I’ve tried to avoid discussing this subject, just as much as I’ve tried to not talk about the school shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech. It’s a helpless situation, and other than feeling sorry that such senselessness occurred, I don’t know how much else I could comment on the subject. But school shootings aren’t new. And neither are Jack Thompson’s crazy rants.

It makes you wonder why Jack Thompson hates the video game industry so. Every time something ugly in the world rears its head, Jack Thompson can be seen on FOX news squawking that this is yet again the fault of video games. Everything is to blame because of video gaming and electronic entertainment. It makes you wonder what kind of video games, Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Alexander the Great played? Because obviously, someone traveled back in time to let them play the latest Xbox games.

“Dr. Phil” is no better. He’s also on the forefront blaming video games for the shooting as well. It’s funny: I worked at Midway for about a third of my life. And I spent countless hours playing M-Rated games such as Mortal Kombat, Doom, Bio FREAKS, Mace: The Dark Age, War Gods, and even in my personal time, I’ve played Resident Evil, God of War, Grand Theft Auto, Splatterhouse, even Phantasmagoria for the PC, which for an early game was admittedly very screwed up. You would think that working in such a “den of evil” and then coming home to play similar games would make me the next Charles Manson.

I took it for what it was: Entertainment. Sure, I’ve “ewwed” at a few gross parts, and have made comment about the level of violence, but at the end of the game session, once the game was off, so were most of my thoughts on the subject. And no one suffered due to the digital actions I performed. I don’t even stomp on turtles due to Super Mario Bros., so the animal kingdom has also escaped my supposed unhinged wrath.

No one ever looks at what the real problem. Nobody. I doubt even the creators of violent games are unspeakable monsters. I’ve passed so many game designers in the hallways of my various gaming employments. Hung out, grabbed a drink, watched a movie. They’re normal people, and don’t even want to discuss work that often off the clock. They aren’t driving over people. They don’t have a basement filled with enough weaponry to make the NRA blush. A lot of people don’t even know what the life of a video game developer is life, but they can certainly imagine one for them. But I’m digressing.

No one ever really questions that maybe these kids didn’t have a parent step in and be a parent like they should have. Or maybe they did have good parenting, but were socially awkward, because kids can be rough with each other on teasing and bullying, and the teenage years are a very self-conscious time, no matter how well a kid tries to cover that up. And maybe, just maybe, people should take into consideration that some of these kids are just screwed up, and needed medication or a counselor even if things seem “fine” on the surface. I am very pro parents taking a role in their child’s lives. Watch what they do. Make sure they can separated fantasy from reality, right and wrong. My parent knew that at 19, my work was spending all day on Mortal Kombat 3, and while they thought the game was disgusting with all the blood, they never questioned me, because they knew while I may be ripping arms and heads of in a video game, I could never bring myself to end another person’s life. I was on the forefront with more exposure than most kids that age will ever get. But I still haven’t dropped blocks on people’s heads due to Tetris.

It’s a question of whether or not you can really trust your children’s judgment.

Jack Thompson is a loudmouth opportunist, and “news” stations such as FOX (I use that term lightly) will listen to them because he squawks the loudest. And the video game companies say nothing. Maybe they’re afraid to because in stepping up, someone like Jack Thompson could say that they are accepting responsibility for these real-world actions. He is today’s “Red Scare” tactician going after video games, and attacking with libel and slander and outright lies. It makes you wonder if he even researches these games at all past the written content.

And no one is stopping him.

No one is silencing him, or providing evidence to prove him wrong. And he goes out in the news constantly screaming about how video games are bringing about the end of the world. And no one stands up to him. If he keeps going unopposed, it’s only a matter of time that someone in power is going to let him get his way, all the self-regulating the video game industry does to prevent kooks like Thompson from running rampant is going to be for nothing. He is the “McCarthy” of the video game world, and it’s going to get worse if no one calls him out now.

For those wanting to help donate money to the Virginia Tech Memorial Fund, they can go here.

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