Tag: Movie Bob

Penny Arcade, Pax, & Dickwolves

by on Sep.06, 2013, under Articles, Culture, Gaming, News, Video Games

The past is full of unfortunate events. Actions taken with little to no experience, wisdom, and certainly no hindsight to guide them can have profound effects. We can, at least, hope to learn from them however. Let me take a moment to discuss a controversy, which is still settling, called Penny Arcade’s dickwolves.

First some context, back in 2010 Penny Arcade posted a comic which mentions rape, now infamously known as the dickwolves comic. Now rape is a serious issue and our society has problems with addressing it and many other female related social issues. However when the comic began receiving criticism focusing on the mention of rape and not  the intended commentary on moral ambiguity in games, Mike Krahulik, more well known as Gabe and co-creator of Penny Arcade, responded by mocking the critics, claiming attempts to censor his work and an issue of free speech. This was the start of the actual controversy as fans and detractors angrily attacked each other vocally. The issue exploded further after merchandise referencing the comic was released. Ultimately the merchandise was removed, despite Mike Krahulik public protests, and the entire sitaution settled, until recently when Mike mentioned his regret over the merchandise being removed at a recent PAX 2013.

This issue is very complicated and I covered it in a very broad manner above. I did so because I wanted to share the following links that cover the issue from various viewpoints that hopefully will let us all learn from this. I provide the following links to inform people regarding various viewpoints of the controversy.

The first is a personal post on tumblr by someone claiming to have attended the 2013 panel. The post is effectively anonymous and can’t be verified, but that isn’t the point in sharing it. It’s the tale of a rape victim, who met her raper at PAX and despite the negative associations, continued to attend PAX, that is until she heard Mike’s comments about the dickwolves. The article is a powerful chronicle.

I Can’t Go Back Or Why I’m So Bent Out of Shape about Penny Arcade (A Dream Come True [Tumblr])

The point of linking to this article is two-fold. One to understand why the original criticisms of the dickwolves comic was raised. What effects including rape in a joke, even if the joke wasn’t about the rape, can have upon people. The topic of why it perpetuates rape culture is left for another time. The second is to understand why Mike just mentioning the comic has rekindled this controversy. Why people would consider not attending PAX any further.

Because many people are, and not just attendees but companies as well. Many people have been posting about how Mike’s and the reactions of some of Penny Arcade’s fans are wrong. One such response has been from Wired.com’s Rachel Edidin.

Why I’m Never Going Back to Penny Arcade Expo by Rachel Edidin [Wired.com]

Rachel Edidin covers the controversy very quickly, providing commentary as to why this event is holding gaming as a culture back and why people should just leave PAX behind. Which I feel is a sad statement to have to make. PAX is well-known for claiming to be for everyone, but if what Rachel and the above blogger say, it is only giving lip service to this ideology.

So why is Mike behaving this way? One of the prominent figures of the gaming community mocking critics and inciting bully behavior in his fans?

MovieBob, creator of The Big Picture, The Game Overthinker, and other web series, provides what I feel is a very fair and gamer centric viewpoint of the entire situation, with particular insight into why Mike might be having this way. Warning this is a long article and it rambles a little, but it covers the entire situation and is well worth reading.

Dickwolf’d (GameOverThinker [Blogpost])

Ultimately what Movie Bob is trying to say is Penny Arcade was not wrong to post the comic but at the same time criticizing it for how lightly it uses rape was also not wrong. Neither side was necessarily wrong in this situation. Mike Krahulik’s response to the criticism however, was completely wrong.

Instead his mocking responses very indicative a mentality one might have had in the 80s and 90s. When comics and gaming were often attacked by people wishing to censor it for various ignorant and unfounded reasons. This may have been his reasoning for his actions, even if they still wrong. What is worse his actions inspired unconscionable attacks against critics of the comic by many fans of Penny Arcade. Some of these fans did it out of loyalty, and sadly some did it because of the still pervasive and ignorant misogyny that pervades gaming culture.

Thankfully the tale has something of a happy ending.

Some Clarification by Gabe (Mike Krahulik) [Penny Arcade]

Mike has apologized for all of his actions after the initial strip. I particularly like Mike’s comments about PAX, which I hope is enough to make people reconsider their calls for boycotting the convention.

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

At the very least all of us can learn from this controversy. Take the time to learn the difference between criticism and censorship, of the reasons why people become offended, and what can be done to fix the problems of rape in our culture, rather than attack the symptoms.

If you’re interested in other reactions to this entire controversy, one blogger has taken it upon themselves to archive this from 2010 and beyond at the this tumblr, in two large link based posted.


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Video: The Big Picture: On The Subject Of Violence

by on Aug.02, 2012, under Art, Articles, Culture, Gaming, Video Games, Videos, Visual Media

A discussion of the use of violence in media and how it may or may not contribute to violence in society but, more importantly, what we should do about it.


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Starwars through the eyes of two children

by on Nov.14, 2011, under Articles, Culture, Films, Television, Visual Media

I never had a love for the original trilogy of Star Wars. As I grew up, I was far more of a Star Trek fan. My friends loved Star Wars but when compared to Star Trek, Star Wars looked dinged and dirty. Don’t get me wrong, I had my obsession with lightsabers and R2-D2 but the Jedi never impressed me and Darth Vader never scared me.

So when the original trilogy came out, I didn’t have the whiplash effect of most of the fans of Star Wars. But I also wasn’t enamored with the movies either. I remember stating clearly “Phantom Menace is a movie for five year-olds and forty-five year-olds.” I was a teenager at the time. Jar Jar Binks vaguely amused me but mostly annoyed me. My love of lightsabers was rekindled, and I had to admit Qui gon Jinn kicked some serious butt. The subsequent films did nothing to impress me further, culminating in Dart Vader’s reveal and the infamous cry that made me laugh at out in the theaters.

