I just noticed that Jack Thompson was on Eagle Forum Radio back on June 5th. Eagle Forum is a super right wing group created by Phyllis Schlafly who thinks that “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape.” The show is also apparently co-hosted by her son, Andy Schlafly, who is the creator of Conservapedia and the effort to write a conservative translation of the Bible. With this group you know it would be an interesting show…
I took a couple hours of my life and listed to Jacko lie, lie, and lie again and I thought I would list the lies and omissions that were made on the show:
- Right off the bat they introduce Jack Thompson as a lawyer and neglect to mention that he has been permanently disbarred.
- Jack starts off trotting out the same old lies about studies having proved that video games are bad for you. His favorite is to mention some elusive Harvard study that did MRI scans of people but no one has ever found the study he is talking about. The closest studies I’ve found are a 2003 study and a 2009 study that were both done at IU Medical and were both sponsored by The Center for Successful Parenting.
- Jack said that a Kaiser Family Foundation found that kids play videogames 8 hours a day when what they really found was “8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day” and that they only played videogames approximately 1hour and 13 minutes a day (but watch tv nearly 4 and a half hours a day)
- He then blames the Columbine shootings on videogames but that isn’t enough for him. He then goes on to say that the reason the news media doesn’t cover school violence more is because the media (even Fox news) is in the pocket of the videogame industry!
- Then Jack cites Dave Grossman and claims that the military uses videogames to desensitize soldiers. In reality the military uses videogames to teach teamwork and hand-eye coordination.
- In the midst of all this Phyllis Schlafly claims she has never heard any of this before. This is a funny claim since you would think she would learn something about someone before having them on her show, and since she mentions her son has been active in this area. Additionally, Jack has worked with various branches of the Eagle Forum for a while.
- Jack also claims that the videogame industry makes more money than the film industry. While it may be true that the gaming industry makes more money than Hollywood does at the box office, movies also make a lot of money internationally, dvd sales, pay-per-view, and other sources.
- Jack does admit that the majority of videogames made are not violent but then he says that non-violent games don’t sell. …If that is the case then why do they make them? Of course it is not true as a glance at this month’s sales chart will tell you.
- He also claims that Lee Malvo one of the Beltway Snipers trained by playing Halo. There’s no evidence of this ever happening.
- He talks about the FTC testing to see if children can buy M-rated games but neglected to mention that the video game industry did better than movies and music at shielding kids from violent content.
- Jack also claimed that the killer in the Virginia Tech killings was addicted to Counter-Strike. He claimed that the New York Times said this. This is wrong, too. The New York Times did a large article on the killer and the second page of the article does state that when he started college, “Perhaps he would no longer retreat to video games and playing basketball alone the way he did at home.” But the main source of Jacks claim here is a single post on the Washington Post’s website that claimed the killer played Counter-Strike but that post was quickly removed when the story’s writer was unable to verify that he ever played the game.
- The last statement from Jack that I’ll talk about is perhaps the weirdest: He claimed that the reason that more men than women are dropping out of college is that the men are playing too many videogames…
Of course I should be revising my dissertation and not fact checking Jack Thompson. I guess that I can always blame Jack if I drop out of college…