Jack Thompson Has Defense Department in His Sights

December 27, 2007 -
Is there an "unholy alliance" between the video game industry and the U.S. Defense Department?

There is in the mind of Jack Thompson.

The anti-game activist sent out a press release this morning claiming that he would turn his attention in the New Year to the U.S. military's foray into the video game space. From Thompson's press release:
One of the consequences of this collaboration [between the DoD and the game biz] is the increasing number of commando-style assaults by young video gamers, such as the recent “mall massacre” in Omaha, Nebraska. 

GP: ...ummm, evidence? Any basis whatsoever for such a sweeping condemnation?
Virginia Tech’s Cho was an obsessive high school player of the military-themed CounterStrike, according to the Washington Post. 

GP: Gov. Kaine's blue ribbon Virginia Tech Review Panel reported that there was no evidence that Cho played anything more sinister than Sonic the Hedgehog. The Washington Post deleted its initial reference to any supposed Counter-strike play on Cho's part. Thompson is well aware of that, but continues to cite the initial - apparently erroneous - report.
Researchers have proven the long-term effect of immersion in interactive violence...  

Perhaps. But Thompson doesn't say what those researchers may have proven. There's certainly no study which draws a link between game violence and actual violence, although that's the implication in his press release.
What is increasingly clear is that the unholy alliance between the game industry and the DOD is teaching an an entire generation of kids that war is glamorous, cool, desirable, and consequence-free.

Believe it or not, there is actually a formal working relationship between the[DoD] and the game industry at the Institute for Creative Technologies [ICT] on the campus of the University of Southern California.  US Senator James Inhofe of  Oklahoma is its most unabashed and enthusiastic supporter. 
 
A recent poll shows that more than 60% of the American people want a federal law that prohibits the sale of extremely violent, mature-rated  video games to minors.  How upset will American parents be when they find out their federal government, rather than being part of the solution, is actually part of the problem? 

GP: While the use of the freely-distributed America's Army PC game as a recruiting tool is somewhat controversial, there aren't many other publicly available games with any kind of DoD connection. I reminded Thompson that all of the America's Army games, including the more recent console titles, are T-rated. He replied:
America's Army is not the only such game, ace.  Pay attention.

GP: Well, we are paying attention, which is why Thompson's move in this direction is surprising. In addition to America's Army there are a pair of Full Spectrum Warrior titles. And that's about it. Thompson, in fact, mentioned FSW in a follow-up e-mail. It's true that the strategy franchise is M-rated, but the player's character directs a squad and doesn't actually handle any weapons.  ICT developed that game in versions for both the military and commercial game market.

There is and has always been an overlap between the military and consumer markets. Products developed for one often find their way into the other. What's more, the military is making increasing use of game tech for training purposes.

Aside from that, the small universe of games with a DoD connection doesn't seem like especially fertile ground for a Thompson-style jihad. There are no crazed axe murderers, no hookers to rob, no carjacking, no simulated drug usage.

Comments

What, the fuck?

Jack thinks he can take on the US Defense Department? This'll be good.

Late Christmas present, time to sit back and enjoy it. Might wind up better then my new xbox 360 elite. ^^

Wow, more lies and willful ignorance from Jack. I can't say I'm surprised, by this or anything else the man has done in recent memory. The depth of his ignorance knows no bounds, ignorance of video games, the legal profession, and simple facts in general.

So, how long until we hear a verdict on this ass-hat's disbarment case?

@ Black Ice

It will be like lining up Napoleonic soldiers against an Abrahms Tank... won't be pretty.

I wonder sometimes what goes on in JT's brain. I mean is it like Caboose from Red Vs Blue, or like the Milkman Conspiracy from Psyconauts?

Perhaps JT should say that there is a conspiracy between the Illuminati and the gaming industry next, or perhaps the Templars and Hershey's chocolate, or any number of wild ass, base-less claims.

I was thinking it was too quiet lately....

Seriously though, Jacks still spouting off the same old "facts" and "statistics". Doesn't he realize by now 98% of all statistics are made up? Including mine?

Upping the ante again... This seems to be a man who takes the "shoot for the moon, so if you miss you'll still be among the stars" saying a little too seriously. What will it be next year, the U.N. ?

