Keyboard Geniuses

Welcome To The Goomba Squad

Highlights from the week’s comment threads.

By Matt Kodner • June 21, 2013

Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.

The Worm Keeps Turning

Bob Mackey wrote a For Our Consideration op-ed on a new game coming from Doug TenNapel, the creator of Earthworm Jim. TenNapel and his partner studio are looking to crowdfund Armikrog, but Mackey was conflicted by TenNapel’s anti-gay remarks. HobbesMkii laid out his perspective on separating art and artist:

I think this is one of those critical questions in art. Shortly after reading Speaker For The Dead (which I hold is the best of Orson Scott Card’s novels) and its attendant sequels, I learned Card was further to the right than “Keep Right” signs. It was like someone telling you that eating ice cream kills puppies. It’s tough to get over, and I still haven’t read a Card novel since. But since then, I’ve thought about it a lot, and the way I approach it is two-fold:

1) An artist’s belief system cannot help but shape their work.

2) After its creation, the work stands separate from the artist, and the artist can exert no influence over it unless the consumer allows them to.

We don’t pay artists to spout political opinions. We pay them to produce art. And they’ve by and large done that without getting too overtly political about it. Sometimes they have, and it’s wonderful (Guernica), but more often when they’re overt, it’s trash, and everyone knows it. If the art they produce is political in a way you dislike, if espouses hate or opinions you find contrary, then go ahead and boycott them. But if it’s not, don’t judge the art for the artist. I realize this isn’t perfect advice.

Will I buy another Card novel? Probably not. Will I donate to TenNapel’s Kickstarter? Definitely not. (Not an Earthworm Jim fan.) But I’m not going to castigate those who do. You shouldn’t feel shame about supporting the art you like.

TenNapel himself got into the conversation and defended his stance. Here’s an excerpt:

Though I deeply oppose same sex marriage and the advocacy of that position by my opposition, I don’t in any way hate them. We ought to work hard to treat our opposition with fairness. If I believe my opposition is bullying and intolerant, I’m not justified in bullying them and being intolerant if I claim to be against bullying and intolerance. A lot of this debate reveals what I’ve always suspected about the left, that their claims of relative, subjective truth, tolerance, anti-bullying, and claims against hatred are only held when it’s convenient for their argument. These supposed principles of the left are jettisoned the moment it’s most important that they be held.

Controller Confusion
Tom Clancy's The Division

Still basking in the afterglow of E3, Ryan Smith brought us a preview of the new Tom Clancy game, The Division. One of the touted features involves a multiplayer mode in which a helper pitches in from her connected smartphone or tablet. Crab Naga thinks the whole game-of-a-thousand-gadgets business is a load of hooey:

I don’t understand what game companies are trying to go for here with these alternative multiplayer modes. Are these new and innovative modes just the “girlfriend/parent” mode? The counter to the “Nah, that game looks too complex/intense for me; I think I’ll just watch” statements that most gamers are too familiar with? Just shove a tablet or remote in their face and make them do busywork that tangentially helps the player.

Are these asynchronous multiplayer modes an actual legitimate attempt to introduce new and unique mechanics to the game? Are they a transparent ploy to sell corresponding SmartGlass® devices? Is it simply easier in the current state of AAA game design to implement these sorts of multiplayer than more classical co-op that focuses on the core gameplay? Or is it some combination of the above? I’m honestly baffled.

Wright Or Rong
Ace Attorney

Anthony John Agnello previewed the new Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game after checking it out at E3. The series has its fans, including our own Derrick Sanskrit, who singled out the third entry for its remarkable ending, and Duwease agreed:

That’s the fairly unique quality that really keeps me coming back to the Ace Attorney series: Defeating the “bad guy” in the end is incredibly gratifying. You’d think, with video games squarely based around the plot conceit of pitting you against a villain, that this would be a more common occurrence. But usually, the final battle is just another hurdle that happens to be the last and most bombastic.

I think the main contributor to this is the fact that games prefer to keep their villains mostly out of the main action and limit their plot interaction to cutscenes or the occasional quick appearance to beat down the hero and gloat. You don’t generally spend a lot of time struggling with them directly, and I think that causes a failure to create a real feeling of rivalry.

But in the Ace Attorney series, you’re face-to-face with the scumbag from the beginning. You get familiar with their unique personality, and you spend most of the case staring directly at their dirty, lying face in a direct battle of wits. Once you do finally topple them…oh, man. I’m not ashamed to shout “IN YOUR FACE!” at my DS. Their downfall is protracted and immensely enjoyable.

Rats Off To Ya
Cyclone Jr.

Gameological sent yours truly on location to Chuck E. Cheese’s, the place where children’s dreams are made—and subsequently crushed when they realize there aren’t enough tickets in the world to win that mini basketball emblazoned with Chuck E.’s likeness. I had a great time gallivanting through a sea of cruddy arcade games. OldeFortran77 gave us a bit of a more mature perspective on the establishment:

As a parent, I found Chuck E. Cheese’s to be an excellent laboratory for teaching economics. The arcade games are fine since I used to be able to get tokens for much less than 25 cents, and you get a couple of minutes of entertainment. The real lesson is from watching the blatant token-eating machines that are nothing more than dropping in a token and hoping it earns you a pile of tickets. A token yields maybe five seconds of entertainment. And even if you earn a pile of tickets (which is unlikely), you can exchange them for prizes you could buy at the K-Mart next door for a tiny fraction of what you spent in tokens. It was amazing to see how quickly some children could shove tokens into those machines.

Elsewhere, Vinnybushes informed us of a local Chuck E. Cheese’s losing its liquor license over repeated brawls, prompting Gameological editor John Teti to ask just how many brawls had blighted this establishment. Vinnybushes did a little research:

The answer is 12 fights, including one that involved as many as 40 people. Oh, and it might have been gang violence.

That link is worth checking out. Beyond the fact that Chuck E. Cheese’s security guards have been armed with pistols (!!!), the bit where one mother MacGyvered a red entrance rope into a makeshift mace and flail really stuck out to me.

Get To The Point

Gameological readers fed up with Shooty-McShoot-Shoot games must have let out a collective sigh of relief when Ryan Smith reviewed Gunpoint, a spy game which, contrary to its title, features very little gun action. While you can eventually get a gun in the game, RidleyFGJ had the scoop on why it’s still not a big deal:

Outside of a few of the achievements, the gun is not only quite useless, but firing it even once calls the cops and starts a countdown. Once the countdown reaches zero, a police sniper camps at the exit and will take you down as soon as he sees you. Also, you can’t refill ammo for it, so once you’ve used all your bullets, you have to start a whole new game to get them back.

