Jack Thompson Debates Game Violence with Author Tonight

Fresh off his apparently failed attempt to legislate video game sales in Utah, disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson will debate the video game violence issue tonight with Gerard Jones, author of Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes and Make-Believe Violence.

The debate, which will take place at 7:30 on the campus of Bridgewater College in northwestern Virginia, is free and open to the public. It is unknown whether there will be any local coverage.

GP: Thompson and Jones previously debated in 2007 at a college in Pennsylvania. That debate was marred by a student who behaved rather badly toward Thompson. Such behavior only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes about gamers.

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  1. Michael Chandra says:

    So we have to present studies, yet you don’t? Hardly sounds fair to me. Of course if you want to see studies both with a conclusion against games and a neutral conclusion, all you have to do is check GP for the many times they reported on said studies and the feedback from the scientific community.

    And I’m pretty sure you’re more biased against violent video games than I am biased pro, because I’m slightly biased against them myself. However, when it comes to studies that call themselves scientific, no matter WHAT the subject, I’m biased against that, and will use my logic, common sense and all the methods I’ve been taught and read about to analyze them and see if they did a good job. If a study were to say "violent games make you a better person" I’d probably be all "interesting, would be fun, I could easily fall for that but where’s the catch? Let’s see…" and analyze the thing.

    Paranoid? Realistic? Call me what you wi~ill. But I’ll take my time everywhere.

    Or to quote another song:

    Thou shalt think for yourselves.
    And thou shalt always… Thou shalt always kill.

  2. NotSoHardcoreGamer says:

    Sage, you seem to be ignoring the fact that most violence attributed to video games was done by individuals with some sort of strong social, mental or emotional disturbance and who had access to weapons.  This is in addition to the link between video games and violence being tenuous at best.

    On the issue of Jack’s studies being "unprofessional"- Sage, we mean "professional" as in "properly done" as to be certain its conclusions are logically and scientifically correct.  We mean stringent experiments and precise surveys that directly and unequivocally link the two.

    The problem with Jack Thompson: in forums or interviews where Jack argues the link, it’s not just that he cites dubious studies lacking in objectivity- it’s that he also lies and makes facts up to support his point, where simple and quick research quickly reveals his deception.

    That’s why we call him a liar.  That is one of the reasons he got disbarred.

    At the same time, studies have been made showing that there’s barely any negative influence from them.

    If video games do not cause people to be sociopathically violent (as opposed to extremist ideologies, mental illness, violent culture, etc.), then lying will not make it so.

  3. Doom90885 says:

    JT wants to try to rattle the cages of the gamers and then say its due to games and what monsters and pieces of shit we are. But I guess when he whines like a little bitch and insults everyone and their brother when his unconstitutional lying bullshit is defeated over and over agin somehow that’s acceptible?!?! What JT really needs it seems is a bottle and a diaper change.


    In Scapegoats We Trust

  4. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I don´t know why Sage is so eager to that somebody can prove any link with games and violence. If this happens, then any crime can be explained and justified because a third party altered the brain of an innocent person and turned on a brutal murderer.

    When this happens, then anybody will have an excuse to commit any kind of crimes.

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  5. DavCube says:

    MY obvious bias? His often-mentioned 2005 APA study (which he VERY often misquotes) was taken from a miniscule sample size, in which the subjects only played games for 15 minutes. Not hours, not days, MINUTES. How on Earth does that prove long-term effects of video games in any way shape or form? Just that: it doesn’t.

    Also, the man continually boasts that he ‘predicted’ Columbine and the like on 60 minutes and the Today show, when recently-released transcripts of the events revealed that he did no such thing. Not only does he lie about the facts, he lies about himself.

    Not to mention the fact that i don’t like most of those violent games you’re talking about; not on the grounds of content more than the simple fact of their sheer number and lack of quality dispersed between them. Thompson is the one with the obvious bias.

  6. Andrew Eisen says:

    Well, yeah.  One of the stereotypes is that gamers are immature.  If a gamer acts immature, that particular gamer is indeed playing into that stereotype.

    Thompson is typically on his best behavior when out in public.


    Andrew Eisen

  7. ecco6t9 says:

    So Jack can "stick his tounge out at people" but if a gamer does it somehow we fit into a stereotype?


    If Jack could even be remotely civilized then I think people would debate him more but the fact is Jack started this and somehow we are just supposed to stand here and take it?

