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You Can't Bully a Bully

Posted on Friday, August 11 @ 18:15:18 PST by Ben_Silverman
Jack Thompson is a self-promoting lunatic. And, sadly, the most rational man in the room.

That room, by the way, is located somewhere in the studios of well-intentioned but totally misguided G4 TV, who yesterday hosted a live debate over Rockstar’s upcoming PS2 action romp Bully and video game violence in general. At least that’s how they billed it, though in reality the show was just three disembodied heads playing verbal badminton with unsupported claims, tangential promotions and schoolyard accusations. If you've yet to see it, behold the terror:

The three faces in play belonged to anti-game crusader and GR whipping boy Jack Thompson, Game Daily CEO Mark Friedler and G4’s own (and Berkeley born) kook, Adam Sessler. The result was a mess, as Adam frothed angrily about nothing, Mark unveiled he was out of touch with hip hop, and Jack, sad as it may sound, came off as the most educated guy there, even if he got said education at the School of Conservative Pricks Who Fail to Take the Time to Understand Art Before Condemning It.
Incidentally, that’s where he got his B.S. Ba-dum-pum!
The problem, though, isn’t that Adam and Mark were the wrong guys to represent the game industry in yet another shouting match with Jack. It’s that G4 failed to realize that journalists need time to prepare for this sort of thing, whereas Jack, a real, actual lawyer, spends most of his time thinking about ways to prove how violent video games are ruining kids, even if tons of research says otherwise.
See, G4 contacted a number of journalists to be Adam’s wingman and most of them politely declined. I know this to be true because I was one of them.
But before you label us all (or just me) pussies and start sending angry hate mails, realize I (we) turned them down for a very good reason: almost no time to prepare. They contacted would-be participants less than 24 hours in advance of the live broadcast, hardly enough time to gather together the kind of ammo one might want before diving headfirst into the stormy seas of Jack Thompson’s infuriating propaganda and misinformation. Much as I want to tell Crazy Jack that he has no evidence to support his theory, that underage violence has actually declined since the inception of GTA, and that his condemnation of Rockstar due to their recent past is ironic considering his own sordid past, I didn’t want to be the least educated guy there. In short, I didn’t want to be Adam or Mark.

And I certainly didn't want to be anywhere near host Kevin Diarrhea(sp?), who managed to agree with everyone, raise no good counterpoints and prove uncomfortable with any sort of heated discourse. He was a terrified soccer ref in the middle of a nice, healthy riot.

At the very least, I’m proud of G4 for stepping up to the plate and trying to actually cater to the hardcore gamers that theoretically watch their network. Next time, they should take a little more time before inviting such a loudmouth into their den, because clearly, they don’t know Jack.  

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