So I did a little interview for Gamecloud.com and in the process was asked what I though about certain people bashing the game industry. Assuming that they were referring attorney Jack Thompson from Miami, I said the following:
I think that Jack Thompson is sort of like the Organ Grinder’s monkey without the Organ Grinder. He is just dancing around for attention and doesn’t seem to have much concern for whether what he is saying is true or not, he just wants people to listen to him. I think the really sad thing about him is that he has been pretty much a laughing stock in the Legal Community in South Florida for years since he was back attacking 2 Live Crew and anybody else that he doesn’t think meets his standards as far as Pop Culture. But frankly the main thing that does bother me about Jack Thompson is that anybody listens to him at all.
That is not to say that everything in games is good but certainly everything in games isn’t bad and there are no pedophile cookies in the Sims. I have had a couple of people ask me if I would debate him and I suppose I would, but I wouldn’t bother to call him and set it up.
Well the folks at Gamepolitics.com picked up on it and this morning I got an email from ole Jack himself saying he was willing to debate…all I had to do was name the day and time…his email suject line read as follows:
Subject: Just tell me where and when, Tom
So, I did. My responding email subject line read as follows:
Subject: Where and When, Jack
All set. I picked Full Sail, Orlando, January 17th or 18th. Well he played along the entire day acting like he was actually going do it…then, as I had expected all along, chickened out and sent me the following email…complete with biblical references!
Tom, if you actually said the below, then I’m not interested in a debate. As to being the “laughingstock of the South Florida legal community,” maybe in the circles in which you travel. Are you familiar with the Biblical principle that “a prophet is without honor in his own backyard?” I have to get out of this Hell-hole to get people to listen to me, and not gamers whose frontal lobes are fried. Please note, further below, what this organ grinder’s monkey has accomplished despite people like you, and please also note that a respected, prominent liberal and I have a speaker’s bureau which is putting real debates together for us on college campuses. Sorry to burst your self-satisfied bubble, Tom, but I don’t do debates with people who lie about what I do. You’re a liar. That’s why people in your industry eat up your drivel.
He then quoted my interview (it’s right up there if you want to read it again) followed by a long glowing description of him and his various exploits. Very impressive, though perhaps a little over stated. A little shameless self promotion is acceptable anyway. It also mentioned his book and I thought the description might be from the jacket notes, though he later denied it. I also suspect that the publisher may be a vanity book. For those who don’t know, a vanity book looks just like a regular book except instead of the publisher paying you to write it, you pay the publisher to print it!
Jack got back with me later, now trying to get me to debate him in his church in Coral Gables and continuing to call me a liar. For the life of me I can not see where I am a liar…unless he thought I claimed he actually was an Organ Grinder’s Monkey. I am a lot of things, but liar is not one of them.
For what it’s worth here’s the final response from JT concerning him calling me a liar:
You said, Tom, since you asked that I make this stuff up about the harmfulness of the games. You’re of course in the industry, so you’re biased. The heads of six major health care organizations have testified to Congress re the harm of the games, and the APA in August really ended the debate. You have no facts, no studies, just the bias induced by the revenues of the industry, yet you claim I spin all this and make it up. That’s a lie. Bug off, and grind your own monkey.
So, after saying, “Just tell me where and when, Tom.” I guess Mr. Thompson changed his mind about debating because I am “unworthy.” So, it now looks like Jack is backing out. Too bad though, I was looking forward to having some fun with him. I guess I’ll go back to thinking of him the way I have in the past…not at all.