Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on October 22, 2005 - 22:53
Slashdot summarizes the latest developments in the Penny Arcade (Webcomicus Gamus) versus Jack Thompson (Zealotus Whateverus) saga.
by Anonymous - 11/30/2007 - 13:23
ok, so now for my tangent.
after jack thompson said he would donate to a charaty if the "'modest' video game proposal" would be taken seriously. i believe that jack thought the gamers were too self centered and nobody would take him seriously. but, to his dismay, they took him seriously. after the im o.k a murder simulator was released, jack backpeadled because of his arrogance of the gaming community's ability to insult themselves in ordder to get that 10,000 charaty donation. so he lied and sait it was satire. thats when PA steps in with the donation, realising that these modders had made a game, which had probably been heck to create, had lost the charaty goal they were aiming for. so the ever presistrant jack steps in, tries to sue penny arcade for harassment, and thats were we are here.
by William_G - 10/23/2005 - 01:01
You know, I want to see this taken into the legal realm, just to see what sort results there'd be.
I guess it would depend if it's in a red state or a blue state.
by John - 10/23/2005 - 07:20
You might just get your wish. Although I imagine that wasn't the sort of action you were thinking about.
by William_G - 10/23/2005 - 10:20
That's even more fightening, seeing that it amounts to cyber vigilantism.
by Brian - 10/23/2005 - 15:26
I think the underlying lesson here is "Don't fuck with lawyers."
Otherwise, I think this is yet another Penny-Arcade related hubbub that's getting them more press on the web than they deserve. Folks, Penny Arcade got themselves into this situation. Now, I'm not saying this guy's mental state isn't questionable, and what he's trying to do certainly isn't right, but ya know what? Penny Arcade poked the bear. They donated the money he promised and then he recanted, it was their choice to step into this situation and make the guy look like more of a shmuck than he already did. And in their news and comic strip itself, they continue to egg the man on. They very obviously WANTED this to be a war. So while I doubt the feds or the courts are going to really punish PA for their actions(It's more likely Jack Thompson is going to punished for frivolous litigation), if they do, they'll have brought it upon themselves. There's no victims in this situation, just a group of adults with nothing better to who need to grow the hell up and spend their energy on something more beneficial to the world at large than another pointless internet feud.
by Xaviar Xerexes - 10/23/2005 - 22:18
You know I totally disagree. People like Thompson have every right to speak out but he's (from what I've read of his comments) just wrong on every issue he talks about. You can respond to pompous folks like this by calming refuting them point by point. Or you can deflate them with a well-placed humorous jab.
The fact that he is escalating this is just proof of how pompous he must be.
Sure PA's getting a lot of attention for themselves out of it but they spoke up. And as far as I can tell, it was a good thing they spoke up against this guy and pushed back a little against the free ride the media has given him for awhile now.
I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.
by William_G - 10/24/2005 - 01:41
Now, I disagree with you.
Thompson, while shrill and somewhat annoying, has no influence over how videogames get made. None. And he likely never will. But it's simply not relevant.
This is pure publicity on the part of Peny Arcade Inc. they have been doing their part in polarizing the situation (As is their forte), and the cyber vigilantisim their readers are pulling isn't going to win over any fence-sitters... well it might, internet people just love the smell of freshly spilled blood.... If anything, their unholy army of damned souls succeeding getting the guy disbarred will succeeed in nothing but making a lot of real world enemies. As well as making a lot of people (if they have a single braincell in their heads) fearful of PA Inc.s newfound power to make you lose your job over a disagreement with them.
basically, it doesnt matter who's view on games you support, or which of the three pompous assholes you feel is right. Thompson was provoked by them, giving him ammo didn't have a whole lot of. And the escalation is being done by both sides of the argument, and no amount of charitable donations will erase that fact.
by Sam_Logan - 10/24/2005 - 02:13
If Thompson gets disbarred, it won't be because of "cyber-vigilantism"... It will be because he deserves it. PA does not have the power to get this man booted without cause. If the Flordia bar made their decisions based purely on the number of "damned souls" who dislike their lawyers, Thompson would have been sent packing ages ago.
I mean, come on man... we're talking about lawyers. They're not going to listen to anyone who can't prove that Thompson has actually misbehaved. And if they can prove that, Thompson deserves to go.
Tada! Not bad for a guy with one braincell, eh?
by William_G - 10/24/2005 - 05:59
We don't know that now, do we?
Getting back to the point, they've been playing a game of brinkmanship, and now things are at a point where they're trying to take each other's jobs away. Well, we can't really say PA Inc is trying to take away his job, but they've always had that audience of their's to do the dirty work for them. Too bad Thompson isn't so lucky, huh?
And that's where the situation is at for no other reason than cheap publicity. It's pretty easy to set yourself up as free-speech hero as it is to set yourself up as a moral crusader. All you have to do is provoke someone reactionary enough.
by Xaviar Xerexes - 10/24/2005 - 09:36
You completely underestimate the potential for grandstanding moral crusaders along with a few headline hungry politicians to decimate a medium.
If you need an example you don't even have to leave comics because that's exactly what happened to the comics industry in the 50s. Just replace Thompson's name with Dr. Frederic Wertham and Senator Clinton with some 50s politician's name.
As for your comment Will, I'm not sure what you're getting at. Does Thompson have a "right" to a job that consists of trying to legislate censorship of videogames? Does stating one's opposition to a public figure's (That's Thompson) harebrained schemes and calling him on his callous dangling of a donation to charity that he never intended to give, equal "giving him ammo". I don't think that's the case.
As far as issues of debarment go, Thompson's not going to lose his license unless he has really screwed up. Granted this crazy campaign of faxing law enforcement authorities is obnoxious but without more I doubt it's going to get him disbarred. And really the legal bar isn't going to care what a bunch of out-of-state emails say, they won't go after him unless he's in serious violation of ethical standards.
by kjc - 10/24/2005 - 09:38
What if they just got pissed off? It happens. People get irrritated and respond with how they feel.
I know, within my own industry, I get really tired of generalizations and trash talk and periodically I lash out at particularly stupid comments. I've even done it in a public forum.
It's never been to get publicity per se so much as to try & prevent the status quo from being dictated by idiots.
The PA guys didn't ask their audience to do anything. They know that their audience tends to go off on their own, but they haven't been fomenting the audience's normal attack tendencies beyond a sly wink. They could really stir things up if they asked.
I don't want to defend them, particularly, but it just doesn't feel like a publicity stunt so much as an honest irritation.
Kelly J. Cooper
by Brian - 10/24/2005 - 12:32
Oh yeah, the guy is pompous, no doubt. I wasn't defending him. I just don't think PA is an innocent party in this instance. I don't think there IS an innocent party in this situation, period.
by Xaviar Xerexes - 10/24/2005 - 17:03
I don't understand then what you think PA is guilty of...
by Brian - 10/24/2005 - 18:23
Never mind, then.
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