Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones Debate

April 3, 2009 -

A reported audience of 200 Bridgewater College students attended last night's video game debate between Jack Thompson and author Gerard Jones. 

So far we have found two local news reports of the showdown.

WHSV-3 offers this account:

Thompson believes that content should be regulated more efficiently, especially toward kids, pointing out the violent aspects of the popular game series "Grand Theft Auto." He says, "The problem is mature and adult video games that are very violent, increasingly pornographic, that are still being sold aggressively to young people. Kids literally process these games in the part of the brain that leads to copy-cat violence."

Jones, however, urged people to view video games in the same ways as movies and television, and hoped gamers would be more open to explain why they love to play. He says, "We hear a lot about the fear of what they might do, what might go wrong, but we hear so little about how these games are obviously fitting in to a sane, healthy life for a lot of normal people."

Meanwhile, Rocktown Weekly has this:

Jack Thompson... says that unlike other media, video games have been shown to affect neurological development in adolescents.

Thompson... says violent games desensitize youths and can train them to carry out massacres in real life, particularly if they have violent or sociopathic tendencies...

 

Thompson pointed out that the military uses video games to train new troops and desensitize them, making them more likely to shoot when it counts. [GP: According to John Stossel of ABC News, this is a self-perpetuating myth*]...

But Jones counters that violence existed in society long before video games came along.

For example, Jones said the gunman in a 1970s school shooting told authorities he was inspired by "Patton," a biographical movie about World War II Gen. George Patton.

"I cannot see our culture, our laws, our entertainment industry trying to adjust to" what mentally ill people might do, Jones said.

Thompson... advocates greater government control over the video game industry, especially in legislation that makes it a crime to sell video games rated "mature" to minors.
 

* Stossel tracked down the origin of the military's supposed use of violent games to desensitize recruits in his 2006 book Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity.


Comments

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

No, people just fail to practice abstinence.

...sorry, I thought we were playing the game where you repost one thing multiple times to make a point.  My bad.  ^^

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Lol.  Either abstinence works or it doesn't.  I didn't know there was an "in-between" area to "not having sex."  XD

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

And for some of the groups pushing it, abstinence has been shown to fail ;)

 

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/1750/abstinencegp5.jpg

I believe this is somewhat appropriate to this particular discussion.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

No, people just fail to practice abstinence.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

I was speaking of the education, not the act itself :P

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

creationism is only really prevelant in the US and Turkey, so it's actually a minority of the religious community.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

 

Haha, JT got pwned again, good to see his ass kicked again.

"Jack Thompson... says that unlike other media, video games have been shown to affect neurological development in adolescents."

That's bull, any form of media like movies and TV shows can still affect neurological development in adolescents also.  It's not only video game.

"Thompson believes that content should be regulated more efficiently, especially toward kids, pointing out the violent aspects of the popular game series "Grand Theft Auto." He says, "The problem is mature and adult video games that are very violent, increasingly pornographic, that are still being sold aggressively to young people. Kids literally process these games in the part of the brain that leads to copy-cat violence."

OK, so if the parent bought a M-rated game for the kids as a Christmas present or Birthday present.  Is that's the parent's fault, or the retailer's, or the developer's?  So how come there's only few school violence every years instead of like 100 school shootings each year.  Could you explain that, Jack?

"Jones, however, urged people to view video games in the same ways as movies and television, and hoped gamers would be more open to explain why they love to play. He says, "We hear a lot about the fear of what they might do, what might go wrong, but we hear so little about how these games are obviously fitting in to a sane, healthy life for a lot of normal people."

That's true.  Not only that before video game, they blamed Rap music, Rock n Roll music, Dungeons & Dragons.  God, did Jack forget that John Hinckley, Regan's attempted Assassin "trained" on Taxi Drivers.  So according to Jack's logic, we should prosecute Scorcese, De Niro, and Jodie Foster because the movie is a "how to kill a president" simulator, right.  So should we arrest James Wan, Leigh Whannell, Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, and Billy the Puppert (for humor purpose) because the film series Saw trained Steven Kazmierczak to become a killer, right.

"Thompson... says violent games desensitize youths and can train them to carry out massacres in real life, particularly if they have violent or sociopathic tendencies..."

If violent games can make a school massacre, how come the world didn't turn into an apocalypse because of video game.  I don't see any youngsters and college kids today wearing outfit resembling video game characters with guns going around killing people like an online gameplay gone real.

"Thompson pointed out that the military uses video games to train new troops and desensitize them, making them more likely to shoot when it counts."

