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

Oh Jack, never change.

Suggesting that the Department of Defence is in part responsible for teenage killers? Genius touch. I can't see any negative consequences coming from that statement whatsoever.

@Evan

Its ok because its still free speech. Young people aren't stupid, if they don't want to join up then playing a videogame certainly won't brainwash them into doing so.

I'll say this for JT. He just won't give up.

Jack will one day blame Video Games for the Pearl Harbor attack.

"Think about logically for a second... Japan attacked are base and where in which country our most murder simulators created? Japan!"

Also Video Games most notably GTA were responsible for the Holocaust and not Hitler like Take 2 and Midway would lead you to believe.

Lastly 9-11 was the direct result of Microsoft Flight Simulator and Ace Combat.

And somehow Konami killed the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

Uhm...just wow.

Because there's no longer a draft, and we're a volunteer-only army.

Not to mention that, regardless of what conservatives may say, the armed forces and national guard are stretched very thin, so any tools they can make or use to gain new recruits... that's why it's okay.

Last movie I saw had a full song full of patriotic imagery encouraging joining the forces during the previews. Same thing, less interactive.

@ Shrike,

My pals Gil (Gilgamesh) and Sam (Sansom) want to tell you the films aren't the very first in that line of bussness.

I still prefer "Trumph of the will" when it comes to films. Better than most, indeed.

It's not because they aren't enough people to take on the job, it's that there never are enough of them.

@ Dog_Welder

I give you that there are war scenes in it, but I was looking at it from the icnimatic perspective of what Griffith employed in making those scenes. I think the impact they had was far greater in film narrative than it promotes heroics. I also agree that the soldiers were considered heroes in the context of the film, as people on opposing sides will often honor thier soldiers. We do the same now with honoring our soldiers currently serving in Iraq and Afganistan.
While movies show more of the 'reality' or 'authenicity' or war, and I cannot speak from expereince but I know that it must be a thousand times more terrible thatn what you see on film, the sad part of it is that there is more often than not, a progtaginst protrayed with heroic acts that are exaggerated greatly. I'm glad you cited those films though, they are two of my favorites.
On another note, have you seen the film M?
--
I'm sure this has been asked about, but when does Jack Thompson, John Bruce Thompson's disbarrment procedings continue?

I meant "Triumph of the will". If I spelt that one right this time.

Did you know that the orcs's spears in LoTR were inpired by that film?

@Anonymous

Is that true or are you just pulling our collective legs?

One last parting shot before he loses his license I see. Go ahead thompson, start bringing these trash complaints against the government. See how fast they place you in Levinworth.

@Cidas

Judge Tunis, i believe, is going over all the evidence and should be making a judgement sometime in January, i think.

Good, it'll give him something to do.

Wonder if he's in the market for some tin hats?

@ Raziel3024,

At least I remember something on the DVD about it. The similarity is in the use of the spears and camera angles to make the crowd seem bigger (and nastier, stronger...) than it is, not in the message.

They look alike at least.

It's good to have a resolution for the New Year.

Who will Thompson go after next, God?

Jacky Boy spouted this pile of B.S.:

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.

False. The poll was done by a PR firm trying to solicit business with the ESA.

Source: http://gamepolitics.com/2007/12/06/consumers-govt-should-regulate-games-...

@Cidas -- haven't seen "M" but can always tack it onto the Netflix queue.

@Terrible Tom -- I think you misunderstand the purpose of this site. Despite the fact that it's owned by the ECA, it's a site about video game politic news. Jack Thompson makes news. This site reports it. I haven't seen any change in the JT news coverage since ECA became the parent company of gamepolitics.com (and I've been reading since long before that happened).

As far as Jack "not being a threat" goes, I fully disagree. The groups you cite KNOW he's a washed up lawyer. I know it. You know it. Dennis knows it. Etc. Those groups are a painful minority of people that Jack reaches, though. Normal people who know nothing about video games (such as my parents) see people like Jack on TV spouting his "facts" and suddenly think video games cause school massacres. I even have friends who KNOW BETTER than to believe people like Thompson, and they even get taken in. (I've taken the time to set them straight.)

Take a look at all of the politicians who now spout the same talking points as Jack. Take a look at the politicians who listen to his lies and try to pass legislation to restrict or ban games. You're trying to tell me that he has no influence?

People might be wising up, but simply ignoring Jack will not make him go away. That strategy was tried by Doug Lowenstein and it failed miserably.

What a hipocrite! He continues to insist that he played CS in spite of there being no evidence, but refuses to acknowledge that Cho played Duke Nuke 'em Forever just because that game isn't out.

does anybody have popcorn to see this, because i wouldnt want to miss this show when thompsons loses again.

@Judith Iscariot:

He wouldn't be the first. (Nor the first to succeed, given his track record.)

