Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson Coverage

September 27, 2008 -

Hey, Doug Lowenstein. Don't shoot the messengers.

While I've got a lot of respect for Lowenstein, the former ESA president sent a letter to Kotaku yesterday that simply blew my mind.

Commenting on Thursday's Florida Supreme Court order disbarring Jack Thomspon for life, Lowenstein blamed the gaming press for "making Thompson what he became."

Bull.

On this issue Doug Lowenstein should look in the mirror. It was Lowenstein's own unwillingness to stand up to Thompson years ago which emboldened the game-hatin', soon to be ex-attorney. It is a remarkable piece of spin to blame Thompson on the gaming media, but that's exactly what Lowenstein has done:

Time and again, the game press... would ask ESA to engage with, or respond to Thompson's latest excess. The media knew well that he was a charlatan who wholly lacked credibility. But hey, they said, he was news and could not be ignored. That was a cop out. It gave Thompson a platform... 

 

Mainstream outlets... were worse but the game press knew better. But he was the game press' crack. And even as they said privately he was a kook, they treated him as if he was a credible, fair minded critic. That represented an abdication of the critical filtering role the media should play.

 

...for the game press it was all Jack all the time... You help set the tone for mainstream media coverage and if you validate extremists you give license to the less informed to follow your lead.

To be fair, Doug is no stranger to Thompson's tirades. During his days at the helm of the ESA he was a frequent target of the disgraced attorney's most outrageous vitriol.

But, by refusing to respond, Doug dropped the ball. Thompson, finding no resistance from the top of the video game industry, was empowered to push harder. In retrospect, it's important to understand that bullying is the essence of Thompson's strategy. In fact, one of the tips he offers in his forgettable 2005 book, Out of Harm's Way, is "be mean." And, since caveman days, bullies have pushed and pushed until someone got up the nerve to push back.

Doug never pushed back.

Instead, Lowenstein's ESA operated in a sort of la-la land in which Jack Thompson did not exist. As a journalist, I soon learned not to waste time asking the ESA to comment on anything Thompson said or did because, ostrich-like, they pretended that there was no Jack Thompson.

The gaming press, on the other hand, deserves kudos for helping reveal to the larger world the kind of vicious tactics Thompson employed in his culture crusade. And isn't that the function of a free press? You'd think that Doug Lowenstein, a former journalist, would understand that.

Given the nature of what we cover at GamePolitics, Jack Thompson was undoubtedly written about here more than anywhere else. Did the Thompson coverage draw traffic? Yes, as much from the Miami activist's eagerness to mix it up with GP readers in the comments section as from the actual stories. Through his publicity-seeking, over the top antics Thompson came to symbolize anti-game prejudice. Gamers - unlike Doug Lowenstein - invariably wanted a word with him and they often had that opportunity here at GamePolitics.

Was there a price to pay for GP's coverage? Yes. Without going into detail, Thompson threatened me with lawsuits on an almost continual basis. While some might write off such threats as bluster, that's easy to say when you're not the one being threatened. He actually did add my name to one of his million dollar lawsuits until a federal judge ruled that he couldn't. But he didn't stop there. He vilified me to the newspaper that I write for and to the company that formerly hosted GamePolitics. He reported me to the FBI at least a half-dozen times. For a guy with a mortgage and kids and (back then) a day job, this was more than a little stressful. Frankly, I'm incensed at Doug Lowenstein's implication that GP did it for the traffic. I can't speak for other sites, but GamePolitics covered Thompson because there was a story there, a story that needed to be told.

In the end, it was Thompson who carved out his own record. The things that he did and said eventually told the world all it needed to know about Jack Thompson and where he was coming from. It was Thompson, for example, who told a Louisiana newspaper that nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you're a hit man or a video gamer.

It was Thompson who appeared on Fox News while the bodies were still warm at Virginia Tech to claim that video games were responsible for the tragedy. And it was Thompson who carried out the vicious and unprofessional conduct outlined in his 2007 Florida Bar trial, behavior that one victim compared to the emotional equivalent of stalking.

