So I figured I would start it off with this whole PAX thing since it's of course relating to a convention that is very important to gaming. The Penny Arcade Expo. Here various developers go and show off their games while people try them out, get merchandise, and youtubers report on it all putting up videos of content. There has been an issue in the past with the creators of PAX specifically Mike K, and his bashing of transgender people along with his disdain for victims of sexual assault. Originally it started with a comic about what are essentially wolves made out of penises. In the comic they do not appear and are only mentioned, it is a joke about how players characters in MMO's have no actual care for other humans. The character has a quest to save five slaves and as he is leaving when a sixth slave begs for freedom. He explains he only needed five slaves for the quest while the slave mentions being **** every night by the **** wolves. The player says "Don't make this weird" and leaves, a joke that uses sexual assault as a frame of reference without the joke being about sexual assault just how inconsiderate the player character is. The comic can be read here. http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/965474677_7etTF-L.jpg
There was a backlash to this from victims of sexual assault saying it was offensive and that it alienated them. Personally I have no issue with the actual comic panel and I even found it humorous as an MMO players I easily got the joke. But I can see why people got offended and the Penny Arcade owners made a few statements apologizing while saying they weren't going to stop making offensive content and that it was just a joke to not be taken seriously. However as time went on they handled it in much worse ways creating comics patronizing people and tweeting about people that were offended as if they were morally in the wrong to be offended. Here is a comic they made in response to the controversy. http://brokentoys.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/967761811_miT38-L.jpg Eventually they went on to make merchandise out of it and market themselves as the voice of freedom fighting censorship against those that oppose them. Keep in mind the people that opposed them were victims of sexual assault that were being triggered and reminded of horrible acts against them, acts that Mike K in particular made light of through tweets. Here is the shirt they sold. http://tinyurl.com/lwrzbml They sold these at PAX and people would parade them around at PAX while Mike would tell people to wear them often and even wear the shirt himself to PAX. Keeping in mind it is a **** joke which he wants to now make light of and have it be an inside joke among his fans. In fact one year at PAX for a panel he projected an image he was drawing of a **** Wolf, a Wolf with phallic legs while making jokes about it and wearing the shirt. I'm not going to link an image to that since it's quite crass and I'd rather not. You can look it up if you want. Instead here is Wil Wheaton tweeting against the whole controversy. http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lg2k65ve3q1qfjiio.png Due to further offense they stopped selling the shirts and took down mention of the merchandise on their site, a step in the right direction. However at this year's PAX Mike K just announced that he felt the biggest mistake he had made in regards to Penny Arcade was giving into demand and stopping the selling of the shirts, to which his fellow higher ups of Penny Arcade agreed and supported what he said. He tweeted about wearing his shirt this year and suggesting others do the same and it seems like he might start selling the shirts again. Currently people are calling for a Boycott of PAX and some media sites are reporting on it though those associated with PAX do not seem to be doing so.
Someone has written an article about this that might explain it all a bit better than me. http://tinyurl.com/m5y4lnc
Now how is this relating to genders? It should be obvious, in regards to sexual assault which happens quite frequently to women in comparison to males(Though it does happen to both genders), this is causing many to feel alienated at said convention when it should be friendly towards everyone. How would you feel if you wished to take your girlfriend/boyfriend/sibbling/parent/child to PAX only to have them feeling uncomfortable and unwelcome with people walking around with these shirts and joking about people being offended or triggered by them? It's frankly disgusting behavior from PAX, and I can agree with Boycotting them though I personally couldn't afford to go anyway. I do recommend to people to simply not go, paying for tickets is using your wallet to tell them you are okay with their behavior.
Also I should remind people that before posting in here to keep in mind the rules of the forum and to follow them.
Now then, how do you people feel about the PAX situation? Does anyone have any questions about it, any stories of similar situations that are going on? Do any of you feel like boycotting PAX would do anything or have any ideas about how to get those that own Penny Arcade to start considering the effects their actions and words have upon others?
EDIT: It should also be mentioned that fans of Penny Arcade have made their own group, Team ****, a group which harasses anti-sexual assault groups and victims of sexual assaults. http://tinyurl.com/kgu6ft4
Last edited by Tolvo on Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:38 am; edited 1 time in total