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Op Ed

Elizabeth Sampat - Quit Fucking Going To PAX Already, What Is Wrong With You?
And today, on stage at PAX, Mike publicly stated the one fucking thing that PA ever did right— removing the Dickwolves merchandise— was a mistake. And the crowd went wild, and the men who own PA with him agreed soberly, and that is the convention that everyone says is best and most inclusive. A place where the owners can say “We should have continued to profit off of the suffering of others” in the biggest auditorium the convention offered and the crowd went wild.

NewStatesman - Penny Arcade reopens the "dickwolves" controversy.
Today, that excuse is not available. These ideas have been mainstreamed to the extent that Krahulik and Holkins cannot get away with pretending that it's only a vocal minority who see problems with using rape as a punchline which don't extend to problems with using murder in the same way. But the last three years have not seen the pair toning down the rhetoric. From Holkins writing about the "censorship" of criticising a game's exaggerated female characters to Krahulik being dismissive of trans people (leading to a $20,000 donation to the Trevor project), there have been no end of sub-dickwolves controversies, causing one prominent indie developer to pull out of their shows entirely. The Financial Post's Daniel Kaszor summed them up in an article titled "Penny Arcade needs to fix its Krahulik problem".

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44 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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44. Re: Op Ed Sep 9, 2013, 17:19 RollinThundr
 
Verno wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 09:34:
RollinThundr wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 09:28:
Oh sure. But consider the source on this one. At least in the case of Ms Sampat.

I'm not using her as a source for anything, read what I said already.

Which I don't disagree with, in this case though you have a hardcore feminist looking to "fight the good fight"

Shit woman are more equal in this society these days then ever when you really think about it, somehow that isn't enough though, the way you hear some of these feminist talk you'd think it was still 1950.
 
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43. Re: Gaming is a mature hobby for resonable adults and not righteous manchildren, or not Sep 7, 2013, 16:29 Mr. Tact
 
nin wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 15:32:
I'm still pissed they did two different kickstarters despite having an empire of comics, clothes, books, posters, dvds, toys, conventions, comics publishers solicit to tie into a game, and now fucking collectable pins. But they need kickstarter funds!!!!! Hell, the second KS they set with a $10 goal, so that no matter how little was pledged, they could collect.
Haha, that is damn funny. Caveat emptor. A fool and his money are soon parted. Pick your cliche. If I thought I could get away with it, I'd do it too.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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42. Re: Gaming is a mature hobby for resonable adults and not righteous manchildren, or not Sep 7, 2013, 04:19 Jerykk
 
While I don't necessarily approve of how Mike has handled the whole controversy, the fact that "dickwolves" are even an issue in the first place is just sad. How can anyone be offended by something so blatantly absurd? And if rape jokes are unacceptable regardless of context, what about jokes involving theft, robbery, murder, domestic violence, extortion, torture, kidnapping, etc? Surely the victims of the aforementioned crimes would be sensitive to any mention of them. Hell, how about we ban any jokes that could possibly offend anyone anywhere? Why are rape jokes the only ones that are apparently worth censoring?  
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41. Re: Gaming is a mature hobby for resonable adults and not righteous manchildren, or not Sep 5, 2013, 08:21 Verno
 
nin wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 15:32:
I'm still pissed they did two different kickstarters despite having an empire of comics, clothes, books, posters, dvds, toys, conventions, comics publishers solicit to tie into a game, and now fucking collectable pins. But they need kickstarter funds!!!!! Hell, the second KS they set with a $10 goal, so that no matter how little was pledged, they could collect.


Yeah I stopped doing KS stuff in general after they let PA pull that nonsense. I've heard all of the defenses and still think it was a shameless, shitty move.
 
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40. Re: Gaming is a mature hobby for resonable adults and not righteous manchildren, or not Sep 5, 2013, 00:22 Sepharo
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 19:02:
I knew it wouldn't be a PG rated bullshit reality toilet bowl. I despise reality shows, but this was pretty funny. Mike and Jerry were hilarious overactors, and some of the stuff they made the artists do was funny.

The way they badger the contestants during the elimination rounds is great. I love when they shout out the wrong time like, "You have 15 minutes! - until you have 1 hour remaining." Most of the stuff is pretty tame and a majority of it is actually serious questions... But to go along well with the Op Ed post here, in one ep Jerry told a contestant that tomorrow's challenge would be a contest to see how many taser shots he could take to the shaft of his dick. And then right after Mike asks him if he's ever had his prostate stimulated... "You cum and cum," he goes on. The competition is after all to work at Penny-Arcade for a year being paid to make your strip so I guess the contestants need to be down with their kind of humor.

The exchange I'm describing is at: 14:05
But the whole thing is worth watching in context.
 
