You don’t know Jack.

Why should you be mildly disturbed by the fracas surrounding one Jack Thompson, Esq.? Let\’e2\’80\’99s break down some of the more commonly held reasons.

\’e2\’80\’9cBecause if he has his way I won\’e2\’80\’99t be able to play cool games\’e2\’80\’9d This is, to put not too fine a point on it, wrong. Most of the readers of this blog, I suspect, are over 18. This means that even if the Federales stepped in and made \’e2\’80\’9cadult\’e2\’80\’9d video games as hard to buy as porn\’e2\’80\’a6 well\’e2\’80\’a6 how much porn DO you own, anyway? I would also venture a guess that if for some reason F.E.A.R. was redone without the word \’e2\’80\’9cf***\’e2\’80\’9d coming from your enemies and your allies every 25 seconds, it would still be a pretty good game. Despite what you may want to believe, video games do not exist in a vacuum. And even if Thompson gets his fondly held wish and armed commandos stop little Jimmy from buying Bully, you still can.

\’e2\’80\’9cBecause he makes gamers look bad by insinuating that we\’e2\’80\’99re all a bunch of kill-crazed murder junkies.\’e2\’80\’9d I\’e2\’80\’99ll be more amneable to this line of reasoning when I pop open a computer games magazine and am not confronted with appeals pointed at my crotch instead of my brain. The crap thown out the door by most video game marketing departments does far more damage to our \’e2\’80\’9creputation\’e2\’80\’9d than anything a barmy lawyer can even dream of.

\’e2\’80\’9cBecause the media takes him seriously.\’e2\’80\’9d


Now\’e2\’80\’a6 why is that? It isn\’e2\’80\’99t because Thompson is somehow one of the great legal minds of our time. It isn\’e2\’80\’99t because he cogently puts forward the case for the corrosive atmosphere of popular entertainment. It\’e2\’80\’99s because he\’e2\’80\’99s a ranty buffoon, and because the \’e2\’80\’9cmedia\’e2\’80\’9d is just as candy-coated cancerous for our mental teeth as any of the video games he\’e2\’80\’99s on ranting about, and ten minutes later when they\’e2\’80\’99ve moved on to the latest California girl on trial or missing in Caracas or whatever else that our tabloid ur-brains devour in the place of real actual facts, it still will be meaningless drabs of sound bites and fury, signifying nothing. Our mass media has completely abdicated trying to speak to us in anything that doesn\’e2\’80\’99t fit the world view of a spoiled seven year old child. It\’e2\’80\’99s making us culturally retarded. It\’e2\’80\’99s killing us.

The problem isn\’e2\’80\’99t Thompson – the problem is that he fits in.