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Lowenstein: The press made Jack Thompson, covering him was a “cop out”

Saturday, 27 September 2008 20:26 GMT By Patrick Garratt

jackthompsona.jpg

Ex-ESA boss Doug Lowenstein’s written to Kotaku to claim that about-to-be-disbarred legal sensation Jack Thompson was partially a monster creation of the games media, accusing the specialist press of reporting on him despite the fact “he was a charlatan who wholly lacked credibility”.

“The game press had a schizoid relationship with Thompson,” said Lowenstein. “He was the person they loved to vilify and the person they could not get enough of. Time and again, the game press — and mainstream press — would ask ESA to engage with, or respond to Thompson’s latest excess. The media knew well that he was a charlatan who wholly lacked credibility.

“But hey, they said, he was news and could not be ignored. That was a cop out. It gave Thompson a platform he might not have had for as long as he did.”

Lowenstein went on to say Kotaku’s coverage of Thompson gave legs to mainstream stories, branding Thompson an “extremist.”

“As it takes delight in his apparent demise, it is a good time to contemplate whether the game media itself has matured,” he said.

“You help set the tone for mainstream media coverage and if you validate extremists you give license to the less informed to follow your lead.”

Read the full thing through the link.

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21 Comments

  1. Shatner

    Last three paragraphs are solid gold material.

    Many in the games culture/media are particularly unhappy with the way Jack Thompson consistently misappropriated some sort of misunderstanding about games as a victory for him or some leverage for him to preach his sermon on.

    It would be shameful irony, then, for the games culture/media to stoop to the same level by misappropriating Jack Thompson’s iminent disbarring as a reflection of the virtue of their own cause.

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Right?

    #1 6 years ago
  2. patlike

    Thompson was legitimate news. Lowenstein’s being a complete clown, frankly. It’s literally stupid to say, “He was an idiot so you shouldn’t write about him.” I do find it funny when non-journalists throw in their tuppences like this. Unfailing naive beyond belief.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. morriss

    Everyone’s a critic.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. wickedman

    fuck him!!!! what and idiot,a 100 % dumbass

    #4 6 years ago
  5. No_PUDding

    He’s pretty much correct.

    We’re an extremely defensive industry/community. The volatility of the community’s reactions are based purely on being acknowledged.

    And the part that makes him sound like a complete clown is comparing the gaming industry to a matured industry.

    Of course it’s not, it’s 20 years off the ground. And even pettier of him, to point to certain individuals when every industry has their weak members.

    But I do agree with him somewhat, perhaps only in retrospect because I really didn’t give Thompson very much attention. He was never actually going to have an impact.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. patlike

    It’s a circular argument, though. If you’re a Tory and you pick up a copy of the Guardian, you’re more than likely to sit there saying, “This isn’t news, this isn’t news,” story after story. Same if you’re a lefty and you go through the Telegraph. Each publication’s just catering for its audience.

    The games media is, pretty much by definition, pro-games. So if someone attacks the industry in the mainstream it’s going to get coverage. To be honest, at the end I think Jack was getting less column inches due to the “stuck record” nature of his appearances – I know I skipped over quite a few quotes in the few months before he went up against the judge – but Doug’s argument that people shouldn’t report on him just because he lacks credibility genuinely doesn’t make any sense. Sites like Kotaku cover everything: why would they not cover Jack Thompson?

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Harry

    We covered Jack less and less at Boomtown over the last year. Mainly because I was sick and tired of getting insulting emails from him.

    I did try to engage Jack in some sort of debate, but he just responded with more insults. And so in the end I blocked his email address and vowed not to cover any stories related to him.

    We have covered the disbarring, but I imagine that’ll be the last time we ever mention him.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. patlike

    I can’t really see what else is going to come out of it that’s actually newsworthy. It’s pretty much over. Depends what he does now though, obviously: if he continues a high profile campaign against games in the US, I’ll cover it.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. rainer

    Would Tompson have had a “high profile compaign” if the game press had not given him so much coverage though ?

    He is a classic troll and lots of high profile sites seemed to want to engage him (Ars-Techinca, Penny Arcade etc) multiple times only to find that he didn’t care or just wanted to push his anti-games message.

