Logan vs Jack Thompson

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I had to write a paper for english that could be based on anything, so I decided to wrote about J.T. However, it isn't a biography. In fact...well...if you have some free time, go on ahead and read my paper! This will be the basis of the flash rant I plan on doing.

Note: Things in parenthesis are cited sources. Just ignore those.

Note 2: This topic is NOT about how "formal" my paper is or is not, so do NOT post about how my sources or subject are not professional.

Jack Thompson is quite possibly the most illogical, stupid, and irritating man I have even heard of during my 20 years of life. An anti-Video Game fanatic, he is doing everything he can to limit, no, completely destroy gaming in general. There is no line he will not cross. There are no words he will not say. However, I am here to take Jack’s beliefs about gaming as well as his opinions about gamers and shove them right back down his throat. This is Logan versus Jack on the topic of video games.

Jack was born on July 23, 1950 in Cleveland, Ohio. He grew up to become a lawyer, settling down in Miami, Florida. It is not known when and how his hatred for gaming started. However, he is known for having conservative views on the effects of obscenity and violence in popular media in general. Video games just happen to be his current target.

Gaining his “knowledge” on video games from an extremely exaggerated standpoint, Jack begins to build and share his views with the world. Jack believes that all games are violent, murder and sexual simulators. People accused of violent crimes “trained” or “rehearsed” their actions using video games as “murder simulators.” Also, the Military uses commercial, off-the-shelf games to desensitize and remove inhibition to kill (Wikipedia). So let me get this straight. If all games are violent, murder and sex simulators, then I guess I should be feeling the urge to kill people while collecting mushrooms and jumping on Goombas. Jack must have a very closed mind on games if he thinks all games are filled with violence and sex. I don’t remember seeing any blood, drugs, and nudity in “Sonic the Hedgehog.” I don’t even remember seeing any of those things in “Soul Calibur” games, which are fighting games to boot! So I guess that means not all games are so evil and violent like he seems to think. Strike one for Jack.

To continue, Jack has stated that “recent medical brain studies at Harvard and Indiana University prove that children’s brain functions are damaged by a steady diet of violent images and messages (Wikipedia).” I’ve been playing games since I was four years old. Some games in my childhood years were typical fun games, such like “Super Mario Bros.” However, there were games released at that time that were still considered violent and scary, such as “Clock Tower” or “Contra.” I never once felt warped by any images. Sure I was scared when I played a few survival horror games of old, but I was never brain damaged by any of it. But still, this is just my own personal experience when I was a child. It’s just one kid, right? Not according to Indiana University, a place Jack claims to have proved that “children’s brain functions are damaged by a steady diet of violent images and messages.” Indiana responded to Jack’s words, saying they never once mentioned that children’s brain functions were “damaged.” They only said there was a “difference” in brain patterns between children with Disruptive Behavior Disorder and children without it when exposed to a specific stimulus. It is not explicitly claimed that there was a correlation between exposure to violence and brain activity (Wikipedia). So, I guess this means that Jack was either horribly misinformed, or he warped these studies into his own meaning in order to support his petty argument. Way to go, Jack! Also, just as a final kick to his ego, this study was funded by the “Center for Successful Parenting,” a lobby group against media violence. Now what was the definition of “irony” again? It’s on the tip of my tongue. Strike two, Jack.

Jack, as stated before, will cross any line to get his point across. He illogically goes after the ESRB ratings of games. Jack claims “Any M-rated game has violence levels unacceptable and definitionally harmful to anyone under 17. The industry will rue the day it accepted this labeled scheme (CBS News).” He also says that “games with adult content are developed for and marketed to children.” So, in short, Jack believes that game developers make games aimed at children, regardless of the content, while the ESRB seems to ignore that. How ignorant can one get? The game developers create games aimed at a specific audience. They create “Resident Evil” games aimed at a more mature audience, while at the same time create “Mega Man” games aimed at gamers of all ages. The ESRB is there to, by law, grade games on their content, much like those who label movies with “G,” “R,” ECT. If the ESRB group didn’t care about who games are sold to, they’d slap an “E” as a rating on every game and put them all in “Toys R’ Us” stores worldwide. The ESRB is not a joke and game boxes very clearly show the ranking of the game as well as what the game might include as far as violence and sexuality. The ESRB is not at fault for anything and the people who buy these games should be fully aware of its content because of its ranking. Strike three, Jack Thompson. You’re out.