Welcome To Miami: Hotline Style
Hotline Miami

For another E3 report, Matt Gerardi ventured outside the soulless arena that is the Los Angeles Convention Center and into an RV housing the new Hotline Miami sequel. Matt noted that the game’s creators hope to explore a range of emotions beyond the pure violence of the first game. Naked Snake is cautiously optimistic:

That’s great that they are ambitious. It’s important to pursue new ideas and directions when you make a sequel. That said, I hope that they don’t get too far down this “explore sadness and how we cope with things coming to and end” direction. The first one was good, really good, because it stripped a gameplay experience to its core. It was unapologetic violence, action, and reflexes, and it worked because there were no distractions. Sometimes simplicity is better than depth (particularly if that depth is just pretentious).

Mario The Murderer

In last week’s Keyboard Geniuses, Chalkdust pointed us to a spectacular illustration of Mario, everyone’s favorite Goomba hitman, that came from Spacemonkey Mafia. Spacemonkey submitted this portrait in response to our Murder Report video for Nintendo’s E3 presentation. His only comment:

It was a bloodbath.

Goomba Stomp

Well folks, that’s it! Thanks for reading and commenting, and we’ll see you next week.

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164 Responses to “Welcome To The Goomba Squad”

  1. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

    I was just re-reading through that Tennapel article’s comments and I just wanted to express how fucking happy I am that all you fine commenters are on here. Like seriously, that is the kind of shit that makes me think “hey, maybe everyone isn’t a total asshole.”

    And those were comments on the internet! ON A SITE FOCUSED AROUND VIDEOGAMES! Holy shit.

    • Fluka says:

      I was very pleasantly surprised to see Gameological get called out in this recent Open Letter to the Games Media (it’s by Samantha Allen, who occasionally posts here).  Seriously, John et al.  I have no idea what you did to make this place so damn respectful and civil.  BUT KEEP DOING IT PLEASE.

      • GaryX says:

        Yeah, I saw that linked from a comment on Giant Bomb calling her militant and then LOL’ed when I actually read the thing. Then was presently surprised by the shout out.

        But just let it be known I hate all you wonderful people bastards!

      • WaxTom says:

        That’s a really good letter. I have to say, as much as people bemoan Tumblr’s social justice bloggers (rightfully so most of the time because they go about that stuff in the worst way) I am loving the more and more vocal opposition to misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia in the video game community as of late. There’s still a long way to go, but the fact that people are willing to speak out against something like Microsoft’s E3 rape joke and get the company to apologize is great. Now if only the film community would be more willing to talk about this stuff instead of assuring themselves that they are super progressive because of Bridesmaids…

        • HammettDammit says:

          Blehhh, I don’t want to jump up and down on you, but I have been seeing a lot of people here and on the AV Club bemoan “social justice tumblr kids” and it just rubs me the wrong way.

          People interested in social justice can definitely be annoying but they are so thoroughly not the problem. Equating stupid people who poorly articulate points about, say, misogyny with stupid people who espouse misogyny is a waste of time and effort and doesn’t help anyone.

          On top of which, of course young people who are only just starting to become politically involved are gonna be stupid. Just give ’em some time!

          Anyways, your comment was pretty good, I just needed to get that off my chest.

        • WaxTom says:

          @HammettDammit:disqus Oh no, I actually totally agree with you on that, and I think the higher awareness about misogyny and rape jokes or whatever is great! I’m talking about the tone deafness so many of these blogs have, yelling at people about being offensive while, mostly unintentionally I admit, committing many of the same things against other socially maligned groups, most commonly with the disabled. (“That’s so retarded!” “Fucking schizophrenic douche!” “These autistic motherfuckers!” ect.)

          You’re right that, for the most part, these people are just kids, many still in high school, who don’t understand the best way to go about stuff. You can even say that their aggressive stance on disagreement of any sort is because many of them are bullied so often, both in real life and in the online world, that they default to a defensive outlook. And this is true, and god bless those kids for speaking out against this stuff. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to be criticized, and their tactics can’t rightfully be called immature.

          But you’re right, that aside was unnecessary to my comment, and I’m sorry for coming off as “fuck those tumblr kids!” when I really didn’t mean to. (I do hate tumblr, but that’s mostly because of the memes.)

        • ricin_beans says:

          I just have trouble dealing with social justice blogger types because they are just not interested in debate.  Contradict one of them on the slightest detail, in the most respectful and least inflammatory manner, the best you can expect is a condescending lecture.  More likely, you get a hail of insults, someone will flag your comment, and you will be accused of every hateful ideology that exists.  At least the misogynists and homophobes know that they are assholes.  The social justice kids are assholes in the way only the righteous can be.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        Oh that’s pretty awesome! I’ve been sort of quietly wondering if other people into both games and not being shitty people were clued in on how great the comments here are. 

        In addition to not being shitty, I love how much commenting here feels like participating in an actual community.  

        I really can’t harp enough on how grateful I am that this site exists. The internet can be pretty ok sometimes!

      • HobbesMkii says:

        Does anyone else think that Soupy in large part contributes to the quality? I mean, it’s not a perfect system, but the idea that a quality comment gets enshrined on Friday definitely causes me to put more thought into my responses. Granted, I only ever get a mention when I wing it, not when I try to get on KG (same thing again this week–my ramblings reduced to a handful of grafs). 

        I can imagine it’d be tough to replicate it on some other sites, though. Kodner must have a heck of a time doing this every week. Especially in the long discussions, there are so many good ones that it almost seems criminal to select just a few.

        • GaryX says:

          I think a lot of sites default to the “most upvotes” thing which ultimately turns the site into everyone trying to one up each other for whatever will get the most likes, so yeah, it’s definitely tough to transport to other sites.

          Then again, Reddit has a “best-of” thing and that still doesn’t stop it from creating things like

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Huzzah. Kudos to us and John and Steve and Drew and all the happy elves who make this place so not-awful that I can actually stand it.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          I gotta say that I’m not sure our comments section are composed of any more diverse a commenting population than the other sites, but I am sure that our many of our most prolific members don’t fall into the “straight white male” category that is (erroneously) accepted as the default, and I think that has made a great deal of the difference, especially to me as someone who does fall into that category.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          I think it’s much easier than that, though you’re certainly not wrong.
          Very early on the tone was set that this is a place where we talk about games as adults (regardless of age). John did a fantastic job of taking what’s good about AVC and leaving behind certain things that are bad about AVC and wrapping the subject of games so airtight within that the smell didn’t attract the self-loathing menagerie of trolls it usually does.
          I think John (and of course everyone else involved with the creation of GS) deserves a massive round of applause for that, because his decision has likely condemned GS to never be the click-farm and cash-cow that awful places like IGN or GameSpot are. He has chosen to put quality and intellectual discourse before financial and moral exploitation and I will never be able to adequately thank him for that, though I just may have right with that sentence.

          This is down to all of us being who we are rather than who the internet allows us to be, but mostly it’s down to the creators of GS being great people with a great vision.
          And while I fear the day, I hope that in some time that will be rewarded with financial blessings also, because this page is too good to not be making some serious and deserved income for its staff.