    I think there is truth to Lowensteins remarks, its like the Large Hydrogen Collier experiment a few prominent news sites began reporting about some crackpot who though black holes would form, before you know it this “theory” [because it made popular news] had spread through many news outlets and into mainstream despite the fact it was a load of horse manure. Other sites would continue to report on this while faux mocking it at the same time (Engadet) which all it did was pour fuel on the fire of the story.

    It seems to me the same thing Tompson was a crackpot as proven by his own disbarment and news sites fell over themselves to cover him because it was popular which only added to fuel to his fire.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. patlike

    You have a point, but I think it’s a wider argument about the role of the press in general, rather than whether or not Jack Thompson benefited from the press’s role in his story. It’s an age-old debate, innit: does the press create or report on the “news”?

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Shatner

    Good point Pat.

    The sad thing is, merely reporting the news as it is can be fairly mundane. It’s a mundane industry at a grass-roots level. But that’s not attractive copy and, as it is, it won’t get people interested enough to read articles.

    Personally, just like the we’re over the period where every game had to have a central character with attitude to compete with Sonic or Mario, I’m very much over the need for news to be delivered with attitude or pithy/smartass comments or rhetoric. Simple delivery of the facts and some considered reporting into their influence is the way to go. Many sites do exceptionally well from such an approach.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. patlike

    Shatner – You are, of course, right. The games industry is pretty boring and there does need to be a “hook” to make people read copy. They’re drowning in information and it’s a fight for sites to make their editorial stand out.

    I do agree that straight fact reporting is very important, but I also believe that “games” has a special attitude that does need to be represented. It’s an entertainment industry, and a unique one, and it’s flavour is something worth celebrating, in my opinion.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. patlike

    Chicken ;-)

    #13 6 years ago
  14. wickedman

    Patlike: 1 The Rest: 0

    #14 6 years ago
  15. No_PUDding

    I still agree with him. Had it been a more mature industry I doubt there would have been such a reaction. But I think it’s preposterous he could suggest this industry is even considered matured. It’s young.

    And when someone from outside the loop makes a big fuss about it, why should the industry not take notice? It’s actually a form of acknowledgement there.

    Don’t get me wrong Pat, EVERYONE posted the news, it just wouldn’t have been newsworthy had this been a more mainstream industry. And say what you want about the industry, it’s audience is still not as wide as that of movies.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. pjmaybe

    If only that logic applied to the current “controversy” surrounding that weirdo Advanced Wars DS case. The media still has such a fucking huge boner for citing gaming as the root of all evil in today’s society that it keeps missing the bigger picture. Games aren’t evil, people are.

    (as it turns out, the oldest psychological reason in the world was responsible in the Advance Wars case – one bloke having a boner for another bloke’s missus and offing ‘im to get a sniff at the action was actually the root cause rather than gaming per se. All parties had facebook accounts and regularly kept in touch using that, but not one word was mentioned on BBC newscasts of this fact. Nope, it was gaming wot dun it guv…)

    #16 6 years ago
  17. disusedgenius

    Eh? I haven’t read a single mainstream article which blames computer games in that case, and that includes The Sun!

    #17 6 years ago
  18. pjmaybe

    Insinuated blame. As in there being absolutely no fucking reason whatsoever to mention Advance Wars DS in the various press coverings as it’s pretty clear that they didn’t communicate via the AW forum exclusively, but hey if they can make enough paranoid mums think that little timmy is plotting his next murder while innocently tinkering with his DS, then all the better.

    Just like the various reports of people being murdered in gamestore queues for GTA IV.

    #18 6 years ago
  19. disusedgenius

    Of course there’s a reason: because it’s a geeky-internet ‘hook’ to a story. You’ve got to have a special kind of paranoia to see anything malicious to it really.

    It’s very tabloid for sure, but not an attack on gaming whatsoever.

    #19 6 years ago
  20. pjmaybe

    Hmmm I reckon it works both ways. You’d have to have a special kind of thick skin not to see it as being newsworthy because of an extremely tenuous link to games.

    Man I can’t WAIT to see the tabloid shitstorm when GTA CW hits.

    #20 6 years ago
  21. disusedgenius

    To be honest, if it was insinuating anything about nerd culture, it was internet forums, not gaming.

    /googles for train tickets to Oxford

    #21 6 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Here’s another user created video featuring footage from GTA 5, but this one is a documentary instead of crazy stunts, mayhem and face-plants. Created by Bombastic Gamer Films, the documentary delves into the life of Tennis Pro Andreas Schmovakovic, who is both the “greatest player in the world, and the worst.” It’s rather good honestly. […]

  • World of Tanks Xbox 360 updated with console exclusive Pacific Island map, JapaneseChi-Nu Kai tank

    World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition has been updated with a new and exclusive console-only map called “Pacific Island”, which also comes with a Japanese tank. Players will be able to wreck havoc in their very own Japanese Chi-Nu Kai tank, which ca be picked up through the in-game store for Tier 5. It tank […]

  • Here’s the first trailer for OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

    Roll 7 has released the first trailer for OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood. Gameplay in the second outing will include ramps, jumps and hills, allowing for plenty of air and split level routes. It comes with a deeper combo system with Manuals, Reverts, Revert Manuals and Grind Switching. The ‘Tricktionary’ has also been updated with new […]

  • Learn all about the single-player mode in this Evolve video

    A video showing off the single-player portion of Evolve has been released by 2K and Turtle Rock. All content in the game can be played in either online multiplayer or offline in single-player. The video below contains two matches of Defend mode played from both the Monster and Hunter perspective. AI obviously takes on the […]

  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U update comes with 15 extra stages

    An update for Super Smash Bros. Wii U has been released, and it comes with 15 new stages for the 8-player mode. The update, version 1.0.2., is 316MB in size and the stages are split with nine normal stages and six Omega stages. Here’s the list: Regular stages Animal Crossing – Smashville Animal Crossing – […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update includes Metroid Prime Trilogy, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. demo

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Shadow of the Ninja on Virtual Console and a demo for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Here’s your update: Metroid Prime: Trilogy – Wii U Rock ’N Racing Off Road – Wii U Frenchy Bird – Wii U Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. – […]

  • Battlefield Hardline open beta takes place next week on all systems

    Details and dates for the Battlefield Hardline open multiplayer beta were announced by EA and Visceral Games today. From February 3-8, the beta will be available to all players worldwide on Origin for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You’ll notice that the dates coincide with the Microsoft slip up earlier in […]

  • Transistor, Yakuza 4, Thief headline February PS Plus offerings

    Sony has announced your free PlayStation Plus games for the month of February. Come February 3 in North America and February 4 in Europe, Plus members on both side of the pond will be gifted with the following: Transistor (PS4) Apotheon (PS4) Yakuza 4 (PS3) Thief (PS3) Rogue Legacy (PS Vita|PS4|PS3) Kick & Fennick (PS […]

  • Life is Strange launch trailer and final dev diary released

    With the first episode of Life is Strange releasing tomorrow, Dontnod Entertainment has released the last developer diary for the title as well as the launch trailer. Titled Creating Arcadia Bay, the video provides more information on the licensed soundtrack as well as the voice actors behind Max and Chloe. It also touches upon how […]

  • LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers out this year

    LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers have been announced by Warner Bros., the former was outed by Toys R Us and then teased at the end of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, if you recall. LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all four Jurassic Park films and will be made available in June for 3DS, PC, […]

  • Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. top Nintendo’s million units sales list for Q3

    Nintendo has posted a list of titles which have sold millions of units as part of its quarter three earnings release. Global unit sales of 3DS titles for the nine months ending December 31, 2014: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million (life-to-date, same) Super Smash Bros.: 6.19 million (life-to-date, same) Tomodachi Life: 2.11 […]

  • How to take a screenshot on Xbox One: a lesson in frustration

    Trying to do just one simple thing seems to have 360 steps with Microsoft – why is the Xbox One’s functionality such a car crash? “The Xbox One’s definition of usability is in fact the exact opposite – this is a console designed to make life inconvenient for its players unless they sign up for […]

  • Game of Thrones’ Westeros is being made in Minecraft by 125 people

    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers – PewDiePie, others weigh-in

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets, and some prominent YouTubers aren’t pleased with the company. Update “What Nintendo are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTube,” wrote Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) on his […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]