Unfortunately, a strike-out won’t stop Jack and his outrageous insanity. And what kind of an insane man would he be if he didn’t bring religion into his arguments? Jack Thompson is a Christian man who uses the bible to justify his actions, such as name-calling (Wikipedia)! Name-calling? So he’s using the bible to support name-calling. How exactly does that make any logical sense at all? It doesn’t, but Jack believes it does, because “the Bible allows name-calling as long as it is a truthful name.” That’s actually quite funny, seeing as how he later goes on to refer to ESA head Doug Lowenstein to Hitler and Saddam Hussein. He also refers to gaming as “a masturbatory activity” and told gamers to “put down the controller and get a life (Wikipedia).” He also calls gamers in general “pixelantes,” a word Jack made up. “Pixelantes are pimple-faced geeks who use death threats to drive people of faith and with values from the public square.

To continue the name calling, he does a very unprofessional move within an e-mail to Scott Ramsoomair, author of popular web comic “VG Cats.” Over a long e-mail series, Jack disregards his professional attitude and goes straight to name-calling in a very unprofessional way. During a long reply to one of Scott’s e-mails, Jack had maintained his professional attitude. When Scott replied with a somewhat harsh, but truthful reply, Jack simply responded with “Get a name and a life” as well as “I don’t have time for twits.” He continues to say “Honestly, are all of your gamers on drugs or what?” The argument between them continued for a few days worth of e-mails, with Scott completely putting Jack’s arguments to shame. In the end, Jack gives up by threatening Scott with legal actions if any further e-mails are sent to him (VG Cats). It’s so nice to know that the Holy Bible promotes such name-calling, according to Jack. Oh that’s right. I almost forgot. It doesn’t! However, Jack doesn’t stop there. “The Bible doesn’t promote killing people. Grand Theft Auto does.” Brilliant, Jack! You compared the Holy Bible to a video game made for mature audiences, which includes violence, sexual content, and foul language! Good for you! However, need I remind you that the Bible itself has stories about death and violence? I guess Jack must have skipped a few chapters.

Jack then goes on to insult other religions. He blames Islam for violence, expressing his opinion, which he claims is fact, that “the Qur’an promotes killing of innocent people and infidels,” who he claims the Qur’an identifies as Christians and Jews (Wikipedia). I can’t tell you how completely pathetic this argument is. I’m not Islamic nor have I read the Qur’an, but I know for a fact that Islamic teachings do not promote senseless killing of innocent people. I have yet to see a single Islamic person running around with a chainsaw and hacking up everyone in sight because his religion tells him it’s the right thing to do. Jack is just too ignorant when it comes to the outside world, and this single argument proves that.

Ignorance, however, is something that Jack excels in. In fact, he often contradicts himself. For example, Jack says “My only position for six years on this has been: Mature games should not be sold to minors.” That’s a perfectly reasonable argument that I, too, agree with. However, that argument shattered to pieces once he said “’The Warriors’ must not fall into the hands of anyone under 18. In fact, it should not be sold to anyone (Wikipedia).” So, first he says that he doesn’t want mature games sold to minors, then turns around and says mature games shouldn’t be sold to anyone at all. I guess jack doesn’t know his own position in his argument.

Jack crosses the line once again just last year when he wrote an open letter to Entertainment Software Association president Douglas Lowenstein (who he refers to as “Hitler” as stated earlier), making a "modest proposal" for the industry in which he offered $10,000 to a charity designated by Take-Two CEO Paul Eibeler if any company would create a game scenario he described in the letter. In the proposed game, the main character would murder a number of industry executives, including one scene in which the main character "urinates onto the severed brain stems of the Eibeler family victims,” and go on a killing spree at E3 (Wikipedia). Video game fans began working quickly, hoping to make some money from it. When Jack found out this “modest proposal” of his was really being taken seriously, he quickly turned around and said he was simply making a “satire.” I find it odd how he would make such a proposal and not expect someone to try and make such a game for $10,000. Being a lawyer, one would assume he was smarter than that. So, as another slap in the face to Jack, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the creators of web comic Penny Arcade, decided they would make the donation instead. In the memo field of the check, they wrote “For Jack Thompson, Because Jack Thompson Won’t.” The check is finely displayed on their website (Penny Arcade.com). I tip my hat to those two. However, this caused Jack to become furious and tried to get Seattle police and the FBI to investigate Holkins and Krahulik for orchestrating "criminal harassment" of him through articles on their site (Wikipedia). I guess Jack doesn’t really like it when people are generous in place of Jack. And gamers too to boot. I wish I could see his red face when he found out about that.

