GR: As one of the few game developers who isn't afraid to mix politics with gameplay, can you give us your take on the current state of videogaming politics? Jack Thompon has certainly been vocal lately, and others have been vocal about him in return. Is the cultural backlash against game-bashing politicos like Joe Lieberman finally happening?
AM: Jack Thompson is a brilliant marketing machine who should be applauded for his ability to generate press for himself, essentially for free. The guy's a lawyer and lawyers make money by securing cases. If no one knows what sort of ambulance Jack Thompson chases, then how are they going to hire him? He's found a "blue ocean" marketing strategy, going where no other lawyers have bothered to go. He's made a huge name for himself. He rides around acting like he really gives a shit about violence in games, but clearly it's a ruse. Any half-logical person can see that game violence and real world violence aren't connected. I'm sure he's aware of this himself, and laughs all the way to the bank.
Lieberman, Clinton, and Thompson, they're the same: Media figures who seek SAFE exposure in order to further their careers. Attacking video games is a safe bet. They continue to tell a big lie, over and over, about a topic that, on the surface, makes casual sense. Say to the average Joe, "violent video games cause violent kids," and Joe will think that makes sense. It makes a lot more sense than all the complicated science it takes to prove this isn't the case. Demonize something that already seems demonic, generate a ton of press, a magic formula for media success.
Gamer culture has been so de-legitimized over the years that even an obvious whacko like Thompson can safely attack it without fear of backlash. I've said it before, I'll say it again: This nonsense will only go away when these people go away. Time is on our side. Gamers are young. All these haters are old. Just let time do its thing.
GR: Gamers really don't have an attack dog like Jack Thompson in their corner. Henry Jenkins is brilliant, but far too polite to go on the offensive. We nominate you. Will you accept?
AM: That's the problem though... there is no debate to be had here. Thompson knows it, Clinton knows it, Lieberman knows it. When you attempt an honest debate with these people they resort to the lowest of low tricks in order to smear you, discredit you, and generally insult you. They aren't interested in an honest debate. What politician ever has been, regardless of the topic?
I've got better things and you've got better things to do with life than waste it trying to thwart the garbage-machine that is the Anti-Game Wonder Trio. Let them get old and go away on their own.