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Eric: Did you hear he now claims Japan is trying to invade the U.S. through corruptive video games? No joke.

Chaobell, who once wrote and drew /usr/bin/w00t/, which is one of my favorite webcomics in the vast history of webcomicka, has suggested that whenever a person uses the phrase batshit insane they should link to Jack Thompson's entry in Wikipedia. Of course, this is to build the proper corrolation between Thompson and the phrase batshit insane in Google.

I can't speak for Weds, but I'm entirely behind this concept.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at November 2, 2005 5:40 PM

Comments

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 2, 2005 5:53 PM

wow. Evil, and yet, so good.

Comment from: miyaa posted at November 2, 2005 6:02 PM

First of all, are you sure Jack Thompson created that Wikipedia entry?

I suppose this brings up the question, which person is more disturbing: Jack Chick or Jack Thompson?

(Last I checked, the best selling games were the Sims, Guild Wars, and the EA Sports series which aren't as violent as say Blitz: the League.)

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 2, 2005 6:11 PM

Jack Chick's not that disturbing.

The new site design, though? Holy cow.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at November 2, 2005 6:36 PM

As a member of the video gaming press, I have to say that at this point, Jack Thompson is like herpes - annoying, dangerous if left unchecked, and has a habit of appearing in the most unlikely of places.

I dream of a world without Thompson or news about him at this point. In this world, the sun shines a little brighter, children laugh more easily, and kittens are softer and fuzzier.

Comment from: Merus posted at November 2, 2005 7:42 PM

I've got a beef that's tangentially related to Jack Thompson:

The only reason I can see that Jack Thompson gets any airplay is that he's the go-to guy for 'video games are bad for kids'. One can easily refute that, sure, but that's the wrong question to focus on. Are video games good for kids? Can they be an irrefutably positive influence?

More importantly, can we find someone for whom they've been an irrefutably positive influence?

Comment from: Merus posted at November 2, 2005 7:46 PM

Stupid no-edit-button, append this to the previous:

If we actually find someone who demonstrates that video games are good for kids, then the debate changes, and people like Jack Thompson will look vaguely ridiculous. Currently, his credibility is because he's asking the right questions. Those watching know that the question is irrelevant (violent video games are bad, but only as much as violent movies and television shows), but that's the only approach being looked at right now.

Comment from: Doc posted at November 2, 2005 7:56 PM

Actually Merus, Tim Buckley linked to a story about such a person just the other day over here.
Unfortunately I don't think that one good story can turn the tide, this argument has never really been about how things are, just how people wish to perceive them.

Comment from: The Matt Who Is posted at November 2, 2005 8:47 PM

A good point, Doc. Scapegoating has never really been a reality-based phenomenon. The good news is that Jack Thompson is generally better at making himself appear ridiculous than all of us could be if we joined together in the form of a giant robot (I'll be the head) and mocked him.

Which is, in a small way, not unlike what Chaobell has proposed. His idea is possible, though. I'm all for it.

I'd hate to see Thompson supplant "Annie"'s crown in the batshit insane arena. Not even "Gil Thorpe" can compete with that drek.

Matt
www.likelystories.com

Comment from: bartles69 posted at November 2, 2005 9:18 PM

...that's the wrong question to focus on. Are video games good for kids? Can they be an irrefutably positive influence?
Well, yes actually.
According to several sources, they improve visual acuity and hand-eye coordination.
www.waltonian.com
A recent study at the University of Rochester showed that gamers average a 30 percent higher visual response rate than non-gamers.

www.geek.com
According to the study, people who played such video games were able to able to better track objects appearing simultaneously, and processed fast-changing visual information more efficiently.
This would improve their reflexes in real-life situations such as driving and flying.
www.takingchildrenseriously.com
Dr Margaret Shotton, author of Computer Addiction?, is quoted as saying, ĎApart from increasing your manual dexterity and hand to eye coordination, video games speed up your neural pathways.Ó
And it might make them smarter, too.
Video Games... Your path to a faster tomorrow.

Comment from: Merus posted at November 2, 2005 9:35 PM

So, now that we've got the question of whether video games are good for kids or not, can we get a role model?

