Lanning Discusses Thompson VGXPO Debate with gi.Biz

November 15, 2007 -
The Jack Thompson - Lorne Lanning debate at the recent VGXPO in Philadelphia caused a minor sensation in video game land.

Lanning recaps the debate in an interview published this week by Among the Oddworld developer's comments:
The end of [Spencer Halpin's Moral Kombat film] is going to add some of what happened in Philadelphia, so that will be really interesting.

Lanning's story about a meeting with former Virginia Gov. (and Second Life visitor) Mark Warner is an interesting one:
Mark Warner... had a roundtable one day. A number of people from the industry were invited to go... some people there made the point ... "Well, eventually gamers are going to get older, and eventually every politician will have been a gamer, and the whole issue will go away."

Mark [Warner] just thought that was such a naive comment. Not only is it not going away, but you have to understand the political landscape. The game industry is such an open target that it is easy fodder for politicians. Do not think it is going to go away just because people are growing up.

On video game legislation:
[The legislation] is completely unconstitutional, and their basis that videogames are turning people into killers... there is no proof of, whatsoever. [Jack Thompson] continually recites studies done by organisations and cites cases that have been proven wrong...

It doesn't matter that brilliant people like Henry Jenkins at M.I.T. has debunked them fully. It doesn't matter. Jack keeps on saying the same thing... 

Lanning blamed Thompson for keeping the issue in the spotlight: 
The real debate, in my opinion, is why there is still a debate, and there is really one big reason. It's Jack Thompson.

The media in this country is broken... The reason we are having this debate still is because of how the mainstream media handles it. They will continually call Jack Thompson every time there is a school shooting... To be fair, though, the media has "go-to" pundits on every issue... Jack Thompson just happens to be the one they rely upon for game industry.

In the case of Jack Thompson, it doesn't matter how many times he loses [cases]... The only argument is Jack's business plan.


Peanutbutter Cookies? Snikerdoodles? What the hell?

@ MonkeyPeaches

Didn't he sorta admit to that in one of his hundreds [of thousands] of press releases or letters?

That is something i would have liked to see in person

In all fairness, Lorne Lanning has some "tin hat" opinions of his own. He recently did an interview on EGM Live and touched on all kinds of government conspiracy theories.

I have no comment. Lanning hit it right on the head with what Jack does.

That's really sad to hear politicians say the issue will never go away. I mean really sad. They must think that a minority of people these days play games, I guess, because nothing else could really bring them to the assumption that as the current generation grows older the "issue" will remain unchanged. Sure, it might still be a few years before the people who grew up with the NES start to enter politics on a major scale, but it will happen and when it does a lot of views will start to conflict with each other instead of it being the current hatred that we've seen.

As for the stuff about the media, its all stuff we here already know.

The movie issue went away, the comic book issue went away ,the book issue went away, the television issue went away, so this will too, despite what any politician says.

As for Thompson, at least Lanning ogt out what Thompson is really doing.

Anyone wish to start the countdown for when our troll burst in to refute it?

"The only argument is Jack’s business plan."

And there it is...
. . Wisdom begins in wonder. - Socrates . .

I agree with Lorne 100%. Really, who else doe the media go to when they want someone to speak about the "evils" of video games? Used to be Dave Grossman, but I can't think of the last time he was on national TV. It's almost never Leland Yee, David Walsh or Joe Lieberman. It's always Jack, Jack, Jack. And why? Simple. As Norm Kent put it so well, he's the monkey in the tree who screams the loudest. He's been at the center or made himself the center of almost every video game-related controversy. Look at any high-profile piece of news involving video games in a negative light and you'll find him, and usually he's the one stirring things up in the firat place with whatever lawsuit he's filed.

Once Jack is disbarred, this whole discussion will go away, or at least he'll no longer be a part of it. Once he's no longer allowed to call himself a lawyer, and thus by extension claim to be any kind of authority figure and hence an "expert" on anything, the media will stop coming to him. When they learn he also filed gay porn to a Federal judge should also make them think twice.

He could fall back on his standing as a Deacon in the Presbyterian chruch, but I've noticed he doesn't advertise that all that much, probably because it doesn't have the same kind of weight as saying you're a lawyer does.

Lorne had it right; at the end of the day Jack Thompson is all about building the brand of Jack Thompson. He keeps saying the same things over and over again like and old record, and by now he's said them so many times that the record is old and scratched and starting to skip. More than half the things he said at the debate were things I heard him say on GP, on TV or elsewhere. He can go on crying crocodile tears about how he's being persecuted for his faith and representing families whose relatives are "in the gound" (One of his catchphrases I've noticed. BTW, Jack appeared on TV after the VT incident before the bodies were even cold! That to me is a long way from "in the ground") all he likes. It doesn't fool me. Contrary to what he says in his book, it really is all about him.


I'll give him 15 minutes.