Meh, Thompson simply realized that his latest deals to shut down Rockstar and the GTA themed games aren't working, so he's switching to target all the military style games so he can FIND a plausable link between the government and violent media, in the hopes that he can prove a conspiriousy large enough to prove violent media harms children.

But this one is just as good as the people who think America started 9/11 to be able to pass the Patriot Act and invade Iraq. Theories that you will have a tough time proving, thus this is another losing battle for our dear friend Thompson.

Ah yes, Jack Thompson and his mount, the +5 Scapegoat.

I mean is he trying to piss off the people that could have his right to practice law revoked or is he just not thinking?

Um....how the hell does he plan to do anything if hes disbarred?
Jack Thompson is just getting pathetic

If this moron actually took on things one at a time like just focusing on the m rated games being sold to kids he might actually achieve something
but no he goes in way over his head and acts like a total idiot making baseless claims and calling gamers a bunch of meanies who dont like him because hes christian

and he calls himself an attorney? hell! id make a better one than him.
seriously im starting to think hes working for the game companys he sues lol(publicity sells)

I'm actually wondering if I'd like to see Valve (or whoever it is that owns CounterStrike) go after JT for defamation. I'm always the first to remind people here that defamation is tough to prove in the US, but I think they at least have a respectable case against JT.
1) JT is making a statement (Cho trained on CounterStrike.)
2) The statement can cause harm to someone's reputation (Valve becomes known for creating the game that trained the worst school shooter in US history.)
3) The fact is false (The VTech Report indicated that video games were not a factor.)
4) JT repeats his statement while knowing, and recklessly disregarding, the truth.

Defamation is never open-and-shut in the US, but I think there's enough there that the case would at least have merit - maybe enough that JT would rather settle, and perhaps enough that it'd push JT back from that line he's been toeing for so very long.

Now he'll prolly be willing to side with Lyndon Larouche

@ Terrible Tom

I'm late to the party, but I have to agree with jdkjr25 and Dog Welder. We and everybody else who knows about Jack may know he's full of shit, but the average joe doesn't. I've said before his strength comes from people's ignorance and fears like any demagogue. It's a battle for hearts and minds, which just happens to be one of the ECA's mandates; to educate the average person who might otherwise only get their info about games from the likes of Jack. And unfortunately as Norm Kent so eloquently put it, Jack is the monkey in the tree who screams the loudest. So we have to deal with him like it or not.

Fortunately the word is getting out. Regardless of what he said about VT, he was regarded for the first time with skepticism by the media. The Bar is finally taking action against him, the Cody Posey case was thrown out in short order which no doubt emabarrassed him, he got owned by Lorne Lanning at the VGXpo, and even Joe Lieberman has officially severed ties with him. Things aren't looking very good for our boy, I'd say.

Personally, I'm proud to be a member of the ECA. I'm glad to not only be in an organization where I can make a difference (and I'm part of the MD/DC chapter, closest to Washington where our impact can be most felt), but I'm also glad that I have a place to network, to meet other like-minded people and be able to attend events such as regional LAN parties. And if fighting Jack is part of the deal, I'm in. Since the bastard tried to sue both me and Dennis, I've got a personal score to settle anyway.

Oh, good use of a Pantera song BTW. Though if I were to pick a Pantera song to use when talking about JT, I'd go with "Five Minutes Alone!" ;)

This isn't fun anymore, he's a goddamn broken record stuck on "CHO TRAINED ON COUNTER-STRIKE, WASHINGTON POST SAID SO! "CHO TRAINED ON COUNTER-STRIKE, WASHINGTON POST SAID SO!"CHO TRAINED ON COUNTER-STRIKE, WASHINGTON POST SAID SO!"CHO TRAINED ON COUNTER-STRIKE, WASHINGTON POST SAID SO!

@ Benji

I agree that Valve should sue Thompson for defamation. World Wrestling Entertainment sued the PTC for the same thing and won a $3.5 million settlement and a public apology from them.

"What, the fuck?

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

I agree :) .

@Waffles

Yeah. Jack thinks that the Washington Post is infallible. That is unless they correct an erroneous statement. Rather than "Do as I say not as I do." its "Listen to what they said, not what they are saying."

In other words, Jack has no issue with clinging onto such a blatantly erronous false-fact.

Just when I thought JT hit bottom, he got thrown a shovel. I mean, god...

he's actually a genius in disguise. He works for a secret organization that is trying to enslave the people of the world. Every word he speaks lowers the collective IQ, sending us into a world of Thompson-esque stupidity.

Hey, Jack finally grayed out all his hair with his bull-headed vendetta. I don't see a single dark strand on there anymore. And maybe when he's disbarred he'll pull it out like Dr. Scratchandsniff.

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

I wonder how the Washington Post would respond if they knew that their erroneous report was constantly used in this fashion (i.e. tying it to some of the most horrible tragedies in recent times).