 Right, because General Petreus before he got the 5 star, he has to play Tom Clancy's Endwar in order to get that 5-star General status.  Also, the Georgian-Russian conflict happen because of Ghost Recon.  Let me guess the Georgians and Russians were training on video game.  Here's the problem, there were military training way before video game, explain that?

Thompson... advocates greater government control over the video game industry, especially in legislation that makes it a crime to sell video games rated "mature" to minors.

So what about parents buying M-rated games for their kids like maybe for Birthday or Christmas.  Should we prosecute the parent for that?  How is that a crime?

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

To be perfectly honest i don't believe in these brain scan studies whatsoever, To me these teen brain scan studies are nothing more then psuedoscientific bullshit posing as new age Phrenology. They don't even measure actual neuronal activity just blood flow changes in the brain. None of them have found a direct casual link between certain brain activity and certain behaviors and actions as opposed to a mere correlation. The brain regions are en­gaged by many mental states, so one-to-one mapping between a brain region and certain actions and behaviors in individuals are not possible.

 

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Exactly.

Its a complete fallacy to suggest that the brain has a specific area set aside for each specific activity, and then to suggest that therefore any two brain waves in that area mean the same thing. (i.e. suggestiing you can look at a part of the brain and 100% say it directly means something really really specific - e.g. 'i want to copycat murder somebody'.. or 'i want fried chicken and bbq sauce for dinner'.. you cant do that)

You cant look at a brain and go 'oh look his copycat-murder lobe is active'. There isnt a 'copycat-murder lobe'. There is an 'area' of the brain that experiences stimulation typically due to the bodies' natural responses required to stimulate adrenaline for the 'fight-or-flight' reaction. Hence if you get attacked, or get excited, or enjoy something, you will see 'similar' areas 'light-up'.

Therfore activity in that area can mean LOTS of things. The fact that the area of the brain that typically relates to 'excitement' is active when somebody is excited (for whatever reason) doesnt mean you can link the logic backwards and say that they are actually being made to do the thing that made them excited.

In other words you cant look at activity in an area of the brain and specify what that excitement means (e.g. i am under attack, i am going to run away or i am watching a scary movie, or i am killing somebody and enjoying it). You just cant relate the logic like that.

Just because my brain gets 'excited' (e.g. adrenaline is produced) when i watch a scary movie, and when i get robbed at knifepoint, doesnt mean im going to go out and purposely get robbed at knifepoint. There are a million other factors that come into play.

 

 

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones Debate

This is a pattern. Thompson acts civil and holds bacl on his usual rhetoric while his opponent refuses to call him out on his lies. No wonder he wants to do this as much as possible.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones Debate

Yeah I have to say that it is pretty fucking absurd that Thompson was not called out on his recent ranting letter to the President of the United States which calls for the outright ban of all mature games.

 

What the fuck?

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones Debate

Honestly...if someone with balls were debating Thompson...all you have to do is when Thompson starts on "military uses video games to train new troops and desensitize them, making them more likely to shoot when it counts" All you have to do is state: "Jack you have been told that has been an urban myth and an outright fabrication for years. Much like a lot of the information you have been stating for years. Is that not one of the reasons you lost your license to practice law?" Jack starts frothing from the mouth and loses all composure and logic.

End of debate.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Yeah i TOTALLY dont get why poeple dont do this.

SO FRUSTRATING. Literally NOONE has publically called out thompson during a debate.

SO ANNOOYYINNG!!! AAGGHH!

 

I mean there are like 5 or so myths he is 99.9% garunteed to raise EVERY time. Somebody could dismiss them so quick and make him look like an idiot, if they spent 5 minutes preparing for it.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

"Jones said the gunman in a 1970s school shooting told authorities he was inspired by "Patton," a biographical movie about World War II Gen. George Patton."

I wonder if Jones is talking about my school, it's around the same time period. I am not sure about the Patton part, but he was dressed in army clothes.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

 

OMG, it was George Patton who made the kid go school shooting.  Quick remove him from the history book, that way no kid would end up shooting their school because of him.  See, see, history can make a person go shooting up the school.  We must ban history too.

 

(End Sarcasm)

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Don't joke, there are those that would try.

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

How is something "increasingly pornographic"? I know there's different types of pornography, but being pornographic is really more of a pass/fail situation.