  8. Monte says:

    There’s a mix… studies that show no link or suggest no lnk, and professional researchers and what-not who call out the flaws in the game studies; either the studies are flawed or they do not prove what Jack likes to say they prove (he exagerates the results)…












    And this last one… i just like to bring up since it’s essentially the same as the APA study that jack likes to quote, only difference it targets the bible instead… not saying the bible should be regulated, but you can’t except one study while also dismissing this one; you can only accept both or dismiss both)



    And then there’s the Byron report which is being taken very seriously in the UK… i think one of the conclusions Byron comes to is that "we just don’t know" what the effects of violent games are on children… And considering how their are researchers dismissing the "violent games lead to violence" studies aswell as research that suggests otherwise, i think that’s a pretty fair assement of the issue… but of course "we just don’t know" is not enough for to pass game regulation law in the US, as it is not enough to bypass free speech.

  9. Monte says:

    No the reason we disregard them is because they have been disregarded by professionals, such as other researchers.

    In order to legislate games it has to be shown that violent games are not protected by the 1st amendment; anything that is protected by free speech can not be regulated by the government in any way shape or form. In order to show this, you must show evidence that violent games cause real plausaible harm worthy of making them an exception.

    Fact is, Violent Game legislation laws have been brought up to the legislature and passed with over welhming support like about 10 times… and each time the law is challaneged in court. In Court the defence presents the studies and "evidence" that violent video games cause harm… what’s the result? Every single time the court rules in favor of the game industry, effectively saying that the evidence presented by the state was not good enough. Even judges who say off record that they agree with the regulating games and BELIEVE games cause harm, have found themselves ruling in favor of the game industry because they need to put their personal opinion aside and pass judgement by the rule of law; and by the lawful perspective, the consitutional perspective, the evidence shown in court is NOT enough to show the violent games cause harm and make them an exception to free speech.

    The "evidence" that Jack has are studies that have been rejected by the courts. Fact is, everytime the studies are brought up in court, researchers and their like point out the obvious flaws in those studies and tears them apart.

  10. CMiner says:

    Hopefully Jack will finally show proof that video games actually do cause damage and put his opponent to shame. Too bad I can’t be there for it though, i’m stuck on base all weekend 🙁


    Posted 04/02/09 at 03:28pm
    Sage: People offen just take Jack’s views and make them mine. I disagree with alot of what Jack says. Mainly I don’t belive violent media MAKES everyone a killer, I believe a small, very small, percent are unable to realize that what they play/see are two diffe


    How do you reconcile these two statements?  On the one hand you say you believe video games cause damage, and then you say you disagree on Jack with that issue and that you believe that some people cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy (which is a mental disorder completely independant of video games.)

  11. Andrew Eisen says:

    AE: Folks, I’m getting a bit tired of many of you jumping down Sage’s throat for having an unpopular opinion.  If you disagree with him, say so.  But keep it civil as he has so far extended us the same courtesy.

  12. Andrew Eisen says:

    "Hopefully Jack will finally show proof that video games actually do cause damage…"

    He won’t and the reason he won’t is he doesn’t have any proof.  If he did, he would have provided it to the courts and maybe every single attempt to legislate video game content wouldn’t have failed.


    Andrew Eisen

  13. bakaohki says:

    Ah, it’s Sage again.  Whether comedy, trolling, or Jack in disguise… this will be my only comment to you, no matter how you respond to it:  you either aren’t funny, need your head examined, or need to stop circumventing your ban.

    That is all.

    I’d say "have a good day", but I’d be lying.

  14. ZippyDSMlee says:

    THe thigns hes presented are infactaul and slanted,causationXcorrelation the wrold sides with correlation poltiations and JT side with causation becuse it makes them money.


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  15. Sage says:

    I have about as much a bias against violent video games as you do for them, but you act like i’m not willing to listen to any studies you provide to me, which I am if you would like to present these to me. I’ll be more than happy to take a look at them and tell you how I feel about it.

  16. Sage says:

    I never said I didn’t like it here, nor did I say I wanted to leave. I don’t know where you’re getting that from…

  17. Sage says:

    But that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about, your just going off in some random arguement now.

  18. Sage says:

    I’m sorry, but my internets been acting up lately and I get errors about half the time I try to post or refresh a page. It makes it very dissapointing to make a long reply and send it only to have the page come back with an error, usually I try to copy and paste if that happens but I forget to copy before sending the reply most times.

    I don’t want you to think I "pick and choose" my arguements, I try and reply to as many posts as I can but so many people have so many things to say in violent video game defense that it makes it hard to get to everyone’s posts.

    And I honestly don’t have any proof for what i’m saying, i’m sorry, but i’m not Jack and don’t spend every hour trying to disprove you all. I just want to point out my view and be a member of this website just like the rest of you.