Blatant misinformation, insinuation, accusations without supporting evidence, citing of discredited reports.. aren't these the things a professional, especially a lawyer (Not to mention a rational adult) are supposed to avoid?

And he wonders why there are bar complaints against him. Speaking of those, anyone have an idea of when that trial's supposed to pick up again?

@ Immortal

and of course most of JT's facts have been made up by him personally in order to give him an excuse to get involved in certain case. Next thing you know he's going to say that the kid killed by that tiger played Zoo Tycoon and was abusing his animals in the game.

I work for a DoD contractor, which in fact creates training simulations...but the simulations are for already recruited participants. These simulations do not reach the hands of typical consumer gamers. The only serious link between the DoD and the video game industry is the growing trend of using game engine technology to more rapidly create training sims.

For once, from first hand experience, I can completely deny Mr. Thompson's allegations and dismiss then as ignorant.

@Immortal1982

Exactly - if Jack were really interested in the truth, you'd think he would have used our oft-repeated rebuttals of his weak arguments to reformulate the basis for his attacks. In light of his inaction on that front, we can reasonably assume that he is either a) incapable of rational thought, or b) not interested in the truth, just interested in a dollar value with a healthy number of zeros at the end. Neither speaks very well of his character.

But then we already knew all that.

insanity really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Sooo, is this going to be what finally gets his license to practice law revoked?

It's not just that this man is an idiot, it's that he's a condescending idiot.

It takes a special kind of fool to ignore reality when it's standing right in front of your face, but Jack Thompson has done this consistently.

LOL, The man is grasping at straws. Or is this going to formulate in an attempt to delay/dismiss his case before the Florida Bar at a future date. For a man that whined to Referee Tunis to delay his disbarment trial due to family issues, this man has spent an inordinate amount of time recently between the DOD and his failed lawsuit in New Mexico (No real surprise there).

I see he has upgraded his description of Counter Strike as well to "military themed" instead of "murder simulator"....changes to fit whoever he is trying to bilk money from.

Where is the unholy alliance between the game industry and the DOD? Only in the mind of JT

I can't wait to see how this conspiracry theory will spin to once JT starts to get his ass handed to him by the DOD.

@ Steel

Or gets him abducted in the middle of the night by a shadowy goverment agency.

But then again, better to have him live in humiliation, I think.

Aside from that, the small universe of games with a DoD connection doesn’t seem like especially fertile ground for a Thompson-style jihad. There are no crazed axe murderers, no hookers to rob, no carjacking, no simulated drug usage.


Don't forget no cop killing.

But on another note, I am liking Inhofe more and more. First he gets GreenPeace mad at him and now John Bruce. Love it.

I can't wait to see how this all plays out.

"Virginia Tech’s Cho was an obsessive high school player of the military-themed CounterStrike, according to the Washington Post." -Thompson

Like GP said, the reference has long since been deleted. Here is the one sentence that Thompson is basing his whole "Cho played CounterStrike" theory on:

Several Korean youths who knew Cho Seung Hui from his high school days said he was a fan of violent video games, particularly Counterstrike, a hugely popular online game published by Microsoft, in which players join terrorism or counterterrorism groups and try to shoot each other using all types of guns." -Washington Post


Andrew Eisen

@Tom

Jack Thompson reminds me of a quote that Benjamin Franklin once said.
"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain and most fools do."

Conspiracy abound! If this doesn't convince people that he should not be practicing law, nothing short of suing an entire nation will.

HAHAHAHAHAHA... *gasp*

Okay, first of all? America's Army is old news. I think I played it five years ago, or something. Second, you're trying to take on the U.S. government now? What would motivate you to attempt something so idiotic, other than an insatiable desperation for attention?

We're witnessing a DEATH SPIRAL, people. I plan on going up in my SimCopter and enjoying the view.

@ Kajex

That's next. If the DoD doesn't submit to his will, then he will sue the whole country because 'obviously' everyone is against him.

@Gryphon

I misread that reply for a second. I thought it said Jack would blame the Tiger for playing Zoo Tycoon, lol.

@ Kajex

"nothing short of suing an entire nation will"

Don't give him any ideas.......

@ Immortal

Don't put it past him.

