The Bulletin

Nintendo 2DS


The 3DS gets flatter, and the Angry Birds gets behind the wheel.

By Sam Barsanti • September 3, 2013

The Bulletin is a roundup of a few game-related news stories from the previous week.

The Nintendo 2DS: Stupid like a fox?

The console makers have been acting pretty strangely lately. Sony has been touting the PlayStation 4 with the outsized swagger of a villain in an ’80s teen comedy, and Microsoft…well, Microsoft is all over the place. Rather than try to understand what’s going on, it might be best to just lay back and wait it out. It’s an especially good time for it too, because Nintendo just announced the 2DS, and it’s the craziest of all the crazy things we’ve seen recently.

Or is it? As we explained last week, the 2DS is Nintendo’s solution for people who love the 3DS, but hate how it looks and the fact that it can play games in 3D. The handheld drops the 3D effect as well as the traditional DS hinged clamshell aesthetic in favor of non-3D graphics and a slate design reminiscent of the head of an axe or a very thin slice of cake. The 2DS will be available on Oct. 12 for $130, which is $40 less than the 3DS. Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo Of America’s President (and possible future killer of Pikachus), spoke with CNBC about the rationale behind the 2DS, and it boils down to this being an easier sell for parents of young kids. It will, in theory, be harder for kids to break with its simplified design, and it will no longer blind children with its 3D display. (Not that it ever did.) Oh, and that Oct. 12 release date? That’s the same day the new Pokémon games come out, and kids love Pokémon. So the 2DS might not be as crazy as it sounds—or looks.

Angry Birds finally hits the big time, gets its own kart racer

Back in my day, all licensed properties were judged on whether or not they had their own Mario Kart ripoff. A series hadn’t truly hit it big until it had a knockoff of its own. Who can forget classics like Mega Man Battle & Chase, Diddy Kong Racing, and Nicktoons Racing? Now, the Angry Birds series has earned its spot among that family of copycats with its own kart racer called Angry Birds Go. There are’nt many details about it yet beyond what’s in the teaser trailer above. It will involve the Angry Birds, they will race each other in tiny cars, and the evil pigs will also be there.

We almost got a ridiculous unified universe of classic Sega remakes
Altered Beast

Earlier this summer, the internet was abuzz about something called “The Pixar Theory.” By closely examining all of Pixar’s movies and making ridiculous leaps in logic, Joe Negroni was able to create a somewhat convincing narrative that suggests all Pixar movies (Toy Story, Wall-E, Cars, etc.) take place in the “same universe.” According to this Kotaku report, we narrowly avoided seeing something similar from Sega. Kotaku says the publisher’s Australian branch pitched a series of remakes a few years ago that would have tied new versions of classic Sega games like Altered Beast and Golden Axe into a single universe with subtle connections and an “underlying mythology” between them. It’s the sort of idea that is just weird enough to intrigue, but something like this is only cool if it happens on a comically grand scale (like The Pixar Theory). It shouldn’t just be similar games like Altered Beast and Golden Axe that tie together. Let’s have Space Harrier and Sonic The Hedgehog connect in some crazy way. Why not have the Crazy Taxi drivers drop off the guy from Shinobi at The House Of The Dead? This series of remakes never got produced, so the idea never came to fruition, but we should definitely keep an eye out in the upcoming Sonic Lost World for some kind of Altered Beast connection.

Soon, we’ll finally find out if Spawn can beat up the old guy from Tekken
Soul Calibur 2

This fall, Namco will be releasing Soulcalibur II HD Online, a revamped version of the swords-and-staves fighting game Soulcalibur II, on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. For the original versions of Soulcalibur II, each console had its own special guest character—PlayStation 2 had Heihachi, the old guy from Tekken; the Xbox had Spawn, king of edgy ‘90s comics; and Gamecube had Link, the little elf boy from Zelda. As reported by Joystiq, this new HD remake will get two of those three, with both Spawn and Heihachi being included in the game. Putting Link in a game that won’t even appear on a Nintendo platform is extremely unlikely, but they could at least re-skin him as a generic little elf boy and cross their fingers that Nintendo doesn’t notice.