  19. Wormdundee says:

     You haven’t seen this guy posting here before?

    Either he is a pretty good troll, or he actually agrees with what JT says. Now, his posts generally aren’t that inflammatory so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he’s probably not a troll.

    However, in all the previous debates on GP involving him, he picks and chooses which sections of people’s posts to respond to and just ignores anything that proves him wrong. He also generally chooses not to source any of his claims and makes vague excuses as to why he can’t provide these sources. For instance, in previous posts he has referenced ‘studies’ and ‘experiments’ that show that violent video games cause aggression. When people asked him to source these claims, he made excuses. When other people, including me, referenced previous posts on GP that showed that every study showing causal links was pretty much hogwash because of methodology or tiny percentage differences, he chose not to respond at all.

    Really, there’s no point in arguing with him, as he’ll take stuff in your post out of context, and then attack it while disregarding any evidence that weakens his position.

    It’s probably best just to ignore him.

  20. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Motives are relevant if they are directly affecting your own cause. His own hate is the real cause of Jack´s errors. Jack Thompson worst enemy is himself, and because that his own cause is lost.

    And is parents duty to dicide what games are they buying to their own children, not goverment or some game-hating lying lunatic craving for media attention and taking joy on every school shooting.


    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  21. Michael Chandra says:

    By proof you mean "I predicted Columbine" and "another study appeared that points the finger at games, is immediately pointed out to be flawed by a mass of neutral scientists and will eventually be thrown out by a constitutional court as "it even admits its methods are flawed so shut up already" but I’m still going to say it proves me right, while I’ll ignore all studies to the contrary and will label them as part of the conspiracy", I take it?

    I’d guess you have a massive bias against violent video games, causing you to disregard all the other studies as ‘unprofessional’ yourself, and it’s probably why you also think he doesn’t deserve to be called a liar for claiming he predicted Columbine.

  22. Sage says:

    Jack’s true motives are irrelavent as to why he should provide proof of damage done by violent video games while trying to pass a bill that only has to do with selling violent video games to minor’s, we all agree that minor’s shouldn’t be playing violent video games without parental consent, right?

  23. PHX Corp says:

    If you don’t like it here then you can Leave, Just don’t bring JT’s Psycosis back here

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  24. Michael Chandra says:

    Apparently you missed what was used to defend the bill, AND what it really was about. Please pay more attention, people won’t take you serious if you talk nonsense.

  25. Sage says:

    He’s presented facts on violent media before, just because you disregard it all as "unprofessional" studies due to your obvious bias towards violent video games doesn’t make him a liar. I agree that he’s underhanded and slightly shady but he does have proof which he may or may not bring out during his next debate.

  26. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Maybe the bill was about retailers, but the real issue Jack was trying to archieve, were to create damage to the videogames industry. Once again, he was frustrated and started to attack everyone who wasn´t agree with him, claiming to create a more strict bill against games.

    The only kind of argument that Jack can give, is the kind of argument pulled from his lower anatomy (I won´t say what part is, it will damage your morals).

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  27. DavCube says:

    Guess you missed the memo that Thompson’s been pathologically lying to you over the past decade on this.

    Sorry, but he’s never presented facts on this issue that were (professionally) scientifically proven since the turn of the century. And that’s if they were even remotely possible to be true. He often just makes stuff up. He isn’t going to start telling the truth now.

  28. Sage says:

    The bill was about game retailers and stopping them from selling mature games to minor’s. I don’t see why he would even have to show proof of the damage video games do to people moral’s on that issue, it’s already widely accepted not to sell games to minors.

    Now’s he’s debating the violence issue, which is a perfect time to show everyone in the audience and possible others, if there is coverage of the event, that violent video game could cause aggression in children and adults alike.

  29. PHX Corp says:

    If that guy(sage) is worshipping JT, then he’s breaking one of the 10 commendants (Dennis, I’m sorry for bringing religon up, but it’s a concerning matter)

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  30. Sage says:

    Hopefully Jack will finally show proof that video games actually do cause damage and put his opponent to shame. Too bad I can’t be there for it though, i’m stuck on base all weekend 🙁

  31. PHX Corp says:

    If JT start’s Moaning and Groaning over the incident in utah at this debate, Then he proves my point that he acted out of line

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  32. TK n Happy Ness says:

    Jack won’t show up. He doesn’t have the cajones to debate in front of that many gamers.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  33. Glasofruix says:

    -Any questions in the audience?

    -Yes, why is there a debate with an attorney who was disbarred for professional misconduct?


  34. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I actually think that Jack will throw random crap (about shootings, brain scans, conspirancies) over and over again with the porpouse to make pissoff somebody and make people to insult him.

    In that way, he can say "I´m right, and this is the proof".

    He is desperated right now, with all his major projects frustrated right now, so I think he will try something stupid. I just hope that whatever he tries, it just get backfired to him.

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  35. magic_taco says:

    Im hoping no negative stereotypes for tonight’s debate, I just read the article about the 2007 debate, I believe the person who gave him the one finger salute had done the right thing in their belief(But entirely not the right thing to be done)…I’d done the same…Along with a dropkick to the ribs, But im hoping something good comes out of this and im hoping to see an intelligent auidance that can hope to see through his BS, Heck, We might be lucky if any gamer friends we have in college have done their homework and hope to see through everybit of Thompson’s usual BS.



  36. Icehawk says:

    Possible good is that more people might have a chance to see that John Bruce is a clueless hate-mongering twit.  Downside is that regardless of what happens it will not change jackie or his views in the slightest. 

    If he wins well he Won (and will brag about it) if he loses then he still wins as he is being prosecuted for his beliefs (of so he seems to think).  It just seems so pointless.   While I agree ignoring him is harmful (ie Utah) confronting him directly just feeds his ego, and we all know how hungry his ego is. 

  37. Mattie says:

    Please, PLEASE be civil people. I don’t want to hear how some idiot heckles JT from the audience no matter how badly you think he deserves it.

  38. Chuma says:

    Yeah, except that I am not debating with him; he is picking his battles against people like Authors who know nothing about the situation.  By allowing him an audience you are giving such debates credibility which they do not deserve.

  39. doewnskitty says:

    See?  Anything is made worse just by adding Jack Thompson.

    Admit it, you feel a little dirty.

  40. mr_mlk says:

    No it would not. I mean really is the best we can hope for is "you suck"? I thought we were the good guys, the ones that could come up with reasoned arguments?

    A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

  41. Wraith108 says:

    Boo Dennis! Though since it’s Jacko being sued is possible, it’d not work but I suppose it’s not worth the hassle.

    Can’t wait to hear how badly owned Jack gets tonight.

  42. 1AgainstTheWorld says:

    Looks like Dennis fixed it.  Can’t have Jack suing over being called a "mass murderer" (even though he throws that term at us gamers every time he opens his big stupid mouth).

  43. mogbert says:

    You owe me a new keyboard, as I jsut spit drink all over this one. I have to head over to that site and catch up. It’s funny how good that comic can be when they are only using stick figures.

  44. JDKJ says:


    Because there’s a paycheck in it?


    You think Gerard Jones is going to make discrediting Jack Thompson by exposing him as an ass-munch his primary objective? Why should he do that? That’d be like killing the goose that lays golden eggs.

  45. Michael Chandra says:

    Because by ignoring him, Utah happened. You need to make clear to the public what he is like.

  46. Malygris says:

    Why do people keep agreeing to debate Thompson? He’s been disbarred, he’s been disavowed by all but the most right-wing political groups and he’s demonstrated time and again that he’s not even operating in the same reality as the rest of us. He’s rendered himself utterly irrelevant. So why are we even giving this man the time of day?

  47. Dan says:

    He’s also apparently agreed to debate Mark Methenitis of Joystiq at the Screwattack Convention this summer.


    —— Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

  48. Michael Chandra says:

    But then only the idiots and haters show up. You want to change the stereotype, act like an adult and beat them down with logic, call them on their lies, kindly request material to back up the claims they make, point out their flaws, etcetera.

  49. ezbiker555 says:

    During the interview

    Jack: And so we can see that GTA is def-

    Student: YOU SUCK!

    Jack: *Looks into audience* Who said that? I think I need to file a lawsuit.

    Student: HAHA, what power do you actually have? ABSOLUTLY NONE!

    Jack: Oh lord why have you forsaken me?

    Audience: CAN IT

    Interveiwer: When god gives you lemons YOU FIND A NEW GOD. Try godberry.

    Jack Thompson: ………………………




    Yeah I need to stop with that joke.

  50. Austin_Lewis says:

    I hope someone goes and youtubes this shit, because I wish to watch it tomorrow morning.

  51. Michael Chandra says:

    I hope someone in the audience will point out, when Jack no doubt will start about it, that his 60′ Minutes and NBC Today appearances did not involve him predicting Columbine in any way, no matter what he says, and that the transcripts confirm the fact he’s lying.

  52. 1AgainstTheWorld says:

    Wow, talk about misreading the title.  My first thought was:

    Jack: "So, should I kill the ‘Monsters’ author tonight, or shouldn’t I?"

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