In fact, if there is one thing in GamePolitics' four-year history of which I am most proud, it was our exclusive coverage of those transcripts containing witness testimony from Thompson's Florida Bar trial. If you think Thompson - who can turn on the charm when he wants to - is not such a bad sort, read the transcripts and then decide.

To be sure, GamePolitics wasn't the only game site in Thompson's crosshairs. He filed a lawsuit against Kotaku in 2007. He threatened My Extra Life over a Jack Thompson Photoshop contest. He tried to get the Seattle Police to bust Penny Arcade, and when he found out PA isn't actually in Seattle (doh!), he called the FBI, instead.

As for Doug Lowenstein, he's way out of line to suggest a "critical filtering role" for the gaming press. He is essentially saying that game sites should censor news that the video game industry doesn't like - in this case, news about Jack Thompson. Doug seems to be laboring under the impression that the gaming press works for the benefit of big money game publishers instead of readers.

Doug Lowenstein, of course, left the video game industry in 2007 for a new gig lobbying on behalf of the hedge fund crowd. Come to think of it, isn't there enough for Doug to worry about on Wall Street these days? Perhaps he should leave the gaming issues to the gaming press.

We can handle it. We always have.

 

UPDATE: Destructoid has weighed in on the issue:

Can the coverage of Thompson be defended from a journalistic standpoint? Perhaps. JT was a loudmouth with more words than common sense, but in a world where reality TV stars can become credible icons, ignoring Thompson could have been a bad idea. It was thanks to us that Thompson was exposed for the duplicitous, vulgar and disrespectful man that he is. His personal attacks on industry figures and his many documented online flame wars with youngsters helped to damage whatever credibility he may have been able to forge. 

UPDATE 2: Simon Carless of Gamasutra offers his thoughts:

Probably one of [Thompson's] closest reports, and therefore subjects of his harassment was GamePolitics' Dennis McCauley, and he has a passionate, angry editorial on the subject up on GamePolitics. His view? "By refusing to respond, Doug dropped the ball. Thompson, finding no resistance from the top of the video game industry, was empowered to push harder."

 

I'm not sure I completely agree. There's an argument that you empower trolls by acknowledging them, and then nobody comes out of the situation looking good. Lowenstein realized that preventing state-based legislation against violent games was more important in practical terms than debating Thompson regularly ad infinitum.

UPDATE 3: Aaron Ruby, editor of our sister-site GameCulture adds:

...what the discussion so far has lacked, including Lowenstein's inciting letter, is that it doesn't matter who "created" Jack Thompson. The real issue is that the entire gaming community — journalists, developers, lobbyists and gamers alike — let a hack lawyer with a stunningly unsuccessful track record as a videogame vigilante become its most prized bogeyman...

 

Jack Thompson was a perfect storm, a confluence of circumstance, political climate and the maturation of a medium that now dominates entertainment...  we were allowed to knock down straw man after straw man, irrational argument after unsubstantiated claim, and poorly written law after spurious legal theory. We went after him because he was an easy target. Someone who made us feel smug, superior and ritually oppressed. And in our self-righteousness, we all had a hand in keeping the bogey man alive.

 

In the end, Jack Thompson was the Wicked Witch of Gaming, that evil wretch who always seems ready to poison the world, until, finally, one day she's dowsed with water and melts. And after we're done singing "ding dong, ding dong" from every hill and rooftop, we stop and wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place. And as we catch our breath, we realize the power was ours all along.


Comments

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

All I have to say is that I completely agree with you Dennis. Seriously, you said everything that I've been thinking for some time now.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Dennis I 100% agree with you and I'd like to add to what you've already stated.

I've read many replies from people here thinking Lowenstein was right.  That just ignoring JT would make him irrelevant.  Ignoring JT would just make him go away.  Those with this opinion haven't been paying attention.