Share this with your friends and enemies

Write a scintillating comment

105 Responses to “Flatlining”

  1. PugsMalone says:

    I found this thread on the Something Awful forums with a whole bunch of internal design documents for Psychonauts last week:

    Just in case anyone’s interested.

  2. Sam_Barsanti says:

    Also, the creator of Mega Man is doing a kickstarter for — you’re never going to believe this! — a spiritual successor to MEGA MAN. 

    I was going to throw that into the Bulletin, but I feel like I’ve written about that exact same thing once or twice before already.

    • Marozeph says:

      Already at $1,2 million?
      This might reach Broken Age-like numbers…

      • Girard says:

        Keiji just sent out a really gracious letter reminding us all about the tremendous respect he has for those collaborators and companies which helped create the great games that this project draws upon creatively, and stressing how important it is to remain positive as we discuss, contribute to, and anticipate this new project.

        But, you know what? EAT IT CAPCOM. YOU COULD HAVE HAD THIS. I hope this makes everyone involved a million bajillion dollars and the Capcom execs are all hospitalized for dehydration because of their unending tears of jealous shame.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      I’m much more interested in Project Phoenix, which appears to be made up of lots of talented people from all over the world making a JRPG, which seems to be a genre Kickstarters are fond of emulating.

      • Sam_Barsanti says:

        I dunno, man. I only support Kickstarters that are from famous game devs trying to replicate past success and getting diehard fans to foot the bill.

      • The_Misanthrope says:

        If only world hunger were a game developed by a beloved game creator, we would have had that shit beat years ago!

      • feisto says:

        I was interested in Project Phoenix at first, but when I looked at the team involved, it just looks a little shaky. It’s a game from a company that has literally zero experience making games (they’ve produced some game music, but that’s it), and the game designer’s only background in games seems to be doing QA for LA Noire (heck, even his LinkedIn profile doesn’t mention anything else). I mean, I hope I’m proven wrong, but that doesn’t seem to be a solid foundation to be basing a $700,000 project on.

        • DrFlimFlam says:

          My biggest concern is how it coheres into a single vision of a product. I think it’s high on ambition but worrying in the logistics department.

          I probably won’t back it, but if it hits someday, I’ll probably buy it.

    • George_Liquor says:

      Hasn’t Capcom been cranking out ‘spiritual successors’ to Mega Man for the past 25+ years?

      • Girard says:

        Nope. They kind of let him die on the vine. Imagine if Mario only appeared in shitty Archie comics, fan games, and cameos in, like, Team Sonic games and shit. Wouldn’t that be weird and depressing for a seminal, flagship video game character and company mascot? That’s pretty much been MegaMan’s lot the past few years.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      I’ll be curious to see if the resulting game is well-received and popular enough that it will compel Capcom to do something with Mega Man.
         It’s not as if the market is saturated with too many side-scrolling android warrior games for my tastes.

  3. The_Helmaroc_King says:

    You know, for kids!

  4. DrFlimFlam says:

     I honestly think a hingeless 2D system makes a certain amount of sense for younger kids. Yes, the screen is always exposed, but it’s cheaper, looks sturdier, and parents never have to worry about a kid unlock the 3D slider if that’s a concern for them. Kids can be very tough on the hinges, so a system that eschews them, while also drawing Nintendo’s handheld design closer to a tablet formula (which is no accident) makes perfect sense.

    • Enkidum says:

      Plus, honestly, the 3d is kind of pointless. I mean, it looks pretty, and there are like 3 games where it actually does something different, but other than that… who cares?

      • DrFlimFlam says:

        It’s a Trojan Horse, much like R.O.B. was. To keep people interested, Nintendo threw a gimmick in before games just made it obvious that they are what matters most.

        Last week’s GameSpot Gameplay podcast seemed to kind of take the 2DS down a bit because it takes away the most unique aspect of the 3DS, which I thought odd. Aside from Super Mario 3D Land I abhor the feature, and I’ve yet to run into anyone that loves it.

    • George_Liquor says:

      For what it’s worth, the 3DS in 3D mode won’t make your little tyke’s eyeballs explode. Science proved it with monkeys.

  5. snazzlenuts says:

    I guess Nintendo made the 2DS look like a Japanese-sized portion of cake. An American-sized portion of cake (i.e. awesome-sized) would be too unwieldy. Now I want cake.

  6. boardgameguy says:

    Somehow I missed that unified Pixar theory the first time it came through. That was an interesting diversion.

    • ItsTheShadsy says:

      The worst part is that, even though it’s crazy, you’ll never be able to get it out of your head.

  7. Effigy_Power says:

    Wow, Spawn. Way to keep it topical. I hope it has a John Tesh soundtrack and a neat cover by Rob Liefeld. Plus it better look like crap on anything but a CRT TV and you can mail in a coupon for a bag of Pogs.
    (Die, Nostalgia, Die!)

    • Citric says:

      If you get the special edition you can get a hypercolor shirt and some sweet wraparound shades.

      (I do genuinely miss Clearly Canadian, a shame they went under after producing terrible idea after terrible idea (like Orbitz).)

      • Carlton_Hungus says:

        Clearly Canadian … Rise from your grave!


      • The_Misanthrope says:

         “Orbitz…For when you want crap floating in your drink”

        Apparently, while the idea was terrible, that shitty name is just gold, since it’s now the name of a online travel agency.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      “The Nostalgia, The!”?

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      I still have a handful of metal Pog slammers kicking around. I use them when playing Settlers of Catan to keep the borders down. The fact that half of them have flaming skull decals (and the other half has peace, yin-yang, and Mars symbols) is just a bonus, I guess.

      • Citric says:

        My metal Pog slammer was the boss. I think it was something like a centimeter thick, deliberately heavier on one side of the other – for maximum slamming – custom made bit of solid steel. My brother and a friends’ dad made them at work one day, they destroyed all comers.

        • Uncle Roundy says:

          I had a thick ‘n’ heavy plastic one that I liked. But my dad didn’t like it because it had my zodiac sign on it, and he thought that would somehow be a gateway to the occult. (Yeah, I grew up in that kind of house. They loosened up eventually though.)

        • HobbesMkii says:

          I had one that was in the shape of a serrated table-saw blade, so that the blades teeth were actually cut out of the metal. When you slammed it, it would cut a great big triangular dent into the top Pog. People fucking hated me.

        • Cornell_University says:

          My only lasting Pog memory was being on my vacation with my family and being told I could have as a treat either some Pogs I wanted or an issue of the Gambit miniseries.  That’s as far as the memory goes, so I don’t remember how I chose, just that it was wrong.

    • Spawn was originally included because Todd McFarlane designed the character Necrid, who debuted in the home console versions of Soul Calibur II. That and Microsoft didn’t have a franchise hero yet. I suppose today they’d use… I don’t know… Sabrewulf from Killer Instinct?

      • Chalkdust says:

        Honestly, from the get-go, Microsoft had Master Chief, so I don’t know why they didn’t just use him instead.

        Soul Calibur II has always been my favorite (which is to say, the one I am best at) and I got it on GameCube.  The system’s weird controller layout actually lended itself well to the way moves were mapped, and Link was a fun character to play, with a bunch of themed utility, ranged attacks, and defenses.  Push you back with my bug-catching net, then throw bombs and shoot arrows at you!

        • The_Misanthrope says:

           Master Chief isn’t exactly brimming with personality.

        • George_Liquor says:

          @The_Misanthrope:disqus Neither is Link, really. 

        • Cornell_University says:


          SCII is also my favorite of the series.  Link was hardly the best character, but he had a great throw for those annoying “win by ring out” levels.

          Necrid was unsurprisingly lousy and stupid looking.  Basically just Killer Croc with a robot heart and light saber hand (HOW DARE ANYONE IMPLY IMAGE JUST RIPPED OFF MORE POPULAR AND RECOGNIZABLE PROPERTIES!  CONSIDER THESE PEARLS CLUTCHED!).