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39. Re: Gaming is a mature hobby for resonable adults and not righteous manchildren, or not Sep 4, 2013, 19:02 Agent.X7
 
I only watched Strip Search because A) The name is hilariously misleading and B) I knew it wouldn't be a PG rated bullshit reality toilet bowl. I despise reality shows, but this was pretty funny. Mike and Jerry were hilarious overactors, and some of the stuff they made the artists do was funny. Not sure if I would invest time in a second season, however. I mean, even The Real World was interesting in the first season, and then it was all downhill from there, until we reached Dancing with the Stars and Honey BooBoo level of drooling idiocy.  
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38. Re: Gaming is a mature hobby for resonable adults and not righteous manchildren, or not Sep 4, 2013, 18:30 Sepharo
 
nin wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 15:32:
Loopy wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 15:01:
This is actually the first I've heard of this. I never knew PA had this much baggage in the trunk! Never was a fan of online "comic" strips but I dodged a bullet with this one. Shame, too, since PA always sounded like a cool expo.

I'm still pissed they did two different kickstarters despite having an empire of comics, clothes, books, posters, dvds, toys, conventions, comics publishers solicit to tie into a game, and now fucking collectable pins. But they need kickstarter funds!!!!! Hell, the second KS they set with a $10 goal, so that no matter how little was pledged, they could collect.


Strip Search is their excellent competition reality show that was made possible because of the first Kickstarter. It was one among many projects that they said they'd be able to do if they didn't have to worry about selling ads (which was a major portion of their business in time and resources) but I'd say that Strip Search alone was worth the Kickstarter. Everybody should really check it out if they haven't. I put it up with Project Runway as one of the only competition reality shows that's worth a damn.
 
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37. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 17:29 Flo
 
Fucking Americans
Long live Penny Arcade!
 
Supporter of the "Chewbacca Defense"
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36. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 16:54 Pyloff
 
www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjIuPSuYSOY

Patrice does a good job with a similar controversial topic.
 
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35. Re: Gaming is a mature hobby for resonable adults and not righteous manchildren, or not Sep 4, 2013, 16:47 Loopy
 
I'm actually surprised more kickstarters don't set the bar low like that to guarantee they can get at least some money.

That second kickstarter has a $10,000 pledge option.

For a webcast? Sign me up!!!!!
 
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34. Re: Gaming is a mature hobby for resonable adults and not righteous manchildren, or not Sep 4, 2013, 15:32 nin
 
Loopy wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 15:01:
This is actually the first I've heard of this. I never knew PA had this much baggage in the trunk! Never was a fan of online "comic" strips but I dodged a bullet with this one. Shame, too, since PA always sounded like a cool expo.

I'm still pissed they did two different kickstarters despite having an empire of comics, clothes, books, posters, dvds, toys, conventions, comics publishers solicit to tie into a game, and now fucking collectable pins. But they need kickstarter funds!!!!! Hell, the second KS they set with a $10 goal, so that no matter how little was pledged, they could collect.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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33. Gaming is a mature hobby for resonable adults and not righteous manchildren, or not Sep 4, 2013, 15:01 Loopy
 
This is actually the first I've heard of this. I never knew PA had this much baggage in the trunk! Never was a fan of online "comic" strips but I dodged a bullet with this one. Shame, too, since PA always sounded like a cool expo.  
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32. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 10:27 Siygess
 
What can I say, the freedom of expression I try to support can sometimes make a place warm and toasty and there are few places warmer and toastier than the Blues News comments page. If I am to ignore Khoo's mantra of "Do Not Engage" them I am going to do it super selectively  
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31. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 10:17 Prez
 
Haven't seen you around before but good thoughts Siygess - thanks for sharing.  
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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30. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 10:15 Siygess
 
Oh lord not this thing again.

I respect an artist's freedom to do or say what he or she wants as long as the created work is legal. I may not agree with the message or how it is delivered, but I believe the artist still has a right to express that message. In this case, the message was "Look at the massive gulf between the terrible things you are choosing to ignore in the game versus the meta this game is encouraging you to play."

I got it. I played MMOs. Every time I ignored a virtual mugging in City of Heroes, that victim probably got knifed and left in the gutter to die. In the real world, that's horrible. In the game world, that's the mechanics of the game. So I found that particular strip funny because it was true. Ha ha! I moved on.

