Activision CEO Bobby Kotick's full DICE speech, Jack Thompson says 'Gotcha!'

[Elisabeth Caren]
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick's speech at DICE was certainly a highlight of this year's convention. The polarizing figure took the stage and spoke his mind -- whether it was for better or worse was a topic of debate for the rest of the show. Some saw it as humanizing the demonized executive, who makes no apologies for running an efficient and profitable company (especially in this economy), while others couldn't believe that PR ever let him take the stage with what seemed like a fairly off-the-cuff speech.

Disbarred attorney Jack Thompson took the opportunity to send California State Senator Leland Yee (and the entire press) a letter declaring "Gotcha!" to a section of Kotick's speech. Using a piece he read on GamePolitics as a springboard, Thompson writes that Kotick's admission that the executive would still be really into video games if it didn't run the risk of interfering with his life and running a major publisher is an "admission [that] flies in the face of video game industry spokespersons' false, sometimes perjured assertions, that video games do not affect the behavior of minors. Here is a full-grown adult (at least in chronological terms) admitting just the opposite."

In context, though, Kotick's admission is more in line with many adults, who have responsibilities to balance along with enjoying video games. Kotick recognizes he has an addictive personality -- noting as much about enjoying food -- so he keeps his gaming in check. Watch the full Kotick speech, and read Jack Thompson's letter, after the break. Kotick mentioning why he doesn't play games at the level he did in his youth begins at the 11:30 mark.


Jack Thompson's full letter:

Re: Video Game Addiction and Harm to Minors

Dear Senator Yee:

My old boss, Sam Powers, taught me that if the other side talks long enough, they will give you all you need to win. In that vein, please take a look at what Activision's CEO just admitted about video game addiction:

"Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is definitely not afraid to speak his mind, which may or may not be a good thing for investors in his company. His recent comments at the D.I.C.E. Summit did nothing to change that perception.

While Kotaku labeled his speech "warm and fuzzy," one section of his talk centered on why he doesn't play games anymore, and caught our attention:
I play from time to time, but the nature of my personality is such that if I was regularly playing Modern Warfare 2, I would not be able to stop and it would be at the expense of all my regular responsibilities.
What does it say about the addictiveness of videogames if the CEO of the third largest publisher in the world can't play games because of his addictive personality?"
You can see the streaming audio/video of this wonderfully useful admission by Kotick at http://www.gamepolitics.com/2010/02/19/kotick-not-much-gamer-anymore.

This admission flies in the face of video game industry spokespersons' false, sometimes perjured assertions, that video games do not affect the behavior of minors. Here is a full-grown adult (at least in chronological terms) admitting just the opposite.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.