March 12, 2006

[Politics] One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor...

I wonder...has anyone ever stopped to think that maybe Jack Thompson's inflammatory tactics are part of a deeper plan?

Jack Thompson had his Wikipedia article temporarily pulled and locked, and now is threatening GamePolitics editor Dennis McCauley. Given his seeming love for media attention, it seems odd that Jack would start threatening the press in such a way.

The way I see it, one of three things is going on.

First option: Jack has actually lost it. The pressure from having his every action analyzed and his works laid bare by a group of people (gamers) that he deems so beneath himself as to not even warrant contempt, in addition to the pressure on his work from investigations by the Florida Bar Association, his losing pro hoc vice standing in Alabama, and his increasingly less frequent appearances on television could potentially have led to a psychological fracture. However, I don't think so.

Second option: Jack doesn't know how to be any other type of lawyer except for a hardball lawyer. In our judicial system, it's an unfortunate reality that quite often, the most aggressive side wins in any civil lawsuit. The mere threat of legal action can send shivers down the spine of most Americans due to the enormous cost of defending one's self in court. I think this has a lot to do with it, but I think it's really in support of option three...

Third option: Jack believes that by doing this, he is going to lose the battles, but win the ultimate war. Every time one of these new anti-videogame laws comes out, Jack tries to be right there in the forefront. He's hardly an expert on videogames or their alleged side effects. The studies he quotes are discredited almost across the board. His "scorched earth" tactics and blatant disregard for his opposition only inflames the general gaming populance even more...and that could very well be the plan.

The more I read of GamePolitics and the news, the more of a disturbing trend that I see. Rather than work with their local legislatures to show that these laws are unnecessary, show how the work that the ESA and ESRB are doing provides sufficient information to parents who care to look for it on the package, or showcase games that shouldn't be banned but would be by any of the pending or contested legislation, the vast majority of gamers are content to just attack the person who has become a personification of the mentality behind these laws. In other words, rather than attack the laws, they attack Jack.

Jack Thompson, by becoming a lightning rod, may be hoping that by becoming a martyr to the cause, he can get one of these bills to pass and potentially pass constitutional muster. After all, it's difficult to win a war in Washington if all of our troops are focused on a small and unimportant skirmish in Florida. While I hate to use this example, he's creating diversions so that the "moral minority" hobbits can toss the One Bill into the fiery depths of U.S. law.

As gamers, we can't just forget Jack, but we have to put him in perspective. He's not the captain leading the battle charge, or the general planning the assault. He's a loony private that's acting as a decoy, leading us away from where we need to be.

The best way to fight Jack is to not fight him, but to incite discontent in their army. Do you have game developers in your town? Talk to your city representative, and show them how laws like this could lead to high tech jobs leaving your area for good. Is one of these laws being considered in your state? Organize a protest on the steps of the Capitol.

Hrm...I wonder what it would take to mobilize gamers to show that we have the numbers to back our position. It would be rather interesting to see if we could Zerg-rush Washington, D.C. and have a "Million Mario March."

Actually, that would be an interesting experiment. How many gamers do you think we could get in Washington, D.C. this September? Two months before the election, stand up in front of the Washington Monument and declare that as a voting bloc, we will target any elected representative who has supported anti-game legislation. After all, it doesn't take l33t skillz to vote for someone else. All it takes is for us to show up.


Anonymous said...

That would be a big ZERO. Gamers=slackers. I guarantee you no one will show up.
Now, if you held the event on XBoX live or somesuch then maybe you get some critical mass, but only if you promise people they can frag someone.

Morgan said...

Video Game Voters Network