Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby JustAName » 05 Sep 2013, 03:38

I guess the problem here is that you see this as "dirty bathwater" and I see it as "horrifically insulting and unwelcoming".
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Duckay » 05 Sep 2013, 03:41

And assuming you consider "egotistical" to be in the same camp as "homophobic, transphobic and sexist".
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby JackSlack » 05 Sep 2013, 04:59

empath wrote:So Mike met up with 'hair-trigger' Harlan, eh? Ellison has had a reputation for being 'contentious' and...er, 'quick to respond to his critics' for...well, longer than Krahulik has LIVED. Indeed, Ocean Marketing isn't the ONLY example you list above that "proves that while Mike is a dick, there are far, far GREATER ones out there." :lol:


I'd put Ellison and Krahulik on a level. There's a reason I included that one in 'being a dick to people we dislike'. Ellison is very much a total dickhead. I understood this.

...that said, he's a great writer. Are you going to demand everyone boycott HIM and his works because he's been getting verbally abuse on those who disagree with him for decades?


Stop right there. I've not called for anyone to boycott, yet. Indeed, and I hope everyone can see this, I'm pretty sure both Ditto and I are all but pleading: Give us a way to keep being involved here, because we like a helluva lot of it.

How about Terry Pratchett, who's renowned to be a rude egotist in public? Where do we draw the line; how much dirty bath water has to be in the basin to throw the baby out with it?


Both Duckay and Fayili have responded to this point much better than I could have.

Apart from this bit of 'big picture' perspective, Lord Hosk has said EVERYTHING on this issue I wish to say.


Which is fair enough.

Look, there's no question about the basic dynamics here. Penny Arcade do a lot of good. One thing I intend to not even suggest is, say, that Loading Ready Run sever ties. I mean, fucking Desert Bus. I'm not about to stand in the way of hundreds of thousands of dollars of charity. That would be foolish.

But Mike's comments are damaging. This isn't the same as, say, refusing to buy Ellison's books if you think Ellison's a dick. I mean, he is. But he's also not leading a convention and setting a tone for his fanbase at said convention. (A closer example would be refusing to go to a convention because Ellison was invited to be a guest of honor, but again, not a perfect analogue.)

See, the thing is, I'm lucky. I'm a white straight male. If I go to PAX, I'm not going to feel unwelcome. And heck, I want to keep going. But I understand completely why others may no longer be wanting to.

And if they feel unwelcome... I'm not sure I want to go either.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Woland » 05 Sep 2013, 08:53

I just deleted all Penny Arcade-related material from my bookmarks. I'm not giving them any more clicks.

Unfortunately this includes Checkpoint. I'm really sad about that. I really liked Checkpoint.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Lord Hosk » 05 Sep 2013, 09:11

Beware Bering Crystal Bears, Bearing Crystals. (Especially if the crystals they are bearing are, themselves, Bering Crystal Bears.) -Old, Stupid Proverb

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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Jenelmo » 05 Sep 2013, 09:21

This is Mike's reply to the whole thing
http://www.penny-arcade.com/2013/09/04/some-clarification
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Lord Hosk » 05 Sep 2013, 09:31

One thing from that, I mean the whole thing but...

I sort of see PAX like I see my children. Yes I helped make them and yes they have a lot of me in them but they can be better than me. They can take the good stuff I have and leave out all the bad. Like my kids, PAX makes me want to be better.

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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby 2stepz » 05 Sep 2013, 09:52

... and this thread turns into a skewed version of political bureaucracy. All I can do reading this is want to run and hide from drama that has invaded another of my few 'no drama' zones.