John Bruce Thompson has been using the SAME tactics for 30 years now.  He was empowered for 30 years because those who practiced law and dealt with him felt it was easier to just ignore him than get further involved with turning him in for his antics.  So, in essence, those who ran across his ire all those years ago and did nothing are truly the people who empowered him long before he took up a crusade against violent video games.

Here is but one example:

www.gamepolitics.com/2008/08/15/funniest-thing-you-will-read-today-classic-jack-thompson

The game press did something no one else ever had when it came to JT...  They encouraged those who were embattled with JT to come forward and bring complaints to the Florida Bar in mass.  They begged the question, "How long do you stay silent before doing something?".  They got that question answered.  For 30 years JT has harrased, bullied, and terrorized anyone who stood in his path.  The real truth here is Doug Lowenstein didn't have the courage to stand up to John Bruce Thompson and bring his unprofessional antics to light.  Doug Lowenstein is a coward who is now trying to blame others for his shortcomings.

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

+1 Rep, my good sir.

___________________

Jack Thompson: future Good Burger employee of the month

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I want to throw something out in response to the people claiming that people have already made up their minds about video games based on the media they watch.

That is to say, "People who read GP already support VGs and hate Thompson and know he's a liar, and people who watch Fox News already hate video games, don't read GP or other gaming media sites,  and believe Thompson regardless of what we say."

This is woefully short-sighted, because there is a very non-trivial third group.  There are many people out there who simply don't recognize the ridiculous bias of the various news channels, including Fox and NewsCorp.  They watch the news without applying the appropriate leftwing/rightwing filters.  They're not stupid, they just aren't exposed to the more insidious truths about these groups that some of us are.

And these people do vote.  They do get politically involved to some degree or another.  To say that the gaming media is only preaching to the choir is disingenuous.  Even word of mouth of the readers here can have an impact.

When in doubt, assume that the guy next to you doesn't know as much as you when it comes to things like this.  Better to spread the word and find out someone beat you to it than to assume everyone knows and then be shocked/disappointed/upset when it turns out not to be true.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

GP and other gaming sites were the only real media to speek out against Jack Thompson and his bashings to the Videogame Industry. Most would ignore it, but Jack had a way to persway people who did not know much about Videogames into believing in him. And it was only for a few Gaming sites and also Rockstar who had to put up allot of shit from Thompson's lawsuits who were the ones to spoke out and finally gave Thompson what he deserved, Perminent Disbarrment.
TBoneTony

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Doug Lowenstein is a pussy.  That kind of behavior and comments is comparable to the nerd at school who gets punked daily, gets tired of swirlies, and settles it with a mass shooting.  Doug you should be ashamed of yourself,  if you ever grew a pair and stood up for your constituents you wouldn't have been Jack Thompson's bitch. Instead you wait until he's been figuratively locked up, and strut around like you kicked his ass.  You are the Fred Durst of the Media, I can't stand posers like you.  This automatically nominates you for the douche of the year awards.  By the way how does Jack Thompson's ass taste, you're qualified to answer, because you've been kissing it long enough.

Daniel A. Morales

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Lowenstein is a straight up idiot

If he had done something back after Columbine happened to call out this douche bag, we would not have had to deal with him for almost a decade. Shame on you Doug for accusing the gaming press of building the monster you helped to create by doing nothing. People may have been able to see this guy for the crackpot that he was if Doug had taken action to call him out after Columbine happened.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

His personal attacks on industry figures and his many documented online flame wars with youngsters helped to damage whatever credibility he may have been able to forge.

The only credibility he has is on the weak, stupid and ignorant minds.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

And Lowenstoen was where during the Mass Effect scandal?

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

The poor handling of the Mass Effect smear was Gallagher's fault. That's not to say that Doug couldn't have spoken up on his own, but overall that was Gallagher's fault. He had the resources and everything and he didn't do shit.

 

-Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! Jack Thompson is gone, but we are not done... Not yet.