          I’m sure we are all equally interested in how magnificent the HD jiggle physics will be.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        I just googled Necrid.  The character doesn’t look designed so much as randomly formed from the unprocessed bits of thirty years of video game character design.
           Like the cholesterol of concept art.

      • The_Misanthrope says:

        They could use Clippy.

        “It looks like you are entering a martial-arts tournament.  Would you like me to help you…DIE?”

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      Should I ever meet McFarlane, I’m going to ask him what his strange obsession was with a single, massive pedestal-boot.
         Of all the senseless and ugly flourishes of 90’s art, that’s the one that continues to bother me to this day.  Even thigh pouches are kind of sentimental these days.   Spawn must live in a universe dominated by broken ankles.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        I always hated that thing!  “Check out my awesome battle armor covered in spikes, and apparently the Mafia gave me a single cement shoe!”

    • Cornell_University says:

      Story mode is going to be even more of a slog with the new addition of “defeat all challengers with no feet” levels.

  8. So facing down a huge commute to visit the folks yesterday I downloaded Animal Crossing: New Leaf and didn’t realize that due to Labor Day, the town hall would be closed.  All I could do was harvest bugs and hoard bells and now I’m DYING to finish work to go home and pay my down payment and actually start PLAYING the game.

    I can see why people fiddle with their 3DS clocks.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      On the plus side, August is over, so fortune cookies are BACK, instead of fireworks preventing you from completing your Hero suit.

      • What seriously?  They were gone?  Madness!  How would you get your Varia Suit boots?

        Anyways, I’m currently seeking friend codes if anybody is up for showing off their towns/sharing markets!  HELP A NOOBIE OUT!

    • SonjaMinotaur says:

      Hey! I could use a ACNL friend (and another outlet for selling turnips). My FC is 2938-6698-2452

      I have all the fruits, too. You can find me on twitter or gmail (same username)

      • Merve says:

        I’m picturing a massive Turnip Empire, stretching from Hyrule to the Mushroom Kingdom, with you as Empress.

        • SonjaMinotaur says:

          Ha! & I feel like I spent all my money only to see the banks fold and the world plunge into a turnip depression.

      • I’ll add you when I get home from work today!  On top of everything my Steam install went kaput, so I’ll be ALL over my village of Hoxton tonight.

        • SonjaMinotaur says:

          Cool! I need your code, too. I’m usually playing from 6 to 7 (pacific), but I can leave my town open for visitors. 

        • @SonjaMinotaur:disqus Glad to see somebody on the GS is still playing, I feel like I missed the wave. :)  Do I get my friend code from inside of AC:NL or from my 3DS?  I’ve tried multiplayer/network stuff AT ALL on this machine.

        • SonjaMinotaur says:

          It’s outside the game. You tap the square smiley face that’s on the top of the home menu. 

          I feel like I missed out on the wave too. I was out of town & internetless the week everyone was posting their codes. 

        • I grabbed a bunch of codes off the Rob Delaney GS article a ways back, but not sure anybody is still playing.  And my Steam is broken so I can’t ask them there. :P

          @drflimflam:disqus , are you still playing AC:NL?

      • Got mine: 1950–8027–7481

  9. Simon Jones says:

    I logged into Final Fantasy XIV this weekend.

    I saw things.

    Such wonderful things.

    Things you will never know. 

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      The Mrs. FlimFlam has been very interested in this game. Very interested. I do not know what the future holds. But it holds something.

      • Simon Jones says:

        It’s a lot of fun and kinda weirdly good natured in a way a lot of MMO’s aren’t. Your guy or gal is the hero of a kind of offbrand Final Fantasy Story in the main questline.

        Combat is a little slow since some of the complexity is toned down to compensate for people playing it on controller. Also, it has some server issues because of all the people

        On the other hand, you get a Butler and a Chocobo, which makes up for those minor flaws.