Um...my sister's boyfriend often watches me play video games. And as a marine, it is nerve recking for him to observe my run and gun play style that so many shooters are prone to. So I don't know what kind of war these games are supposed to be preparing me for. Unless the future wars have no consequence to human life, I don't think I'll be of much help.

How retarded can JT get?

“Virginia Tech’s Cho was an obsessive high school player of the military-themed CounterStrike, according to the Washington Post.”

Which of course explains Cho's obsession with smoke grenades and running while holding a knife and hopping incessantly while simultaneously calling everyone a 'fag'... er...

the DOD is teaching an an entire generation of kids that war is glamorous, cool, desirable, and consequence-free.

Are soldiers actually taught that last bit? That there's consequences to shooting the "other" guy? I'm pretty sure soldiers don't get that kind of knowledge until they're out on the field of battle... And war has been glamorized and made cool since... well... forever. Soldiers were always the hero. The heroic last stand, the heroic charge, the stud in uniform wooing the ladies, the brilliant tactics that save the day and vanquish the enemy, etc... you know "pointy end go in other guy...", "the object is not to die for your country, it's to make the other poor bastard die for his..."
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

“Virginia Tech’s Cho was an obsessive high school player of the military-themed CounterStrike, according to the Washington Post.”

I love how Jack obsesses with this, like it's some conspiracy that the WP decided it wasn't relevant, considering he hadn't played games for 4 years leading up to the massacre. But then I guess he still also believes that Cho's roommates are being paid off by the industry to deny any connection... I guess once you learn how to shoot someone in the face, it becomes like riding a bike, or something...

So does that mean that Dick Cheney trained on GTA?
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

You know he may have a point. I mean, look at the leaps and bounds that current hardware and video game engines have gone through. It's obvious that they are utilizing alien technology. And who has access to alien technology? That's right, the US Military, ever since that abduction/cloning/hybrid thing they started ten years ago. However, the military doesn't realize that the hyper-realistic graphics make the ultra-violent video gamers turn on the populace! But the aliens don't know I had a metal plate installed in my skull, so their mind control doesn't work on me anymore! I was awake the entire time the last time I got abducted.

I'm on to them.
I'm on to everybody!

@niceaznguy721

How retarded can JT get?

Oh bugger, now, you've gone and done it. Just for that he HAS to go and do something even DUMBER...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

@ Bobman

Tell me about it, I've found that squad tactics are all but useless in most shooters. Setting up base of fire positions, flanking manuevers, and the classic Four F's (find, fix, flank, finish) is almost impossible. Particulary so in online games, where players rush forward like they are hyped up on quat and PCP and don't seem to care if they survive or not.

I'm actually a little amused that people are surprised. This guy's tried to subpeona the president, challenge microsoft. DoD completes the trifecta nicely.

I say let him try. I'm sorry I don't have popcorn. As if Microsoft ignoring him wasn't enough, now we get to watch DoD go through him like an elephant through a wet paper bag.

Seems JBT was at the Fruity Loops again.

The DoD is to blame for the evils of those killer training video games?... er wait is it the games that are responsible for training the killer DoD types?... er um DoD members must play so they are evil and will attack malls?....

um Games have Guns, the DoD has guns. It was the guns all along... the guns must be playing the evil games... and controlling their users

Did what was left of his brains explode is was it only mine trying to figure this out?

Question I just thought of:

So is JT essentially calling all military personnel murder trainers? Since he lumped the entire DOD in as a whole.

Wow, thanks for the support Jack. I will have to pass this story out to my fellow soldiers.

Speaking of conspiracies:

Global warming is a cover-up for the US's plan to dig a hole to China and dig out their foundation. To hide the fact that they are digging the hole they are dumping the dirt and rock into the ocean. That is what is really causing the oceans to rise. The Government made up the whole global warming thing to hide that fact.

"It will be like lining up Napoleonic soldiers against an Abrahms Tank… won’t be pretty."

actually this is gonna be friggen beautiful

In addition to America’s Army there are a pair of Full Spectrum Warrior titles. And that’s about it.

OMG! You mean teen killers have skillz in... small squad tactics?!?!!??