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

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

 

I object completely. Thompson is a nut case, we all know this. Problem is he should have been called out for his mess a long time ago but wasn’t. The gaming community single handedly helped Thompson dig his own grave.
 
Should we have ignored and let Thompson continue his antics. This is the man who pretty much attacked rap artists and almost had them put in jail violating their freedom of speech. This is the guy who pretty much had a huge stake on taking Stern off the air. Well, I don’t like Stern himself I Thompson unprofessionally held a crusade against various organizations. Not to mention when he handed the note to Janet Reno asking her to literally check if she is gay or straight.
 
He needed to be called back and so does the ECA

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I think you mean ESA.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I love that line "Nobody shoots anybody in the face unless they're a hitman or a gamer"

 

Or that Amy Fisher lady.

 

-Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! Jack Thompson is gone, but we are not done... Not yet.

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

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

The greatest comeback to that line was and still is:

"Nobody shoots anybody in the face unless they're a hitman or a gamer"

or vice president.

I don't remember who came up with that but they won the internet on that day.

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

God created alcohol so that the Scottish and the Irish could never take over the world. -Chris 'Jedi' Knight

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Doug Lowenstein and anyone who thinks like him are naive fools. Sure, maybe giving him the attention and coverage that he wanted gave him some power. But if he had gone on ignored by gaming media it would have given him far greater power than acknowledging him did.

Ignoring him would have made him look more credible to the outside world, without confronting him and constantly calling him on his bullshit we wouldn't have had the ammunition we needed to expose him for the slimy scum bag that he really is. With mainstream news he could say anything he wanted about the video game medium and gotten away with it because no one knew any better to call him out on it, but not with the gaming media. The gaming media knew that what he was spewing were nothing more than lies and misconceptions, and because of the more notable gaming media some of the mainstream media started to catch on to this guy's act.

Putting him in the spot light exposed him! Keeping him in the dark leaves his true nature concealed and would have left his "good guy, do it for the children" act the only thing we see.

Think about it. Say someone believes something is one way, when it's completely the opposite of what they think. If you don't give them the facts that they need to prove to them that they are incorrect, they will go on continuing to believe the false reality that they've been taught. For instance, the lies many anti-video game people speak about how youth violence is on the rise and is worse than ever, crap like that. If you actually took the time and showed them the FBI's studies that show youth crime and violence has been on the decline since like 1993, well, they don't really have much to argue about do they? Well, not without looking like a completely ignorant fool, but by then they've already lost any credibility that they might have had. Same can be applied to Jack Thompson. The people who believe in what he was saying can be shown the facts and set straight. But to do that you need to actually acknowledge Thompson to get the truth about him.

Ignoring Jack Thompson would have been the worst thing the gaming media could have done.

 

300 Gamers

Lowenstein: This was expected! This is normal!

Me: Normal? THIS... IS... BULLSHIT!!!

*I (Falcon) kick Lowenstein into a bottomless pit*

(Not actual conversation, but I think you get the idea.)

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

I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON'S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.



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

I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON'S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I can understand ignoring him at first since, like a kid doing something they shouldn't, he's just doing it for the attention.

As for who's fault it is, I think we all share some of the blame. The mass media for giving him air time, the ESA for not standing up to him, and just society in general for allowing JT (and people like him) to spout things that are ignorant, racist, and just plain crazy.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I tend to agree with Doug Lowestein on this one actually.

In terms of Thompson getting disbarred, I am not so sure that his repsonses on gaming websites and information made apparent by the gaming community had so much to do with establishing he was a nut.  From what I can tell, his disbarring was more from his actions within court cases, which were already documented by the courts.

In terms of Jack Thompson (and all people for that matter) there are three perspectives -those that think he is a nut, those that do not and those who are undecided because of lack of knowledge or evidence.  The gaming media is the ones saying he is a nut here and they are speaking to he gmaing community who also think he is a nut.  Those who do not think he is nut belive what they believe about gaming despite the eveidecne to the contrary, meaning they'll believe in him no matter what.  Those who are undecided will likely look not look at a gaming news site- so gaming news sites will have little effect.  Looked at this way, I think the gaming media had little to do with his disbarment or making him look crazy.