Only a few days after the Penny Arcade incident, The National Institute on Media and the Family wrote a letter to Jack. Dr. Walsh, the man in charge of this pro-family group, had this to say:

"I know that you share that common concern and I am well aware that you have frequently cited me and our organization as a source of scientific information. However, over the past few months, I and members of my board have a growing concern that your use of our name, without our permission, has had a negative influence as we try to educate the public on this important issue. Your commentary has included extreme hyperbole and your tactics have included personally attacking individuals for whom I have a great deal of respect... Some of the people that you have publicly criticized are not only people of integrity, but are people who have worked to improve the lives of children. The result is that our position and reputation as a research based, non-partisan, solution-focused organization has been jeopardized. Consequently, I ask that you cease using the institute's or my name in any way that would give the impression that we support your efforts." Walsh also requests that Thompson remove the link to the institute's website from his own site (Gameindustry.biz).

Seeing something like this reinforces my faith in the human race. Not only is a group that Jack Thompson supported cutting off all ties, but it’s a group that has virtually the same beliefs about media that Jack does. This is a perfect example of how extreme Jack is getting with his “mission” to destroy gaming. It’s just too bad he’s losing valuable allies. I suppose when you’re a crazed lunatic, you don’t gain too much support. However, Jack uses his favorite retaliation method and starts to threaten The National Institute on Media and the Family with legal threats. Wait, legal threats? Jack is a lawyer and all of a sudden he believes that someone cutting ties off with him is against the law? I guess failed logic is Jack’s bread and butter.

Finally, Jack’s most recent act of stupidity involves a project started by two gamers from Michigan called “Flowers for Jack.” This project was created in an attempt to show Jack that not all gamers are evil, crazy, demented, and violent people. The flowers were to be delivered to Jack’s office in February 2006, including a letter in hopes to open a friendlier dialogue between Jack and gamers. Thompson responded by forwarding the flowers to some of his industry foes, with comments like, "Discard them along with the decency you discarded long ago. I really don't care. Grind them up and smoke them if you like” (Wikipedia). Jack then made a statement saying he didn’t even open the letter that was delivered with the flowers. So apparently, this is Jack’s way of saying he refuses to believe that some gamers are nice. Can you believe that he would actually go so far as to take charity from other people and discard it as if it were garbage?

Even in court, Jack’s stupidity knows no bounds. During several cases he’s involved in that don’t involve gaming at all, he finds a way to throw video games in as evidence. For example, he claims the “Washington Sniper” trained sniping while playing the game “Halo.” “The game removed his inhibition to kill and gave him incredible shooting skills” (Wikipedia). That’s right Jack. Everyone can learn how to be an expert sniper by walking on top of the gun, holding down the “Y” button, pressing down the right analog button, and adjusting the scope distance the same way. He made a similar argument regarding the Beltway Snipers; however, he failed to realize that the sniper was a former soldier already with significant rifle training (Wikipedia). Too bad, Jack. I guess you were proven wrong yet again. However, I’m really not at all surprised.

However, all of this so far is nothing compared to Jack’s ultimate act of stupidity. This one thing, by far, is what makes me hate Jack the most, and would make me want to hit him hard in the face for even going this far. The story goes like this.