Fast forward a few years to the present and lately I’ve been wondering if I need to give Star Wars a fairer shake. I’ve always had friends and fans around breathing on my neck. I’ve seen a few episodes of the Star Wars Clone Wars televisions how and enjoyed it even if the plots are generally geared towards a younger crowd with little content for adults and I can’t honestly say I’ve really seen any of the original trilogy movies in a sit down and watch type of session, save for Empire which I saw in theaters on re-release.

So I recently stumbled on Film Nerd 2.0. He is a well-known internet movie critic among the internet movie critic circles and he decided to introduce his two sons to Star Wars, and wrote about each movie viewing. They’re excellent reads.

A New Hope
Empire Strikes Back
Phantom Menace
Attack of The Clones
Revenge of The Sith
Return of The Jedi

After reading about how the kids experienced the films, I think I may do this as well sometime, although probably as more of a marathon, and try out McWeeny’s viewing order.

I found this via a tweet of a friend who linked to Movie Bob’s website. So if you’d like his commentary on the subject, click here.

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Video: The Big Picture: Gender Games

by on Oct.13, 2011, under Articles, Culture, Gaming, Politics, Video Games

Movie Bob delves into a reason why feminism takes issue with modern popular video games.

Video Source

I admit while I knew about the problem of the portrayal of women in video games, the specific why is never something I’ve tried to analyze, making this video something of an eye opener. I also more or less agree with Bob that feminism seems to have a significant and rather undeserved stigma among male gamers. Hopefully the above video let you understand the female perspective a bit better.

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Video: Real Steel Review

by on Oct.07, 2011, under Reviews, Videos, Visual Media

Video Source

I really wasn’t expecting to find anyone willing to positively review this film. The fact that Movie Bob was willing to eat crow makes this a much watch for me, personally. I was willing to set aside my adult higher brain functionality to let my inner ten-year old run wild at this movie but it looks like both inner and outer parts of me are going to get a treat.

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Video Games & Video: Game OverThinker

by on Sep.20, 2011, under Articles, Culture, Gaming, News, Politics, Video Games, Videos, Visual Media

Movie Bob has shown up on this blog before a few times primarily as a movie reviewer and general culture commentator. Today he is appearing as the latter, specifically for video games.

The Game OverThinker – Episode 57 “Supreme Responsibility”

I suggest actually starting the video at around 3:45 minutes in if you aren’t a regular fan of the Game OverThinker series. That is when the real meat of the discussion starts.

If some of you remember, awhile back the Supreme Court of the United States of America threw out a California law that tried to regulate and ban violent video games. This has set a precedent which will no longer allow states to make laws which censor, regulate, or ban violent video games. Which is awesome and great. But, as Movie Bob points out, now is the time for some self-reflection. We’re free from the war that could ban an entire form of entertainment. Now it’s up to us, the creators and consumers of this mode of entertainment to start taking a look at the bad apples that gave our opposition ammunition against us.

The Game OverThinker explains it better I think, and I am still formulating my thoughts on the idea, so take the time to watch the video.


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It really was Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

by on May.27, 2011, under Articles, Comics, Entertainment, Videos, Visual Media

Long time readers will know I like Scott Pilgrim. I like the comics. I like the movie. Long time readers will also know that like is an understatement when it comes describing Scott Pilgrim and me. Scott Pilgrim was not the perfect film ever but it was one of the best films to come out of the year 2010 for a variety of reasons, the primary one being that the creators of the film actually cared. They took time, and lots of money, to provide everybody with a movie that cared as much about giving us an entertaining story as anything else it tried to do, including making money.

And Scott Pilgrim flopped, financially. The estimated markets still say it only did half of its budget internationally, and numbers aren’t good on the DVD/BRD sales either. I’m going to let Movie Bob explain why this is a bad thing.

Get it? We vote with our money and we’ve been repeatedly telling Hollywood that movies like Transformers and The Expendable are the only way to make money and movies like At the Mountains of Madness die.

I don’t have the answer to this problem but I’m hoping this point gets across.

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Video: The Big Picture: Maddening

by on May.06, 2011, under Articles, Videos, Visual Media

Movie Bob talks about a topic I wasn’t even aware of since I don’t follow sports games. A animal abuser Michael Vick will be featured on the cover of Madden 2012. Here is a fairly good rundown of how he kept a dog and cock fighting ring. I, for one, agree with Movie Bob. Kids buy these games, and parents buy these games for their kids. Why can’t EA pick someone who might be an actual role model both on AND off the field?

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Extra Consideration: Controller Evolution

by on Apr.09, 2011, under Articles, Gaming, Video Games

Extra Consideration: Controller Evolution [ The Escapist]

Awhile back I linked to an The Escapist article where some of their well-known content creators discuss topics about video games. This is the continuation of the prior topic regarding video game consoles and controllers.

Since then another topic has been released in the article series, this time tackling the state of stories in video games.

Extra Consideration: The Story [ The Escapist]

Extra Consideration: The Rest of The Story [ The Escapist]

I do find the titles of their articles amusing.

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The State of Console Gaming

by on Mar.14, 2011, under Articles, Gaming, Technology, Video Games

Extra Consideration: Console Gaming by MovieBob, Yahtzee, and James Portnow (The Escapist)

James Portnow (of Extra Credit fame), Yahtzee (of Zero Punctuation Fame) and MovieBob (of MovieBob fame) rambled on for four pages about the state of console gaming and motion controls. Not a lot of controversy between the three but they did reaffirm some of my beliefs about the PS3 and the X-Box 360 regarding both their development and the release of their motion controls.

If you’re curious about the state of the console gaming industry from the perspective of its critics, here is a great opportunity!

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