Perhaps this is old news to you guys, or perhaps you haven't heard any of this, but there has been a firestorm on the internet over a recent strip run by the gaming webcomic Penny Arcade.
You can find a time line of the internet crisis here, but the quick and dirty version is thus;
Penny Arcade runs a comic lampooning the flaws of the common MMO quest structure. The central joke is that there are more survivors than the hero is tasked with saving, and that those that are left have to endure such tortures as being "...raped to sleep by the dickwolves."
Since then, a blogosphere firefight has erupted between those that though that the rape joke was tasteless and insensitive, and Penny Arcade and their defenders. At a time, the opposing sides even had their own T-shirts. Things have simmered down a bit, but there's still an underground coal fire burning and with PAX approaching, it's likely to start up again. There have already been calls for a boycott of the conference.
What do you guys make of all this. Spcecifically, how do you feel about the way the two parties have handled themselves?
My two cents? Both sides have handled the situation fucking atrociously, with the Penny Arcade taking a slight lead in the appalling behavior category, but only slightly.
That being said, I'm inclined to side with the Penny Arcade side of the debate.
When it comes to comedy, the most powerful way you can voice your opinion on a joke is to not laugh. If your watching a comedian and he tells an unfunny or offensive joke, you don't stand up in the audience and should "That joke wasn't funny/was offensive becasue...!" You just don't laugh.
Granted, exercising this sanction on internet comedians is extremely difficult. However, grandstanding on your blog soapbox is not the way to do it. Send them an email, or use twitter and say "that comic on 8/11 wasn't funny."
The sudden and violent uprising strikes me as incredibly disingenuous, especially when you consider that this was hardly the first time that they've featured objectionable content in their strip.
My personal opinion on the matter is that this was a power-grab by a bunch of bloggers who wanted to make a name for themselves by taking shots at an internet institution.
Yes, there are issues in the gaming community in that need to be dealt with, especially in regards to women and sexuality. But T-Shirts and blogs aren't the way to do it.
This in no way excuses the way the Penny Arcade Defenders have conducted themselves, though.
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