Playboy is pornographic and so is the video of the time I had a girl ***** on my face, followed by me ******* **** ****** *** ***** in her **** *** ***** ** **** ***** upside down. **** *** ****** **** ******* Eugene Levy. Sure one's more disturbing and maybe a little "fetish" based, but both are pornographic.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

I believe a more accurate statement would be that he is saying that there has been an increase in the use of sexual imagery (ie. scantally clad women, large breasts, a more casual treatment of sex, use of sex appeal, etc) which is something that IS hard to deny, especially since this is a cultural trend as a whole (seriously look at ads these days) rather then exclusive to games. Then again this is assuming that he is simply so wryled up that he is exagerating what he means. Though from looking at his track record, that is unlikely.

While I think there is a bit too much use of sexual imagery in media these days, there is still a large difference between that and pornography.

Responsibility: Its time that the next generation takes up the reigns of power in our government, before the old fools who hold them steer this country of ours closer to capsizing. We must act before its to late to repair the damage.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

I completely disagree.  Sexual imagery has always been used in games (as far as graphics would allow) and their advertisements.  I seriously don't see it increasing.  In game graphics are certainly improving but what they're depicting isn't anything new.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones Debate

"Culture critic Gerard Jones and "lawyer" Jack Thompson debated to a packed Cole Hall Auditorium."

Lame

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Is this like 'doctor' in terms of a title where you can band it around even if you're not part of any legally-required institutions (Or so such)?

Example: Dr. Evil.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Well technically JT is still a Juris Doctor, he may not be a bar licensed attorney anymore, but he does hold a degree in law, so technically he is a lawyer, just not a practising one.
(although how he got that degree is quite beyond me, perhaps he found it in his breakfast cereal)

disbarment doesn't invalidate your degree in law, you just can't practise your profession anymore.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Ah but Dr. Evil went to "evil  medical school" when he was 18. That's probably where he got his PhD.

"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

ugh ffs

 

why does nobody who debates thompson seemingly do any research on him before hand?

 

Not once do i ever see him get pulled up on his lies! Its so frustrating! Especially since there are like 5 or so favourites (including the military desensitizing recruits one) that he brings up practically every single time he talks. Every Time. You could literally predict his arguments + his 'examples'.

So why does obody who debates him spend literally 15 minutes beforehand preparing quick, factual statements, that could obliterate the most common false claims he brings up?

It SOOOO frustrating!!.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Since Jacko loves to repeat his same talking points like a broken record it would be incredibly easy to demolish him in a debate especially if you can talk first.

1)no the military doesn't use videogames to desensitize people

2)youth crime statistics have been going down

3)those brain scan studies Jacko loves don't say what he says they say

4)Craig Anderson's studies are incredibly flawed

5)The first time Jacko was on 60 Minutes it was for less than 3 minutes.  Saddam Husien has been on 60 Minutes more than Jacko has

6)Jacko's long history of antagonistic behavior which has resulted in his disbarment.

Debate over.

 

 

http://www.popularculturegaming.com

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

THANK YOU!

 

This is what i mean. You werent debating him, yet in 5 minutes you can predict (pretty damned accurately) what tired old urban legends he will bring up as 'evidence' and in 5 minutes you can smash them. Why cant the ppl who get the chance to debate him do this??

I mean, you could literally take transcripts of studies, and comments by leading authorities that prove him wrong. So when he says (inevitibly) that he isnt lying, and its not made up, you could actially hold up the documents he's lying about and ask him to come over and point out the 'facts' he is stating are in there for the benefit of the audience. Bet £1 million he couldnt. Oh yeah.. because there not there. He'd look like such a douch, and debate over.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Jack doesn't have the balls to debate somebody would could call him on all his BS. Remember the Penny Arcade debate? He broke the terms of the agreement on that one and then blamed Penny Arcade when they had to cancel.

  
Anyone else just doesn't want to give Thompson the "spot light" (rightfully so?) or the revenue opportunity.

 

"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

There was also the possibility he knew what would happen and was banking that it would turn violent.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

 I can't wait for the old to retire, and the new generation takes over... this long and useless debate will simply die out on it's own...

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

That worked so well for drugs and sexuality.

 

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Be careful. Plenty of old geezers are up there protecting our rights while many "children" continue to bash games and their violence.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

It seems like the debate was civil and, I daresay, good-natured, with both sides simply listing and making their arguments, even if Thompson's are factually errorsome (Per usual). Maybe the reporters were keeping it simple for their readers, but s far so good, I suppose.

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Eh, the day Jack isn't spouting senseless drivel and downright lies...

 

...Is the day hell freezes over. Even Jack knows his!

Re: Coverage of Last Night's Jack Thompson - Gerard Jones ...

Hell Michigan excluded.

Since Thompson lives on technicalities.

 
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