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 The Sixth Slave

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PostSubject: The Sixth Slave   Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:04 am

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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PostSubject: Re: The Sixth Slave   Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:06 pm

If I had to support someone, I would have backed Penny Arcade. Just because they both were idiots doesn't stop the fact that the bloggers started it, with no reason of true merit.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sixth Slave   Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:08 pm

Gabe was spot on with this quote:

Quote :
What surprised me most about some of the reactions to our Dickwolf joke was not that people were offended. But that this was the comic that offended them. In each case the emails I got started with something like “I’ve been a long time fan” or “Been reading the comic for years...” and then they go into how this particular comic really bothered them.

I just don’t understand that. Did the comics about bestiality, suicide, murder, pedophilia, and torture not bother them? Or how about the fruit fucker? I mean, we have a character who is a literal rapist. What comic strip have they been reading all these years?

For the most part I think that people are perfectly happy to laugh at offensive jokes until the joke offends them. Then it’s not funny anymore. There is no way we can know what each and every person who reads the comic has decided to find offensive.

I think the blogger who took offense was overreacting, personally. Considering other comics and even Penny Arcade have featured stuff that is potentially more offensive, it seems more like a grab for attention than anything else. And it's kind of ironic that by protesting it, the blogger has actually drawn more attention to it, along with Penny Arcade in general.

But, if I was Penny Arcade, I would have just ignored it. There's no reason they should have fueled the fire.
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