        • Dave Dalrymple says:

          Kudos to Effigy Power, Fluka, Pagan Poet and all our other commenters who aren’t straight white males for having the courage to self-identify and let their voices be heard. 

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Congratulate me for who I am, you proles!

          (Seriously thanks, that’s nice to hear. Getting all warm and gooey in here.)

        • Fluka says:

          @davedalrymple:disqus I’m just gonna reply to that with a hearty Dawwwwwwwww.

          (On the internet, no one knows you’re a cat…)

        • PaganPoet says:

          This is one of the few communities I visit and comment regularly, and the only one about regarding video games, because it’s the only video game site I’ve found where I can be open about being a gay man without worrying about hate speech being lodged at me. This and a Kylie Minogue fan forum, but let’s be honest, the gays dominate over there.

        • His_Space_Holiness says:

          Well, as a straight white male, I’m just gonna take my Nuts ‘n’ Gum and go home.

        • Merve says:

          @His_Space_Holiness:disqus: TOGETHER AT LAST!

      • The_Misanthrope says:

         I do wonder how much of this site’s respectfulness comes from a better breed of commenatariat [shamelessly pats myself on the back] and how much comes from aggressive culling of bad comments by the staff.  I don’t actually see many comments flagged here (and most of those were spambots), but maybe that’s because we’re not big enough to be on the trolls’ radar yet.  In any case, I’m glad this site exists.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          Whatever happened to the spambots. They used to come in here, posting their links all the time, and we’d flag the heck out of them and post funny comments about why they sucked. 

          And now they’re all gone.

        • Fluka says:

          @HobbesMkii:disqus Gameological’s comments were so insightful and civil that they transformed the spambots into real human beings.  Now they walk among us.  Or at least that’s why my cousin Anita says, who makes $500 a day working from home.

          • The_Misanthrope says:

            One of the things I always liked about AVC’s commentariat was that while they were still host to trolls and gimmick posters, they were the some of the strangest and out-there trolls and gimmick posters. Nowhere else could specimens like Tarkovsky’s AD or ZMF really emerge. I assume that will happen here as the site grows. And then my comments will be lost in the din of a thousand-plus other comments. Progress?!?

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          @HobbesMkii:disqus First they came for the spam bots…

        • Effigy_Power says:

          You tell your cousin I am still waiting for my cheap awesome extra genuine original handbag from Ghucci.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          It’s such a great community here that I just keep forgetting to mention that I’m a 28-year-old powerlifter on some dating site!

        • Dave Dalrymple says:

          We’re not a tempting target for trolls because we’re small and civil. And we don’t get Metacritic hate traffic. 

          The Gameological Society has quality that you can’t get anywhere else, but it’s likely not the only videogame website that most of its readers visit. (Of course, that may change as the news coverage continues to grow.) 

        • Matt Gerardi says:

          Moderating the comments has never been one of my jobs, but as far as I can tell, we hardly ever have to do it these days. On the TenNapel article, for example, I think we only deleted one comment—and even that one involved a bit of a conversation between me and Teti because it was sort of borderline. 

        • Girard says:

          @davedalrymple:disqus : That description makes me think of an analogy of the GS as sort of the ‘Wii’ of game sites. A lot of game sites compete to do the bog-standard game site thing, with news and reviews and whatever, just as in this past gen Sony and Microsoft went head-to-head competing in the arena of providing traditional ‘hardcore’ console experiences.

          Then the Wii came along, doing it’s own weird thing and intentionally not participating in the same pissing contest the other consoles were, meaning that a.) it attracted a lot of players previously not engaged in game playing and b.) lots of folks tended to own a Wii + one of the big boys.

          Likewise, GS’s unique editorial tone (or chorus of unique and interesting editorial voices all operating in a distinctive, pleasing key), emphasis on essay-style analysis over scores in reviews, and engagment with ‘gamers’ of various stripes and degrees of intensity (considering both its audience and its interview subject) make it a place that is a.) inviting to people who don’t feel welcomed by the editorial tone, or tone of discourse, on other gaming sites and b.) maybe not many folk’s only gaming site, but is valuable and singular enough that it has an important place in folks’ RSSes or whatever alongside whichever ‘hardcore’ gaming press outlet they’ve opted to follow as well.

        • Merve says:

          @paraclete_pizza:disqus: Pretty much. GS isn’t (and probably never will be) my primary source for gaming news. However, it is my primary source for gaming commentary.

      • NakedSnake says:

        Yea, it’s weird b/c Rock Paper Shotgun is pretty interested in feminism and the role of women in the gaming industry, but that does not stop their comments from being misogynist by one bit.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Which is a bit like Saints Row 3 being a horribly violent game full of strippers and muscle-bound ‘roid-monsters, and yet the only game that lets you play as a 58 your old Latino woman with a zombie voice or a young man with a butterfly clip in his hair and dressed like a dominatrix without judging you. Ever.
          It’s a strange world, and appearances are ever deceiving.

        • Fluka says:

          I really love the writing at Rock Paper Shotgun, but the commenters are so misogynistic, snarky, and cynical sometimes that it severely tempers my enjoyment while reading the site.

        • Mistah Chrysoprase says:

          RPS’ commentariat is all over the place; they get the seemingly inevitable trollbags as mentioned, but there are definitely a fair number of people actually capable of having a decent discussion.
          The main problem is there’s almost zero active moderation going on, so a disproportionate amount of garbage tends to pile up.

        • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

           I really hope the Saints Row devs realize that their game is accidentally one of the most progressive games out there, and they keep that in.

          It’s also literally the only game I can think of where the “but guys are sexualized, too!” argument actually hold water.

      • GhaleonQ says:

        My current favorite video games podcast, The Cruncheons (warning: the tone of it is not Gameologically approved), also pointed out the site in a positive way on the latest episode.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          I meant to shout you out in that Tennapel thread. I appreciate dissenting opinions when they aren’t just low grade trolling and are genuine in good faith. I think Gameological is better for having you around. And who else would let me know about all those obscure japanese rpgs! I still have it in the back of my head that I need to play Moon: Remix RPG or whatever it’s called.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          I want to echo what @Douchetoevsky:disqus says.
             Though we still fundamentally disagree about a lot of things, I’ve found your posts to display a level of intellectual curiosity and passion that any site ( except perhaps MouthBreathingBuffoonery dot com ) can benefit from.

        • Girard says:

          Likewise. I love you man. It was always great to see your posts in the larger, roiling arena of the AVClub comments (and the, uh, ghost town of the Rev TV Club comments.,,), and it’s even better here where the topics of discussion seem to especially lend themselves to your bottomless arcane knowledge and sensitivity of thought.

          You are a top-tier dude…even if you have Roberta Williams Stockholm Syndrome and think Doug Tennapel has any redeeming qualities.