IMO, it comes down to this... I may not agree with everything Obama does, but I'm still happy to be American. I'm not a big fan of Dan Akerson (CEO of GM) but I still drive a Chevy. The PA organization may not have the BEST leadership, but the organization as a whole still does way many more things I choose to support than I'm willing to abandon. My 2 pennies.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby JustAName » 05 Sep 2013, 10:01

...Okay. He apologized very well. I will accept.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Bebop Man » 05 Sep 2013, 10:05

So let me start by saying I like the Dickwolves strip. I think it’s a strong comic and I still think the joke is funny. Would we make that strip today? Knowing what we know now and seeing how it hurt people, no. We wouldn’t. But at the time, it seemed pretty benign. With that said I absolutely regret everything we did after that comic. I regret the follow up strip, I regret making the merchandise, I regret pulling the merchandise and I regret being such an asshole on twitter to people who were upset. I don’t think any of those things were good ideas. If we had just stopped with the strip and moved on, the Dickwolf never would have become what it is today. Which is a joke at the expense of rape victims or a symbol of the dismissal of people who have suffered a sexual assault. the comic itself obviously points out the absurd morality of the average MMO where you are actually forced to help some people and ignore others in the same situation. Oddly enough, the first comic by itself is exactly the opposite of what this whole thing has turned into.


I'm OK with this.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 05 Sep 2013, 10:11

I am very content with Mike's thorough explanation of his meaning, though it could perhaps have come out quite some time ago.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Metcarfre » 05 Sep 2013, 10:15

That's a very good apology. I'm hopeful he's learned.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Kthanid » 05 Sep 2013, 10:29

I think in future, because I'm pretty sure it's brought up at LEAST once a PAX, the second someone utters the word dickwolves or cheers at it during a Q&A. Mike and I do mean Mike, not Jerry or Khoo, needs to stop look at the person who asked the question and just say "no, next question please".

The greater debate on this is important, but I feel that especially after Mike's post today, it (the whole dickwolves debacle) needs to be put to bed once and for all. All that's happening now is people arguing in circles, it'll never get resolved to everyone's liking. The best thing that can be done is to shut down the people that try to dredge it back into the forefront,

In the end though frankly I was more upset at the cheers and woos I heard from people in the crowd than I was Mike. Those people, and the people who wear shirts like "cool story babe, now go and make me a sandwich" are the real problem.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby JayBlanc » 05 Sep 2013, 10:32

I'm not sure about this apology, because in making it he again says he thinks pulling the Dickwolves Merchandising was a mistake.

"Had we left it alone, the ongoing tension about the whole thing might have subsided but Robert made the call to pull the shirts."

No. Just no. That's a really really toxic way to view what happened. To suggest they they should just have swept it under the rug and ignored what had happened, in hope that 'this whole rape culture thing will blow over'? "I know we've done some bad shit, so let's keep our heads down till people forget about it" is not the lesson to learn from this!

Mike can keep making all the apologies in the world, but if he doesn't show that he understands the mistakes he keeps making, and is working to avoid making them again and again and again...

No, sorry, I just can't accept this apology.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby ecocd » 05 Sep 2013, 11:09

Clearly an honest apology written by Mike's own hand and shows he has, to some extent, learned that he hurt people. He also stands by his right to say what he wants to say and how he says it. It's about as good as it can be while still being completely truthful.

2stepz, I understand what you're saying about LRR forums being small enough that it's a no drama zone, but I feel this thread is actually another demonstration of that. I suggested in the PAX thread that if people wanted to discuss Mike, they could create their own thread. Like civilized people we/they did and it hasn't spilled over into other threads.

I don't open the Sex discussion threads, because that's not my thing and the sex discussions stay right there and don't ooze out anywhere else.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Woland » 05 Sep 2013, 11:11

For me, the first real mistake was to make the t-shirts, because that is tantamount to making money from trolling rape victims. He says, "your opinion is lame, and to show that it is lame, I am going to make money from it." The t-shirts would not have exited if no one had spoken up about being offended. I.E., the t-shirts only existed because people were offended. Taking them down was a good move, but I have never seen Mike say that it was wrong to make a profit on others' misery, which he was intentionally exacerbating and bringing into the spotlight. Basically, Mike and the rest of P-A in this interaction were being massive Trolls. As James says, "Don't feed the trolls." For me, that means, no more traffic and no more money.

I am glad to see the apology, because I think it brings a lot of otherwise ambiguous statements into a better context, but I don't think it shows that Mike has done any better in the empathy department.