A gamer named Mitchell S. with the online screen name "Kuja105", who posted on a few online video game forums (including GameFaqs.com and MetalGearSolid.org) committed suicide. On January 2, 2006, he posted a message in both forums detailing his intent to end his own life, citing overwhelming complications with school and finances. A very brief period of initial disbelief was followed by a barrage of replies from fellow forum members pleading that he not take his life, trying to talk him out of it. For days, no word was heard from Mitchell. Fearing the worst, members and administration from metalgearsolid.org began searching for contact information, spending hours on the phone trying to get in touch with him. Finally on January 4, Ryan K., an administrator at metalgearsolid.org, got him on the phone and spent hours desperately trying to talk him out of it. Sadly, Mitchell soon ended his own life by consuming antifreeze and painkillers. Later, members from the site contacted Mitchell's family to find out the grave news. They reported it to their online community, and posted a tribute to their passed friend on the front page of metalgearsolid.org (Wikipedia).

This is a very tragic story that I was actually a part of. I am a user on GameFaqs.com and I post there every day, so I knew about this story. However, Jack Thompson the great had to stick his nose where it didn’t belong, and he had this to say:

“Your "gamer friend" will find peace through the Lord, Jesus Christ, but sadly it's too late for that. There is a void in every heart. You can fill it up with the things of God, or the things not of God. This unfortunate soul chose to fill it up with combat games. The playing of these video games is masturbatory activity, meaning senseless self-stimulation. If you gamers could use a dictionary you would know that that term is not necessarily a sexual one. The real tragedy here extends beyond the life and death of this one fellow. There are literally millions of young people and young adults whose despair is deepened by turning to the things of this world and then finding them meaningless. All of you gamers need to put down the controllers and get a life. The utter inanity of the vast majority of postings here shows how vapid "gaming" really is. You are one of the cheerleaders for this wasting of time and the wasting of lives. Do you feel any remorse for having contributed to this "culture of death?" Of course not. Hey, let's play MORE games, and ignore all the really productive things to do with our lives. Let's pretend to be shocked that a gamer might descend into deeper depression, as his gamer "buds," knowing he was killing himself, couldn't figure out how to call 911 themselves for him. That would have involved leaving their computers I guess. Sad. Sad for all of you” (Wikipedia).

The absolute nerve of that man! This doesn’t even involve him nor does it involve video games. Someone had just killed himself and yet he makes comments like these? Luckily, MetalGearSolid.org issued their response that made me smile:

"Once again, Mr. Thompson, you've proven that your ignorance knows no bounds. We're not going to participate in this war you wish to wage against us -- we're bigger than that. We're bigger than you.
This is a case where our tragedy is greater than the sum of our transgressions. The fact that you want to exploit the loss that both we and his family have suffered to forward your own selfish, religiously driven ambitions speaks volumes about the integrity (or lack, thereof) of your character, and it only serves to strengthen our resolve.
You can continue to try and discredit us and insult us, though no true man of God would do such a thing. We pity you and your ignorance, and only hope that someday you can come to terms with and mature away from your bigotry. As Metal Gear Solid fans, we have learned to believe in the best of individuals. We've learned to show charity. We've become better people, and through the loss of our friend, we've become a closer-knit community.
We forgive you, Jack, and we hope that God will do the same for you” (Wikipedia).

So now you know. Jack Thompson is an angry, illogical, stupid extremist who hates gaming so much that he will lie, threaten, and insult until things are done his way. He’s losing most, if not all respect by just about everyone. There isn’t a gamer alive that has a shred of respect for Jack, and even non-gamers are losing interest in his constant complaining. However, I must thank him for one thing. I thank Jack for providing me the opportunity to proudly say that I am part of the video gamer’s community, and that I know the truth about everything he tries to “claim” as facts. Jack Thompson, you are a moron. Now disappear from our lives and let us gamers worry about what we play on our own terms.
 
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Would you mind posting your works cited page? Just for me? >_>
 
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Deman said:
Would you mind posting your works cited page? Just for me? >_>
Wikipedia
Penny Arcade
VG Cats
CBS News

I used Wikipedia for just about all of it though
 
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Finish him!
 
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i so wish he could come here and respond :D
 
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Did your english prof ask you to write a paper or a rant?

If that was a paper, it was extremely informal and colloquial, and not something I would ever try to pass off as an english paper, ever.

It's a great rant. It's a terrible paper. Not a flame, being honest.
 
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AMEN!