        • DrFlimFlam says:

          We’re well-versed in FFXI (which I remember fondly for the combat, where a fine-tuned party was a beautiful dance to participate in, and not so fondly for lengthy travel and LFG waiting in Jeuno) and WoW, and I think we’re hoping for something with a more robust battle system than WoW had, where you had lots of moves but the flow was inelegant.

          We even used the Logitech PS2 controller that came with a keyboard (small laptop size in between thedual stick area – the thing was kind of huge) to play it.

          If only the Butler were a Chocobo Butler…

        • Simon Jones says:

          A chocobo butler would be a peversion, a crime against nature! You sicken me!

          Yeah. The melee classes use a combo system where move X tends to make move Y do more damage, with some other shennanigans, like stances for monks, on top.

          Casters I haven’t poked at much but they tend to play a bit like….WoW fire mages, I guess? There’s a buff that turns into another buff and you have to cast according to your buff.

  10. duwease says:

    Oh boy, Soul Calibur II HD!  Now that they’re all in the same game, it’ll be great to see who’s better: Spawn, Heihachi, or…. “Unit of Sausage”?

  11. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    It looks like those lovable screw-ups over at Penny Arcade are at it again!   
    I remember reading the original comic and not really thinking twice about it, but their continued response is so incredulous in it’s shitty juvenile defensiveness. I just cannot stand the self-importance of maintaining your shitty idea as the banner of free speech all right-thinking people must gather beneath.
       It makes me think of the full version of Voltaire’s oft abbreviated quote: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. But please, try not to be an ignorant dimwit about it.”

    • Simon Jones says:

      I was kinda in two minds to begin with, because the controversy was begun by obnoxious Social Justice Kids being obnoxious Social Justice Kids and they should be called out whenever possible but seriously, guys? At this point you’re grown fucking men and should not be engaging in this kind of thing and your entire approach to it just keeps escalating to something worse and worse.

      • DrFlimFlam says:

        I think the comic was kind of poor taste but not a big deal, and if you’re famous enough someone will always be offended by what you say. But the shirts around a throwaway joke are unnecessary, and then acting hurt about how you were cowed by a reasonable response doesn’t help.

        I don’t think PA has a problem with either member; I think it’s got a member who sometimes puts his foot in his mouth, and that’s normal. They’re not bastions of the free world; they make a webcomic about video games.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        Regardless of the original joke, which as I say, I was personally indifferent to; I’d like to think they could afford to take the high road and find some solace in their many thousands and thousands of dollars.
           The shirts they designed was such a woefully adolescent response it boggles my mind. 

        • Fluka says:

          At least point, I feel like it’s not even about the initial comic.  If they had just ignored the criticism or equivocated in some kind of “We’ll take that into consideration” way, it would have all blown over.  But no, they chose to make an entire goddamn comic making fun of their critics.  And then dug down even further by making the rapey part of the comic actual merchandise.  And now they’re opening the wound again.  They made this hole, and they keep digging deeper and deeper for no reason whatsoever.

          I’d still like to know how their complaints about the “censorship!!!” of Dragon’s Crown jibe with this comic, too.

        • ItsTheShadsy says:

          @Fluka:disqus Yeah that’s what irks me about it the most. The comic was whatever. They could’ve apologized and be done with it (as happens with many, many things), but I guess the extended controversy reveals that rather than a one-off transgression, it was a product of a larger immaturity and insensitivity that they have. Especially Krahulik.

          I’m also really concerned by the people who cheered at the panel when they said it was a bad idea to remove the shirts. If there wasn’t a sign before that the video game community is full of nasty people…

        • Fluka says:

          @ItsTheShadsy:disqus I would have felt intensely uncomfortable being in the room when that happened.  I’ve idly considered going to PAX East once or twice, as it’s an easy trip for me.  Shit like this makes me think “…Perhaps not.”

      • The_Misanthrope says:

         Gage and Tycho  are certainly not strangers to this sort of dust-up.  You can’t deny that they are passionate about what they do; Unfortunately, it is that type of internet passion that is always wildly out of scale with its source.