        • GhaleonQ says:

          @Douchetoevsky:disqus @MattmanBegins:disqus @davedalrymple:disqus @Fluka:disqus @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus @paraclete_pizza:disqus I tried to be personally honest without attention-seeking (I admit 2 posts were just insults).  I think everyone covered a lot of territory and ideological spectrum, so it was actually intriguing to read. You and the writers turn video game writing from time-killing to mind-expanding.  Thanks for not ganging up or insulting.

          I do really like Bob, but I hated his tone.  Still, I should just be thankful that @JohnTeti:disqus fosters a certain type of site, makes sure that content and commentariat reflect that, and keeps away that cursed downvote button.

          *round of high-fives for all*

        • GhaleonQ says:

          @paraclete_pizza:disqus I would help Ron Gilbert push her in the mud if you asked.  Only partially because it means I could meet Roberta Williams.  …Gosh, I REALLY want to meet Roberta Williams.

        • Girard says:

          I’ll probably just give it a listen myself and find out – I’m still eternally thankful for you dropping the name of the ICPodcast in a PodMass thread years ago, so I’m willing to take this recommendation, too – but I’m curious what you mean by “not Gameologically approved” tone. Is it just that they’re more outspokenly abrasive/judgmental/dismissive in their talk about games? Or does that signify that the conversants are excessively vulgar, or something? Or do they say a lot of bigoted/non-PC stuff in the guise of being edgy? I’m having trouble parsing that phrase.

        • GhaleonQ says:

          @paraclete_pizza:disqus Oh, sure.  They
          1. are unabashed PC snobs.
          2. actually know arcane details about computers, coding, and game development because of (1) and their jobs.
          3. are hard to please, even if they are consistent about the whys and whats of good games (or are self-aware when something they like contradicts their usual views).
          4. would roll their eyes at many “artistry of games” comments and articles, because they are THE BEST at breaking down how a game works and why it’s good to them.  They’ll spend 20 minutes on 1 game not telling stories about their experiences, but deconstructing level design, aesthetic choices, ludonarrative dissonance, or key choices in the design of a game’s systems.

          My usual favorite is this 1 by ex-Ziff-Davis (E.G.M., C.G.W., 1-Up) people called the Player One Podcast.  Their June 16th, 2013 episode is a perfect introduction.  They would fit in very well here.

          Player 1 : The Gameological Society :: Insert Credit : me :: The Cruncheons : G.D.C.

        • Girard says:

          @GhaleonQ:disqus : I listen to Player One sometimes (I think you recommended it at the same time as the ICP…oh, gads, that’s an unfortunate acronym). It’s often interesting, though I think I prefer the ICP (still not comfortable with that acronym).
          Most gaming podcasts, including the POP, seem to follow the format of “What did you play this week?” and discussing the news of the week, which means they typically cover the same ground (very recent games, very recent announcements) that the general gaming press already has. ICP’s unorthodox format, with weird, provocative questions asked to a bunch of weirdo misfits with bizarre, idiosyncratic play histories and exhaustive historic familiarity with the medium (as well as some experience designing in it) means their conversation jumps all over the place, pulling in interesting games from all eras, and introducing me to tons of stuff I’d either never heard of, or never realized was interesting.

          No other game podcast, for instance, has an extremely vocal Bonk advocate…

      • Girard says:

        :: Reads Allen’s brief bio at the header, which mentions that she is trans, and that she has authored content for Kotaku ::

        :: Out of curiosity, clicks through to see her Kotaku piece ::

        :: Makes the mistake of scrolling down to the comments, the first of which is “I like my difficult video games like I like my women. Without a penis” ::

        GOD DAMN IT. Thank you all for being so amazing, and Johnny boy and his winning team for cultivating such a fantastic site with such a great tenor of conversation.

        • Samantha Allen says:

          Never read Kotaku comments.
          EDIT: Unless they seriously change the way they handle moderation.

        • Girard says:

          @samanthaallen:disqus : Oh, sweet heavens, don’t I know it. I’m one of those idiots who even gets sucked in from time to time and tries to respond to people. And then I realize I’m talking to a god-damned 32-year-old adult who thinks the word ‘feminist’ is pejorative, and I have to go scrub my soul and try to tamp down my rising desire for a meteor to just wipe out all of humankind.
          I think we around these parts get more than enough exposure to that garbage from our own “Reposted Kotaku Comments” gimmick commenter.

      • Samantha Allen says:

        Hear hear! When writing the letter, I was trying my best to come up with positive examples and Gameological was one of the only places that came to mind.

        From what I can tell reading through these threads, the community is self-policing? That is even more amazing.

    • WarrenPeace says:

      Agreed! That ended up being an excellent, thoughtful, civil discussion, one that made me glad I hang out on this site. I hope it stays this way forever.

    • Andy Tuttle says:

      I can’t even begin to look at the comments section on most websites without getting that sense of dread in my stomach. I just know that the first comment is going to be something hateful and malicious.

      I remember the first comment I made on this site was for the first ‘The Seeds’ video. I said something along the lines of how I didn’t like it, and it had too many talking heads that weren’t very insightful or funny, kind of a throw away statement that was a bit mean, and I figured it would get buried on the comments page and that would be that. What I didn’t realize was how interactive John and the rest of the Gameological staff were, because I got a response almost immediately from Mr. Teti himself defending the video and basically calling me out on my bad behavior. It was refreshing to see the editor of the site actually talk back to me and tell me that I was out of line, and it really made me appreciate the site even more.

      I love coming here, and while I don’t post as many comments as Girard, Hobbes or Naked Snake, I love reading the comments everyone writes. It’s nice to come to a place where I don’t get that sick feeling in my stomach when I scroll down to the bottom of the page.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        Oh definitely. I used to use reddit (shutup) pretty regularly and it was just awful. Not only are people here actively not jerks, but the posts tend to be better than most low effort “haha, meme!” comments you see on sites all the time. Although when they are low effort “hah, meem!” posts it’s usually an inhouse meme (whoa there hitler) which is I guess better? I mean, at least it originated here and isn’t a rageface.



        Thought i’d get that out of the way before I circlejerk off into oblivion.

    • aklab says:

      Crap, I’m late to the group hug! I have been reading the internet like all day every day for 15-ish years (which is itself kind of a sobering thought) and learned early on that comments sections are generally to be avoided, especially for someone like me who (1) is super-socially awkward and (2) doesn’t like people anyway. But this commentariat is just… a cosmically unlikely assemblage of great wit, incredible insight and just all-around good people. 

    • throbbin_bitchcock says:

      I’m pretty new here — I did ctrl-F for the word “fag” on that page and got one hit. My head nearly exploded. Am I seriously on a gaming site??!

      Lots of really intelligent, well reasoned stuff. I’m usually more into making stupid throwaway jokes, but it was a pleasure to read.

    • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

       This is literally the only video games comment section I have ever seen that isn’t full of cynical nerds with boring opinions.

      • Enkidum says:

        Eh, I’m a cynical nerd and most of my opinions are pretty boring. But the rest of the commenters are a cut above me, I guess.

