Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate at SGC 09

June 30, 2009 -

It appears that a much-anticipated Independence Day debate between Jack Thompson and gamer/lawyer Mark Methenitis is off. (GP: however, see updates below)

Back in April Mark Methenitis announced that he would debate Thompson on July 4th at the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention in Dallas. In fact, Methenitis posted a reminder about the debate just yesterday on his excellent Law of the Game blog.

But an angry e-mail received a short time ago from Thompson indicates that he will not appear. The disbarred attorney was apparently upset by an event organizer's request for a two-line bio as well as a parody video (screen shot at left) posted on the Screw Attack website by a user. Here's a just-received e-mail from Thompson to Methenitis:

Mark, the goofs at ScrewAttack have managed to sabotage my debate with you this Saturday... Don't blame me.  I wanted to do  the debate. I would have used the $2000 to help me in bringing down The Florida Bar...

Here's a second e-mail from Thompson to a number of individuals at ScrewAttack:

Yesterday, I get an email... that I either I submit a "1 or 2 sentence" introduction of myself, or I won't be introduced.  I have spoken and debated on more than 200 college campuses, and I have never been introduced with 1 or 2 sentences.  Nobody can be introduced in that fashion...
 
Finally, I went to your site this morning and I have viewed [a since removed] idiotic [video] clip...  It is a gross misrepresentation... you know full well that the reason I wanted to do this event... [is] to debate the issues of violence in video games... 
 
Finally, how many references to me as a "butt" did you think you had to put into your adolescent video?  You even take a swipe at Christians in the video...
 
All you have managed to do, as related above, is make the event an impossibility.  I expected the event to feature some hostiility [sic]. What I did not expect was that the people putting it on would ratchet it up and in doing so create a security problem...

GamePolitics has a request in to Screw Attack for more information and to see whether, from their perspective, the debate and a planned open forum with Thompson are salvageable. Methenitis is hoping that the event will go forward but referred us to Screw Attack for specifics.

GP: If the SGC 09 debate is canceled, it will not the first time that a proposed debate involving Thompson and the video game crowd has ended in bitterness. See our coverage of similar events proposed for PAX 07 and GDC 08. Thompson did, however, complete a debate with game designer Lorne Lanning at VGXPO 07 in Philadelphia.

That said, it's rather difficult to believe that the debate would be lost over the length of an introduction. As for the Screw Attack user-created video, let's just call it ill-advised and unfunny.

UPDATE: Thompson has confirmed to GamePolitics that he is under contract to appear. An e-mail from Thompson to Methenitis, cc'd to GP, indicates that the debate may yet be salvageable.

UPDATE 2: Thompson has forwarded a copy of a conciliatory e-mail from Screw Attack which describes the video in question as user-created content; it has apparently been removed. Thompson, however, continues to make demands of the event organizers:

This thing will start to get back on track if the person in charge... makes a very prominent and public statement at ScrewAttack.com and to the media (yes, that even includes GamePolitics, which is run as if it were Strauss Zelnick's house organ) [GP: LOL] stating that ScrewAttack disavows that video, that ScrewAttack KNOWS that the reason Jack Thompson is taking a day out of his life and away from his family is that he cares about the ISSUES in this debate, and that anybody, ANYBODY, who says or does anything out of line at this event will be escorted from the event immediately...

UPDATE 3: Stop the presses! The debate is not canceled, at least not yet. Thompson and the Screw Attack crew have scheduled a conference call for tomorrow to - hopefully - sort out their issues.


Comments

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

I didn't see the video either, but Jack has a history of interpreting anyone not sucking his ego's dick to be an anti-Christian member of the gay mafia.

He still claims he was disbarred for being a Christian. 

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

So many people are saying that this is typical Jack Thompson, but I understand how he is feeling. If I am going to a debate to defend video games at the Eagle Forum, and see that they are posting videos making fun of me days before the debate. I don't care if it was user uploaded, I don't want to talk to those kind of people.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

But certainly you would have assumed the very good possibility that by entering hostile territory, you would be subjecting yourself to some hostility. And if, as you should have, you saw the hosility coming before you even entered the hostile territory, then that should have been a factor in your decision to enter the hostile territory or not. And, once you did decide to enter the hostile territory regardless of the risk of hosility, you'll look pretty stupid saying, once the hostility actually emerges, "Oh, my God!! They're being hostile towards me!! Let me high-tail it out of this hostile territory!!" 