        • Simon Jones says:

           Yeah. I do disagree with a lot of people here in that I do think there should be a certain amount of vocal and public pushback against people demanding things like Trigger Warnings because the shit is genuinely terrible but by that same token I think the PA guys got way too overexcited and stupid about this and it put them in a bad place.

          • The_Misanthrope says:

            I’m not sure I’m in line with anyone demanding such things, but I have no problem with someone doing it on their own accord. In theory, it’s not a bad idea, though I do think survivors need to get past their victimhood and move on. Granted, I’m not sure I’m fit to judge, either; I’ve led a relatively trauma-free life.

        • Merve says:

          Getting past trauma is easier said than done. I very much understand and support the sentiment behind trigger warnings. The reason why some people oppose them – and why I don’t use them myself – is because of their potentially exclusionary nature. You can never know what triggers some anonymous person on the Internet, and in a sense it’s not fair to put to put trigger warnings on some pieces but not on others; that’s tantamount to implying that one person’s trauma is more “valid” than another’s.

        • Simon Jones says:

           @Merve2:disqus I appreciate the sentiment behind them but their very nature is why they don’t belong out in the wild. They’re intended for a small community of individuals who’ve gone through a similar experience and they’re fine in there because that’s how they were intended to work. Outside of those, they both privilige one set of experiences above others by their very nature and they’ve also become a social bludgeon for the sort of people who demand they be attached to everything.

          Personally, I just favour not rubbing anyones nose in their personal trauma and not being egeriously shitty. But expecting anything beyond that on a broad platform is a bit much.

    • Sam_Barsanti says:

      I feel the same way about all of this as you guys seem to (great minds, and all that). I didn’t care about the original comic one way or the other, but they’ve responded to all of this controversy had just made them look like bigger and bigger dicks.

      Not to mention their kickstarter stuff, which I’ve also found incredibly annoying.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

           Seriously.  I find few things more obnoxious than confusing protecting your egg shell-thin ego for some grand George Carlin or Lenny Bruce-style speaking truth to power.  Especially when they are almost literally speaking to the powerless. 

      • DrFlimFlam says:

        I don’t even understand where the Kickstarters for their apparently fairly profitable empire come from. I don’t pretend that they have Bill Gatesian fortunes, but surely a man who can turn his garage into an awesome arcade doesn’t need charity to fund a podcast, does he?

        • Simon Jones says:

           They were the first to realise the I Am Doing A Nerd Thing And I Would Like Free money potential of Kickstarter.

          So they’re a good deal more morally reprehensible than the Veronica Mars people but less than say….Amanda Palmer.

          And vastly, vastly less than that time Gawker tried to raise money to pay off some crack dealers.

          So around .97 Braffs.

    • signsofrain says:

      You can make a joke about rape without being a rape apologist. The dickwolves comic is funny. It’s funny because it’s completely ridiculous, it’s not in any way shape or form realistic. It’s not something that would ever appear in a game or in real life. It’s a parody of the kind of shit that appears in games. 

      Their reaction to the controversy was where things got thorny. They are public figures, so there’s this expectation that they behave perfectly politically correctly, but these dudes are accustomed to speaking their minds in no uncertain terms, and they’ve always been lauded for it, so that was a bit of a recipe for PR disaster.

      Personally, my opinion of the PA guys is they’re funny, they’re hard workers, they’ve earned their success and they’ve used it to do more good in the world than most of us ever will. On balance, the PA guys are good guys. 

      So what they’re not familiar with the language and language taboos of people who write about sex, gender, rape etc. on the internet. I could walk up to people and say “I’m a cis-gendered sexually submissive bi-curious guy, and as a trans-ally I would like you to say ‘zhe’ when referring to me instead of ‘he’. In some corners of the internet, this is a perfectly cromulent way to speak. Try that in a L4D2 lobby however and you’l be met with ridicule. 