    • The_Juggernaut_Bitch says:

       That’s because I didn’t get involved. I would have pointed out that his whiny strawman argument, regarding what is and is not “Leftist” beliefs… but then I would have had to admit that I would have him and his right-wing ilk gassed, as a mandate from the God-Emperor, before they did it to me.

  2. NakedSnake says:

    I would like to lobby for renaming the FPS genre to SMcS-S.

  3. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    Ugh, TenNapel’s comment referenced above highlights an important problem with the common conservative viewpoint about anyone who disagrees with them:  Fighting against oppression is not also oppression!

    “I’m going to pass a law preventing you from getting married because you can’t have children, some guy claimed in a book thousands of years ago that God thinks you’re a bad person, and most important of all, you make me generally uncomfortable!”
    “No, you can’t do that, it’s un-Constitutional!”
    “….what?  Seriously?”

    • mizerock says:

      I really wish that truism could be summed up with a brief but clear phrase. My gut tells me that argument is total garbage, but at the moment there’s no way to shake my head and say “(insert bumper-sticker-length comment here)” whenever someone tries it.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        Yeah…so often good arguments lose in favor of sound bites, so we really should just make a sound bite of our own.

        What could we say in one sentence that means “You can’t infringe on someone’s rights and then claim that your rights are being infringed when someone yells at you for it?”

        We need the guy who writes the slogans for the CHP.  “Over the limit, under arrest” and “Click it or ticket!”  Stupid, but easily remembered.

        Infringe on Rights, Get Left Behind?
        Censoring a censor isn’t censorship?

        • mizerock says:

          The concept always reminds me of this snippet from “Get Smart” … but I don’t think we should adopt their term.

          Maxwell Smart: Are you a psychologist, Dr. Stueben?Stueben: I’m the president of the psychologist society for mental health and adjustment through fulfillment.Maxwell Smart: What kind of an organization is that?Stueben: We’re a hate group.Maxwell Smart: A hate group?Stueben: Oh, in the sense that we cure hate and fear. We hate hate. Hate it.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          “A dialogue boat is not a censor ship”?

      • Dave Dalrymple says:

        “Criticism is not Censorship” 

      • Girard says:

        There are times when people talk about things like ‘feminism’ or ‘bullying’ or ‘censorship’ or whatever that make me wish I just had a big rubber stamp that said ‘LEARN WHAT WORDS MEAN.’

      • Colliewest says:

        Yeah, the strategy of equating “You are disagreeing with me!” with “I am trying to suppress your civil rights!” is infuriating. 
        It’s an effective tactic, because they do it so often people see those two things as the argument, just like how if you link Iraq and al-qaeda enough in your speeches people connect them, even though there’s no reason to.

      • neodocT says:

         “Freedom of expression not oppression”

      • Fixda Fernback says:

        I actually replied, it might have even been to TenNapel himself, with one that I think is somewhat succint: “We have no responsibility of tolerance to intolerance.”

    • Carlton_Hungus says:

      I think generally one of the bigger problems stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of the 1st amendment.

      I’m thinking here specifically of Limbaugh’s many (and to a lesser extent the Imus) incidents where they say something incendiary, hurtful, and stupid, and advertisers pull back.  They always seem to argue that somehow advertisers leaving them is some violation of their right to free speech, or the PC police cracking down on their opinions.

      Rather, it’s the capitalist market they claim to love so much that is punishing them for their views.  The first amendment only prevents the government from infringing upon your speech, you don’t have a right to be on the radio and have sponsors; if those sponsors don’t want to be associated with you and you don’t have listeners that’s not a violation of your first amendment right to hold and voice your unpopular opinions, that’s the not so invisible hand of the market sweeping your anachronistic views to the sidelines of reasonable public discourse.

      • mizerock says:

        Losing sponsors = “being repressed”, yes, if you consider your salary to be a permanent entitlement. Though it surprises me that Limbaugh can actually lose advertisers these days — isn’t his brand rather well established by now?

        I guess his goal is to say things that are inflamatory enough that the sound bites get repeated by others, without crossing the line into hate speech. Tough job!

        • Carlton_Hungus says:

          He’s lost a lot of sponsors after last year’s “Sandra Fluke is a slut” speech.  And many haven’t returned.

      • mizerock says:

        And now Paula Deen has been censored by the P.C. Police [= fired]. Though hers seems to be a different case, it sounds more like blackmail over private comments than it does “she was not allowed to express her strongly-held views”.

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      What bugs me most about it is attributing a negative quality to everyone who opposes you, as a bloc. The whole “something I’ve always suspected about the left…” bit. People do that all the time, regardless of their position, and it’s infuriating.

    • Chris Hansen says:

      It’s hard to take people like TenNapel seriously when he’s like “I’m just being rational in my deeming homosexuals as sub-human! What happened to freedom of speech?”

      I believe what I want to believe, and fight for what I believe it, and no one gets abused or murdered or treated as a 2nd class citizen.  TenNapel fights for what he wants to believe in and it just makes life shittier for a whole bunch of people.

  4. Effigy_Power says:

    I enlightened a bigot and all I got was not a stud. Tsk tsk tsk. What is the world coming to when a gaming website doesn’t reward me for my social engagement? What’s next? Is it suddenly unseemly for me to ask my local butcher to take a look at that hole in my muffler? Should I hitherto refrain from asking my mail man for career advice? SOCIAL INJUSTICE.

    In other news:

    PS: In all seriousness, I don’t think I agree with Tenapel being “honored” for responding the way he did. He could have made a calm, settled case for his view-point, horrendously condemnable as I may find it, and all would have been well. Instead he cherry-picked who to respond to, put his “like” and thereby name under some pretty horrendous comments and dug himself deeper with every word he uttered. I must admit that seeing him mentioned in Comment Cat rubs me the wrong way a bit, especially when there were a lot of comments from a lot of people that were infinitely more worth to be saved for posterity.

    • Fluka says:

      Re Xbox + bing, ahahahahahhahahahahha.

      I think Tenapel getting mentioned in KG is a tricky thing.  I don’t think his comments were particularly insightful.  But when a well-known artist and the subject of an essay shows up to discuss it, it’s decidedly a noteworthy part of the week’s conversation.

      • George_Liquor says:

        They’re not insightful at all; they’re the same ridiculous cries of character assassination he repeated whenever anyone called him out on his bigotry. Well, except for the last thread, wherein he offered to martyr himself to save his game from all the big, mean liberals. 

        • Fluka says:

          Oh, I very much agree.  “Not particularly insightful” = “Uugh, just keep scrolling.”

      • HobbesMkii says:

        I thought that was a tough one too. I don’t think TenNapel’s borderline hysterics, finger pointing, and blame-shifting were Comment Cat worthy in and of themselves. It’s certainly not the sort of thing that gets us Comment Peons on the board, but might get you enshrined in a meme. 

