Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

July 1, 2009 -

The on-again, off-again July 4th debate between disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson and gamer/attorney Mark Methenitis is apparently back on.

The debate, planned for this weekend's SGC09 in Dallas, went off the rails rather suddenly yesterday morning when Thompson complained to event host Screw Attack (and cc'd GamePolitics) that:

  • he objected to a one- or two-line introduction ("I have never been introduced with 1 or 2 sentences.  Nobody can be introduced in that fashion...")
  • he objected to a user-created parody video posted (and since removed) on the Screw Attack site; Thompson may have believed the video, "Questions Not to Ask Jack Thompson" at SGC," was official Screw Attack content

After posting a story detailing Thompson's assertion that he was canceling his appearance, GamePolitics rather unexpectedly found itself in the middle of a day-long flurry of e-mails between Screw Attack personnel and Thompson. Event organizers were clearly seeking to assuage Thompson's concerns and salvage the debate. By late Tuesday afternoon, it appeared that Thompson, who is apparently under contract and being paid $2,000 for his appearance, was softening his position after receiving assurances from Screw Attack Program Director Craig Skistimas.

As recently as this morning, however, Thompson demanded that a post by a Screw Attack user be removed. While it was not taken down, the author, who was also behind the parody video that Thompson found offensive, e-mailed the disbarred attorney a lengthy apology; that seemed to satisfy Thompson.

Next, Thompson e-mailed Skistimas a "proposed text" to be used as his introduction at the debate. The 12-sentence intro mentioned his 2008 lifetime disbarment very briefly, referring to it as "illegal" and blaming the loss of his law license on "lawyers for Take-Two, the makers of the Grand Theft Auto games."

GP asked Skistimas whether the introduction would actually be used at SGC09. Skistimas told us, "I have yet to review his intro but Jack and I will work together to find an intro that fits both his needs and the time format of the debate at SGC."

A conference call between Thompson and the Screw Attack team planned for noon today was canceled when the parties decided in late morning that the debate was back on and Thompson was satisified.

Skistimas also said that the site would release a video tomorrow to reinforce the fact that Thompson will appear at SGC09.


Comments

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I highly doubt they'll bow to him anymore than they have already.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

JDKJ,

IF John Bruce's intro WERE used, could Take-Two take action against it?  After all, John Bruce repeatedly threatens to sue every time someone even makes a minor negative remark about him, just like his demand to have that post removed (First Amendment Expert?  More like Anti-US Constitutionalist).

Now, they probably wouldn't, but COULD they?

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 Debate Back On at SGC09

If they use the intro that Jack wants, it will cause the audience to start to laugh.

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

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

"Can they sue?" is usually never a very good question, regardless of the circumstances, because the answer to it is invariably "Yes." Assuming they have the price of the filing fee, they - like anyone else with the price of admission - can always sue. The much better question is "Can they win?"

If you're suggesting defamation as a basis of suit, I'd say "No, they ain't winning that one" for, primarily, the following two reasons:

First, a defamation claim requires a false statement of fact. If Mr. Thompson were to state that his disbarment was caused by T2's attorneys, I'm not sure that sort of statement would qualify as a statement of fact. There's a good case to be made that it's nothing more than Mr. Thompson's opinion.

Second, assuming it is a statement of fact and not one of opinion, a usually sound defense to a claim of defamation is that the alleged defamor had some reasonable basis to believe their statement was true (or, conversely put, that it wasn't false). Because T2's attorneys were among the complainants against Mr. Thompson in the action which ultimately resulted in his disbarment, if Mr. Thompson were to state that T2's attorneys caused his disbarment, I'd think that the statement isn't wholly without some basis for belief in its truthfulness. In a twisted and remote sense, T2's attorneys did cause his disbarment.

Of course, someone else may have an entirely different opinion on the likelihood of success. Don't take my word for it.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

You forget something - Jackie boy signed something saying he wouldn't attack T2. They have him on contractual grounds, not slander / libel.

 

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I considered the possibility. Thompson's Settlement Agreement prohibits him from, as I recall, public comment about T2 and any of T2 products, or the way in which those products are marketed (e.g., "GTA is a school-shooter training device and pornographic mayhem simulator deliberately marketed by T2 to America's unsuspecting youth as part of an evil world domination scheme master-minded by Strauss Zelnik"). I'm not sure it prohibits Thompson from commenting on T2's attorneys.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Thompson's settlement with Take-Two:

-JT can't sue or threaten to sue to restrict the sale or distribution of any game from T2 or its subsidiaries.

-JT can't communicate to T2 or anyone doing business with T2 that the company has or will engage in any wrongdoing based on the sale or distribution of any game from T2 or its subsidiaries.  JT's still free to criticize the content or distribution of such games.  He could also act as counsel in lawsuits brought against T2 if he hadn't got himself disbarred.

-JT's communications with T2 are restricted to T2's attorneys.

Whole thing's right here if anyone's interested.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

And, regradless of whatever all that "blah, blah, blah," means, if as a practical matter he's being directed away from T2 and towards its attorneys, it's difficult to understand that he'd be also prohibited from public comment about those attorneys. It's T2 that's the party to the Settlement Agreement and enjoys whatever rights may exist under it. Not so T2's attorneys.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

He'll back out of it i'm sure of it,Seriously thought a 12 line intro or whatever it was.Yea right oh well its nice to see jack is still a moron

 

some things never change

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I'm probably gonna get flamed for this, but I think it's good that ScrewAttack apologized.  The video was meant for nothing other than inflamatory comments, and considering the connections they have to this debate, they should have anticipated this type of outcome.  We know how JT acts.  I think he shouldn't be such a baby, but ScrewAttack was partially responsible for this because they allowed the video on their site.  As for the debate itself, does anyone know if anyone will be posting a decent quality video of it?  Will it be broadcast on G4 or something?  I really want to see it.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Not to flame you at all but, rather, just to clarify what could be mistated facts, nothing in GP's article suggests that ScrewAttack apologized to Jack Thompson. The reportage only states that the person who posted the video has now apologized to Thompson. Which is not to say that it's impossible that ScrewAttack also offered its own apology to Thompson. Just that nothing in GP's reportage suggests that possibility. 

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Whoever apologized, I say it's the right thing, considering what we will finally get out of it.  I probably misread, or mistyped, or whatever.  I just think that getting JT to go to this debate is worth someone who said something funny to eat a little crow for a while, as it is cited as the only real reason that he threatened to back out.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I don't think anyone's sayng that it wasn't the right thing, just that it was wrong to make such threats over it.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Totally agree with you there.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

If you make inflamatory comments, expect inflamatory comments back. Simple as that.

If Jack couldn't control the fire he should never have started it.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Hey, I'm not on his side here, but since SA is sponsoring the event, IMO they should have been a little more mature about the goings on.

Don't get me wrong, I think the movie was fair game, and JT has no right to claim any moral high ground, but a debate is supposed to be sponsored by an impartial third party in the first place.  In the absence of such (as is this case) the third party should at least pretend to be impartial, and the video proves the partisanship of the host in this particular case.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Jack Thompson's Guaranteed Defeat at Debate Back On at SGC09

Thompson just continues to prove that he's a whiny little crybaby who will take his ball and go home at every opportunity if he doesn't get his way.

I don't see why Marzgurl(from ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com/Nostalgia Critic) had to apologize for posting a)a timeline of Thompson's antics and rampant stupidity and b)simply telling everyone that's going to be in attendance at the debate to be on their best behavior.

Why should Thompson get a 12-line intro(you're not Apollo Creed or Hulk Hogan, Thompson), when 1 or 2 lines would have actually sefficed(like mogbert posted, just say he's a former attorney who resides in Coral Gables, Florida and has been and continues to be on forefront of pushing anti-video game legislation for over a decade)? It's not like the convention's being televised and it's not like anybody that's going to be at the convention has never heard of that walking popcorn fart before.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Jack Thompson's Guaranteed Defeat at Debate Back On at ...

Becausre his ego won't allow for anything less than a short story of his accomplishments, backed by a power ballad.

Re: Jack Thompson's Guaranteed Defeat at Debate Back On at ...

You got the touch....

YOU GOT THE POWERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Jack Thompson's Guaranteed Defeat at Debate Back On at ...

To paraphrase another line of that song:

Its in the blood. It's in the will. It's in the mighty words of steel, Thats slapping you 'round. Your at your worst when the road gets rough. Your the ultimate fail but it's never enough!

Your Jack Thompson!

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Jack Thompson's Guaranteed Defeat at Debate Back On at ...

Haha is it too late for them to book Stan Bush?

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Look Jack, I know you're not an attorney any more, but here's how it works:

You're under contract.
You're being paid two grand.

That means you show up to the event or you get your backside sued off. Those are the sum total of your options. You are exchanging your appearence for a hefty fee. You don't get to make demands, you just show up, or you break your contract.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Just to clear it up, 2000 dollars for a debate appearance is not a 'hefty fee'.  That's like what you pay to get two hindi actors who are barely understandable to debate at your convention.  Honestly, I know he won't realize it, but that's an insulting sum to be paid for a debate.  Most experts won't go to a debate for less than 5000, MAYBE 4 with a good hotel room and some things comped (meals and drinks). 

Still, if he doesn't deliver, he can expect to lose more of the money he needs to 'take down' the florida bar.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

He's lucky to be getting anything other then an eviction notice, given that he has no employment and maybe a few hundread dollars a month in royalties from his book.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Well, in my opinion, this is not a real debate. It´s just a show. Jack Thompson just doesn´t know the meaning of debate. As I said before, he is used to go to shows and talk crap about games with people who just have a freaking idea about games are.

He can´t take on Adam Sessler. He won´t do a thing against Methenitis. Methenitis is a rational person. Jack can´t even pronounce a sentence without a lie or even calling names on others.

By the other hand, it´s gonna be on a videogames convention. The chances for a 15-years-old idiot starts to insulting Jack are pretty high; and then, he is gonna leave and claim "victory" (I CAN BET A KIDNEY THAT HE IS WAITING FOR THIS EXACT THING TO HAPPEN). I´d do it myself. I hate this guy. Many of us hate him for being a pathetic human being. We just want he to stop this.

The bootom line is this debate is just a show and the only result is that Jack is gonna use it to inflate his wide-ass ego even futher.

I´m totally agree with that Marz-Gurl: "keep your hot-air for yourselves" (the ones who will go to SGC)). If you start to act like a bunch of kids, Jack just is gonna walk away and claim it as a victory. Let him to get buried under the weight of his own trash when he is "debating" with Methenitis.

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

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

If it does happen odds are Thompson will have instigated it. He'll keep making snide comments and thinly veiled insults until someone does something.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

He might as well just but in his intoduction that he won the debate and is geting double the money for it. Maybe that is his plan?

Quite frankly, I would remove all matters of opinion from his introduction. There is no way in heck I would read outload that his disbarment was illegal. Next thing you know he will be trying to claim that his disbarment was recognized as illegal during an important legal debate.Quite frankly, unless it is in the contract, I would tell him he can either come up with his own two sentance introduction, or we could come up with one for him.

"Jack Thompson is a former lawyer who hails from Miami, Florida. He is currently at the forefront in attepts to legally regulate the sales of video games."

See, that wasn't hard, and I wasn't even insulting. Feel free to use that one if you want, no charge.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I actually like that intro, as it's factual and not inflamatory in any way, but it isn't totally bowing to JT, so it probably wouldn't be used.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

You do realise the video itself wasn't taken down right?

It's right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBR-KR7AHWg

Oh, and here too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

rickrolls are dead.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Now we just need to wait for him to sue whoever is hosting it on Youtube.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

It was removed from Screw Attack's site.  It used to be right here.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I'm surprised (and a bit disappointed) that Marz apologized.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I'm disappointed but not at all surprised. I'd be surprised if pressure wasn't exerted by the organizers of SGC on Marz to have Marz apologize. 

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Is it me or is it particularly arrogant to DEMAND that you be introduced in a certain fashion. I mean even if he felt it necessary to expand on his credentials, couldn't he have the balls to do it himself?  One wonders if anyone attending such a debate wouldn't know EXACTLY who he is.

(smiles) Only Jack Thompson would have a problem with arrogance after taking the kind of intellectual beatdowns he has over the years.

Wierdly, you have to give him credit. Somehow he's managed to convince people to give him 2000 dollars to hear what he has to say.  I wouldn't give him 20, much less 2000.  I might give him 2.  He is pretty funny.

"Even if it was online gaming that somehow inspired him to kill his parents, he must have realised at some point that they wouldn't drop any good loot." - GP member, Doomsong

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I wouldn't give him five cents for his opinion. We already know what it is, and that it's not worth even that much. :)

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Anyone want to take a bet that Jacko's intro also mentioned being on 60 Minutes and predicting Columbine?

 

I finally watched the video and it is incredibly lame.  They just call Thompson a "butt" a bunch of times.  They don't even call him an ass or any other stronger word.

 

http://www.popularculturegaming.com

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

as lame as the video was, nobody seemed to pick up on the hypocrisy Jack showed about it:

insult Jack, and he calls it childish
when Jack insults in the same manner, he says "Jesus insulted the Pharisees"

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

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」

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

THe initial two sentence intro was likely a novel too short for his ego to take.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

He'll find another way to puss out.


Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

They better be prepared to edit the hell out of the novel he'll submit, and prepared for more demands, as well as demands ot have peopel who dare disagree with him removed.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

Isn't this the same debate he said he had better things to do than participate in?

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

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 Debate Back On at SGC09

***

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

AE: I realize the comment was very tame but let's leave the family out of it, okay?

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

 

Wow my first blue out, I feel special now! But sure bro, no big.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

The 12-sentence intro mentioned his 2008 lifetime disbarment very briefly, referring to it as "illegal" and blaming the loss of his law license on "lawyers for Take-Two, the makers of the Grand Theft Auto games."

 

What does that have to do with his stance, and the point of the debate? i say  it should not be used as that's just him trying to get an off topic jab at uninvolved parties.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

SGC would kick ass either way. Besides, why should the guy who posted that video have to apologize? It's a free internet, and people can choose to do what they want.

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

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I wouldn't count on SGC beating him. As much as I dislike Jack Thompson's tactics, the man has proven time and time again that this kind of thing is HIS arena.  I fear a debate will do little besides make him get more notarity again. He will, of course, use blatant lies and come off as being egotistical and pompous, but he will also tear up the compeition because he is such a tenacious debator.

It would be best to just realize that he is no longer of any threat and is no more than an average joe complaining about 'evil video games' and let him drift off into the horizon to be forgotten like a bad dream or uncomfortable bowl movement.

"

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

I won't consider it back on until Jacko is in the seat and the debate has started. Too much weaseling has happened.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

"Jack and I will work together to find an intro that fits both his needs and the time format of the debate at SGC."

Hey, Craig, while you and Jack work out that introduction, how about you include "accuracy" as one of your objectives? Because for you to allow him to describe his disbarment as "illegal" would evidence a profound disregard for Truth. That Thompson has no regard for Truth has been a long-known and well-established fact. But there's no good reason for you to now acquire a similar reputation. No matter how much you think Thompson's appearance will drive your ticket sales.

Re: Jack Thompson Debate Back On at SGC09

"he objected to a one- or two-line introduction..."

"he objected to a user-created parody video..."

Jack seems to be raising more objections now than when he was an attorney.

 
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