Really, Truly. (theotherbaldwin) wrote in inclusive_geeks,
Really, Truly.

Penny Arcade, Profit, Rape Culture and Gaming Culture

Trigger warning: This post discusses rape, rape as humor, rape dismissal, and links to reproduction of graphic threats of death and rape.


I finally decided that I had to duty not only to myself, but to other male survivors and to the gaming community at large to pen the following article. It examines the initial Penny Arcade "Sixth Slave" comic controversy, the ensuing reaction, and its influence on gaming culture as part of culture at large (also, how the creators are managing to literally profit from rape culture):


Penny Arcade, Gaming Culture, And Rape
On August 11, 2010, the web comic Penny Arcade presented a comic strip titled "The Sixth Slave". The reaction to the comic from fans, writers, and rape survivors touched off a firestorm of controversy, and apparently took the creators by surprise... Every single response from Penny Arcade-- a website that has proven to be enormously influential in both the effects it has on the video games industry and the audience it commands-- has sent the message that if you have been raped, if you feel uncomfortable about rape jokes, or if you don't think that joking about rape is funny, then the video gaming community isn't really the place for you.
(Click here to read the full article)

While the reaction to the article was overall positive, the article did receive an influx of trolls with some odious comments (including a graphic death threat). I cover why that means it's even more important that This Is Why I Speak Out. In thatentry, I also look at why I feel it's important that the gaming fandom as a whole has a ways to go towards being more inclusive, but why it doesn't have to be so insular. I'll close on part of a comment from octarine in that entry:

"Free speech doesn't mean speech without consequences and doesn't mean not taking responsibility for one's subject matter. I wouldn't tell a humorist any subject is taboo, but would advise one to recognize many subjects may invite critique, and not to be dismissive of a reaction just because it doesn't match the intended message of one's work. Just because one doesn't like a concern doesn't mean that concern is without merit."

Tags: gaming culture, penny arcade, rape, trigger warning
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