Everything here is true. One addition: There’s no such thing as “work/life balance.” Life comes first, and any good manager or employer will tell you that. So when an ad pretends such a thing exists, and then says that they’re coming down on the side of “work” anyway, they’re fucking asshole employers.
We haven’t met, so let me introduce myself. I’m Mike Selinker, a game designer from Seattle. I’ve worked on lots of games, mostly board and card games. It’s my job to entertain people, and it’s a far less important one than you have. But every…
When you issue a public apology, ideally, it’s because you’ve found yourself waist-deep in moral quicksand and wisely decided that stubbornly thrashing about in the name of abstract concepts like machismo - read, the worst reason for doing anything, ever - is less productive than admitting fault. More than that, though, an apology should be intended as a reassurance to others that you’re not going to keep bungling things in the same spectacular fashion. Without that critical element of self-analysis, you’re not apologizing; you’re just groveling for its own sake. You’re not really acknowledging or addressing the causative elements of the situation at hand. And that helps no one.
The uproar over Mike Krahulik’s onstage comments at PAX Prime this week is not unexpected for anyone familiar with Mike’s storied history of controversial outbursts. But as the years have gone by, I’ve learned to appreciate, with a mix of resigned sorrow and consternation, the ballooning delta by which Penny Arcade misses the point in their otherwise whole-hearted apologies. Mike, like most people tempering their personal narratives, believes himself be a good person. But at the point where uninformed behavior persists in the face of corrective critique and becomes stubborn, offensive naiveté, your best option is to cut ties.
In this sense, one of the best pieces of life advice I ever received was from my high school driving instructor. Of people who aggressively and erratically endanger others on the road, he advised: “Pull back, don’t be stupid with them. Let them have their accident somewhere else.”
I used to be a huge Penny Arcade fan, and always enjoyed Mike’s art and Jerry’s prose. I still do, when I see it. My brother owns all their books, and I proudly wore their apparel in high school (Jesus, it’s been that long?). But at some point - likely Dickwolf Kerfuffle Prime - I began developing the sinking feeling that things would continue trending steadily downhill; each year, injecting another complicating factor into Penny Arcade’s gendered House of Usher. And each year has borne me out, gifting me with a new, massive bone to pick with gamer culture and Penny Arcade in particular about the state of sex and gender discourse in the culture they have in many ways come to represent.
I’m a straight, white, cisgendered male in the Pacific Northwest. I am never the target of discrimination (minus the occasional anti-semitic slur). I do not suffer any social background radiation that pecks and claws at me as I make my way through life and industry. I’d love to have a celebration of an inclusive games community, including sexual assault survivors, trans people, and others. I also value honesty, open-mindedness, self-analysis, and empathy on a fundamental level. For all those reasons, I have not attended PAX since 2011. And after reading Mike’s misguided apology, I do not plan on returning anytime soon.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by my booth at PAX. I was really glad to hear you liked my game. Believe it or not, you were actually kind of a hero of mine when I was a kid, and your writing style was a huge inspiration to me; so hearing that from you meant a whole lot.
In the endless madness of consumerism and the Internet, the crowdfunding service Kickstarter allowed a book project titled “Above the Game” to use and receive money through their service, to the total of $16,000 dollars. An unofficial sequel/competitor to “The Game” by Neil Strauss of Pickup…
I love Kickstarter. I think that’s clear to people who know me by now? I love it. There’s a dude named Brad Muir and he works at Double Fine and I love the games they make, so much. But before Kickstarter, every time a Double Fine game came out I was a little worried it would be their last,…
Have just reported my second-ever Kickstarter violation (the other was for much less offensive reasons).
How is this even a thing? I’m a dude. I get it. Girls can be scary. They look just like humans, but they make Weird Things happen in your pants-area. It must be magic. They are the Gargamels to your dick’s whatever-Smurf-your-dick-is.
(Sidenote: the makers of The Smurfs meant for each Smurf to…
Where is it that your piece is set that there just aren’t any POC there? I mean, I’m sure there are places like that. Wherever it is that white people fly to when they take white flight comes to mind. Maybe you’re writing a story set in a gated community in the suburbs of Portland…
me:(out shopping, looking all fly with my Marvel comics tote bag featuring several characters)
me:thanks. (keeps on shopping)
dude:do you even know who all those characters are?
dude:ok then, who's that guy? (points at a character on the bag)
me:wait, are you asking me to prove that I'm enough of a fan enough to carry this bag?
dude:(smirks) that's what I thought. He's called the Silver Surfer. I bet you don't even know his real name.
me:does it matter? (starts to edge away before I start punching throats)
dude:psh, you're not a real fan.
me:(slowly unsheathing my Wolverine claws)
me:how many pairs of chromosomes do humans contain in their cells?
me:explain the function of cellular mitosis?
me:what is the purpose of myelin sheath with regards to the formation of new neural pathways?
dude:what are you even talking about?
me:oh, well it seemed that you were implying that if I don't know as much about the Marvel universe as you do, then I can't possibly be considered a real fan. This is me implying that because you don't know as much about the human body as I do, you can't possibly be considered a real human being.
dude:Um, I... wow. You're right. Have a nice day. (starts to shuffle away)
Here’s the problem with video game sequels, as opposed to linear/film ones.