But,by spending so much time focused on Jack Thompson, the gaming media added credibility to Jack's crusade in his own eyes and those who would blindly follow him.  By estabishing him as "gaming enemy #1" and focusing much news on him, Jack Thompson can misuse evidence and gets ammunition (flimsy ammunition, but still ammunition) against gaming websites.  This allows Jack Thompson to continue spreading info and having things to respond to and continue on.

Also, by creating controversy around him, media notice and importance is created.  News stations love controversial figures to put on the air because they attract yelling and emotional responses on both sides, which will (sadly) get people to watch the news.  So, I think the gaming media indirectly helped boost Thompson's influence.

By not focusing on him, he'd become less controversial, losing mass media appeal, and have less ammunition to fire against the gaming media- both of which would have weakened him.

 

I don't think this wouldb true if Jack ever posed a legitimate legal threat to gaming, but he is a nut and his legal system knows that from his court history.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

While I agree that Jack Thompson often stirred up "newsworthy" events, much of the coverage of his lesser activities did serve to enable him to some degree.  I'm willing to suspend judgement on the merits of earlier coverage based on a future good faith effort to let sleeping dogs lie.  While Thompson did pose a threat to the video game community for a long time, his disbarment means that any future effort on his part will almost certainly be in vain.  

Now that he has been effectively rendered impotent the true test will be the willingness of this site and others to cease coverage of him.  I think we can all agree that a month from now when his disbarment becomes permanent, Thompson will no longer have a leg to stand on.  I think those in the video game media should respect his new status as completely irrelevant and leave it at that.  This will mean no more coverage of his (now absolutely) meaningless antics. 

There may be less entertaining stories for a while (I don't think in all of this anyone has argued, or would, that Thompson wasn't entertaining), but hopefully we'll find more thought-provoking and relevant issues to address in the interim.  Let's take this opportunity to quietly celebrate the end of a long reign of a self-indulgent and purile video game basher and move forward with a dignity that Thompson certainly will not.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

This depends entirely on how the mainstream media treats him post-disbarment.  Will he be able to play the "conspiracy victim martyr" card and continue villifying the industry?

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Point taken lumi.  You're right, there is the possibility - however small - that Fox, desperate for any story, would lend him a platform.  Until that happens I think it more likely that some minor contrivance of Thompson's will make headlines in the game media.  That's basically what I'm arguing against because I think this is the perfect opportunity to get Thompson out of our lives for good.  I hope that we as a community can rise to the occasion and move forward, leaving Thompson to petition himself into obscurity.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Personally, I'd like to know about the first time Thompson attempts to spin his "martyr" status into another chance for the spotlight, and fails MISERABLY, just for the confirmation that he's done and we can stick the fork in him.  Beyond that, I'd be happy never hearing from him again.

I want the assurance that he is as impotent to the rest of the world as we know he should be.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

 " It was thanks to us that Thompson was exposed for the duplicitous, vulgar and disrespectful man that he is. His personal attacks on industry figures and his many documented online flame wars with youngsters helped to damage whatever credibility he may have been able to forge. "

honestly, i got to disagree... i mean, did gamers or the industry actually do much of anything against Jack in the long run? From where i'm looking the only ones that did anything effective to destroy his credibility were those that actually stood up against him in his TV spots and Jack himself. Arguing with him on forums, blogs and what not, really had no effect since politicians, lawyers, judges, the news media (aside from the gaming ones ofcourse), and the general public payed no attention to that; only ones listening were gamers and they already made up their minds about him. None of us can really destroy his credibility if no one in the general public is listening to us. Some of us did send letters and e-mails to public officials and the media, but did any of them every really take the time to read those letters and gives us the time of day? I can only think of a few people that actually heeded what we had to say about the man. Really for the most part, we were nothing by just bystanders watching everything unfold. 