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Yeah, one thing about Thompson is he treats almost, well, actually he treats everyone else like absolute dirt, but expects people to treat him like a god in return.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

If anyone hasn't learnt by now that standing too close to Jack Thompson will inevitably result in their being covered head-to-toe in Thompsonshit, then they're about as dumb as he is. Serves them right for (a) being dumb and (b) standing too close to him.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

I love how he says first that he wants the money and then later says he doesn't want to take time from his family (I guess spending 364 days of the year with them isn't enough...).

 

http://www.popularculturegaming.com

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Because recently he's been spending all his time dashing from one important court appearance on behalf of a client to another important court appearance on behalf of another client?

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

He has clients? He sure as heck isn't a lawyer any more.

 

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

At this point, Jack is so irrelevant that he is scraping for a mere $2000 to appear at a convention for videogame fans- no offense, but that is hardly a venue that is fitting for a mature, thoughtful debate...more like a circus show or similar "entertainment".

I also have a big "fuck you" for ScrewAttack for even giving this pile of trash (yes, he is trash) the chance to make any money milking the deaths of young people.  Anyone attending this event should be asking themselves if they really want their money going into the pocket of such a horrible person who lies constantly, gloats over people's deaths (the MGS guy and that Florida bar head who died trying to save his family), and all his other sins.

Shame on anyone who was going to this event in the first place.  ScrewAttack and the attendents of this event (who bought their tix after learning Jack would be there) are little more than enablers.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Okay folks, since jack thompson is so upset that he cannot be introduced with a mere two sentences, lets let the happy visitors at gamepolitics offer some suggestions.

Introduce Jack Thompson in 2 sentences or less: GO!

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

May I introduce the other party in this debate. Disbarred attorney, failed moral crusader, liar and general all around asshole, JACKASS THOMPSON!

 

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

<Howard Finkel voice> From the outskirts of Peewee Kentucky, Douchebag attorney, a failure to communicate cause ***, bullshitter & waiting to have a ***, I give you Jack "The Douchebag" Thompson

What we got here is failure to communicate!

AE: Went a little far there.

What we got here is failure to communicate!

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

<voice="wrestling announcer">
With absolutely no victories under his belt, it's the one, the only, Moron from Miami, JACK THOMPSON!
</voice>

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

I could come up with 2 sentances easily... but I can't say them.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Does John Bruce really want them to follow the "escort people out if they say anything out of line?"  I mean how would be be able to finish the debate if he is dragged out of the building kicking and screaming by two rent-a-cops in the first five minutes of the debate?

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

You really think he'd last 5 minutes?

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

$100 says, if they do agree to his new terms, that he'll accuse Methenitis or the moderator of being "out of line", and demand that they be escorted out.

-- Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known

-- Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

I hate to do this, but I'm going to agree with Jack on this.  Screw Attack screwed up their own show.

But I will also say Jack is being an overly-pretentious drama whore regarding this whole incident, too, so he's not entirely without fault.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Personally, as much as I hate it. I can see why Jack-ass  was perturbed.

That said, when he started his "moral crusade" he knew he'd be a target of insults, vitrol, the occasional immature person (besides himself) and even (horror of horrors!) intelligent debate!

So no, I don't feel sorry for him, if I'm not mistaken he has a legal and binding contract to appear at this debate, so it's basicly either he does show up, or he doesn't. If he doesn't (someone correct me if I'm wrong in this) he can be sued for breach of contract. Which would entail legal fees paid at the very least, if not returning any advances on payment for appearing at the debate.

For all his bitching, whining and basicly acting like my 3 yr old niece, he's stuck.

 

 

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

You're gonna get Craig to apologize? Good luck with that.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Oh for the love of...

Guys at Screwattack, if you're reading this, you can do what you want, but if I were you, I wouldn't kowtow to this idiot's childish demands and reward him for his insufferable behavior.  I personally wouldn't try salavging this, as this "man's" behavior clearly shows he is intent on ruining everybody's fun.  Besides, he's over, done, finished.  He has nothing more relevant to say or add to the issue and at this point is nothing more than curiosity value, same as a freakshow.  His crusade's over, and it's best to just let him fade into irrelevance and ignominity.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

I agree with you 100%, Manta. It ScrewAttack didn't see a reason to pull the video when it first went up, then they shouldn't see a reason to pull it now that Jack Thompson gets to acting his usual whingy self. To do so rewards Thompson for whinginess at the expense of the ScrewAttack community. If I was ScrewAttack and was forced to choose between my readership and Jack Thompson, I damn sure ain't picking Thompson.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

It also shows ScrewAttack what he really is.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

"yes, that even includes GamePolitics, which is run as if it were Strauss Zelnick's house organ..."

...Play 'em off, Keyboard Strauss! :D

I was going to comment on the inherent amusement of JT asking you to help him in his previous email, but to have both sides of his Jekyll-and-Hyde personality represented in a single article has left me too astounded to laugh any more.  I don't know whether to call him a hypocrite or what.

---
The Mammon Philosophy

---
Fangamer

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

First off, I'm no fan of Screwattack, they had lost all their personality and humour when they had lost Tom. The video sucked, and was unfunny as well as mentally insulting like all other stuff on Screwattack.

Second, we all know Jack was going to skip out anyways. There's no debate that Jack Thompson was going to give any excuse to avoid this event. So let's not blame this stupid video for doing something that was going to happen anyway.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

So John Bruce agrees to a debate with someone in the games industry, tries to back out. Realises he can't so he tries to save face and makes it look like he is being the bigger man.

Classic John Bruce.

While

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

"An e-mail from Thompson to Methenitis, cc'd to GamePolitics, indicates that the debate may yet be salvageable:"

I  will appear at the event if the person who actually runs ScrewAttack makes very public amends, assures us both re security, and tells his/her minions to start acting like adults. I need your help on this... Maybe a conference call with the two of us and whoever is in charge is in order.

I guess spending the holiday with his family isn't as important to him as he ranted earlier considering now he wants to salvage the debate.  :/

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

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

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Has Thompson *ever* participated in a debate on this subject?

Or perhaps more telling, has he ever participated in an *intelligent* debate on this subject?

-- Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known

-- Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

To be perfectly honest, I'm not even sure why Jack Thompson is still relevant to the video game world. Just let the man fade away peacefully, stop paying him money to talk about things he no longer has any influence over.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

http://www.cracked.com/article_17031_p2.html

Guess who makes #1 here, and still kicking.

GameSnooper

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

hold up! this list is bull!

JT should be #2!

Rick Atsley should be #1

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Sorry, but I'm with Jack here. The video is childish, not funny and downright insulting. I'm Screwattack G1 since several years, but after the video, I'm not surprised he isn't going there...

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

I missed the vid, but judging by the screencap I've got to agree.  Whoever posted it HAD to be aware of how Jack flies off the handle at the slightest provocation.  Why give him any kind of moral high ground like this?

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Actually, the video list 10 stupid questions you shouldn't ask, so JT can't blame video games for them (the screencap is of a guy saying he'd like JT to join their Rock Band band, and asking if he "can play the butt?"), and at the end it makes a serious request for people to behave properly and ask intelligent questions. If he's quitting because of this, he is a butt, because it's simply an attempt to get people to behave, with some immature humor thrown in to get people's attention. And I really don't see how this causes a security problem.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm "with" Jack, but i must say, Screwattack, as much as I love them and their sexual-innuendo name, went too far with the video. Now, it's not as if Jack is acting much better, but SA was stupid to give him such easy fodder.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Ehh? It wasn't a screwattack video, it was created by a group of users.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Like JT has ever stopped to realize that user-created content doesn't reflect the will of the companies involved (Although, admittedly, ScrewAttack was hosting it, which carries an implicit support, until they took it down).

I'm surprised he's never gone after the companies that produce movie cameras.  After all, they're used to create porn.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

I always assumed their name was taken from the Samus ability of the same name in the Metoid series.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Considering the Screwattack logo is (or was) the same logo as used in Metroid, I'd guess you're right.

/b

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Given that the video's been pulled, can someone describe it's content for me? Or, at least, what about it could be found "childish" and "unfunny?"

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Yes, I realize the screwattack is from metroid, but I still think it counts as an innuendo. Why else would they choose that upgrade out of all other metroid items, or anything else they could've chosen?

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

So what you're saying is that Metroids Screw Attack upgrade is called the Screw Attack so it can be an innuendo. After all, why that name out of all the others it could have had, like 'Spin Attack' or 'Twirly Smash'.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

I have to agree with you. As much as I Dislike Mr. Thompsons actions towards gamers, and in general, Its harder to attack him over him droping out. Screw Attack, as well as all gamer, know how tempermental he is and how easy it is to provoke him into doing something like this.

Now if this had not been done, nor anything like it, and then he had backed out, THAN he would deserve the lashing many are giving him right now.

 

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: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

They already pulled out the video.

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

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBR-KR7AHWg

 

It's not very funny....They call JT a "butt" about a hundred times

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

One other thing, I'm sure now that everyone will have a lot more fun at the convention now that he won't be there.  I'm not sure if it was just me, but when I was at the VGXpo in '07 I remember the general feeling of everyone being on-edge.  Hell, when JT and his bodyguards (yes, the man needed bodyguards!) walked past me and my girlfriend, I remember shuddering as if someone walked over my grave (no lie!)  Contrast that to the next VGXpo in '08 which was JT-free and everyone had was relaxed and had a lot more fun.

So anyone going to the SGC, relax and cut loose.  And Jack, whether or not we're reprobates, everyone will breathe easier knowing you're not around!

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

He never really intended to go through with it in the first place.  He, himself, admitted as such.

" have better things to do than take an entire day away  from my family--a holiday, no less--to argue to a bunch of gamers that they are idiots. "

He'd already "agreed" to the debate, so he had, supposedly, intended to choose doing a debate with individuals he defines as "idiots" over spending a holiday with his family.

Now, magically, he wants it believed that, all of a sudden, a holiday with his family is more important?

There's a LOT of hot air in here and it ain't Zippy's breath. 

Yet another "voluntary dismissal" at work.  Not surprising.

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

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

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Oh gee, Jack Thompson backed out of another debate.  There's a surprise.

In addition to those mentioned by GP*, Thompson also backed out of a debate with:

Tom Buscaglia

Jason Della Rocca

 

Andrew Eisen

 

*Interestingly, Thompson didn't back out of a GDC debate.  There never was one.  Although one may have materialized if Thompson hadn't lied about who he spoke to, when, and what about.

P.S. - I couldn't check because the video was gone by the time I went to have a look but I'm assuming it's user-created and not an officially produced Screw Attack video (seeing as it appears from the screen cap to be a YouTube vid and all).

P.P.S. - Saw the video.  Amazingly childish of Thompson to threaten to pack up his marbles and head home in response.  And yes, it's not a Screw Attack video, it's user created content.  Kaylyn Dixon (Marzgurl) and her crew are not Screw Attack staff.  Reminds me of the time he complained to Midway over user created content in MK Armegeddon.

P.P.P.S. - The video was voluntarily pulled by the creator, not Screw Attack.

Re: Jack Thompson Says He Won't Appear for July 4th Debate ...

Hahaha.  Love how he weaseled out of this one.

On a related note, I think it's funny that he thinks he can take on the Florida Bar if he just had 2000 more dollars.  I also have a feeling that his wife finally decided to stop financing his stupidity, in which case good for her. 

Seriously, giving money to Jack Thompson is like giving money to a homeless drunk.  Sure, if you come back a while later, they're more entertaining, but they still won't get a damn thing done, and in the end you're out the money.

Oh, I also think its funny that such a 'succesful' lawyer thinks 2000 dollars is a lot of money these days. Har har.

 
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