The problem of course is that any message can be wilfully aligned in such a way as to seem contrary to a particular cause and when a vocal groups with a legitimate cause to champion decides to do that, they are quite used to badgering an organisation with emails, articles and blog posts from (usually) well educated and comfortably literate individuals and achieving a quick victory they can parade in public that boosts their own egos and page hits as much as - if not more than - it helps draw attention to a real-world problem - and they just didn't get that from Penny Arcade. They got the opposite in fact because telling Mike what he can't do or say is bound to set him off and the harder someone pushes, the harder he pushes back, hence the whole "Do Not Engage" thing he has on his desk. While I encourage Mike's freedom to do that strip and acknowledge his right to defend himself against the kind of hate the vocal group likes to claim is the exclusive purview of PA supporters, the shirt was an ill-conceived swipe at the people who believed they could tell PA what to do (and not, as they like to claim, at Rape Victims) simply because it became a point they would later be able to cede to the partial satisfaction of the anti-Dickwolves crowd.

So I agree that removing the Dickwolves merch was a mistake because it set a precedent for pressuring Penny Arcade into appeasing any vocal group with an axe to grind. That was never their style, even if it had to become a consideration after a thriving business formed around the duo. But while making a business decision to never cave in like that again is one thing, publicly announcing it at PAX was unnecessary unless there was some swelling anti-PA sentiment I'm not aware of that they felt was being left unchecked.

The real loser in this, I'm sure, is Khoo. People like Elizabeth will not be able to pass up such a juicy target of opportunity and as we are seeing now, they are starting to wind up their writing arms to whip up support for a real problem, seemingly oblivious to the harm they are doing to their own message in the process. And despite the fact that "rape" was never part of the message from PA in the first place and what was said at PAX was a commentary on how the decisions they made affected their own credibility, Mike sure as hell isn't going to back down from anything that comes his way and ultimately Khoo is going to have to manage this somehow.

Oh, and rape victims. When they've been through something like that AND they've got people like this 'representing' them on the public stage, that's a lose/lose any way you look at it.

Edit: Removed a word. Added a word. Editing is hard!

This comment was edited on Sep 4, 2013, 10:21.
 
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29. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 09:34 Verno
 
RollinThundr wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 09:28:
Oh sure. But consider the source on this one. At least in the case of Ms Sampat.

I'm not using her as a source for anything, read what I said already.
 
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28. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 09:28 RollinThundr
 
Verno wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 09:26:
RollinThundr wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 09:12:
While I don't disagree the PA guys are a couple genuine doucharoni's, the constant outrage by the over sensitive types over the smallest things is getting to the point of nausea.

People have every right to be an asshole in our society today while other people have every right to tell them they are being one. I don't even remember the initial joke but it's not even important anymore, it's about how it was handled.

Oh sure. But consider the source on this one. At least in the case of Ms Sampat.
 
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27. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 09:26 Verno
 
RollinThundr wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 09:12:
While I don't disagree the PA guys are a couple genuine doucharoni's, the constant outrage by the over sensitive types over the smallest things is getting to the point of nausea.

People have every right to be an asshole in our society today while other people have every right to tell them they are being one. I don't even remember the initial joke but it's not even important anymore, it's about how it was handled.
 
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26. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 09:12 RollinThundr
 
Verno wrote on Sep 4, 2013, 09:05:
If shes a cunt then Mike is a loudmouthed douchebag.

PA courted this issue several times instead of taking its own advice to its critics - ignore it. Instead they got all indignant about the criticism and continually gave it more attention, doing so now well after the fact for no logical reason. I'm sure Mike is taking a victory lap while his sycophants bray but it's a hollow victory without any real opponent other than common sense.

To see several otherwise reasonable people here gleefully embracing this stupidity is disappointing. Seems like people getting vicarious jollies through a public figure, too bad he's such a poor vehicle for combating over sensitive types since he stokes the flames so liberally.

Maybe this can be a bonus tier in their next Kickstarter, public douchebaggery so pay our office expenses!

While I don't disagree the PA guys are a couple genuine doucharoni's, the constant outrage by the over sensitive types over the smallest things is getting to the point of nausea.

Apparently these people lived in a bubble their entire lives growing up and don't get that the world isn't full of rainbows and ponies.
 
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25. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2013, 09:05 Verno
 
If shes a cunt then Mike is a loudmouthed douchebag.

PA courted this issue several times instead of taking its own advice to its critics - ignore it. Instead they got all indignant about the criticism and continually gave it more attention, doing so now well after the fact for no logical reason. I'm sure Mike is taking a victory lap while his sycophants bray but it's a hollow victory without any real opponent other than common sense.

To see several otherwise reasonable people here gleefully embracing this stupidity is disappointing. Seems like people getting vicarious jollies through a public figure, too bad he's such a poor vehicle for combating over sensitive types since he stokes the flames so liberally.

Maybe this can be a bonus tier in their next Kickstarter, public douchebaggery so pay our office expenses!
 
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Watching: Enemy, Network, Wer
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44 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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