When it comes down to it, Jack's ultimate downfall came from his court cases where he made an idiot of himself and harassed people that the floridia bar actually cared about (lawyers, judges, and what-not). The trial against Jack made no mention of his online behavior or even dennis's complaint and the industry itself played no role (unless you count their lawyers showing up with personal complaints). I know i would have LOVED for his wiki-quotes to have appeared in trial to rip apart his character, but they never did. All in all, Jack's downfall is actually somewhat poetic... i mean, with all the opposition against him, all the people that would want to actually aim in getting him disbarred, in the end, Jack was actually brought down completely by himself. Jack's disbarment is an exercise in true self destruction of his own career. Had he just played the law game by the rules. played nice, and did things properly, he would still have his job and he might actually be dealing REAL damage to the industry.

In the end, gamers can't really take any credit for Jack's downfall... doing so would be just as bad as Jack claiming he was responsible for the better self enforcement as seen in the FTC studies or claiming he was a key figure in stopping the EA take Two merger. Overall, our exchanges with Jack have amount to pretty much nothing on both sides; we never did any real damage and Jack never gained any ground over us or the industry. 

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Wow.  I've seen men ride high horses, and I've seen them build ivory towers, but I've never seen a man ride the former in the latter.  Doug must have a hell of an observation deck.

---
The Mammon Industry

---
Fangamer

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

The video game industry, games or journalism, did nothing to JT. By the time he started attacking the medium, he was already a well documented psycho. From his gay bashing, to his crusade against shock radio, he was ALREADY being a huge dick to anyone that he felt like. We just happened to document it better, and expose his craziness in a much more mainstream way than anyone had before.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

"...and when he found out PA isn't actually in Seattle (doh!)..."

Oh? I thought they did! -Giggles.-

 

I half agree with Doug. Not paying attention to JT for all this time meant one thing ; he's not going anywhere. He hasn't yet, he has not currently, and in 30 days or less never will. JT might not be quieter, but he's effectively finished. No one will listen to a disbarred emotionnally-stalking-equivalent attorney.

The other half I don't agree... Game press should be nicer? Nuh uh. Press is meant to tell, not act sweet or bad-ass. Don't like what you read? Flip the page. Easy. Free. And nobody gets sued. But no, apparently, some people know it's better to let failing concepts, such as censorship, raise the future generations.

 

 

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I agree, what a load of rubbish. Doug Lowenstein is an idiot. Period.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I'm with Doug Lowenstein on this one....

I've followed GP for a long time, I was even one of the ones that was threatened to be sued by JT on that last incident that prompted GP to get out of LiveJournal.  I have an e-mail that JT sent me personally when he got to the habit of replying to people that posted here. 

There's really things that were worth covering (like the crap he pulled when the VT massacre happened),  But many of them were just like posting the pictures of a car crash...  Just so people can slow down and stare. 

Why so much coverage about what could arguable be the most unsuccessful lawyer in history???  So he got on Fox news a lot and he won a red-neck award...  Does someone care?  And banning him from posting here, then unbanning him, rinse and repeat?  Why?  Did you (Dennis) think that he was going to turn onto a new leaf and start contributing constructively to the site???  Please...  He should've been banned the first time and stayed like that forever.  That to me is enabling him. 

Basically, every clown needs a stage, or they just become a weirdo with a painted face and silly clothes.  Many gaming news sites, and a lot of times GP provided that stage.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

 So you don't believe there should have been any news sites which catalogued his various deeds? If CNN stops playing the tapes from Al Quida you think all the terrorists will just pack things up and go home? 

 

JT was JT long before he even realized video games existed, OBL loved to kill Americans long before he ever got on TV.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Your analogy doesn't follow.

Al Queda terrorists wanted to kill people and strike fear into America - a terrorist attack performs both of those actions, so if the press didn't say anything about it, it would still have helped their goals.