        That said, I think it would have been weird to have someone like TenNapel drop by and have a Keyboard Geniuses where they weren’t discussed in some way. And that is arguably the most coherent comment he made, so there’s that.

      • WaxTom says:

        Yeah, I don’t think the site is actively praising what he’s saying, just noting that this is the response the subject of the article had to say about it.

    • NakedSnake says:

      It’s almost a situation of the exception that proves the rule, though. Following on @Douchetoevsky:disqus’s comment above, TenNapel’s comments are jarring because the commenters on this site are ordinarily so good.

    • stakkalee says:

      I share your trepidation, but look at the quote that Soupy chose to highlight – as @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus mentioned it’s a standard conservative boilerplate “liberals are the real meanies!” comment, and regardless of the “honor” given to Doug, reading that particular comment really tells you all you need to know about how that conversation went down.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      Good lord, everyone who tried to engage that man is a fucking saint. His was some of the most generic internet arguing I’ve seen in a long time. He just kept on replying to people saying the same without responding to anything. and oh god false equivalencies everywhere. And there’s not even the vague “well, this dude is probably some stupid ass 13 year old” hope that I try to fall back on. He’s a grown ass man.

      Also, eff, I’m fairly certain that I was a shithead towards you in an AVC comment thread on one of those “Girls” articles from a (long) while back, and boy am I sorry. I am wrong and stupid and douchey (getit??) a lot of the time. 

      • Effigy_Power says:

        You mortals are all ants to me and I don’t remember, but no worries.
        Thou art forgiven, my child.

    • The_Misanthrope says:

       There were times in that comment thread that I *almost* felt bad for TenNapel, but all his “woe is me” posturing, “leftist media conspiracy” arguments (just because people agree on something, it isn’t automatically a conspiracy), and the endless refusal to answer a direct question just soured me on him.  If he would never bothered to show up and defend himself, I would’ve been willing to cut him some slack for past sins.

      I guess Comment Cat has no strong stance on the issue.  Your petty human squabbling matters to him as long as it is entertaining. 

      If it makes you feel better, @Effigy_Power:disqus , I am sure this will be his one and only stud.  And his inclusion here likely goes some distance towards squashing his media conspiracy claims.

    • John Teti says:

      We debated the inclusion of TenNapel’s response. I personally found his response tiresome and only fitfully relevant. But I also believe that when the subject of an op-ed replies directly in the comments, that response deserves to be noted. So I asked Matt to include an excerpt. The audience can, as always, decide the merit of the statements for themselves. (An appearance in KG is not an endorsement in any case.)

      Our criteria for Keyboard Geniuses is simply that we feature comments of interest to us that we think will also be of interest to the wider audience. (And not all comments that fit that criteria are written up here, far from it—every week we have to narrow down from a long list of KG-worthy responses.) This is one of those rare occasions where the person making the comment, rather than the content of the comment, convinced me that it was important to make our audience aware of it—out of a spirit of fairness if nothing else.

      Edit: By the way, I didn’t mean to pile on, because I know I repeated what others already posited; I just figured that you deserved an explanation from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

      • HobbesMkii says:

        Thanks for explaining, Teti!

        Transparency. I think that’s another thing GS does extremely well.

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Ah well. I do get heated very quickly and then I make snap-comments about stuff without knowing the background. I am working on that, but well. Some people find my passion quite invigorating, I might add in my own defense.

        Joking aside, I knew that his comments weren’t featured in order to raise his fairly marginally relevant spewage above what it deserves and I still wrote it. I guess that I might be a bit defensive of GS and those it acknowledges by name, certainly to a point and beyond where I will savagely beat people calling this place anything uncomplimentary with a stale tuna sandwich.
        Seeing Doug Tennnnnapel’s name amongst those of paragons of reason such as that most excellent Effigy_Power, and to a slightly lesser degree those of many other most excellent and dignified people whose names I can’t remember at the moment, does fill me with unease, but I trust in the fine people running this Society to do the right thing.
        Not to beat my own drum (as if I ever do anything else), but as a LGBTQ woman I don’t have that many places I can go online, talk about games and still feel welcome and at ease, so I hope that my passionate, sometimes a little premature, judgements are seen as nothing but the loving protectiveness of a dear cultural habitat that they are.

      • Girard says:

        I hope to hell you add “horse’s mouth” to the titles on your business card.

      • Samantha Allen says:

        I’ll send you a message here, John Teti, since I don’t know the best way to reach you but thank you for whatever magic you’re working over here. This is one of few websites where I don’t have to mentally prepare myself for comments threads.

    • Merve says:

      At first I thought that screenshot was doctored, but then I went to both Bing and Google to try it for myself. That is actually what happens, no joke. Microsoft, you crafty villain…

    • caspiancomic says:

      Personally I thought it was a really bold gesture for the man to show up and personally substantiate Girard’s claims that he was an arrogant thin-skinned wimp.

      • Effigy_Power says:


      • Jackbert says:

        I’m torn on that. On one hand, he did show up in the comments to engage in debate; on the other, he engaged in this debate like a petulant child. At my job last week, a seven-year old child grabbed a box of the cookies we were giving out during the snack break. When I took it back, he claimed I was violating his fourth amendment rights. TenNapel was about as mature and knowledgeable about the constitution as that child. Typing out that anecdote, I realized I’m not actually torn; I lost respect for TenNapel.

        P.S. We should be 3DS friends! You didn’t show up in WAYPTW, so you missed my code; it’s 2466-2262-3080. I also have to enter yours for us to be friends, because Nintendo is bad at the Internet, so what’s yours?

        • caspiancomic says:

           Oh man as soon as I figure out what my 3DS friend code is I am all over this.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          If that kid ever tries that 4th amendment crap again, you should just go, “Sorry kid, I had probable cause. It’s the other half of that amendment.”

        • Jackbert says:

          @caspiancomic:disqus : On the bottom screen of the home menu, there is a square smiley face. Click  on it to set up an account. It’ll give you a randomized friend code. On that page, choose the register friends option. It’ll ask you to enter my code. Instead of sending a request for me to confirm or deny, I also have to enter your friend code. When we both have our codes entered, we’ll be friends. 

        • Chris Hansen says:

          I must know how this little Patriot handled the rest of the situation.