I like this. Lanning said it best. John Bruce is in it for him. He doesn't acre about the families whom he is seeking "Justice" He merely wants the spotlight. He wants to be the man on TV. He most likely has a scrap book of every news article printed on him, every blog or web article printed on him and a video collection of every TV interview he has done.

It has always been about John Bruce.

The troll has been quiet lately. He might as well not even comment, since we all know what he is going to say:

"Bla Bla...I won the debate...Lanning wants to give porn to the children...the games industry will be regulated...I'm a warrior of god...gamers are all drug addicts...dennis isn't reporting the real story...the Florida Bar is limiting my free speech...I was on 60 minutes....Hooah!


I wonder if we can make a Jack Thompson bingo card as well.

@ Sean

Its been done.

@ Zerodash

Don't forget about that retracted Washington Post statement he worships a lot.

Judging by the "Oddworld: Abe's Oddysey/Exoddus" games he developed, it's not hard to tell that Lorne is nothing short of a genius.

This article further backs that up.


Yup, Thompson probably has been less active since he doesn't have anything new to say, and especially nothing new that supports his crazy view of the world. All we really need is someone who copy/pastes your last paragraph as a comment to every article here and Thompson could just leave since he'd have nothing left to say.

Might disrupt the balance of the bingo cards though...

@Black Manta

Well stated. Democracy's about giving power to the majority not the loudest mouths. When did that happen. Power given to the loudest and crudest, sounds like mob rule to me. And Jack Thompson's repetition DOES sound like name brand recognition.

In my opinion, he probably doesn't really want his video game problem to be solved, because that means the debates and court cases will end, and he will have nothing else to talk to the media about (for the time being). Gamers or whiny politicians, it's not about which side wins, but WHEN that side wins, that will conclude a chapter in the life of Jack Thompson. He's really enjoying this chapter, and doesn't want to close the book right now.

"Jack keeps on saying the same thing… "

The perfect example of this is how he keeps citing the Washington Post article about the VTech shooter. It is his ONLY proof that Cho had played any videogames whatsoever and he refuses to realize that once the Washington Post realized that there was no videogame connection (they had jumped the gun as JT always does), the CORRECTED the article.

Jack still keeps referencing the WRONG version of the article that doesn't even exist anymore.

"The Europeans, the international community, cannot tolerate being in America and watching the news. They only see spin. If you travel out of the country, you see entirely different stories".

God I can't stand to watch U.S. news. They just sound phony. I'm still disgusted by the way CNN and FoxNews handled the Dawson College shooting. That quote defines it "you see entirely different stories". It just really opened my eyes on how the U.S. media spins and sentionalizes things.

i wish i could have seen that

I don't own a television because I can't stand how the news media tries to make the news when they claim in fact they are reporting the news. This won't change anytime soon, if ever.

I do disagree though-like Johnny Bruce Thompson, the "video game issue" WILL go away, or at least lessen in intensity as the years go by. Most politicians are old and that's how it has been for a long time...


It is not proof. The article in the Washington Post contained quotes by high school aquaintances. They did not truly know Cho and since the media likes to have a scapegoat there is a chance they blamed videogames since it's the popular thing to do. So, since this claim could not be verified, the Washington Post removed it.

The official report, with quotes from his family, friends and suitmates said that Cho did not play violent or war games. Of course Jack Thompson will latch to the "source" that backs his agenda even if it is higly suspicious at best.

The scary thought is that we will be just like the game legislating politicians one day, except about an entirely new subject. I'm pretty certain Thompson didn't say "I want to be a game hating lawyer when I grow up" as a boy.

What do you know.. His time is up.

Guess I owe everyone cookies..

"The media in this country is broken"

I whole-heartedly agree.

It's only a matter of time now before we have to start accepting application for a new arch-nemesis. How much time does Jack have left before he gets disbarred? I forgot the date.

*DING!* This guy wins for being utterly accurate. Now if we could bribe *cough* I mean, convince, some nice news network to start broadcasting his view of things 24/7, we'd be in business.



Poor Dennis, he is probably getting swarmed by JT emails, calls, threats, etc.

Good story though. Thanks!

@Jack Thompson

Allow me to rebuke this lie before you start spouting it again (I can already see it coming)-
Dennis doesn't make money off this site - no ad revenue. More traffic means more cost to him.

Also, in reference to your post from the thread yesterday: a credit card is acceptable age verification, and you *do* need one of those to buy anything online. Best Buy is in the clear there - and they'd be fine without it too, as there is NO LAW restricting game sales to an age group based on ESRB ratings.

JT's disciplinary must be happening within the next fortnight. It was set to November and it's already the 15th. Not long now.

I'm also interested in what happened at his Alabama disciplinary last month. I can't find any info at all. The fact that JT hasn't been screaming from the rooftops about "a great victory" is very telling (although he does that when he loses too).

"In all fairness, Lorne Lanning has some “tin hat” opinions of his own. He recently did an interview on EGM Live and touched on all kinds of government conspiracy theories."

i dont think there is anything that is even near the same league as thompson's BS.