      PA has a vast audience. People of all stripes read PA, watch ‘strip search’ etc. This overlap is going to cause some communication issues when one side doesn’t speak the others’ cultural language. Gamers don’t speak ’empathy’. At least not on XBox live, and sex and gender nerds don’t speak ‘crude humour’ not without copious trigger warnings and disclaimers. 

      All-in-all, mountain, molehill. Shitty things were said by people on both sides of the issue. PA done goofed when they threw gasoline on the fire with t-shirts… and we’ll all have forgotten all this 2 Child’s Play drives from now.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        I hardly think your general theme of it not mattering that they’re ignorant -because so are most gamers is a real ringing endorsement for either.

      • ItsTheShadsy says:

        “Gamers don’t speak ’empathy’.”

        There’s your problem right there. It is not okay that immunity to compassion and understanding are identifiable traits of the video game community. I refuse to accept that. It should not be okay for two of the leading figures in the video game community to openly bully people who were hurt by a joke.

        • Simon Jones says:

           I don’t condone what they did afterwards because it was genuinely offensive but I don’t think we should be painting the people who initially instigated the whole mess out to be  victims either because it seriously was initially a case of shitstirring

        • signsofrain says:

          I’m not saying the t-shirts and the things Mike has said on twitter were okay. I’m not disputing they acted like assholes, or claiming that there was any justification for acting like assholes. 

          I just think that when cultures bash up against each other misunderstandings like this are bound to happen. The sex and gender people were not capable of reading the dickwolves as a joke. To them, rape is not, and will never be, a joke. Mike and Jerry were not capable of getting into the headspace of the sex and gender people and couldn’t understand why the dickwolves might freak people out who had dealt with real-life dick-wolves in the form of abusive human beings.

          After this initial misunderstanding, both sides flung shit at each other until they were both covered in it.

          As far as I’m concerned, as an observer, both sides are now even.

          And yes, I agree that these conversations are important, and that cultural communities should have them. Yes, gaming has an open-ness and inclusion problem. BIGTIME. But you can’t feed me to the, uh, sharks, for saying that sex and gender nerds have a BIT of a humour problem. Jokes are important. Jokes humanize and de-fang thorny subjects and make them more okay to talk about. Taboos like “you can’t joke about rape” don’t do anyone, including rape victims, any favours. 

        • ItsTheShadsy says:

          @signsofrain:disqus I think that’s probably a fair point. I don’t think being aggressively confrontational helps anyone trying to foster better understanding of gender issues. I’m definitely more in favor of an inclusive approach rather than just retaliating against people, especially when the accused might just not’ve been properly exposed to those ideas anyway. (As was my case in the recent past.)

          But I would hope the learning would be more on the side of the Penny Arcade guys. Their response to getting emails from offended fans was to become defensive instead of empathizing to any extent. I would much rather live in a world where people are too cautious rather than too insensitive.

        • Roswulf says:

           @signsofrain:disqus In the abstract, you are certainly right that we need to strike a balance when it comes to humor around sensitive issues.

          But living in the year 2013 in the United States of America I am flabberghasted that anyone thinks our cultural environment that is too hostile to rape jokes rather than too forgiving. Daniel Tosh made jokes about raping an actual individual woman present at his live show and it seems to have had no lasting effect on his career. Louis C.K. did much the same thing in a fictional context (an episode of his semi-autobiographical TV show Louie) with no backlash at all.

          Greenpeace has some goals I strongly disagree with (because I hate nature), but they are pushing our society in the right direction. So I’m not going to waste any energy criticizing Greenpeace. Same with the anti-rape joke faction.

          I also think we should consider letting later lessons about the Penny Arcade folks color our reading of their comics. In isolation, I am unbothered by the dickwolves. But it’s pretty clear now that the “sex and gender nerds” were right about the misogynistic asshole tendencies of the Penny Arcade folks. The comments and especially the merchandising are obviously the products of, at best, insensitive assholes. I’m not going to attack the people whose insensitive-asshole-dar is better than mine.