Honestly thats one great paper :p

I see a big shiny A+ in for you XD

Just dont let Old Jack see this or he will go at you with legal threats.

Anyhow great job and i share your opinions
 
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Everything you say is true. And I am stupid for reading such a long post, but a good post nonetheless. Jack basicly dug his own grave by acting as he did.
And also, I just read that email he sent to metalgearsolid.org. Well, who the hell acts like that towards people who are mourning the loss of a friend? "...but sadly it's too late for that" First you say that he will find peace through God and afterwards he tells it's to late for that, first of all, it's a rather stupid argument, second of all...Why the hell would you tell anyone this? I mean, it's not like you make friends by telling other people that games are the reasons of suicide while clearly: "citing overwhelming complications with school and finance" has nothing to do with gaming. And just because someone posts his last words on a gaming forum doesn't mean that gaming is bad for you.

Infact, some while ago here in Holland(some of you may have heard this). A person commited suicide because his best friend hacked his Runescape account. Well, that was not the entire problem, he had problems at school and at home from what I understood, and the only place where he could find some peace was in playing Runescape. Doesn't this mean that games can actually help you on the short term? Yes, he eventually commited suicide but that was because his best friend betrayed him, not because of a game.

And one last thing, the only one who comes close to Hitler here, is infact Jack Thompson. For starting a "war" on multiple fronts, so he would be bombarded by all gamers and eventually dig his own grave by being to confident and think that alot of people would support him. To a point, people did support him, but he went further than that. Just as Hitler did, he also became to confident and think he could wage a war with the west and Russia at the same time, all he did was plan his own demise...

Anyway, a good rant, well done. Not sure if it is good paper-wise, but if your teacher allows you to tell your opinion about something, you will surely get an A+ for this.

**EDIT**
And my favorite thing from Penny Arcade:
I thought you might like to see the mail I got from Jack this afternoon:

This story is completely false and defamatory. Take it down or else.

And my reply to him:

****This is an automated response****

Thank you for contacting Penny Arcade. I’m sorry but I am simply not able to respond to all my fan mail. I want you to know that I’m glad you enjoy the comic strip and I appreciate you taking the time to mail me.
 
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An interesting read, indeed.

Most excellent. o/
 
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Optimus Prime said:
Did your english prof ask you to write a paper or a rant?

If that was a paper, it was extremely informal and colloquial, and not something I would ever try to pass off as an english paper, ever.

It's a great rant. It's a terrible paper. Not a flame, being honest.
Agreed. Had I been a teacher i'd give you an F (or E depending on where you come from) sure I hate J.T just as much as the next guy. But that's just it. Your paper is too biased. That and it's very VERY informal. "think j.t's so great eh? Well not everyone else, everyone else hates him" that's what i mean by informal. A paper is usually 1. non biased, 2. formal 3. more factual- vgcats shouldn't be a works cited refrence and wikipedia is not the most accurate thing on earth. Sites such as www.cnn.com or other sites like it would have been a lot better sources.

You also shouldn't use "I" in essays. Saying a man is "stupid" is 1. .... you're in college man, you can think of something better than that. 2. childish. 3. very biased.

I guess that's it, if i missed anything i'll post more. But all in all; great rant.
 
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Optimus Prime said:
Did your english prof ask you to write a paper or a rant?

If that was a paper, it was extremely informal and colloquial, and not something I would ever try to pass off as an english paper, ever.

It's a great rant. It's a terrible paper. Not a flame, being honest.
Too bad I already asked him about it and he said 'go for it." As I already pointed out, the paper could be about ANYTHING we wanted. It could be informative, it could be a story we made up, or it could be a paper completely bashing someone. My teacher focuses on creativity. I'm in an art school, fools! >.<

Fire Phoenix said:
Agreed. Had I been a teacher i'd give you an F (or E depending on where you come from) sure I hate J.T just as much as the next guy. But that's just it. Your paper is too biased. That and it's very VERY informal. "think j.t's so great eh? Well not everyone else, everyone else hates him" that's what i mean by informal. A paper is usually 1. non biased, 2. formal 3. more factual- vgcats shouldn't be a works cited refrence and wikipedia is not the most accurate thing on earth. Sites such as www.cnn.com or other sites like it would have been a lot better sources.

