Penny Arcade, fail and Dickwolves

Now, I’m coming to this late.  Somehow I completely missed this, though I have to admit to not being a close follower of PA.  Their fault for not having an RSS feed the last time I checked their site (though I see it’s been added since).  Anyway I’m rambling.

Firstly let’s have a bundle of links and then I’ll waffle a bit before wandering off to do something productive.

http://fucknopennyarcade.tumblr.com/
http://webcomicoverlook.com/2010/08/17/penny-arcade-and-jokes-about-rape/
http://debacle.tumblr.com/post/3041940865/the-pratfall-of-penny-arcade-a-timeline
http://jimhines.livejournal.com/556143.html

In short what we have is a comic regarding the way MMO quests work, and the mismatch between how quests work and how the real world works.  Very simply we “go do $something for X number of $mob having $problem”, at the point we reach “x” we no longer care about the souls being killed / mugged / locked up for experimentation etc etc and wander back to collect our gold.

PA dealt with this using rape as a vehicle (dickwolves), probably because they think it makes them “edgy” etc etc, which to my mind is a cop-out for “Let’s see what happens here”.  Dark Legacy dealt with the same issue (DLC 275), but without the need for the rape reference.

To be frank I think the DLC one is funnier, the PA comic lands squarely in the “oh yes, being edgy, that’s so impressive, now can we have a decent comic please”.  There were complaints, and PA apologised, well assuming you can agree that this is an apology.  Personally I count it as an apology in the same way politicians make them “I am sorry for any offence this might have caused”, which is really weaselling and not an apology.  It’s really a way of saying “yes you didn’t like this but I’m not really sorry I said/did it”.

From there we escalate, the PA guys have dug themselves into a hole where they have to defend being offensive and just keep digging determined to prove how they’re not being censored and their rights are being held to and so on.

Then we get the fanbois who see this and push the limits even further.

The underlying problem with this is within the gamer community, where there is a feeling that calling something ‘rape’ isn’t that bad, it’s not really a problem.  “We raped the horde”, “We got raped by that boss”, “Let’s go rape… ” and so on.  It seriously is a problem and it’s one the community has to deal with, by slapping down the morons and by those who are seen as leading the gamer culture (sorry guys, you’re no longer a sub-culture, it’s mainstream these days) such as PA giving a lead and an example rather than being, not to put too fine a point on it, brainless morons.

In summary, a comic which was at best “Meh”, followed up by a stupid passive-aggressive apology and then not realising just what they were starting.

My message, grow up and admit that your handling of the whole situation would shame a telephone salesman and move on.

5 thoughts on “Penny Arcade, fail and Dickwolves”

  1. Or grow up and not throw a 6 month fit over the word rape.

    Rape wasn’t a vehicle for the joke, and was only one of 2 things used to emphasize the slave’s need to be rescued, punchline being the players behavior, not rape, normal people realized this from the start, even most feminists. You’re not impressing anyone on either side by exaggerating like that.

    No one jokes about rape in a situation where they also don’t joke about death, war, starvation etc. You couldn’t of cared less about the latest murder in the news. Homing in on casual use of rape and ignoring everything else is is a narrow minded and ignorant thing to do.

    They handled it the way comedians have to handle groups that home in on one subject and try to ban jokes on it, its nothing new, George Carlin had to deal with it since the start of his career. They have to do it because bowing down to any of the vocal minorities would put a permanent cap on their speech from then on.

    1. You’re missing the point. The point isn’t the cartoon. The point is PA’s response to rape survivors. They were insulting and dismissive and encouraged fans to behave in the same way (things I have heard about included – demanding rape survivors provide them with proof – creating specific characters on an MMO with offensive, racist and sexist names with the intent of harrassing people – one of their fans actually reporting a woman’s rape for her without her consent or knowledge beforehand). There’s no exaggeration in this post. Korenwolf has provided a number of links to the events in question, provided links to other discussions about it and made it clear where he stands on the subject. He has pretty much said “here are the links, and this is my opinion on the casual use of the word rape.” If you consider his post exaggeration, perhaps you should step back and consider what appears to be your own knee-jerk reaction to someone who is offended by the whole thing.

      And 6 months? PA only took the shirts down last month. They only very recently showed any indication at all that, perhaps, they actually got it and that perhaps their fans were being a bit overboard in defense of them. But you want people who were offended by PA’s actions (note, their subsequent actions were much more offensive than the original cartoon… there’s an old saying “when you’re that deep, stop digging”)to quietly shuffle things under the carpet and pretend they didn’t happen? Because it was 6 months ago?

      I’m going to quote from a blog post by someone else from 4 years ago – well before this happened. (http://kateharding.net/2007/04/14/on-being-a-no-name-blogger-using-her-real-name/)

      [quote]
      ‘Cause the thing is, you and the guys you hang out with may not really mean anything by it when you talk about crazy bitches and dumb sluts and heh-heh-I’d-hit-that and you just can’t reason with them and you can’t live with ‘em can’t shoot ‘em and she’s obviously only dressed like that because she wants to get laid and if they can’t stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen and if they can’t play by the rules they don’t belong here and if they can’t take a little teasing they should quit and heh heh they’re only good for fucking and cleaning and they’re not fit to be leaders and they’re too emotional to run a business and they just want to get their hands on our money and if they’d just stop overreacting and telling themselves they’re victims they’d realize they actually have all the power in this society and white men aren’t even allowed to do anything anymore and and and…

      I get that you don’t really mean that shit. I get that you’re just talking out your ass.

      But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women–to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn’t know which one he was.

      And that guy? Thought you were on his side.[/quote]

  2. You’re insinuating:

    A) PA could fully apologize while maintaining their freedom.

    I already said that this is false and you didn’t counter it directly so I’ll move on.

    B) PA is responsible for everyone who’s been negative towards feminists.

    It’s the internet, no one can “control” a group, especially one that thinks their or another’s freedom of speech is being tread upon, if PA is responsible for every troll who tried to rile up feminists, then feminists are responsible for the death threat against one of their families (which yes includes a woman). If PA hypothetically bowed down and became unofficial slaves to feminists, the trolls wouldn’t stop, they’d either not care or get riled further. Consider it part of the streisand effect.

    C) Your quote insinuates that by making a rape joke I would be somehow aligned with or allied to a real rapist or wife beater.

    Then by that logic, by advocating censorship you are right beside hitler, stalin and __insert_despot_here__. All forms of censorship including china’s great firewall are supposed to be done in the name of the greater good. The black panther’s Kamau Kambon advocated the complete extermination of white people, especially jews, for the noble cause of preventing blacks from being persecuted, you’re right beside him to. I can make ridiculous comparisons and accusations too. If by your logic standing behind freedom of speech makes me allied to rapists, you/her are allied to brutal dictators for standing for rape victim sensitivity.

    Also the thing you quoted is incomprehensible garbage, tell that blogger to at least form sentences when she does an over the top caricature of something no respectable man does. Cartoony impressions are not valid proof, unless you want me to do a stereotype feminazi impression complete with rolling ‘r’s and some marching to prove you wrong.

    You should read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy
    And see just how many of these you’ve invoked in your posts, if you at least acknowledge it you could argue your points better in the future.

    1. A) They’ve been prepared to listen to and enter a discussion with their fans over something as trivial as used game sales. Why choose this subject to be dicks about?

      B) They cannot control a group, certainly, but they can make it pretty clear as to which side of the fence they’re on. Interesting you’d bring up the one joke death threat PA received while ignoring the hundreds of non-joke ones received by Courtney Stanton et al. They don’t have to “bow down” to anyone. They can say, very simply “We fucked up. Sorry. We’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.” They instead chose to be dicks about it.

      C) The quote says, fairly clearly, not that you would be aligned with or allied to a real rapist or wife beater, but that if there were a real rapist or wife beater, that’s what he would think. It says it right there in the last sentence. It’s not even remotely ambiguous. Might I suggest you check out that Wikipedia page you linked and look up “Straw Man”?

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