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I have a pretty upbeat view of people. I think that generally, everyone wants what’s best for as many possible individuals as they can make it, though they will prioritize people differently. For example, some people will put other people before themselves, and some will put their own goals and feelings above those not their own. That being said, some people believe, quite erroneously, that their views should not only be held in higher esteem than the views of other people, but that their views are so much more important that they are either the only views that exist, or other points of opinion can be trampled over without consideration. The road to hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions.

Which brings me to Jack Thompson. I believe at his core, Jack is not waging a crusade against video games for the wrong reasons. I think he genuinely feels that he has to protect his family, and other families, from what he perceives as a societal ill, and any person who wants to make their community better should be lauded for it. However, Jack isn’t actually doing that, and I’m not sure that he knows it.

We put a lot of time, effort, and money into our hobby, as I elaborated in my first post. Sometimes, that persistence is rewarded and sometimes it’s laughed at, but it is always noticed. Persistence often is. However, when people realize that an endeavor has failed, they generally either try something new or give up. Jack isn’t doing this either.

What Jack is doing can be summed up by the quote popularly attributed to Albert Einstein: “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” He has brought suit after suit, case after case, against the video game industry with no results for his clients. His efforts are well documented, and not only in the scope of gaming blogs and websites devoted to our culture, but in radio shows and newspapers across the country. Jack has not stopped his crusade, but merely changed the theatre of war. When he was permanently disbarred for inappropriate conduct, he did what most lawyers eventually do, and moved to politics.

He has attempted, first in Utah and now in Louisiana, to author legislation that would make the sale of games rated M or higher illegal to minors, and carry a fine. The problem with this particular approach is that many studies and legal briefs have considered such a fine illegal under the First Amendment, and they take the stance that games are protected by free speech much in the same way that movies and television shows are, a stance with Thompson ignores. He has continually and repeatedly suggested that video games serve but one purpose; not to entertain, not to delight, not to challenge, but to train us as killers and psychopaths, to make us into immoral monsters who think of nothing but rape and murder.

Forgive me Jack, but I’ve never beaten up a prostitute after I’ve had sex with her so I could get my money back. I’ve never dreamed of becoming a plumber, or going on a shooting rampage because I thought it would be fun. I’ve never stolen a car, nor a tank, nor have I ever systematically and methodically tried to wipe joy out people’s lives.

So I guess that’s one up you have on me. Good for you.

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  1. Elegbara
    May 8th, 2009 at 11:04 | #1

    I didn’t even realize Jack Thompson was still a going concern. I figured he’d drop off the radar after his disbarment.

  2. May 8th, 2009 at 12:55 | #2

    I’d love to believe that myself, but he won’t shut up. He never has, even when he was a lawyer. Still, GP has been watching him fairly closely. I don’t know exactly what’s going on in Louisiana, but I think the hearing about the bill is scheduled for today.

    EDIT: No, it’s due for next week. Still, a little unnerving.

  3. Elegbara
    May 8th, 2009 at 13:25 | #3

    Oh, i forgot to mention, i don’t whether others hit this problem, but your link on your LJ didn’t work for me.

  4. May 8th, 2009 at 13:35 | #4

    Fixed. Thanks.

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