Anti-videogame crusader and former attorney Jack Thompson has found a new calling as an author and member of an online seminary, and maybe a little perspective on the years he spent fighting the entertainment industry as well.
In the short history of the videogame industry, John Bruce "Jack" Thompson stands out as a truly unique figure. His colorful tirades, bizarre courtroom antics and single-minded determination to expose the game industry as a leading corrupter of the world's youth made him Public Enemy Number One in the eyes of many, while at the same time cementing his reputation as an irrelevant blowhard. When he was finally and forever disbarred in September 2008, gamers everywhere were happy to be rid of him, yet for some of us the moment was almost bittersweet because we knew we would never again have a man like Thompson to kick around.
He's made a little noise in the two years since, suing Facebook, yelling at Bobby Kotick and claiming credit for the removal of the Taliban as a playable faction in Medal of Honor. But Thompson, who said he believes he had an influence on public policy during his the years in the legal system, has also been filling some time working on a book, Social Activism 101, which he's co-writing with University of Miami School of Education Professor Eugene Provenzo.
"I could write a book on how to get disbarred, but it probably wouldn't sell as well," he added.
His odd behavior, particularly in the waning years of his legal career, led some observers to conclude that Thompson was suffering from psychological issues, but Provenzo said the truth is that he was simply too smart for his enemies. "The Bar has gone after him a number of times and tried to say that he has psychiatric problems," he said. "But he is one of the sanest people I know."
A couple of years away from the fight may have left Thompson a little more circumspect about the whole thing. Along with writing his book, he's also joined the Reformed Theological Seminary, where his worldview might find more ready acceptance. "Some people probably thought I should have kept my view of the world within the religious cloister and not out in the public sphere," he said. "But I had a responsibility to try to be God's voice in the world."
"I'm a pain in the neck to a lot of people," he continued. "Thirty-one years fighting with the bar and the entertainment industry is a pretty good run. I'm surprised that I lasted that long."