      • DJDeluxeSupreme says:

        Hi, I’ve been lurking here a long time, and this whole debate with TenNapel has prompted me to finally contribute.  I’ve always been a huge Earthworm Jim fan and it sucks to have the rug so violently pulled from under me.  This revelation has been pretty sickening, and now I don’t know where to stand as a fan of this guy’s work.  
        I think TenNapel has been thin-skinned and petulant, and has only contributed to the ugliness and name calling he himself felt the victim of in his argument against the author of the article.  It’s too bad, because focusing on how he’s behaved in relation to being criticized I think distracts from the more important questions:  whether art can be supported without also supporting the political beliefs of the artist, and whether it’s more important to consider the intrinsic value of a piece of artwork and it’s potential legacy, or the damage it could cause by directly supporting someone with terrible beliefs.  I have no guarantee that TenNapel WOULDN’T donate money I paid him to anti-gay causes, but is Armikrog maybe worth the risk, considering it doesn’t look to be about any of his political beliefs?  I’ve never detected anti-gay propaganda in Earthworm Jim or any of his previous work (that I know of), so is it okay to go off that faith and purchase Armikrog?  I think this issue ultimately boils down to one simple question:  Is art worth more than real life?  Or maybe that question is irrelevant and sensationalist.  TenNapel isn’t Glen Beck, I don’t think he has that much power to sway people, so…could just be freaking out over nothing.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          It’s nothing if not a divisive personal issue, but rest assured that nobody would judge you for contributing to the Kickstarter campaign. That’s the nice thing about personal decisions, they are personal and therefore always valid from your own standpoint.
          Art vs artist. Hate-monger vs game developer. A lot of stuff is going on and only the individual can possibly take any stand on this.

        • Merve says:

          Welcome! I’m glad to see you’re finally contributing to the discussion, and I hope you continue to do so, because you seem like a thoughtful, intelligent person.

          As for the question of supporting artists whose beliefs I disagree with, I used to be of the opinion that art and artist could be completely separated in my head, and I still am, for the most part. People are complex, and they can be bigots without being Hitler. Some of them may hold abhorrent views on some topics and progressive views on others. Though bigotry should always be condemned, painting an artist who holds some bigoted views as pure evil is a gross oversimplification of reality.

          But recent events have made me change my tune somewhat. After reading about the rampant sexism and sexual harassment at this year’s E3, I decided that I would no longer purchase games made by people who sexually harass others, nor would I purchase games that are promoted using flippant or offensive jokes about sexual assault. In these cases, it’s not that I don’t want to or can’t appreciate the art, it’s that I’m taking a moral stand against the artist(s). My desire not to financially support overt sexism and sexual harassment trumps my desire to play video games.

        • DJDeluxeSupreme says:

          Thanks for replying guys.  Yeah, like I said, I don’t know where to stand on this, and it does feel like a very personal decision.  But yeah, people are complicated, and just cause someone holds an opinion I don’t agree with doesn’t make them Hitler.  That’s why I think TenNapel brought up all this rhetoric about free speech and intolerance, because this sort of feels like punishing someone for something completely unrelated.  Nevertheless, it’s his fault that his creative work is being unfairly scrutinized, he’s the one that decided to air his shitty opinions in public.  Whether he likes it or not, his work is now tainted, he should have known that an artist’s public image is tied to and affects the perception of his or her work.

  5. Fluka says:

    Also, has anyone else noticed that when you click on your “likes,” half of the avatars are named “None”?  Encroaching nothingness…it’s like the Neverending Story or something.

    • vinnybushes says:

       what are you talking about everything is $#%#^$#$^^**^$ erro…..0101010111101110101101010

    • stakkalee says:

      I noticed that, and that I can no longer click on a user’s profile  picture and expand their profile.  DISQUSSSSS!!!!!

      • WaxTom says:

        It’s the gift that keeps on taking away!

      • Dave Dalrymple says:

        And we can’t like our own comments anymore. Such a tease. 

      • Merve says:

        I have noticed both this problem and the one that @Fluka:disqus pointed out. DISQUUUUUUUS!!!

        On the bright side, the bug where Load More Comments wasn’t working on the Disqus Dashboard has been fixed.

      • aklab says:

        You can click on it with the scroll wheel to open it in a new tab. So it’s less convenient but still there. 

    • GaryX says:

      It looks like a big, good, strong cursor. Doesn’t it? I always thought that’s what it was. My little friends. The little man with his money wheel, the little drawing of a face, even the stupid cat. I couldn’t hold on to them. The Disqus pulled their likes right out of my cursor. I failed.

      Listen, the Disqus will be here any minute. I will just sit here and let it take my likes away too. It looks like a big, good, strong cursor. Doesn’t it?

    • Effigy_Power says:


    • George_Liquor says:

      Error 404. The person who posted this comment has been sucked into the Nothing and no longer exists. Please contact the site’s rockbiter for assistance.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        Yes, but dammit, what was Bastian’s mother’s name??!  It’s not like it had to be the best name ever for the Princess, just {{A}} name!

    • The_Misanthrope says:

       I’ve never seen “None”, but I usually get some grouped simply as “Guests”, who I assume are unregistered commenters

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      @Fluka:disqus The problem with names showing as “None” in the list is due to some bug with the username/name divide. If you want to fix your own, you can edit your profile from the Disqus drop-down above the comments section, up and to the right. Look at the “Profile” section: if you have nothing entered for your “Full Name” then you’ll show up as “None” in the list. You can copy and paste your username (from under “Account”) there if you want.

      This isn’t affecting those who already have a name entered. For example, Merve’s username is actually Merve2, but he has “Merve” entered as his name, so his name shows up in the list. I previously didn’t have a name entered, but when I copied and pasted my username it started appearing again.

      Of course, as I don’t actually work for Disqus, I can’t guarantee how long any of this will remain true.

    • Disqus HAS no boundaries.

  6. stakkalee says:

    Happy Solstice everybody!  It’s now officially summer, the traditional time of year to ignore your obligations in favor of playing video games all day!  We got our most-commented article right out of the gate this week, getting 403 comments on Monday’s For Our Consideration article about Doug TenNapel and the intersection of Art and commerce.  And reading that thread I was once again reminded of what’s so special about GS – even when the argument gets heated we still keep it respectful; bravo everybody!  And now our Top 5 Most-Liked (non-KG) comments:
    1) @Effigy_Power:disqus calls it like she sees it (as she always does) and gets 39 likes for her effort.
    1) Tied for first, @Raging_Bear:disqus rubbernecks a disaster.
    3) With 37 likes, @Effigy_Power:disqus gives us a powerful comment on navigating Life and Art.
    4) @NakedManHoldingAFudgesicle:disqus gets 36 likes with this compliment.
    5) @TedKindig:disqus gets 32 likes with this reasonable discussion.
    We have 2 new members of the Plaid Jacket Society today, so @CrabNaga:disqus, @DougTenNapel:disqus, come on down and get your jackets!  And as for our returning members: @OldeFortran77:disqus and @NakedSnake:disqus each get a second stud for their third selections! @RidleyFGJ:disqus gets a third stud, @vinnybushes:disqus and @duwease:disqus get their fourth, @HobbesMkii:disqus unlocks the “Sweet Sixteen!” achievement with his sixteenth stud, and @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus moves into a tie for third place with @caspiancomic:disqus with his 22nd stud!  Congratulations folks!
    And finally, Linkdump: Retro edition!  The site Awful Library Books recently featured an amazing GameBoy strategy guide – check out that awesome cover art!  And speaking of cover art, here’s an oldie-but-goodie – Chris Sims’ tribute to some exceptional cover art.  And for more retro goodness why not check out the Vintage Ads Tumblr and their section on old-school video game advertisements. Ah, the memories!  And so we come to the end of another week.  Enjoy your gaming, and remember to keep it scintillating!