Any possibility on writing them and finding out? Perhaps they actually stand by their original statement? Because if they don't they should know that some jackass is out there perpetuating it (the statement that Cho played CounterStrike also ended up in that video put out by that senator in New York).

@Rey:

You said "Jack will one day blame Video Games for the Pearl Harbor attack."

He already did, indirectly that is. Jack once said that Japan's assault of violent video game culture on the United States like a second Pearl Harbor.

Ah, I see this for what it truly is - it's positioning.

JT KNOWS he's gonna loose his license, so he sends out this "press release" propaganda. Then, when the judgment comes down, he can blame it on the vast conspiracy and the DoD.

Sheer genius. Well, as far as JT goes anyway. So ... um ... actually it would be sheer stupid, I guess. ;)

WTF? Is Jack trying to get the DoD disbanded so the Al Qaeda has a clear shot at us?

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

i have reached a conclusion.
"Jack Thompson" IS "Epic Fail Guy"
everything else has been said.

I wonder if my /b/rethen would be interested in this.

There is no gay porn this time so its not very likely.

@ Terrible Tom

I will have to agree with jdkjr25, Dog Welder and Black Manta.

John Bruce is a threat. We may know he is full of it but the average Joe does not.

When John Bruce claims that he is winning and we say he is not, who is right? Well we know that he is not winning on legal grounds. We know that for a fact. But who is winning the public opinion? I think that one is a close call and one that John Bruce could easily claim.

The average American does not research the "experts" on television. Most will blindly follow their advice because after all TV would not lie to us.

That is why it is unsafe to ignore John Bruce. That is why Hal has told us to be more vocal and counter his arguments in a civil manner. Not just here, but in our communities.

As for your claim that the ECA only cares about John Bruce, GamePolitics may be owned by the ECA, but this site is not the ECA. This is a branch of the overall movement. The Purpose of GamePolitics is to report political and legal stories involving games. John Bruce is a vocal part of that. Looking at the recent history on the site, The last story that had anything to do with John Bruce was posted on December 19. That was a week ago. Is that too often for you?

I am sure that if Hillary, Lieberman, or Romney were as vocal about their stance on video games as John Bruce, they would be reported on just as often. But look at the side bar of the main page at tell me how many John Bruce stories are there. 132. That is how many. The categories overlap, but I think the overall ratio is somewhere along the lines of 10:1 of general stories to John Bruce stories. That may seem like a lot, but when he is in the news and the courtroom attacking games as much as he is, you will see why.

With John Bruce, it is not a fight to retain video gaming rights. It is a fight to regain the public opinion on video games. So I think that he is well within his rights to claim victory on that front, but it is not a sure victory. You canceling your ECA membership will not help our side in any way. We need that support and leadership now more than ever.

I believe I mentioned that closing gap between John Bruce and LaRouche.

This morning, someone pointed out this article:

http://www.larouchepac.com/news/2007/12/27/unholly-alliance-destroy-your...

Yeah, the "Unholy Alliance": John Bruce "Jack" Thompson and Lyndon LaRouche, the worshippers of Demon-Pretenders-To-The-Throne-Of-Heaven (as evidenced by their use of lies and deceit, and in the case of LaRouche at the least, brainwashing in the name of their "God").

As with other posters, this is my favorite lie... er... line:

"Thompson has won numerous law suits in state courts against the video game industry's Entertainment Software Association, for marketing violent games, only to have those lawsuits overturned in Federal Court."

"numerous"?
I'll leave you to your research to find THREE ("numerous" implies many, which is more than "few" which references "3").

Good luck with that.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

@Anon

we might, there's ample inspiration for an EFG series :p

@ Nightwng2000

Three? They won't even find one, because Thompson's never won a case against the industry.

Well, I was being fair.

"numerous".

One is... "one".
Two is... "a couple".
Three is... "a few".

"numerous" has to be more than "a few".

So I figured they could come up with "a few" anyway. :)

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

<jack mode=on>
My disbarrment is proof that these allegations are true, they are just trying to shut me up
</jack>

That's the first thing that jumped to mind when I saw this story.

speaking of Thompson, he's updated his florida supreme court dockets with a new filing the day after X-Mas.

"MOTION TO VACATE ORDER DATED 01/24/07 IN CASE NO. SC07-80 AND ORDER DATED 03/07/07 IN CASE NO. SC07-354, FILED AS "RESPONDENT'S VERIFIED MOTION TO VACATE THIS COURT'S TWO ORDERS ON THE BASIS OF THE FLORIDA BAR'S FRAUD" (O&7)"

...The man is crazy. The man is just freaking crazy. Enough said. People here have already taken my response. That simple.

This is just unbearable...JT going up against the DoD? He's putting himself up for a big fall possibly to his death or early forced retierment whichever comes first.
 
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