Jack Thompson’s Views On Video Games

Posted Jul 19, 2005, 10:35 AM ET by Conrad Quilty-HarperRelated entries: Culture, Online

If you’ve ever wondered what motivates Jack Thompson, the self proclaimed anti-violent games attorney, you should have a look at his website stopkill.com. By having such an emotive domain name Jack forces you to stop and think about what you are doing to stop kill[ing]. Then Jack generously offers his services as a TV personality slash attorney to anyone with a story of video games causing violence in the real world.
Naturally Jack understands that anyone who has personally experienced video games manifest themselves in real life will want something to blame. So he has some dodgy rundowns of the features of Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto, Doom and “Sniper and God-Modes” to this effect. How do these games link in to violence in teenagers? Thankfully Jack tells us about some “brain scan studies” that proves that brain functions are damaged by a steady diet of violent games. Then he goes on to conclude that video games are “murder simulations”. Oh and thanks for the link to the study Jack!Towards the end of his website Jack gets a little too philosophical for his own good. Apparently he’s trying to “protect our freedoms”, obviously through appearing on TV hundreds of times. I’d love to see evidence that Jack is trying to push the video games industry towards a less sensational focus on violence, but quite frankly I see no evidence that Jack has done anything to help other than “predict” that some teenage killers played video games. Neither is there any advice on ratings systems for games, links to violent gaming studies, comparisons to other forms of violent media or any previous experience with violent gaming court cases. At least he gives some very valuable advice for gun owning families; “If you have kids, have them start shooting hoops instead of humans.” I’m assuming this means shooting humans in games, but I guess it’s helpful if your kid ever picks up a gun. Just make sure to remind little johnny not to shoot humans before you give him a gun.

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