*imagines the next one to snap standing behind a small group of little plastic men*

"Gogogogogogogo! I said go! Why won't you listen to me!!! Argh! Where's the 'go there' button!"
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

@ Icehawk

Judging by the attrocious grammar in your last sentence, I think it is your brain that exploded while trying to figure out the John Bruce theory. ;)

maybe he is talking about Day of Defeat as another military game. If he ends up saying Team Fortress 2 im going to laugh my ass off though.

I'm tired of him accusing video games for all violence. I've done research, and so far I've found that about two to four school shooters played violent video games. However, all of them were bullied and my theory is that people who are bullied to extreme extents will go on a school shooting. My website, www.flashnfuse.cjb.net, will have the results of this research (along with links to my youtube account, which is partially what the website is meant for.)

@cullarn

“It will be like lining up Napoleonic soldiers against an Abrahms Tank… won’t be pretty.”

Don't underestimate those bayonets. They can gum up those treads if you get enough stuck in them. And Abrahms aren't designed for close-quarters combat. He'd have better luck with one of those Israeli tanks, the ones with the machine guns on all faces.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

@ Icehawk

Nope, it's because John Wayne conspired with the video game industry using astral projection based on experiments conducted by the DoD involving the Philadelphia Experiment which was derived from alien technology from Roswell who had come here to investigate the Tembliska Blast after being summoned by the Knights Templar in 1191 who were trying to use the Ark of the Covenant as a radio to God.

Any other conspiracy theories that can be thrown in there?

@mogbert -- The problem is they KNOW you're onto them. Those fillings in your teeth? Listening devices!

I've said too much...

Yeah...it'll be hard to take on the DoD without a liscence to practice law! Seriously, when are we gonna get the ruling on that???

As for the the topic in the article, I guess all I can say is "Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot". The DoD works with Boeing, are they training our airline pilots for combat? They also work with vehicle manufacturers, does that mean my car is a death machine waiting to happen?

DoD =/= Brainwashing and combat training for tweens. It's just another example of the military exploring all of their options and getting involved in cutting edge technology. Big whoop.

Wow, he waited a whole 48 hours after the Christmas holiday to get back to his old shenanigans?

@GryphonOsiris

Seconded, LOL.

@ Dog_Welder,

Beware of the nails in your desk.

Don't ever, I mean it, EVER, try to see what they are made of.

And that taint in the mirror? Can you see it? Then you are... done for. That's the best I can say. Don't imagine anything, it'll be worse.

In all seriousness now...back when I was a kid, back before video games existed, war was still being glorified. We had toy guns, and if we didn't have toy guns we had sticks that we could pretend were guns.

War has been glorified in movies since even the earliest days of silent film (see: Cecil B. DeMille's "Birth of a Nation" or Buster Keaton's "The General"). Move up into John Wayne or Clint Eastwood territory, and it gets even more glorious.

Strangely enough, video games got invented and we still played the same outdoor games.

Number of murderous rampages I've gone on: zero.

@ niceaznguy721

Don't answer questions you don't want the answers to... Ok maybe you do, but I don't.

@ All

This appears to be just another attempt to get himself in front of the media. Maybe he thinks since the Iraq war is such a hot political topic he'll get airtime for his conspiracy theory? Unfortunately someone forgot to explain to him it takes some fact and LOTS of plausibility for a conspiracy theory to live. The fact is the US military is scrambling to find new ways to recruit and working on supplimenting the low recruiting numbers with automated field units (aka remote controlled vehicles). So, with that in mind, a conspiracy by the DoD to use video games to train and recruit is, well, unfounded or simply bungled.

Ugh. In my opinion JT needs a hobby beyond video game litigation with no foundation.

...I wish Santa had brought me an edit button...

*Don't ask quetsions you don't want the answers to...

Loud, well, could get him a set of Phoenix Wright dolls and let him run simulated litigations (think Dark Helmet and his dolls from Space Balls).

Again I will ask, for my own benefit, really, wasn't the original mention of CS in connection to V-Tech made by Thompson himself? Like, the day of or the first day after the shooting?

I know I recall somewhere that HE was the source from which the Washington Post drew their information, since he said it on television, and then he used them to quote from, even after they withdrew the statement.

Anyway, I think this is fantastic. Considering he's in the middle of his own trial, I'd say that the right people HAVE to be seeing this as it happens, so there'll be no hiding or downplaying his idiotic actions later when he faces the judge (literally).
 
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