Comment from: The posted at November 2, 2005 10:25 PM

Doc: "Actually Merus, Tim Buckley linked to a story about such a person just the other day over here."
*sigh...* when will Brian Clevinger get his due? he linked it a little before. Anyway, that's tangential and the sprite comic question (are there any good ones at all?)--although one I'd really like to see discussed by Eric, if he'd ever be willing to do so--anyway. Why aren't these studies getting more press? Even when that guy came out with that book, "Everything That's Bad is Good for You" or whatever the exact title was, he was invited everywhere as a novelty and the media went back to, well, reportin violent media bashing. Do we need to found/fund/staff an organization devoted exclusively to promoting the idea of the benefits of video games to the general public? Do we have such organizations? If so, why aren't they doing such a good job?

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at November 2, 2005 10:40 PM

Okay, given that my NaNo entry is stalling like a Yugo in LA traffic, I might as well add my two cents here.

Here's the thing - the studies, for the most part, are in favor of video games being not bad. As for whether or not they're good - that's more of an individual thing mostly influenced by outside factors (I'd say they were great for me, but I suppose that's obvious). However, I'm not so much interested in proving whether or not games are good as a whole as proving they aren't bad as a whole. That way, I can be left to play video games in peace.

It's worth noting, however, that if you actually look up the studies and cases Jack Thompson cites, they often do not reach conclusions that video games have negative impacts. Trust me, I've sorted through Supreme Court cases cited by Thompson, Harvard case studies cited by the man, the whole nine yards. His "evidence" doesn't even exist in the sources he cites. He's quite good at self-promotion, however, which is why he has the reach he does.

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at November 2, 2005 10:51 PM

Just a random note about Jack Thompson: I heard he had a book out, so I went over to Amazon to check it out. I search for "jack thompson", and the first result is his book. The second result, however, is Advanced Sex : 101 Positions and Techniques, for the Sexually Adventurous by Randi Foxx. I kid you not.
Not that that makes any sense, but I thought you ought to know.

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at November 2, 2005 11:07 PM

I didn't think the "Jack Thompson" was even physically possible, Tice w/J.

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at November 2, 2005 11:30 PM

Hey! Here's another Googlebomb we can drop! Let's all link Jack Thompson to the Amazon entry for Randi Foxx's book. What do you say?

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 2, 2005 11:44 PM

Why associate sex with someone so unpleasant?

Comment from: EsotericWombat posted at November 3, 2005 12:50 AM

Echoed. Though it would make him blow his top.

Comment from: lucastds posted at November 3, 2005 1:06 AM

What I don't understand is why people let Jack Thompson bother them so much.

Comment from: Aerin posted at November 3, 2005 1:28 AM

I think we've got a lot of work to do on this one. Jack Thompson doesn't even make the front page of the "batshit insane" search.

Comment from: quiller posted at November 3, 2005 2:13 AM

I liked this in the Wikipedia entry/

In another instance, he claimed "Sims 2, the latest version of the Sims video game franchise...contains, according to video game news sites, full frontal nudity, including nipples, penises, labia, and pubic hair.

Mostly because nudity, nipples, penises, labia and pubic hair are all links to Wikipedia articles. It's like sex education in a sentence...

Comment from: chalcara posted at November 3, 2005 3:40 AM

"What I don't understand is why people let Jack Thompson bother them so much."


Because he tries to ruin our fun.
*grabs a copy of Resident Evil 4 and GROWLS protectivly* I want to be free to kill all those pixels I like!

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at November 3, 2005 7:44 AM

Basically, Thompson is out to ensure that games with violent or sexual content are never made again. Plenty of video gamers are upset by him because, despite the fact that he's ten tons of unbelievable bullshit in a five-pound bag, people outside of the video gaming community seem to believe him and respect him.

That's why I refuse to just ignore him, even though I really want to. It's easy enough to prove he's lying. I just have to make sure to do it as much as possible to reach out to non-gamers.

Comment from: Hal posted at November 3, 2005 9:31 AM

I was under the impression that the term "batshit insane" was inextricably linked with Dave Sim. I cannot recall any discussion about Sim's career without that term being tossed i.e. "The comics were (adjective), but then he went batshit insane. That's another story though."

Comment from: Allen Shull posted at November 3, 2005 1:25 PM

Is there any way we can get an accurate videogame of Malory's Morte Darthur, or Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantaguel, or Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale"? Classical western literature that has been for centuries considered art is full of raping/cannibalistic giants who are cut down in the "genitors", giants that are insanely violent and gross, and adultery and farting. Conker and GTA are merely the latest links in a millenia-old chain of--brace yourself--ART.

