactics were “unethical.” He’s entitled to his opinion, and he can even file a baseless Bar complaint. It was baseless, because The Florida Bar, whose hierarchy absolutely loathes me (we can talk about that more) looked at his ridiculous Bar complaint and threw it into the wastebasket.

    Really seems himself as a martyr, doesn’t he?

  63. 0
    AM ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    JT promised to donate $10k to the charity of choice of whoever designed a video game to his specifications. I don’t remember the exact requirements, but the idea (from the top of my head, and quite possibly inaccurate) was that the player was someone whose child was killed as the result of a violent video game, and went on a rampage killing game industry execs. A game was made which Penny Arcade (and most gamers) felt met the criteria Jack Thompson set forth, but Jack claimed his proposal was satire. Penny Arcade pretty much accused him of reneging, and donated $10,000 to a charity for him.

    This made him cranky.

  64. 0
    Timmay! says:

    I read the whole interview, and all I can say is, “meh”. He spent the whole time glorifying himself, comparing himself to God, Jesus, or one of the saints, or demonizing anyone or anything he doesn’t like.

    Tipical Jack Thompson.

  65. 0
    AM ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    GP, I’d just like to to thank you for actually replying. There are readers, no doubt, who would have preferred you ignore this, and they’re entitled to their opinion, but I’m in the same camp as Hal Halpin on this one, and believe that to take what ought to be the high road, and remaining silent, abdicates our voice, as Mr. Halpin puts it. Now I’m sure he meant regarding video game legislation generally, but I believe it applies to critics such as JT as well.

  66. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “about the Manhunt 2 victory… They know over there that I was in the middle of this effort. Industry lapdog “news sites” like GamePolitics won’t acknowledge that because now Dennis McCauley of GamePolitics has totally sold out. He is part of ECA, an industry entity.”

    Oh, I’ll translate.

    “About the censorship of Manhunt 2. I really don’t like GamePolitics because they don’t give into sensationalist news as the big television channels and newspapers do. On CNN I just have to say “Murder Simulator” and the knee jerk soccer mothers fall to my feet like unto a god. But on Gamepolitics they expect me to back up my rantings with these… facts.”

  67. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:

    Thompson seems to spew irony out of every orifice. Strange that every bit of slander he mutters can be more easily attributed to him than his opponents. “Truth” has never been of interest to Mr. Thompson. He misrepresents psychiatric studies when he appears on television, and conveniently ignores those that propose the very opposite results. He downplays important factors which relate to violent outbursts such as poor psychiatric care, traumatic childhood experiences, and the violent writings many school shooters have had attributed to them.

    Furthermore, Thompson asserts that content exists in the games he opposes that simply does not. “Gay sex” in Bully for example. Making a point to acknowledge that you can dunk a “black kid’s head in a filthy toilet.” Since race is a non-issue in this video game, and all students are subject to the same rules, such assertions of racism are absolutely reprehensible.

    Thompson has stated that the DualShock controller is designed for conditioning, emitting a “pleasurable buzz to the hands” when you shoot someone. The absurdity of this cannot be overstated. Anyone who plays games know that the DualShock functionality is designed to emulate jarring effects such as crashes, explosions, and sometimes serves as a physical clue of some sort depending on the game.

    Thompson also has a pattern of using filthy terminology and attempted to project that onto the games he combats. Parents don’t like to hear words like “mental masturbation” and “pornography,” but these are the scare tactics Thompson uses to push his agenda when they do not relate to the game industry at all.

    But make no mistake about it. Jack Thompson knows what he is doing. He has done his research. It is by CHOICE that he ignores evidence contrary to his agenda and not due to being inept, as he’d like his opponents to believe. Jack Thompson is not a stupid man, nor is he clinically insane. He has nothing to prove to us, and instead feeds of the ignorant.

  68. 0
    AgnostoTheo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’ve gotta hand it to dennis here. There are a number of things I’ve wanted to spit back in Jack’s face, and I don’t have the added rancor of being verbally assaulted by the man on a constant basis.

    Bravo Dennis! There’s no way in hell I’d be able to write something like this without including a few dozen curse words and personal insults to Jack. Youget 50 Bonus points for being a good writer. *Insert obligatory “Level Up” music here.*

    As to Jack himself, who does he think he is? It’s not all that hard to demonize someone who’s already acting like a demon. He claims the moral high ground, then turns and pulls every sneaky, nasty little dirty trick he can pull out of his ass to achieve his goal. Hypocrite.

  69. 0
    GamePolitics ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    JT made a lot of nasty comments about me in that article. I plan to address them all. That’s why this is a multi-parter.

    We do give him coverage, but then, more than any other site, his activities are central to the topic we specialize in.

  70. 0
    finaleve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Could Rockstar take that as admitting to breaking that little contract? I would try for it anyways…

    I swear, this all sounds like those crappy celebrity fights. JT just doesn’t want to shut up. Other than GP, what other news-esque site posts JT information? Kotaku is about it, and I don’t read Kotaku because its too many sites and theres a lot of unconfirmed stuff there (IMO).

    So no offense, GP, you do feed the troll, but you do it as lightly as possible, in ways that only seem important. He’s starving for attention, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, he’ll eventually stop…or doing something drastic.

  71. 0
    jdecamp says:

    @evilzombie – He did pass the first psychiatric evaluation in the early 90s.

    @Keith – Yes, let’s go ‘fight club’ on him and prove his point of view right about gamers being violent thugs. 😛

  72. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Before we hear “blah blah blah” from John Bruce about GP’s choice not to participate or the ever popular “Why don’t you ask Dennis blah blah blah. He’ll never tell you blah blah blah”. (Actually, those “blah blah blah”s I hear more as the “adult” voices on the old Charlie Brown specials. John Bruce makes about as much intelligent sense as them, anyway), I’d like to voice my familiar comment of “I neither condemn nor approve of GP’s choice not to participate in that interview. It was Dennis’s choice. Would have been interesting, for sure. Nevertheless, I have nothing negative or positive to say about it. It was Dennis’s choice for Dennis’s reasons.”

    ’nuff said.

    NW2K Software

  73. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:


    Hopefully, but this issue isn’t quite that clear cut. The first amendment will obviously never just disappear, but further amendments and laws can potentially redefine obscenity or otherwise single out video games if enough people believe that they pose this nonexistent threat to human safety.

    (I think. I’m not as much an expert as I should be.)

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