Jack Hompson is trying to win a cultural and legal war.  To win a cultural war, he has to spread his message to the culture.  By continuing to talk about him all the time, you are indirectly spreading his message, give him cultural influence.  He constantly lost in court, so he wasn't going anywhere with that.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

 So you'd rather that the mainstream media lauded him constantly for being a God amongst men and there be absolutely no opposing views.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson never got opposing views in Fox news or any other place he went... (Except for the time he was on G4 and some other times, and still the opposition was soft on him)  His arguments were so nimble that when there was opposition on the horizon, he crawled down under a rock.  But what Doug is talking about, and my point is, that many of this gaming sites, and sometimes GP too, gave "coverage" to Jack Thompson that he didn't deserve, just for the sake of generating traffic and thus providing the stage for him for his antics.  He was never a God amongst men!  And trust me, had he been ignored as the failure that he was...  He would've dissappeard a long time ago.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

When did the mainstream media ever laud him as a 'god amongst men'?  The only time I ever recall seeing him on the mainstream media and not being made a fool of was when he was on Fox news.  Given Fox News is notorious for its anti game sentiment, he wasn't even adding anything new to the table by going on to it.

Think about when he was on the news talking about the virginia tech shootings and completely got shot down when it was shown he had absolutely no evidence for his claim.  Gamers had nothing to do with that.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Write on Dennis. Write on.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Wow Dennis, I never seen you this angry.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Doug Lowenstein is to Russia

as

Jack Thompson is to Osama Bin Laden

by ignoring what was a minor pest, they allowed his rhetoric to grow and reach beyond what it should have been able to.  Lowenstein's ESA ignored every chance they had to shut him down before it got out of hand for everyone.  thus, all that is left is a zealot who thinks himself stronger than the world.

Fuck You, Doug Lowenstein.  just because you don't pour more gasoline on the fire doesn't mean you're to be credited for putting out the flames.

Here are we -- and yonder yawns the universe.

Here are we -- and yonder yawns the universe.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Doug Lowenstein is to Jack Thompson as Russia is to Osama Bin Laden.  (FIXD)

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Douggy and the ESA are like that kid who doesn't fight back against bullies and ignores them like ignorant parents and teachers tell you do. All they did was let him keep pushing and pushing until he dug his own hole. It would have happened a long time ago if Doug and the ESA didn't have their collective heads shoved up their rectal cavities and likely things today might have been better for it if they were proactive in protecting the companies they supposedly represent instead of being reactionary. But of course it's unless it's someone they know can't fightback and easy money, how long until more companies dump them?

 

. . = The Doug and the ESA's balls though that might be generous..

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Doug Lowenstein can go lobby himself. GP's coverage of Thompson (done at great risk of exposure to Thompson's terrorist tatics) did more than anything/anyone I know of to expose Thompson for the complete asshat that he is -- a fact that, absent the coverage, many would not have fully appreciated. Regardless of GP's motives for covering Thompson, the end result of that coverage was a clear public good. 

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Well said.

I would also like to add that Jack has been Jack for a long time before there was even a gaming press. Back in the late '80s and early '90s, it was Ice-T, NWA, 2 Live Crew and film makers who he blamed for everything. He didn't really go after Doom until, what, '95 or '96? And by '99, well before game journalists paid much attention to politics, he was a regular goto guy for the media when they covered youth violence.

Were it not for GP, Kotaku, and others, Jack's side of the story would have remained largely unchallened, and he'd likely still be a respected violence "expert." Likewise, without game journalists, bloggers, and individual gamers exciting him into a frenzy, he probably wouldn't have done or said half the outrageous things which got him disbarred and destroyed his credibility..

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I gotta ask...does anyone other than the gaming populace (who already knew JT was a twat) read the gaming sites? Or did this manage to get coverage on the major networks that the misled whiners watch?

Also, the final line of your post is sort of what Doug was saying. That gamers and game news sites drove him to do a lot of the shit he did (I of course don't believe that, but I thought I'd point it out).

