Reports of fringe game critic Jack Thompson taking part in a keynote debate at the 2008 Game Developers Conference have turned out to be incorrect.
Yesterday, word came that following his debate with Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning at the VGXPO in Philadelphia, Thompson would reprise the event at the GDC. The report came from a court filing made by Thompson as part of his effort to sue the Florida bar, in which he claimed he’d been invited to take part in the conference.
“In the audience [for] this event, unbeknownst to me, was the man who organizes the largest videogame gathering in the world, the Game Developers Conference (GDC), attended by 20,000 foks,” Thompson wrote in the filing. “Because of the quality and coherence of my presentation, I was then asked by the GDC to reprise the Philadelphia debate, this time in February in San Francisco in a 5000 seat arena, as the keynote event.”
Further investigation by GamePolitics.com, however, determined that GDC director Jamil Moledina wasn’t at VGXPO at all, and that Thompson had actually spoken to videogame music composer Tommy Tallarico, who sits on the GDC advisory board. According to Tallarico, he did not discuss the matter with Thompson, and a follow-up statement from the GDC said, “The Game Developers Conference has not extended an invitation to Jack Thompson to speak at GDC 2008.” Tallarico did say that following the VGXPO debate, he discussed the possibility of repeating it with Lanning and filmmaker Spencer Halpin, and that he he was planning on bringing the idea up with the GDC board when he was told about Thompson’s claim.
Following the discovery of his false claims, Thompson wrote a response to Jamil Moledina which said, “Since this is how the videogame industry treats its critics, no wonder it has a public relations problem with parents. This is an industry that lies about the ratings on its products, sells those products to underage kids behind their parents’ backs, and then wants nothing but an incestuous gathering in San Francisco to congratulate itself on how smart it is.”
“Federal regulation of your industry is coming because you folks simply can’t figure out why parents don’t trust you. Fine. When the regulation comes, and it will, don’t blame me.”