You also shouldn't use "I" in essays. Saying a man is "stupid" is 1. .... you're in college man, you can think of something better than that. 2. childish. 3. very biased.

I guess that's it, if i missed anything i'll post more. But all in all; great rant.
Again, this paper could have been creative or professional. He doesn't care what we did as long as it followed MLA standards, had 5 cited pages, and was no less than 7 pages.

He read a list of topics chosen by students in the years past. A few of them were no different from mine and he talked about them. They all got A's.

SailorAlea said:
Finish him!
THUNDER FLASH!!! *blows J.T. away*
 
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That was brilliant. I wish I could shove that in Jack's face. But let's be real here, Jack will never be able to destroy gaming. He's too stupid to prevail over gamers. He lies, cheats, and uses people to further his own selfish and illogical goals. (I think you said that somewhere in your paper, I can't remember. Just know that I'm not stealing what you said, but giving my own opinion).
 
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Did he say Wikipedia was an ok source? Wikipedia is the furthest thing from an academic source you can find, it's a blog, nothing more.

Every course-outline I've gotten this year, under the essay guid lines, when it says, a minimum of 8 academic peer-reviewed sources, it usually says in bold somewhere (Wikipedia is not a reliable source, and should not be used in a post-secondary level essay.) Maybe your school's guide-lines are different than mine, but that doesn't change the fact that Wikipedia is a blog.
 
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Good post but it's a pity you didn't include the whole "Pearl Harbour 2" thing. From that alone you could see that he is a bit cracked upstairs. :p
 
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Too easy man... Jack Thompson is like the little straw-man for the gamer population to attack, heh
 
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Optimus Prime said:
Did he say Wikipedia was an ok source? Wikipedia is the furthest thing from an academic source you can find, it's a blog, nothing more.

Every course-outline I've gotten this year, under the essay guid lines, when it says, a minimum of 8 academic peer-reviewed sources, it usually says in bold somewhere (Wikipedia is not a reliable source, and should not be used in a post-secondary level essay.) Maybe your school's guide-lines are different than mine, but that doesn't change the fact that Wikipedia is a blog.
Ok. This is the last time I'm going to explain all of this and i expect everyone to stop bugging me about the "proper formats of an english paper."

1) My teacher isn't a high strung, stuck up teacher that says I have to get "academic approved sources." The only reason he wanted us to have sources is so we're not stealing other people's material. period. So yes. Wikipedia is a source.

2) I'm in an art school. Here, creativity is considered better than academic ability in studies. My teacher is more likely going to give me an A for a creative paper than an informative one. How do I know? 4 written quizzes and 1 test already gone and finished. A's on all of them due to my creative standpoint.

3) Blogs, forums, anything are all accepted. He said so. Period.

Now leave me alone, transformer >.<
 
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Did your english prof ask you to write a paper or a rant?

If that was a paper, it was extremely informal and colloquial, and not something I would ever try to pass off as an english paper, ever.

It's a great rant. It's a terrible paper. Not a flame, being honest.
Quoted in agreement, though I wouldn't have been so harsh. Then again I am a professional writer.

That doesn't mean I don't agree with most of it. It could have been articulated more, is all.
 
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Kagato said:
Too bad I already asked him about it and he said 'go for it." As I already pointed out, the paper could be about ANYTHING we wanted. It could be informative, it could be a story we made up, or it could be a paper completely bashing someone. My teacher focuses on creativity. I'm in an art school, fools! >.<
You could have mentioned this earlier.
 
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Fire Phoenix said:
You could have mentioned this earlier.
I didn't think I'd have to because I didn't think anyone would be so concerned about the logical format of an english paper.
 
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~*Logan*~ said:
I didn't think I'd have to because I didn't think anyone would be so concerned about the logical format of an english paper.
Well usually when people write english papers, they are formal essays. And seeing as you're not formal at all... yeah. I'm sure you get the picture. All I'm saying is if it were me (and it's not so it doesn't matter) I would never pass in such a paper. But you know your english teacher, and you know the guidelines. We didn't know the guild lines.

Perhaps next time, telling us the guidlines then posting the paper is the best decision. It's like making a game and not telling anyone the rules.
 

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