I can't allow myself to go back until I see that he isn't going to do it again. I haven't seen that yet.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 05 Sep 2013, 11:50

JayBlanc wrote:I'm not sure about this apology, because in making it he again says he thinks pulling the Dickwolves Merchandising was a mistake.

"Had we left it alone, the ongoing tension about the whole thing might have subsided but Robert made the call to pull the shirts."

No. Just no. That's a really really toxic way to view what happened. To suggest they they should just have swept it under the rug and ignored what had happened, in hope that 'this whole rape culture thing will blow over'? "I know we've done some bad shit, so let's keep our heads down till people forget about it" is not the lesson to learn from this!

Mike can keep making all the apologies in the world, but if he doesn't show that he understands the mistakes he keeps making, and is working to avoid making them again and again and again...

No, sorry, I just can't accept this apology.

I think you're missing his meaning a bit. He's not saying that specifically pulling the shirts was bad, he's saying instead that heaping attention-grabbing action on attention-grabbing action on the whole issue was the wrong move. He points out every step of the debacle as a mistake, and the pulling of the merchandise was just the last item on the list.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 05 Sep 2013, 12:20

That is about the most mature response I could have imagined to the situation, if only for the final paragraph. Shows he has a desire to be better, and I will forgive a lot in anyone willing to repent and better themselves.

Although now he's got to start fixing some of the other problems.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby 2stepz » 05 Sep 2013, 12:23

The way I understood his comment on pulling merchandise wasn't that the pull itself was wrong, but publicizing it as a pull was wrong. If it had just disappeared or 'sold out' with no comment, that would have been less fuel to the raging fire.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby JackSlack » 05 Sep 2013, 12:25

I dunno. I still kind of want to ask him three questions.

1. But why the hell was the decision made to make the shirt?
2. Given how obviously inflammatory making the shirt was, what could you have done but pull it?
3. Has the idea of getting Gabe, or better yet the whole Penny Arcade staff, to take equity and diversity training ever come up?

That said, I do appreciate very much that his apology centres around the second strip and his response to criticism, not the original strip. That's something around in the right zone. Like JayBlanc, though, I'm baffled by the idea that pulling the shirts was wrong.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby JayBlanc » 05 Sep 2013, 12:27

I don't see how he can fix the problems, if he considers a primary example of fixing something to have been something they shouldn't have done because it 'was just another escalation'. As I said, it reads like his solution to all this is to just keep his head down and not try to fix anything, which we all know means it's just waiting for Mount Krahulik to erupt again...
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby JackSlack » 05 Sep 2013, 12:31

Yeah. There's a reason I give 'consider going to equity and diversity training' a spot in those questions. Mike needs to start asking why he keeps ending up at the centre of these storms.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby psychopez » 05 Sep 2013, 14:08

So, first, I know I come and go from the LRR forums and community. But seeing the Crew there, running into Lord Hosk again after he gave me a BITN, made me come back and poke around.

The internal back and forth in my head is what's getting me to post.

I'm not going to rehash a lot of what's been said. I want to keep on going to PAX to be an admittedly tiny vector of change, though I totally grok if someone wishes not to go as is. I was in the crowd a few years ago when the Dickwolf was drawn during the Q&A, and I laughed out loud and egged him on to do so, and didn't find anything objectionable about it.

It was also after talking with friends I made at the same PAX that I understood the issues around it and came around. I don't want to give up on PAX and its people because of that; thought I can see if others don't feel safe or have the patience clean up the con, I at this point do.

I'm just rambling now...bah.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby AlexanderDitto » 05 Sep 2013, 14:26

I have had enough of all of this nonsense. So I'm just deleting this.
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Re: Penny Arcade and 'The Mike Problem'

Postby Elomin Sha » 05 Sep 2013, 14:30

Woland wrote:I just deleted all Penny Arcade-related material from my bookmarks. I'm not giving them any more clicks.

Unfortunately this includes Checkpoint. I'm really sad about that. I really liked Checkpoint.


Does that mean you will be boycotting Desert Bus and Child's Play? They are Penny Arcade related.
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