I'll even go so far as to say that farting is one of the most essential facets of humor, and art has never and will never forget it--there's a touching five minute conversation about farting in Good Will Hunting for crying out loud.

Comment from: Wandering Idiot posted at November 3, 2005 1:35 PM

What I don't understand is why people let Jack Thompson bother them so much.

Me, personally? Mostly because he's batshit insane (*looks innocent*), and he perpetuates the myth that video gamers are just waiting to snap and commit acts of real-life violence, or that violent games lead to murders (they don't- look at the sales figures for Doom 3, GTA, or Halo. The streets would be knee-deep in blood if things worked the way Thompson seems to think they do, instead of violent crime rates being at or near historical lows in many areas)

Then there's the little matter of seriously attempting to get Gabe and Tycho arrested and Penny Arcade shut down for making fun of him on the Internet. See? Batshit insane. (Mixing it up a little for PageRank)

Comment from: Wandering Idiot posted at November 3, 2005 1:37 PM

What I don't understand is why people let Jack Thompson bother them so much.

Me, personally? Mostly because he's batshit insane (*looks innocent*), and he perpetuates the myth that video gamers are just waiting to snap and commit acts of real-life violence, or that violent games lead to murders (they don't- look at the sales figures for Doom 3, GTA, or Halo. The streets would be knee-deep in blood if things worked the way Thompson seems to think they do, instead of violent crime rates being at or near historical lows in many areas)

Then there's the little matter of seriously attempting to get Gabe and Tycho arrested and Penny Arcade shut down for making fun of him on the Internet. See? Batshit insane. (Mixing it up a little for PageRank)

(reposted because I'm an idiot and forgot the closing quote)

Comment from: miyaa posted at November 3, 2005 3:14 PM

I was under the impression that something isn't art until the artist has been dead for a little over 50 years or the original 'artwork' turns fifty, which ever comes first.

I guess by that self-definition, the Sistine Chapel's artwork was originally wallpaper.

Comment from: Merus posted at November 3, 2005 5:25 PM

Now THERE's a good snark: tell us what happened with Dave Sim! It's comics, and it's writing, and it's NaNo so I don't mind if you figure you can't really do it justice.

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 3, 2005 5:43 PM

So, now that we've got the question of whether video games are good for kids or not, can we get a role model?

Well... my son says that paladins "Smite the wicked and protect the innocent," because Mom's a paladin in the game. He wanders around my house (he's 3) with a big rubber spatula stuck in his shirt in the back, periodically pulling it out and playing at smacking the big bad gnoll-monster. ("I'm Larksilver!" he says - obviously having no issues with being a "girl" at this point) Does that count? Or is that just ME being a role model...

Comment from: Steven E. Ehrbar posted at November 3, 2005 6:18 PM

the sun shines a little brighter

Eeek! The wrath of the Daystar, increasing its warming of the Earth and the emission of cancerous, cateract-causing rays, avenging the death of Jack Thompson!

Comment from: gwalla posted at November 3, 2005 8:06 PM

Arguments that video games are beneficial tend to focus on improving reflexes (sciencey and boring) or occasionally making people smarter (and intelligence is vaguely distrusted in American society). However, arguments that they are harmful tend to focus on moral harm, which is scary and difficult to disprove (difficult to prove, too, but easy to assert). The video-games-are-bad platform carries more emotional weight and therefore dominates the debate.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at November 3, 2005 10:25 PM

larksilver... that's... so... incredibly... cute...

ARRRGH! ::cuteness breakdown::

Thank you for sharing!

Comment from: miyaa posted at November 4, 2005 12:15 AM

Larksilver, the Mother Paladin. That would be a very cool webcomic.

(Smite evil diapers!)

Comment from: Godspiel posted at November 4, 2005 12:52 AM

"Did you hear he now claims Japan is trying to invade the U.S. through corruptive video games?"


Jack Thompson watches South Park? Who new?

Comment from: RoboYuji posted at November 4, 2005 1:15 AM

"Try to bomb the harbor!"

One of the best episodes ever!

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 4, 2005 1:22 AM

siwangmu: he's a brat, but he's an adorable one. He keeps me in stitches! The rubber spatula (his sword) will of course never go into the kitchen again - it is now an icon in our home. I'm glad you liked it.

miyaa: okay now I've got the giggles. Hrm.. maybe it would be like that Japanese thing with the samurai and the baby cart, only not all manly nor so...depressing... that might be fun!

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