Dr. David Walsh, president of the National Institute on Media and the Family, is the subject of an interview in the July issue of Game Informer.
The politically-connected Walsh, whose organization delivers its Annual Video Game Report Card each holiday season, is described by the magazine as "one of gaming's most thoughtful and reasoned critics." He dishes on a number of topics, including:
- ESRB ratings (watchdog-ish, cautiously supportive)
- his criticism of the Grand Theft Childhood book (disagrees with its premise)
- his thoughts on video game legislation (opposes censorship)
- Jack Thompson (publicly distanced himself from Thompson)
Regarding legislation, Walsh told GI:
I'm not in favor of censorship. Once we delegate to the government what we can and can't say and freedom of expression - and video games are a form of expression - that's a very slippery slope. I think government can have a role. I think the role they've been playing is the "bully pulpit" to raise awareness.
As to Thompson, Walsh said:
Extreme positions create a lot of heat but very little light. Television and talk radio love extreme positions. So there are folks out there who do not hesitate to take positions that they can't defend. You get the these food fights going on that talk radio loves, but don't really advance our knowledge and understanding whatsoever. It got to the point where I had to publlcily distance myself from Jack Thompson.
Distance himself, indeed.
The high-profile split with Thompson came in October, 2005. The story was broken by GamePolitics, and set Internet tongues wagging for days. Read Walsh's letter breaking ties with Thompson here.