        • signsofrain says:

          @ItsTheShadsy:disqus I think you’re right that if the PA guys had paused for just a second and thought that they might have responded differently, and that digging in instead of owning up was monumentally dumb.

          Between the people who misunderstood the dickwolves comic and PA, I think the blame is 50/50. 

          I absolutely cannot abide by the people who organized dickwolves flash mobs, the “team rape” twitter, or by the people who spat venom at the PA guys including one egregious example where Mike’s wife and child were threatened with murder. Once you get into what happened after the initial controversy apportioning blame gets complicated because both sides were in all-out internet-fuckwad mode. I despise both sides for the tactics they used.

        • ItsTheShadsy says:

          @signsofrain:disqus Is it possible that we just had a reasoned, constructive discussion about the role of sensitivity and empathy within the video game community? ON THE INTERNET?!

        • signsofrain says:

          @Roswulf:disqus It may not have affected Tosh’s career, but it certainly lost him viewers. Myself included. I sort of understand… when you’re doing stand-up you take risks, you say things that outside the context of a routine would be monstrous. Sometimes it works, sometimes it flops. But there are things you don’t say, not because of taboos or norms or whatever but because it’s fucking mean to say “What if 5 guys just raped that girl right now”. I don’t care how lost in the comedy moment you are, that shit just don’t fly.

          While their response to the dickwolves debacle reveals that Mike and Jerry are not exactly up-to-date on today’s feminist and LGBTQ politics, I don’t think it’s fair to paint them as misogynist assholes. Call their behaviour whatever you want, but I’m of the firm belief that both guys are, at heart, good guys. They, like many of us, digested fucked up media/cultural messages and so have said astonishingly stupid things. When I was a teen I refused to go to a Sleater-Kinney concert with my girlfriend because I was convinced riot grrls of some description would hate that I was there. This was a profoundly stupid thing for me to think, and especially stupid to say. I know better now, and the girlfriend is now my wife because she gave me a chance to see that I was wrong, and change, instead of writing me off as a misogynist asshole.

          The dickwolves shirt was a dumb, retaliatory act, but I don’t think it changes anything about Penny Arcade. It’s still good work, just like the Ender’s Game trilogy are still good books, even though their author has said some pretty horrible things about gay people.

        • signsofrain says:

          @ItsTheShadsy:disqus Damn right we did. This is Gameological mang. We don’t flame, we just argue our points strenuously while quoting Archer as many times as humanly possible. Or maybe that’s more AV Club? I’m at a loss for a finishing joke for this post. Anyway *fistbump* Let’s integrate each other’s points of view and become better people and netizens!

    • Citric says:

      Whatever happened in the original controversy, which felt like a tornado of people who were fundamentally incapable of handling the conversation they had put themselves in – like most internet controversies, really – it had kind of resolved itself.

      So stirring it up again, I can’t help but think someone should go up to those two and say “You’re grown ass men, you can let things go!”

    • Merve says:

      Mike Krahulik just needs to stop…saying things. There’s just no reason to bring up the Dickwolves controversy again. The Internet collectively moved past it over a year ago. Let it go, Gabe.

      And BTW, this is coming from someone who 100% supported the original comic (but not the subsequent response), so Krahulik’s gotta be waaaay off base here.

  12. grovberg says:

    Summary of original 3DS coverage: The 3DS is great, but the 3D is a gimmick no one wants. I turn it off at every opportunity.

    Summary of 2DS coverage: What the hell is Nintendo thinking by removing the 3D? Only a fool would buy it!

    I’m starting to think the whole device is just a viral marketing plan to trick people into loving 3D.

    • indy2003 says:

      I’m gonna go out and buy a 3DS right now! That’ll show ’em!


       I’m confused: who am I supposed to throw my wallet at? Nintendo 2 or Nintendo 3?

      This was so much easier when there was only one dimension.

  13. DrZaloski says:

    Stupid like a fox, or hungry like a wolf?

  14. Simon Jones says:

    The 2DS looks like something I’ll end up sitting on and breaking. Or leaving on the floor and stepping on.

    I’m not good at taking care of my things.