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I’d like to mention that Hobbes’ studded article had a lot more likes, so I tip my hat in his direction (but won’t share the prize money).

      PS: Is it too late to retroactively vote for having the most liked comments earn some studs? Damn.

      • stakkalee says:

        What’s the matter, isn’t the approbation of the masses reward enough for…snerkBWAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, couldn’t even finish the sentence.  Sorry, no cat-love, no stud.

      • HobbesMkii says:

        That hat tip is all the prize money I needed.

      • Girard says:

        I avoided that Doug Tennapel thread (after dropping some comments in the morning) because I had had a shitty day and didn’t want to spend my evening thinking about an asshole.

        So I’ve done my due diligence, thanks to @stakkalee:disqus , and gone back and ‘liked’ those comments of yours. Because they are fucking awesome.

    • Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

       For a while I thought maybe I was in the running this week, but then the TenNapel conversation absolutely exploded.  I think I was even upstaged by a comment about bacon.

  7. HobbesMkii says:

    This KG’s article title missed a golden opportunity to be be a Pulitzer-parodying “A Visit from the Goomba Squad”

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

         Not very subtle.  You are obviously a paid Parrot.  You’re going to have to be more savvy than that to get to this group of hip, young kids.

      • Matt Kodner says:

        and two months later, but I can proudly say I definitely absolutely did not pay @HobbesMkii:disqus to say jack squat *wink wink, nudge nudge, knowwhatImean? knowwhatImean?*

        But really I started that book last week and just finished it. Really good stuff. 

    • Matt Kodner says:

      oh jesus christ. that’s what I thought I was parodying. :-(

      • HobbesMkii says:

         That’s okay. I’ll bet Jennifer Egan doesn’t read this website. Prove me wrong, Ms. Egan! Prove me wrong!

  8. vinnybushes says:

    I do have to say my favorite quote from the article I shared was “There’s a biker bar down the street, and we rarely get calls there.”
     If I’m ever looking for a fight, I might just go to a Chuck E Cheese. Then again, I might get shot…

    • Army_Of_Fun says:

      That article is full of awesome lines. One of my favorites was “That location also implemented a code of conduct that prohibits knives, chains, screwdrivers and glass cutters.” Implying that before things got out of hand, those were all cool? I like to picture a rusted oil drum outside this dystopian Chuck E. Cheese that’s just overflowing with screwdrivers, chains and baseball bats with giant nails in them. It also informs me that those gangs in River City Ransom are real and like to frequent Chuck E. Cheese. *BIFF*

  9. Girard says:

    Yes, Doug, because having your political ideas criticized through actual argument is just as “bullying” as having your fundamental identity mocked and rights marginalized by a cultural entity whose rhetoric is less interested in forming an actual coherent argument (because it can’t) and more interested in calling you names like “unnatural” or “abomination”. Yep. Totes the same. You poor dear. Picked on by all those liberal meanies.

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      In times like this I am reminded of the wise words of Phoney Bone: “People like being victims. There’s a certain unassailable moral superiority about it.”

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Boy and it feels good. On occasion. When it’s not too harsh. And you have some backing. And it’s not too public. Actually it sort of sucks.

  10. Pgoodso says:

    You know, film has characters like Roman Polanski and Mel Gibson for its “awful real lives belying good to great art”, and literature has myriad examples of this, from Orson Scott Card to Roald Dahl. And it’s a tough argument to make for one’s self in many cases, because some of the art is legitimately moving on many levels, and many of the accusations so circumstantial, belied by mental health issues or merely of their times…

    …but for video games, our big insane iconoclast is a ignorant news-radio regurgitating animator most famous for a minor platformer of the 16 bit era? Sheesh. I mean, Earthworm Jim is fun and all, but couldn’t it be Ron Gilbert with these crazy views, or maybe we can find out that Will Wright is in the KKK or something? Maybe Blizzard is funded by Al Qaeda, I dunno, give me a real internal conflict here, people! If I need to make a choice between ethics and art, it’s gotta be a bigger deal than the guy that invented “a worm in a space suit” saying ridiculous dilapidated rhetoric that not even my grandparents would have listened to.

    • Girard says:

      Yeah. Great artists who are horrible people can be challenging for us, and force us to negotiate our attitudes toward the relationship between a great work of art and the horrible person behind it. But Tennapel makes that choice easy, as he’s an awful human being and a middling-to-bad artist, so you can omit his creative output from your life without missing much. You can’t say the same of, like, Hitchcock or whatever.

      Phil Fish seems like he might be an instance of that archetype in the game space. He made a pretty significant, quite good game, but also comes across pretty consistently as a petulant jerk, and has made some pretty divisive comments about games, including one that dismissed out of hand the game output of an entire country. Still, he’s hardly as controversial as the folks you named, and probably not as great an artist as most of history’s greatest asshole artists.

      • Andy Tuttle says:

        I’m actually quite fond of TenNapel’s artwork, so I wouldn’t really say he’s a “bad” artist. He did some great album covers for the christian ska band Five Iron Frenzy, but again, the guy is just too radically right for me to ever be able to enjoy his work without being really objective about it.

        • Girard says:

          I gave a range of ‘middling-to-bad.’ The guy is capable of attaining the heights of passable-but-generic cartoon illustration, as well as the lows of excruciatingly-stupid-and-sloppily-drawn comic book authorship. But I wouldn’t say anything of his approaches ‘great’ (or even ‘good’) in a way that would make me miss his work if I excised it from my pop culture experience.

  11. ChicaneryTheYounger says:

    Y’all seem to dance around the point with fancy words, but that Doug TenNepal has objectively terrible views. How do I put my text in rainbow? Is there html for rainbow? Someone help. Eff?

    • Merve says:

      Yeah, his views on certain things do indeed suck. Unfortunately, Disqus doesn’t allow you to express things in rainbow text, so I think <rainbow>Yay for gay marriage!</rainbow> will have to suffice for now.

      In any case, I think we can both agree that Doug TenNepal is an improvement over Rob NineBhutan. :P

    • George_Liquor says:

      I think most of us took his shitty views as a given, so the discussions tended to revolve around whether Doug TenNapel the artist could be sufficiently divorced from Doug TenNapel the shitty views-having guy. 

  12. wykstrad says:

    I’m not sure where else to put this (and don’t want to hijack another thread), but is there any chance The Gameological Society is going to review State of Decay?  I’ve been hearing good things about it, and by most accounts it sounds like the type of zombie game I’ve been waiting for them to make forever (you constantly have to forage for food, medicine, and building materials to keep your group of survivors alive, you have a fatigue bar that bottoms out if you run too much or fight too many zombies) but I’d like to hear your guys’ take on it.