Student Congress to Sponsor Debate
Examining Video Game
Posted March 11, 2003
HOLLAND -- Video game violence will be the focus
of a debate presented through the "James E. Bultman Speaker
Series" organized by the Student Congress at Hope College on
Tuesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The event is titled "Video Games: The Bottom
Line," and will consider "Gamers vs. Blamers: Are video
games training killers or simply entertaining." The
discussion will focus on whether playing games like "Grand
Theft Auto," "Doom" and "Quake" desensitizes players--mainly
teens--to killing, and if such entertainment has played a
role in tragedies such as the Columbine massacre.
The debaters will be Jack Thompson, a leading
anti-entertainment industry litigator, and author David
Kushner, whose book "Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created
an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture" is forthcoming.
Thompson and Kushner are speaking at college and university
campuses around the country, and have also been booked at
institutions including Harvard, Yale and UCLA.
Thompson's activity has included prompting the FCC
to fine shock radio stations and forcing Time Warner to
remove Ice-T's "Cop Killer" from shelves. The $9 billion
video game industry is his main target today as he seeks to
hold the entertainment industry accountable for the harm
that he asserts it does to children.
Kushner writes for "Rolling Stone," "The New York
Times," "Wired" and "Spin," where he is a contributing
editor. He asserts that video games are fantasy and their
makers bear no responsibility in an individual's decision to
act violently in real life.
The "James E. Bultman Speaker Series" debuted with
author Alex Haley on Jan. 30, 1992. Others featured through
the years have included actor Danny Glover and
actor/director Felix Justice; former principal Joe Clark,
inspiration for the film "Lean on Me"; attorney Robert F.
Kennedy Jr. on environmental issues; writer Maya Angelou;
and actor/writer/lawyer game show host Ben Stein. The
Student Congress named the series in honor of current
president James Bultman in April of 2002.
Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College
Avenue at 12th Street.