In a game, the users are used to the cadence of the experience. However airtight each game mechanic is. They are, quite literally, learning a new “language” with each new game that they’ve never laid their hands on…
If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that we all love cute-ass videos. Well, almost all of us. Welcome to Eff This Video, the column where Liz Shannon Miller explains to you why your favorite videos are some bullshit.
OKAY. Before I even click play on this bitch, let me…
“Subscribers may choose not to receive promotional or marketing telephone calls or postal mailings regarding the Covered Services by contacting us at 1-888-425-2088 for placement on Cablevision’s “Do Not Call” list or by contacting us at 1-888-425-2090 for placement on Cablevision’s “Do Not Mail” list. Please note, any Subscriber requests after May 1, 2010 to be placed on the “Do Not Mail” list will only be effective for the 12-month period following such request. If Subscribers wish to continue to remain on the “Do Not Mail” list, Subscribers will need to make another request upon the expiration of the previous request. Please also note, “Do Not Call” and “Do Not Mail” requests may take up to thirty (30) days to become effective.”—
I would not advise calling that number: the experience is not pleasant. I have yet to make it successfully through to the end of the process, to no-call Nirvana. And if I ever do, they’ll just start calling me again after 11 months anyway. Basically, never give Cablevision your phone number, because once you do, you’ll never get them to stop calling you.
My name’s Michael Hartney. I’m as big a Superman fan as you’ll ever meet. I have bought Superman comics every Wednesday since I learned to read, which was nearly 30 years ago. Superman was the subject of my blog and my one-man show. My name is tattooed on my arm in Kryptonian, for Zod’s…
Editorial cartoonist Bill Day hit his fundraising goal on the crowd funding site Indiegogo this week: $35,000 to keep drawing editorial cartoons for a year. Day is syndicated through Cagle and, like the rest of us, can’t make a full time living with the rates we are paid. Since he…
So, my first semester of my freshman year of college, I took this Intro to Women’s Studies class. The class met for five hours a week, one two hour session and one three hour session, and the breakdown of students was what I eventually discovered to be the typical sampling in any Women’s Studies class with no pre-recs at my mid-sized, southern Ohio state school. There were a number of girls who would become, or were already part of, the feminist advocacy groups on campus; there were a number of girls who would prove themselves to be opposed to feminism in both concept and practice, one of whom I distinctly recall giving a presentation on the merits of the “Mrs. Degree,” while my professor’s eye twitched in muted horror; there were a handful of girls and at least one guy I’d come to know later through assorted campus queer groups; and there were, of course, the three to six dudebros, self-admittedly there to “meet chicks,” all but one or two of whom would drop the class after the first midterm. At eighteen, I was myself a feminist in name but not in practice—I believed in the idea behind feminism (which is, for the record, that people should be on equal footing regardless of gender, not that we should CRUSH ALL MEN BENEATH THE VICIOUS HEELS OF OUR DOC MARTENS GLORY HALLELUJAH), but I didn’t actually know anything about it. I could not identify the waves of feminism. Intersectionality and how the movement is crap at it were not things of which I was aware. Never had I ever encountered the writings of bell hooks. In a lucky break, you do not need to know about the waves of feminism, or know what intersectionality is, or have read bell hooks to read this essay! (But you should read bell hooks. Everyone should read bell hooks. bell hooks is FUCKING AWESOME.)
The first couple of weeks of this class were about what you’d expect. The professor was fun and engaging, but she was not exactly pulling out the eye-opening stops on our wide-eyed freshman asses. There were handouts. There were selections of the textbook for reading. There was a very depressing class about domestic violence, abuse, and rape that was the typical rattling off of terms and horrific statistics that everyone winced at, but that nobody really internalized. The dudebros snickered in the back corner, grouped together like they would be infested by cooties if they spread out, occasionally chiming in with helpful comments like, “Dude, the lady on the back of this book is smoking,” and getting turned down by each girl in the class, on whom they were hitting in what I can only assume was a pre-determined descending order of hotness. The queer kids, myself included, huddled in the other corner making pithy comments. The up-and-coming active feminists glared at the bros, who leered back, and the Mrs. Degree-friendly crowd mostly texted under their desks and made it very clear that they were only there for humanities credit. Again, it was a fairly typical southern Ohio state school class full of fairly typical southern Ohio state school freshmen. Nobody was super engaged, is what I am saying here. Nobody, myself included, was really eating it up with a spoon.
And then one day, my professor opened the class with, “So, who here has seen Beauty and the Beast?”
A few days ago an asshole using the Twitter ID @MisterE2009 started making attacks on a bunch of male and female creators and fans. A sample of the abuse which can be seen at Bleeding Cool (as the guy has now deleted the Twitter page). Soon people figured out that he also had another Twitter ID,…