The problem with Thompson is not his crackpot theories, it's the fact that other people accept them, right up to the point where the court says 'put your money where you mouth is', and Thompson never delivers.

Remember Louisiana, where Thompson was getting annoyed because the AG was talking about Katrina on TV instead of 'his' law? That's how you tell where Thompson's priorities lie, it's not about people, it's not about saving lives, it's about airtime and visibility.

When is his hearing? Today? Tomorrow? Yesterday?

BlackIce - I like peanutbutter cookies! Or a nice snickerdoodle!
. . Wisdom begins in wonder. - Socrates . .

@ GoodRobotUs

Even with the V-Tech thing. I don't think he ever actually expressed concern for the victims or their families. It was all about how the killer trained on Counter Strike and some crocodile tears to show a human side.

I've said it before, and I hope Jack sees it. In JT's eyes, a school shooting is an unmitigatedly good thing. It gets him attention. Also, victims in school shootings tend to be gamers (following the logic that most of them are kids, and most kids are gamers), so more school shootings means less gamers. We all saw him cheering over the possibility of GamerDad dying. I wonder what his clients would say if they knew how desperately he hates most of them?

Hey, that reminds me. It's the middle of November and we haven't heard from the old knucklehead in awhile. Isn't he supposed to be in court soon?

"Mark [Warner] just thought that was such a naive comment. Not only is it not going away, but you have to understand the political landscape. The game industry is such an open target that it is easy fodder for politicians. Do not think it is going to go away just because people are growing up."

Regrettably, what former Governor Warner does not seem to realize is that we say it'll go away as people grow up, because that will change the political landscape. People familiar with games will make up a large percentage of politicians, and the general population. As such, the game industry will become much less of an open target. Certainly not more of one than the TV or movie industries.

Sure TV and movies still have their critics and such, but you don't see people jumping on a bandwagon of unconstitutionality to keep them from "warping 'the children's' 'fragile little minds'" That's because they're familiar, instead of new and frightening. As such the majority will stop being willing to listen to people spout BS about how games turn people into killers, and politicians will stop trying to attack them as there will be no gain for them in doing so.

It's not that we are being naive, it's that we are looking at the past pattern of essentially every form of new entertainment, with numerous example from the last century and a half alone. That pattern says that when people that grew up with it are running things, and the people that didn't are dead, retired, or so outdated to irrelevance; the issue does indeed go away save for fringe groups. Meanwhile, society will have moved onto the next thing to demonize.


You, sir, are absolutely correct. I only hope that we will be intelligent enough to realize it and not reject facts that prove us wrong. It's fine to dislike something, but burying your head in the sand and pretending that it's the universe that's wrong is just sad.


Agreed, even now, when I see articles on mind-controlled games, I feel a little shiver of apprehension going down my spine, partly because, if nothing else, it would be very difficult to gauge the phsychological effects of such a system, strictly speaking, it should be no different to any other technique used for playing games, you are still thinking 'game' when you play it, however, I think I'd take a lot of persuading about that before I'd be prepared to let any child of mine use such a thing.

Well in all seriousness it probably will be an issue for at least 50 more years

@ GoodRobotUs

If there was one good thing to come out of Batman Forever it would be this quote from Bruce Wayne to Edward Nygma:

If you can put information into someone's mind, what is to stop your from taking information out.

Or something to that effect.

Lanning couldn't be more right about Jack.

I just can't understand how someone could be so ignorant about facts. Jack Thompson just seems to ignore every fact that isn't his own opinion. That's one of the main reasons why he's hated by alot of people.

Speaking of Jack anyone know when his November case hearing is?

jack isnt ignorant he just "knows his audience"

hes selling himself like any other media whore

I could have sworn I read his disbarrment case was supposed to start on the 9th but I guess not.

Boy, old Jack is sure taking his time to go to an article that's actually ABOUT him... something he continually asks Dennis to do... could it be that he's actually... WORKING?!?!??!?!??!


JBT is at best a shallow excuse for a man. Point in fact, if he were any more shallow he would qualify for being 2 dimensional.

Not having anything to say as never slowed him in the past, since all he does is parrot the same tired old BS over and over. It has been noted (correctly) several times that JBT will sidestep or flat-out ignore any fact that is contrary to his beleifs. I have seen many do this to a degree in the past (hell I have, ex: I don't care. I don't want to hear it. etc) but never to such lengths and in the face of such overwhelming force. One could almost admire his stubborness if not for the fact that he is a rude, anti-social, greedy.. (sorry sorry enough adjectives) plebe.

I do not know much about Mr. Lanning. If he has his tin hat moments tis more the shame, but he Should have been able to control the debate better. Yes JBT stayed on that one subject (anyone here could have warned Lanning about that since jackie only has 2) but a skilled debater can and should have turned the topic. I cannot and do not offer any words of condolence. He failed. IMO He should not have been there as a spokesman for gamers.
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