 

-Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! Jack Thompson is gone, but we are not done... Not yet.

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

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

You're misinterpreting that last line.  We didn't cause JT to be what he was, but we did inspire him to make his idiocy and generally unhinged state of mind much more apparent.  When you want to explain to someone how deranged he is, it helps to have examples.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

actually a lot of law sites also covered jts disbarment (including the american bar association journal)

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

That still doesn't do much to expose his behavior to the general populace.

 

-Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! Jack Thompson is gone, but we are not done... Not yet.

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

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Here, bloody, here.  I can't say I agree with everything you say, Dennis, but on this one I think you are spot on.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I must admit that Jack's endless coverage has gotten tiring at times.  He really is laughable in his attempts to weild law against his enemies.

One of the things I've hated the most is how he derails topics with his vitriol.  Dennis, I'm sorry, but unbanning him previously just because he was a significant news contributor was one of the worst things you've ever done.  He has never deserved to be treated like a proper news contributor.  When you likewise dropped the ball there, he felt vindicated and got worse and worse, polluting many stories and topics.  If you're going to punish someone, stick with it until they improve.  Hopefully the requirement of registering to comment here will finally and permanently keep him out now.

But... as I said in a previous topic, Jack probably is gaming's number 1 enemy, just for all the wrong reasons.  He's like a used car salesman, seeking to take advantage of every sucker out there just to forward his own agenda.  He preys on the public's fear of what they don't understand.  The evidence of this is in his actions.  How could such a relentless nut be fighting for families and children?  Where's his love, his compassion, his patience, his goodness?

I'm hoping to see people push back at him soon with lawsuits of all kinds.  I don't think I'll like seeing the intensity of it, but just as Judge Tunis believed, he's so remorseless that he needs to be shut down for good.  If he wants mercy, he should show it first.

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

"They were retarded hairless pink bunnies, all of them. Except Shigeru Myamoto and... well, the good ones were just too /rare/ to be worth bothering about." - Mason Hornblower on the extinction of the human race

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

Treat me nice, or you may end up in my next novel.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I side with GP here.

Even though they have been perfect in the court system with all state legislation against "violent" video games ruled unconstitutional, The ESA did nothing under Lowenstein and is still doing nothing under Mike Gallagher to combat the various critics like Thompson, Leland Yee, the Parent Trash Cult, etc. That job has fallen to the ECA, GP, and us, the gamers.

Back in Black from a forced hiatus by Hurricane Gustav.

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: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

Funny logic you haz, its ok to treat consumers as thieves and making them into active crackers because of poorly done DRM and make legal items that fall under fair use illegal and yet you say by ignoring a anti game nut case you didn't empower him to keep on assaulting the industry and bringing bad PR.... what world do you live in?

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

I am with GP all the way one this one.


Gp and it's long time readers know that i've attacked thompson more then a few times, but I've also repeately bashed the ESA and it's fellow trade groups for acting like thompson and other game critics didn't exsist. While I was a heavy hard liner, demanding that thompson be sued and demonized and attacked by the industry, others thought a more respectful PR campaign against thompson would have been more appropriate. Either way, the point is, the ESA  did NOTHING! Now, with thompson out of action and the industry gaining momentum, Doug should shut his mouth and own up to being the spineless, ballless pansy he is. 

YOu created Jack thompson Doug, cause you lack the couarge to stand up to him.

 

 

"You want a story, here's a story for ya. Demons over there, Kill they ASS" Ben zahtzee croshaw, smartest man on the planet.

"You want a story, here's a story for ya. Demons over there, Kill they ASS" Ben zahtzee croshaw, smartest man on the planet.

Re: Former ESA Boss Couldn't Be More Wrong about Jack Thompson

A "more respectful PR campaign against thompson" would have been the worst response.  THAT is what would have legitimized him more than anything else.

Calling him, bluntly and immediately, on his bullshit, is what needed to be done, more than anything else.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician