Scoring the Thompson-Lanning Debate at VGXPO ...now with Audio Clips!

November 4, 2007 -
Controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson and game developer Lorne Lanning (Oddworld series) engaged in debate yesterday at the VXGPO in Philadelphia. 

The event followed the screening of Spencer Halpin's Moral Kombat, an as-yet unreleased documentary which chronicles the video game violence debate. Both Thompson and Lanning appear in the film. Newsweek's N'Gai Croal served as moderator.

Chris Grant has an excellent blow-by-blow at Joystiq. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the debate we were informed there would be no filming or photography permitted. Apparently the official video of debate is to appear on the DVD of Moral Kombat as an extra feature. However, prior to that announcement being made I managed to capture a little bit of the pre-debate: 



I'll defer to Joystiq's excellent reportage on the who-said-what and instead offer my overall impressions...

It's clear that Thompson can turn on the charm when he wants to. During the debate he was at times witty, self-deprecating, and not at all like the combative Thompson who frequents the GamePolitics comments area. In some ways he connected with the crowd better than did Lanning. (mp3: Thompson makes a funny)

In retrospect, the Oddworld developer could have done better. He missed some obvious openings left by Thompson and at several points in the debate drifted off into far-ranging tangents about things like global warming and nutrition.

Lanning did manage to score some broad points against Thompson, asserting that Jack is in it for the money vis-a-vis his involvement in a pair of wrongful death lawsuits against the deep-pocketed video game industry. Perhaps. It's hard to know what motivates Thompson. (mp3: Lanning's lawsuit rant)

All in all, however, I found myself wishing Lanning would call Thompson on the attorney's schtick, which wasn't much different from what we see on his frequent TV appearances. Thompson, for example, launched into his oft-repeated line about how violent video games could not be considered art because they don't fit the ancient Greek definition of art. Perhaps that sounds authoritative - oh, the ancient Greeks! - but how is it even relevant? Since when do the ancient Greeks get to define what today's art is?

Regarding school shootings, Thompson repeated his mantra about kids going to school with guns for 200 years in this country in order to shoot their dinner on the way home. This was by way of saying school shootings cannot be traced to easy gun availablity. Cite a reference, please, Jack. Which kids? Which 200 years? It sounds apocryphal from here.

Thompson trotted out the 1997 Paducah, Kentucky school shooting as evidence that violent games (Doom, in this case) cause school shootings. It would have been nice for Lanning to have pointed out that the Paducah lawsuit against video games utterly failed to convince the court.

N'Gai played the role of the neutral moderator well, although he actually put Thompson on the spot at one point. As he often does, Thompson was complaining that the video game industry had targeted him because of his Christian activism. As Chris Grant blogged about the exchange on Joystiq:
Jack mentions the Bar complaints raised against him by the video game industry. Says that speaking publicly about faith isn't tolerated. N'Gai points out that the major political candidates have all spoken publicly about their faith.

Thompson also got into a rant about an old nemesis, former ESA president Doug Lowenstein (mp3: Thompson and Lanning argue about Doug)

The audience was afforded some Q&A time as well, with the best question coming from a guy who designs simulation games. He wondered how Thompson could call various titles "murder simulators" and such, since they didn't fit the criteria for simulation modeling. No real answer...

And as to GP's interaction with Thompson?

There wasn't any. I didn't approach him and he didn't approach me.

UPDATE: Wired's Susan Arendt has more on the debate. Mashed Buttons has its own view. Over at Bits, Bytes, Pixels & Sprites Dan Zuccarelli offers his impressions...

Comments

@pen gun

That's the first rule of being a Snake. You have to put on a differnt face for the crowds.

You have to wonder if Thompson chooses the people he debates. Mabye that's why that whenever we have a videogame debate with Thompson we almost always get the guy who's poorly prepared.

Man that debate was good. Yes Jack acts totally different in person than he does here. The one thing I found funny is the number of times Jack zings himself in the debate. Make you wonder if this is part of some plan he has. Overall I thought Lanning won it but Dennis is right he did missed some points and went off track on some of the questions. I will be writing my review of the debate in the next few days after I get home and a chance to relax and review my notes.

Thanks to all who attended what was more discussion than debate. I can't tell who wrote the above piece, but whoever it was was surely welcome to come up and introduce himself. I was only able to speak briefly with folks after the long discussion, because I had to go do a Spike TV interview, which was prearranged.

I encourage people to see the movie. It's amazing.

As to Lorne's allegations that I'm in this fight for the money--that was one of the funniest lines of the afternoon. It didn't sit well with the audience.

Thank you for what is a fairly accurate reportage of what happened.

Jack Thompson

GP: Oh, I think you know who wrote the above piece.

@Father Time
I suppose you're right. I can see how personal conflicts would interfere with organized debate. Perhaps it'd be interesting to see Mr. Thompson debate someone like me. Someone without statistics etc. but instead someone with personal experience as well as being in an age bracket that has grown up under seventeen as game ratings moved up. I believe we could explore more issues about games in a case-by-case viewpoint rather than having each side blare out generalizations and statistics.


Hmm, the art discussion I'm not really into, but I do agree that art has evolved.
Jazz music was once thought satanic by some people. These things just take time, and some of us accept them earlier than others, however, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I personally don't care for rap music or manhunt, however I do admire the skills to took many people to make them.



I'd like to address Mr. Thompson, I really hope that you've noticed the large amount of actual positive responce your well done debate has created. Not that you need listen to me as an opponent of your stance, but I would encourage you to continue to speak to opponents (in person as well as online) in the same matter as you handled your debate. It makes your arguments much more convincing and worthwhile. So kudos for now.

And he accuses us of hiding behind the internet, he doesn't have the balls to talk smack to anyone in person it seems.

well at least he can be a gentelman. when he wants to be that is.

@pen gun

Yeah, he's actually a two faced bastard, not a one faced one. The odd thing is that you'd expect him to put on the face he shows in the debate on in court as well, but he apparently puts on the face he puts on here. Maybe his self restraint only kicks in when a crowd is watching?

of course he's a snake. anyone remember when Jack spoke at a college? he put the exact same show on. and I still don't buy it.

Regardless,Thompson pretty much got owned here, though he'll never admit it.

A little something I noticed here. As I remember it, Thompson also got an offer for PAX, and as we all know he wouldn't keep quiet and so it was canceled, this he was allowed to talk about all he wanted and managed to get to go.

I just looked at the Joystiq coverage, and found the paragraph that covers it best.


"N'Gai asks the audience to raise their hands if they've played a GTA game. The entire audience raises their hands. He says to keep your hand raised if you think the primary goal of a GTA game is to "kill as many cops as you can," which Jack had just claimed. No hands. Jack retorts, "What about prostitutes?" Again, no hands."

@DCOW

Beautiful! I'm pretty convinced that Jack Thompson is one of us. He's the most well known anti video game acitivist out there, and he seems to be TRYING to debunk any anti-game arguments, and make people hate his kind as well. He's got to be a double agent. Keep at it, Jack!

I'm frankly a little sick of these "debates," since neither party really knows what they're talking about at times.

Henry Jenkins and Leeland Yee, for example, would be worthy of consideration. Instead we have an attorney, close to being disbarred, who fabricates claims and distorts fact against a developer who doesn't know the history of case law to dispute it.

I admire Lorne Lanning for his art and creativity, but it was an inappropriate choice for such a debate, as was Thompson.

"Leland," rather.

Wow, i actually thought he was going to back out of this.

"And as to GP’s interaction with Thompson?

There wasn’t any. I didn’t approach him and he didn’t approach me.
"

All bark and no bite, just as we all suspected. Lanning did have a few good quotes though.

I know he is a snake. but the big qustion is what game do you think is his next target. I think assassis or kane and lynch out of the 2 kane and lynch. example http://www.gametrailers.com/player/27322.html

Good thing you didn't approach him He would have asked his "Sweetie" to accompany him to the men's room.

in b4 thompson accuses GP of "hiding information and not reporting the full truth".

Why is it that whenever jack debates the person he debates can't seem to be bothered to do any research as to Thompsons history or failure,lies, and BULLSHIT!

Lanning dropped out of the games development area recently. Apparently his fallout with microsoft over the xbox title he made caused him to pull out of the development area. I mean, lets face, what was the last game you heard of from Lanning? Anyway, that being said, lanning made so good points, but came of as being completely unprepared for the debate.

I would have rather had Dennis up there, or Jenkins personally. Also good would have been Dave jaffe or Cliffy b.

Heck, Gabe and tycho would have been good to, having been directly on the end of jacks wrath.

Lanning was a gifted developer in his day but he wasn't the best choice for this debate.

I have to agree with WFren, after reading the joystiq article, I would have been rather upset at sitting through a "debate" where it mostly appeared to be jibes being thrown back and forth and no questions were really answered.

What was the real point of the debate? One is a man (JT) who can hardly keep track of the lies he rants on. As we have all seen time and again, even in this debate, he clings only to the truths he invented and spreads.

Lanning on the other hand seemed bored at being there, from the way I read it.

If they are going to have a debate again, get some real experts on the subject matter. Not an massacre chaser and a developer who runs off on tangents.

If it was merely because both were in a movie, why not have just made it a Q&A session for the audience to discuss the film?

Overall, this brought nothing new to the table on gaming issues, it could have been a great opportunity.

A shame.

Just my two cents.

yuki

or hal halpin

@pen gun

I doubt hal would wanna be in the same room as that hateful man. After all the crap jack has said about him?

Okay so I um... only majored in Drama, Theater if you will, and I really jump for joy when I see Jack make the comment that video games isn't art because it isn't what the greeks stated as art.

Yes lets talk about the Greeks and their art for a second, The Greeks had this little play called Edipis (sp?) which the main character ends up killing his Father quite brutialy and ends up marrying his mom... yea really artistic...

Also another thing in Greek art was the whole Bakki festivle, which partisapated in big orgys and lets not forget the whole Dionysia festival where they sacraficed people put on a play then had an orgy afterwards... Man those were the good days.

Yea next time you say something Jack think about it, the whole art part of video games is the fact that its a form storytelling, and if I remember right oh yes that is what the greek concidered art! So pull you head out of your... no no, I won't go there Jack, I will say this though if your going to say something in public and present it as fact just stop and think if what your saying is actual fact and not your opinion!

From the sounds of it, neither appeared to be prepared.

I really hate that Thompson was even invited, the guy's an ignorant jack ass, who's out of touch with reality. His arguments are so ridiculous that anyone with any game knowledge can see right through his rhetoric. I can understand why he's invited on crap talk shows, and bullshit channels like Fox News, they and their viewers are just as ignorant as he is, and all they're really interested in is sensationalizing tragedy for ratings. But when the industry gives him a venue to spew his bullshit it just completely leaves me aghast. You'd think that the people behind VGXPO would be intelligent enough to find someone with real knowledge to take the con position in a debate about games. Personally, I'm sick of his quixotic activities, and really think it's time that the entire games industry just ignores him, full stop.

I have to agree on GP's comments on Lorne regarding being OT. Was he even informed on what the debate was about before he arrived? From his non-sequitirs, I really have my doubts.

As BaronJuJu said, this is potential gone to waste. There were plenty of other people from Moral Kombat they could have gotten. Why not Henry Jenkins and/or Dave Grossman? Why not Jason Della Rocca and/or David Walsh? I think we need to get to others in the debate other than JT. He's just sang the same tune we've heard before, and he doesn't get matched up by anyone prepared to rebuke it.

Sadly, debates like this are often doomed. Thompson's a fraud and a liar, but his *job* revolves around saying the right thing and winning over the crowd. He rolls for CHR. Lanning knows his onions but his job revolves around making onions. He rolls for INT. Put the two together in a public forum and, even though Lanning has the house advantage, Thompson is going to score some points.

Yeah Lorne didn't do too badly but as stated here by... well, pretty much everyone, but he had so many points he could have slammed Thompson on. I wish N'gai had asked a question about professional conduct and then Lanning formed rebuttal with one of the dozens of ad hominem insults and attacks he's posted on this site and in court.

Meh, whatever. I still believe that Lanning's points were much better made, plus he had statistics and proof behind him. The fact that Jack can turn on the charm when he has to makes me realise exactly how he has got to the level of infamy he has today. And that makes me despise what he does all the more.

I would love to debate Jack Thompson. A) I'm in the industry, my viewpoint is valid. B) I can counter every last one of JT's points, I've heard them all before... about a billion times. C) I have done a LOT of research on the subject, conversed with most of the critics that have headlined GP. D) My voice is way louder than Thompson's, he wouldn't be able to speak over me. :)

How bout it Thompson, after your career is demolished come to Australia and debate someone else? Maybe you can save face.

Or not.

wait... Ancient Greeks? Which Ancient Greeks? Like Aristotle? Games most certainly DO fit his definition of art, basically that which provides a Cathartic experience.

Maybe they don't fit Plato's, but Aristotle, not Plato, is the foundation of Western Philosophy.

I have to respectfully disagree with Dennis on this one. I was there at the debate, along with my girlfriend, sitting right behind Dennis (I was the bald, big, mean-looking guy in the black leather jacket). I think Lorne Lanning did an excellent job. He certainly did more to shoot Jack's arguments full of holes than, well, anyone else I've seen. Yes, he did go off on tangents when it came to the environment and such, but it wasn't often. He argued from a frame of reference he was familiar with. It may not have been 100% pertinent to what Jack does, but I could see the point he was trying to make.

I have to stress, this was a debate as I have known it to be in the traditional sense. It seems most of you here want less of a debate and more to have someone just verbally attack Jack. Well I'm sorry, you're going to have to wait and look elsewhere. N'Gai acquitted himself remarkably well as moderator, especially considering the titanic ego of Jack's that he had to deal with. Lorne made what I thought was an excellent case for Jack's being in it for the money despite his protestations otherwise. Jack doesn't go after the gun industry or the movie industry (despite his mentioning The Basketball Diaries) because as Lorne said, they're too powerful and too well-entrenched.

Do I wish there would have been more calls on Jack's bullshit? Of course I do. But there was enough to satisfy me at least. I rolled my eyes when I heard him trot out his agument of judging art by the Greek standard, and when he said he had no intention of telling people what art is, I softly coughed "bullshit!" But I thought as many points were addressed as time and the questions would allow. In the end, I have to say Lorne handily won that debate no matter how Jack will try to spin it.

And Jack, just in response to what you said - and this is something I also told to Dennis later - about your perception of being persecuted because of your faith. It's not your faith that you're being persecuted for. No one has a problem per se with your being a Christian. The problem comes in when you use your faith to shove it down other's throats, which is what in effect you are doing. This is the problem I have, and what many people have, with Christians of your stripe. And it's also why I abandoned the Christian religion as I found it to be too restrictive, too intolerant, and inconsistent with the world as I was experiencing it. Organizations like Young Life and Campus Crusade for Christ were saying things like love your neighbor while at the same time hate the gays. Also they said don't have sex before marriage, don't have an abortion if you get pregnant, don't celebrate Halloween because it's evil, don't listen to Heavy Metal music, play Dungeons & Dragons or watch Science Fiction or Horror films because they're Satanic. No one likes being told what to do, even if what they're doing is bad for them. If I want to have sex with someone I'm not married to or watch a violent movie, well that's my choice. I don't think I'm going to go to Hell for that. As it is, I've gone 180 degrees in the other direction and haven't looked back. My girlfriend and I go to strip clubs together and we have friends who are strippers and pornographers and a few who are Pagans. I'm a fornicator and a blasphemer according to you, but I'm unrepentant. I like how I am now. It's more honest with who I am and I don't feel like a hypocrite. Shocked? Sorry, I'm not changing my lifestyle for anyone. I am who I am. As you so have been known to say, "Deal with it."

What you fail to understand is that this country was founded on the principle of people to live their lives as they see fit so long as it doesn't harm others, and there's still no conclusive proof that violent video games are harmful regardless of what you say. I like my porn, I like my violent entertainment. If you think I'm going to Hell, well that's what you think. I no longer believe that. If being a Christian and your faith is what gets you through the day, then that's fine. Go you. Just don't go imposing your values on me, which is what you're doing. Be a true Christian and live and let live.

"He asks about Jack's comments in the film about the differences in violence in art or video games.
Jack says, 'I draw a distinction between Beowulf and Grand Theft Auto.'
Lorne says, 'Yeah, I think the distinction is six-hundred million dollars.'"

That was great, good to see that Lorne is at least quick with the little jabs.

I think it's hard to hate Jack when he acts maturely, even if I disagree with him.
If he really believes that he's right, and games make people killers, then at least he's trying to do something about it.
Good for him for having a sense of humour and acting civilly.

@BlackManta

I wasn't here, mainly because I couldn't (I live in Canada). I admit I would have loved to hear how Jack would answer to many of the counterpoints. From your description, he seemed to be quite evasive on the issue and tried constantly to drown the fish. Same ol' Jack. At least, he behaved himself.

Yes, I agree on your last. It's one of the darkest side of religion. But it's in the human nature that we want others to be like us to not feel alone. Some learned to accept that there are different peoples, some didn't. My family are huge Harry Potter fans (some christians called it satanic) and we are mostly christians in my family. We simply learned to be less rigid in our principles.

P.S. Sorry if some sentences looks awkward to read. I'm not english native.

@Pierre-Olivier

You did just fine with your english friend ^^

The fact that JT behaves like a complete tool when he's posting here is enough to prove the kind of person that he really is. Being able to restrain yourself when it actually matters is a skill, but watch the things he says through the comment line and it'd be easy to confuse him with a junior high counter-strike enthusiast convinced that he is in fact 'leet'.

He can blow as much smoke as he wants, but with the lack of good solid proof, after his disbarment he'll only be remembered as all moo and no stampede.

@Walker T

He's basically proof that you don't HAVE to be anonymous to be a total fuckwad on the net.

What I hate is that Thompson can go to these things and say he only wants to keep games out of the hands of children without anyone challenging this statement. Frankly his credibility needs to be challenged so that the people who attend these things can see for themselves what kind of source of information Thompson really is. I would like to see someone debate him who will point out that the studies Thompson cites only point out an increase in aggression for about fifteen minutes after playing the game, no different than what a person would experience attending a sporting event. Thompson puts on a good show for the crowd but it is all fake and no one ever points that out except on the internet at websites where the readers know it already.

On the other hand I am glad to see someone point out that Thompson stands to make a profit from his crusade should a miracle happen and it actually goes somewhere. Also Thompson claims he is being persecuted for his Christian faith and I am glad that someone tried to point out how absurd that is. While I am not a Christian myself I think Thompson does a real disservice to the people in this country who are Christian by making this claim.

Overall though I would never be wholly satisfied with any debate at a Video Game Expo or event because for the most part the people there already know that video games pose no real threat to anyone. Thompson and his ilk need to be debated on national television with a decent moderator who will make sure that everyone gets time to speak.

It may be hard to hate Thompson when he behaves well but I have to keep in mind that he only behaves well when it suits him. Otherwise he is flat out hateful and cruel to people he considers to be beneath him. (i.e. anyone involved in the game industry including consumers). I still haven't forgotten how nasty he really was to GamerDad when he had a heart attack and I will never forget reading the email he sent to my friend instructing him to "buy a suicide game and get real good at it". Thompson doesn't get to behave on way when no one is looking and another when they are and have those to cancel each other out. If anything the fact that can behave well at public events only goes to show that he knows the way he behaves here and in his emails is totally unacceptable and fairly reprehensible. Knowing that his behavior here is wrong and doing it anyway only makes that behavior worse.

Ok. End of rant. Sorry to bore everyone, but I just couldn't help it. :)

I could be opening myself up to getting flamed here, but I can't help but see a certain basic hypocrisy in what's been said. Maybe we ought to give a little credit where credit's due. We've been calling the guy every name in the book, and asserting that he's unwilling to open debate. In the defense of the devil, it seems like he just did open debate in a very public, extremely hostile forum.

And the first thing we do is criticize him for it?

Granted, I don't like the guy. I don't like him because he's a bully and he's trying to use the court system as his own personal weapon to legislate his own sense of morality; but cmon' guys, throw the guy a bone. It CANNOT be easy to stand up in front of 200 hostile people for what you believe. (No matter how misguided that may be.)

All I'm trying to say is it's only a matter of time before he shows up and gets belligerant and insulting again, so in the meantime, let's just sit back and enjoy the show.

what he did there does now does not change the past.

He got some guts, I give him that.

But it doesn't change that since the metalgearsolid.org and the GamerDad incident, I lost any respect (if I had any) for him.

@ Black Manta

Well spoken mate.

Heh, reminds me of a few 'internet rules'.

Rule 11: All your carefully picked arguements can be ignored.
Rule 12: Anything you say can and will be used against you.
Rule 13: Anything you say can be turned into something else - fixed.
Rule 14: Do not argue with trolls, it means they win.
Rule 15: The harder you try the harder you will fail.
Rule 16: If you fail in epic proportions, it may just become a winning failure.
Rule 19: The more you hate it, the stronger it gets.
Rule 20: Nothing is to be taken seriously.

@jadecritic

We're not critisising the fact that he debated, just the way he did. Ever since he pulled an 'I hate niggers' (Die Hard 3) he's never admitted fault. Before he gets over his self-image as a paragon I'll never give him credit because he showed up in a situation that acted in accordance with stroking his ego.

@Miang

No one wants to prove out the errors in his 'facts' because they'll end up getting sued for having brown hair.

@Pierre-Olivier

There's a difference between guts and an overconfident sense of 'I'm right and you're all wrong'.

Doesn't change the past, won't change the future. In that we're agreed. However, at a minimum - I think we need to be big enough to give him credit for doing something we said/told him repeatedly that he wouldn't or can't do, have a civil debate.

No doubt in my mind - lunatic jack will be back before you know it; for now, at least, let's be thankful that a civil discussion on the subject was had for once instead of 2 min network save-the-children soundbytes.

@ Pierre-Olivier

Thank you. :) I know there's other Chrisitians out there who are far more tolerant and open-minded and don't act the way Jack does (one of my best friends is one of them). I just wish the ones that are were more vocal in denouncing them than the ones that aren't. I and people like me are just tired of them saying that everything I like or do is wrong and trying to deprive me of what I enjoy when our lifestyles aren't hurting anyone or ourselves, really. All we want is to be left alone and be free to choose what we want to do or buy and not have that choice taken away from us, which is what Jack and others like him are trying to do.

And your english is just fine, so don't worry. :)

I nominate Andrew or Dennis at next years PAX :p. Study up boys!

@Black Manta

You may have a point. Unfortunatly, many of us have to just take what we can from coverage by GP and Joystiq. A transcript sure would be nice :(.

Regardless, I am well aware of the debate format. Thus, I noticed that the Joystiq coverage didn't really touch upon one of the most important parts of it: the rebuttal. Yes, some of Lourne's rhetorical arguments were solid, but others would have fallen apart like a house of cards if they were challenged. I mean, Jack mentions a study about T-rated games being as violent as M-rated ones, and Lourne makes a reference to the Iraq War. All I have to say to that is, WTF? Not only is that OT, it has no factual basis, only an emotional one.

Yes, I know emotional arguments can sometimes be valid ones, be you should at least try to rely on factual evidence. To me, positions with that kind of backing are the strongest, and I saw little indication of them here. For example, when N'Gai challenged Jack on the Paduch case, did he point out that a psychologist that interviewed Carneal confirmed that he had handled firearms before? That fact would have damaged his argument greatly and could have been discovered after a couple minutes' research. JT has brought up the case in almost every debate he has been in, so Lourne could at least have prepared for that.

Yes, Lourne may have beaten JT is rhetoric, but it was nearly the victory that could have been achieved over him. His arguments are so full of holes, so full of patently false claims, that anyone who was prepared could have torn them apart, without the ad-hominem attacks you imply we expected. This ties back into my orignial argument that neither of them meaningfully prepared for this debate, which is the OPPOSITE of what should be done in a traditional debate. That's why many of us feel disappointed.

All of this doesn't even account for the point made by several posters here that Lourne and JT weren't the best people to get together in a debate over violence in video games. Oh well.

GP: Regarding school shootings, Thompson repeated his mantra about kids going to school with guns for 200 years in this country in order to shoot their dinner on the way home. This was by way of saying school shootings cannot be traced to easy gun availablity. Cite a reference, please, Jack. Which kids? Which 200 years? It sounds apocryphal from here.


Jack is correct on the facts. His cause and effect theory is dodgy, but the timeline is about right.

Before the 1934 National Firearms Act, a kid (or anyone else) could buy a machine gun at a hardware store or through mail order, cash and carry, no questions asked. Until that point, the only known school massacre was the Bath School Disaster in 1927, in which an adult blew up a school with dynamite and killed 44 people and himself.

Before the 1968 Gun Control Act, one could still buy non-automatic rifles and handguns via mail order or from a store with no questions asked. Until this time, there were only a few school shootings, almost all of which involved adults at college. See also: Charles Whitman.

Before the The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 (which was ruled unconstitutional and replaced by a new version in 1995), kids could (and did) carry rifles to school. Be it for hunting after class, or for varsity shooting teams. Up through the late '70s/ early '80s, even New York City had shooting teams in public schools. In a number of States, faculty and adult students could also carry handguns to school before the Federal law passed. And until this law, school shootings were still quite rare. Most of which, again, involved adult shooters. In all but a couple of incidents, no more than two or three people (including the shooter) died.

Long story short, it wasn't until schools became "gun-free zones" that the shootings became a common occurrence. The timing just happens to coincide with the rise in violent games like Doom and Mortal Kombat. This is where I cease to agree with Jack though. :p

IMHO, the main reason for all the shootings is that schools are a soft target now, which is quite attractive to people who want to kill lots of people. To me, this is obvious. Banning guns in single buildings in the middle of a city/state/country filled with guns is like tossing a cotton ball into a bath tub and asking it to stay dry. Much like the air pockets in a cotton ball create a void which the laws of physics demand the water to fill, a "gun-free zone" creates a power vacuum which attracts sociopathic losers.

Israel experienced a similar phenomenon, only in reverse. They started with ban on guns at schools, and after a number of terrorist school shootings, they armed the teachers and parents in the mid '70s. And school shootings promptly ceased to exist; terrorist or otherwise.

@jadedcritic

It'll be even more amazing if he does it without monetary incentive.

Dennis, I think he-who-must-not-be-named must have taken his meds that day, it's the only explanation of his civil behavior... that or he cut back on cheap scotch or something... who knows really.

@ illspirit

You can basically say that a school shooting is a terrorist act.

Jesse Ventura had the right idea in his book "Do I Stand Alone?": have a well-trained person with an ankle holster pose as a janitor.
 
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MaskedPixelanteNah, I'm fine purple monkey dishwasher.07/28/2014 - 4:05pm
Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOK, so my brief research looking at GameFAQs forums (protip, don't do that if you wish to keep your sanity intact.), the 3DS doesn't have the power to run anything more powerful than the NES/GBC/GG AND run the 3DS system in the background.07/28/2014 - 11:01am
ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
 

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