Bamboozled by the Big Idea


A few weeks ago, ad-guru turned chat show host Donny Deutsch invited John Davidson, editor of the gaming website, onto his CNBC show The Big Idea, ostensibly to represent "the gaming media" in a discussion on everything from "the future of videogames" to "online clans and community." Davidson was told that the conversation might drift into "the violence thing," but that he should feel free to say "that's been done to death, it's boring," and move on.

Here is how Davidson recounts his Big Idea experience:

It kicked off with Donny holding up a copy of Computer Games magazine declaring that there wasn't a single game in there that wasn't violent, and they then immediately cut to scenes of CJ stamping on a girl until she bled over the pavement in San Andreas. I was introduced as pretty much the bad guy who thinks this doesn't have an effect on kids, and…well…things just deteriorated from there.

Things did indeed deteriorate. Just in case Deutsch's evidence-free (and blatantly wrong) insistence that "[a]ll games are violent" left some audience members unpersuaded, the show's producers made certain to book a former student at Columbine–where more people died than watch CNBC–to drive the point home.

Incidentally, the student–who in fact wanted to defend violence in games and who had been promised that his "history with Columbine wouldn't be beaten to death"–later complained to Davidson that "[t]hey actually edited the show's content so my points weren't let in." Imagine: a show that seeks to prove a presupposed conclusion and makes sickening use of the Columbine massacre in lieu of data would stoop so low as to tamper with its guests' statements.

Read the rest of Davidson's account here; link via Kotaku.

NEXT: Avoid the occasions of Slytherin

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  1. Duetsch is prick and the only thing that sucks worse than his show is the work his agency shits out. The only thing he can sell is himself and only to other pricks like Trump and the CNBC brass.

  2. This is pretty low.

  3. More big media fear-mongering in an attempt to get ratings.

    Thankfully guys like Davison have at least something of a platform via the internet to recant the spin.

    The only thing that seems to sell on news programs now are trogolyditic schmucks like O’Reilly, Matthews, etc. who aren’t interested in finding the truth or airing news so much as pandering to a demographic in the most obnoxious way possible.

    The only positive thing to come out of this is that traditional news outlets continue to make themselves look evermore foolish when they claim to be unbiased.

  4. This kind of stuff was why I refused to vote fore Gore 2000. Having just turned 18, I remembered Lieberman crusading against the games that got me through highschool, and decided I would never help him into any office (true story).

  5. I played Donkey Kong for several years. Not once have I felt compelled to pick up a barrel and throw it at somebody. If anything, the violent acts depicted in the GTA video games have made me less inclined to copy them in the real world.

  6. If he thought he wouldn’t be ambushed, Davidson needs to watch more tv.

    This would be like The Leather Jacket writing a post complaining that O’Reilly hurt his feelings by telling him to “shut up.”

  7. I didn’t realize MVP Baseball 2005 was a violent game. I guess charging the mound after getting HBP is violence.

  8. SPD – exactly. Like I’m on this Counterstrike kick right now, and if you kill 10 enemies and only die 5 times, you think you’re doing pretty good. But in real life you can only die once, so I don’t really want to get into any small unit, counter-terrorism unit and get shot and killed by some terrists.

  9. All TV shows “featuring hot topics, trendy talk and a fearless approach to the big issues of the day” are sleazy and dishonest. They show a lot of violence too.

  10. lowdog,
    I hear ya, the new games tend to dispell that invincable warrior feeling a lot better. The best example I ever saw was the last Aeon Flux short on Liquid Television, where one character dies, then the killer is followed until they die, and on until the last guys death is implied to be an accident. It really drove home that futility to me way back in the day.

  11. why does reason spend so much time talking about video games? does thomas szasz create them or something?

  12. The videogame business is an enormous part of current American popular culture and is attracting an increasingly-louder series of attacks from the culture nannies. Video games are going to be at the bleeding edge of first amendment law in the coming years, which seems like a pretty good topic for discussion in this forum.

  13. I gotta think this isn’t the same John Davidson who was a blond airhead Las Vegas singer/game show host back in the ’70s and ’80s. Please tell me isn’t back.

  14. I went to a comedy night once and the emcee was this 6’4″, 400lb guy. He remarked on this subject that the most popular video game in America at the time was Madden football. He played this game regularly, but you didn’t see him doing daily doubles or running a 4.4 forty. Ha.

  15. No, I think that both he and Shadoe Stevens disappeared after Hollywood Squares went of the air the first time. This guy a runs a gaming site and looks like Jack Black.

  16. Donny Deutsch wears loafers with no socks. That alone is evidence enough that the guy is a cocksucker.

  17. Lazlo: I agree with all your points, but there’s one more that’s really the clincher: I like video games.

  18. TV’s John Davidson was no blond airhead. His hair was brown.

    I’ve got a nephew eagerly awaiting the release of Reader Rabbit II: The Chewing!


  19. “Donny Deutsch wears loafers with no socks. That alone is evidence enough that the guy is a cocksucker.”

    Truer words were never spoken. Look at the bad guy from 16 Candles. Loafers and no socks. What an asshole.


  20. There was a “bad guy” in Sixteen Candles? Which character was that?

  21. Unfortunately this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

    And I don’t suspect it’ll be the last.

  22. Violence is OK, just don’t dare show any simulated fuckin’.

  23. Yeah, Sam, what bad guy?

    and in those circles in the mid 80s, EVERYBODY wore loafters or boat shoes sans socks.

    Evan – because that confuses the children. They’re sophisticated to determine what “cartoon (sic) violence” is. But not sex. it’s CONFUSING. (froth froth)

  24. Dance, Dance Revolution isn’t all that violent. except maybe in a Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo kind of way.

    Anyway, I support this sort of thing. After spending many months playing Rome: Total War, I was compelled to lay siege to Tarantum. I’ll never get that 6 months back and the fines were outrageous.

  25. “Dance, Dance Revolution isn’t all that violent.”

    Except for my desire to kill all of the sk8terbois that play it.

  26. Douglas Fletcher: “I gotta think this isn’t the same John Davidson who was a blond airhead Las Vegas singer/game show host back in the ’70s and ’80s. Please tell me isn’t back.”

    I had the EXACT SAME THOUGHT when I read this. LOL!! A guy with hair like that probably can’t be killed, anyway… 🙂

  27. I have resolved, if I am ever called onto one of these attack shows, to just immediately drop my pants and start walking around once things go bad. How can they possibly stay on topic after that?

  28. Y’know, I was just thinking: there’s just not enough sex and violence in the Nancy Drew computer games. Or SpyFox…

  29. Test to see if I can post

  30. That Deutsch guy is an imposter trying to find ratings. What he did to Bernie Goldberg last night proves that the liberal media is dying and Bernie was right. I happened to scan the show as I like Bernie’s work on HBO but the pack of hyneas including the host was way over the top. This show is a loser as is its host. I must have been one of 15 people in the US who saw it.

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