Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hunting Jack Thompson

Be vewwwwy quiet. We're hunting nutcases.

Hunting, of course, in a figurative sense. It's definately time to alert media organizations that his appearance constitutes bad journalism and that gamers aren't afraid to voice that fact. So what is a JackHunter to do? Here is a couple thoughts.

#1 Don't Talk To Jack
Look, Jack's proven time and time again that polite conversations with gamers is merely a passing interest for him. Basically, the bigger the media outlet you are - the more polite he becomes. He is that kind of attention whore. So to email him directly is futile and only makes him feel special. It's pointless to discuss things with him.

Should he contact you, I'd just ignore him. If there's ever a cold day he emails this blog, I'll just send him an email explaining that I appreciate all comments but sadly my hobbies take too much time to respond to every comment. However, if he would like to meet up in Guild Wars sometime, that would be fine.

#2 Proof It
Media outlets have to read stuff all day long. So do them the courtesy of using good grammar, spelling, etc. This isn't some fansite message forum where emoticons outweigh punctuation.

#3 Keep It Calm
It's one thing to call a news organization on using bad judgement, it's another to call them names. Keep it civil, keep it mature. Long rants will likely not be taken seriously.

So then ... what should one tell a news outlet? Here's a few quick facts:

  • Jack makes several outrageous claims. This includes comparing people to Nazis, comparing Doug Lowenstein to Saddam Hussein and connecting Bill Gates to the Malvo killings. He has also shown a habit of paranoid behavior, stating that game consoles brain wash people and that Sony is training an army of child assassins. These statements have lead some to question his sanity.

  • Jack continues to make claims which have been proven false or at least disreputed. This includes connections between video games and the Columbine murders as well as between video games and the Devin Moore case ... both instances of theories thrown out of court. Jack's repeated public statements of this nature nearly earned him a gag order from the judge of the Devin Moore trial.

  • Jack often misquotes or makes misleading comments about actual facts and events. His abuse of scientific research has lead Dr. Walsh to request that Thompson stop referencing him publically, since his organization NIMF does not want to be connected with his claims. It also includes recent statements about Paramount's handling of the movie The Warriors. Anything statement Jack Thompson makes needs to be vetted thoroughly for voracity.

  • Jack recently offered $10,000 in charitable donations if someone made a game of his design. He later rescinded this offer. In his stead, the gamer comic Penny Arcade made the donation in his name. To thank them, Thompson called them "idiots" and threatened legal action. He even faked faxing a letter to the Seattle Police Department.

  • Thompson has had at least two complaints filed with the Florida Bar Association. His recent antics prompted an "emergency meeting" to determine whether there should be an investigation.

    Now ... where? That's the hunt. Obviously any show or web site that features or quotes Thompson should get a message. More pre-emptively, some have suggested emailing FactCheck.Org at Along that vein, one might try Media Matters at the contact page. Good ideas. However, both of these sites are fairly political in nature so they might not be interested in the video game slant. Does not hurt to try, though.

    Politicians love letters. Jack loves being seen with them. So I'd say they're in the same camp as news outlets since they're often the focus of news stories. So anyone seen with Jack should get a note. It would be best to focus on his insanity there. Remember, this isn't necessarily a pro/anti-gamer thing. This is about trying to get the debate back to honest levels.

    The worst thing about Jack is that his reputation doesn't proceed him. We should change that.

  • No comments: