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Eric: A fast update

Things have been better, but things have also been worse, and this isn't about that. Though for those who have wondered, yes I'm still sick.

And there is much to discuss.

There's things with Goats, which is doing something wholly remarkable, and which deserves comment. And of course, Penny Arcade... well, nailing a win. And I'll write about both of those. I will. And there's other webcomics stuff, and life stuff, and things mulling through the sinuses and the ear-ringing, and stuff with Nanowrimo.

And, much to the distress of others, there's yet more stuff to say about video games and John Stark. And more to the point some things to say about Gossamer Commons. And I'd like to say I was sorry to have them on the docket for discussion, but it occurs to me I'm not, so I'm not.

But for now, as I clean the apartment in between naps and medicine, on a day that was supposed to be a vacation day.... well, I hope you're all well.

There is much to discuss. And I have every intention of doing it.

But not right now.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at October 17, 2005 6:41 PM

Comments

Comment from: Snowspinner posted at October 17, 2005 7:22 PM

The thing about PA that really floors me is that this is the first time we've had a real sense of just how successful their business is - they can afford to spend $10k on what amounts to a stunt. That's really, really surprising success for a webcomic.

Comment from: SeanH posted at October 17, 2005 7:28 PM

As I've said over at the forums, GC currently features the cutest nemesis ever.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 17, 2005 7:33 PM

For the record, my favorite line of dialogue since the beginning of this comic has to be "Fountains don't make the giant dog disappear! FOUNTAINS DON'T MAKE THE GIANT DOG DISAPPEAR!!!"

Comment from: larksilver posted at October 17, 2005 7:39 PM

"For the record, my favorite line of dialogue since the beginning of this comic has to be "Fountains don't make the giant dog disappear! FOUNTAINS DON'T MAKE THE GIANT DOG DISAPPEAR!!!"

I completely cracked up when I saw today's comic. Laughing out loud at work is always a fun way to convince the people in the other cubes that you're nuts, but it was worth it.

Comment from: quiller posted at October 17, 2005 7:54 PM

GC has definitely become more of a horror story lately, though that is completely in line with faerie tales, so I suppose it isn't surprising. Greg's style really seems to lend itself well to nightmarish dreamscape, too.

But yeah, $10,000 to prove a point. There are probably not that many webcomic creators who can afford to do that. Kind of on that note, I notice that JD Frazer is now selling a book on turning web content into money. Somehow I keep reading no matter how crass his commercialism becomes...

Here is one link to the Penny-Arcade story for anyone curious. Though you can also see on the Penny-Arcade site, so I'm not sure why I'm bothering.

Comment from: SeanH posted at October 17, 2005 8:31 PM

That was a great line, Eric :D

I think it's a bit off to call a huge donation to charity a "stunt". The impression I got was that the duo - most vocally Tycho - were genuinely affronted by Thompson's admittedly repulsive behaviour, and saw an opportunity both to turn his ethical bankruptcy into a good act, and get one over on him about as completely as is humanly possible. "Stunt" seems to devalue what I think is the argumentative equivalent of a single arrow bringing down Smaug. Combined with Gabe's expert needling, I'm convinced that they're well on their way to actually killing the man.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at October 17, 2005 8:33 PM

"Fountains don't make the giant dog disappear!"

Went into my sigline queue this morning.

Comment from: kirabug posted at October 17, 2005 9:06 PM

The impression I got was that the duo - most vocally Tycho - were genuinely affronted by Thompson's admittedly repulsive behaviour, and saw an opportunity both to turn his ethical bankruptcy into a good act, and get one over on him about as completely as is humanly possible.

And it says something that they, and Scott Ramsoomair , and Tim Buckley who could have easily done nothing but insult and denigrate Mr. Thompson's idiocy have all made an effort (as has most of the gaming community) to approach with logical and intelligent arguments, while every new email I see with Mr. Thompson's name attached to the bottom convinces me more and more that he's scrounging for attention, trying to turn fear, uncertainty, and doubt into a name for himself.

I'm glad that people like Mike and Jerry are representing our voices as adult gamers.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 17, 2005 10:17 PM

Oh boy, Jack Thompson. Such a wonderful man. I sincerely hope that you guys never have cause to have correspondance with him.

Sadly, I'm not that lucky.

However, I am lucky enough to have plenty of research material and a working knowledge of many of the studies he tries to cite. It's fairly easy to show how badly he manipulates facts and tries to bully people.

Also, just so people know - he's obsessive about following his name through Google News. He likely will find Websnark pretty quickly and join in.

While I hope he doesn't (he's already made his verbal assaults on two other sites, including my own), I'm already warming the popcorn in case he comes here.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at October 17, 2005 10:48 PM

So, uh, if he does come post here, does that mean we can't say bad things about him?

Does it mean he can't say bad things about us?
I'd so like to see Weds and/or Eric smack down someone like that for violating house rules :).

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 17, 2005 10:57 PM

I'd suggest that if he did do that, most likely with the intent to start a flame war, that an example be made of Thompson. If, contrary to past behavior, he comes and acts civil, then I'd say to let him on but keep a close eye. That man is a walking flame war.

Especially if anyone (like, oh, Eric) has ever said anything positive about any video game, ever.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 17, 2005 11:08 PM

Well, I don't plan on starting anything. Though sooner or later I intend to publicly laud Gabe and Tycho (I guess I just did.)

If Mister Thompson shows up and insults another poster, I'll give him a warning. If he insults me, he's fine. If he persists, I'll ban him. Simple as that.

And if Mister Thompson shows up and everyone else jumps in on him? Same deal. ;)

(Just call me the ACLU. ;) )

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 18, 2005 12:18 AM

Speaking of things Thompson hates, the ACLU is right near the top of his list. ;)

Comment from: Zaq posted at October 18, 2005 12:42 AM

So wait, does this mean we can say bad things about him before he shows up (assuming he does at all)?

Not that I necessarily would, mind you, given that there's nothing I could say that we don't already know, and the fact that I enjoy games as much as (quite possibly more than) the next fellow should give you my general opinion on him already. (That would be on small benefit of an all-encompassing, all-controlling totalitarian force remolding our language a la 1984... conceivably, we could have new profanity every month or two, when the old standbys just get tired. Not that the leaders of Ingsoc would actually create new profanity, of course, merely that they COULD. Which would be nice.). But there's kind of a childish glee knowing that the potential exists to bad-mouth this... person (to use the vaguest, least offensive term possible) on our beloved Websnark if one were so inclined.

...Yeah, I really had no reason to post that. Sorry.

Comment from: Aerin posted at October 18, 2005 1:42 AM

I was out all day so I read my comics early this morning, then came here upon getting home. So when Eric mentioned Penny Arcade getting a win, my thought was, "Did I miss something in that placenta joke? I mean, it was kind of funny, but..." So I went back and checked the news page again. And you're absolutely right, the boys just got game, set, and match in one bold move. But the fact that they did it in Thompson's name? Icing on the cake.

I also loved that line in today's GC, but am I the only one who was thinking, "Jesus, Keith, shut UP! Malachite probably knows his shit a little more than you do!"? Because seriously, I'm about to smack some sense into that boy. That fictional boy. Yeah.

Comment from: Doc posted at October 18, 2005 6:00 AM

As much as I loved the fountain line (it reminded me of my idea of using the middle of a highway as a place of power in dead inside) I did find myself shouting Keith 'stop being stupid, he's going to do something and you're holding him up!'. I can't help it, always cringe when characters act stupidly (from our perspective of course, not theirs) but that is a tenant of the horror genre isn't it?

And just to keep playing the Devil's advocate I feel I should point out that the mod I think doesn't quite conform to what big ol' JT demanded, but to be fair that obviously isn't the issue for him and it certainly isn't the issue for Gabe and Tycho either and it certainly doesn't make what they did any less awesome.

To go off the topic deepend entirely I keep thinking about the John Stark movie and Eric that is a damn good idea, perfect summer blockbuster material and come on people have to be sick of ancient greek and roman war heroes by now. I'd imagine the rules for nanowrimo preclude a script but next year I'd like to see John Stark: the book of the movie.

Hell how about an historical romance? The honourable John Stark must vie for the affections of the headstrong yet vulnerable Molly Page against his long-time rival Ethan Allan (who would sooner think of his own selfish desires than his men and his country). Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War with cameo piece where Benedict Arnold must choose between his country and his heart etc. etc.

Or of course there's the porno version: Stark John.

Sorry about all that, I should probably take this over to the official JT message board instead, just trying to get my mind of digestion of gold drugs, go about your business people.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at October 18, 2005 8:08 AM

my thought was, "Did I miss something in that placenta joke? I mean, it was kind of funny, but..."

Am I the only one who perceived the strip as an announcement by Jerry of impending fatherhood? Or has the other thing eclipsed that entirely in people's minds?

Comment from: Snowspinner posted at October 18, 2005 8:32 AM

Having been mentioned before, I think "announcement" is probably the wrong word. :)

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 18, 2005 9:37 AM

Well, I wouldn't call it a 100% win for the PA guys. They donated to the ESA Foundation, which was established by the Entertainment Software Association (on the theory that the president of a company belonging to the ESA would want to donate money there).

However, the ESA Foundation has found quite a bit of controversy, including investigations over whether or not it should still receive non-profit status. Given all the evidence out there, they'd probably have been better off donating that $10,000 to, say, Child's Play. Or if that seemed a bit too self-righteous, to the American Red Cross.

And not that I read Goats, so I don't know what happened there, but does anyone feel almost bad for not talking about it?

Comment from: Merus posted at October 18, 2005 10:18 AM

I had a look. He's pulling a Cerebus.

Tycho announced his impending fatherhood a while ago in a completely circumspect way. He announced that his post was not about World of Warcraft, then proceeded to talk about World of Warcraft, almost as if he was processing that there is a small human child growing inside his wife by starting off with the familiar.

Also, if you're not convinced by the mod, a few people also made a text adventure that apparantly cleaves to the letter of Thompson's 'proposal'. It was inevitable, really, so it's probably best to call it now - someone was going to make this game in order to stick it to Thompson, and he was going to weasel out of it. If not now, then later. A week from now. A month.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 18, 2005 10:33 AM

As much as I loved the fountain line (it reminded me of my idea of using the middle of a highway as a place of power in dead inside) I did find myself shouting Keith 'stop being stupid, he's going to do something and you're holding him up!'. I can't help it, always cringe when characters act stupidly (from our perspective of course, not theirs) but that is a tenant of the horror genre isn't it?

Keith's in full fledged panic right now. He's not thinking straight. There's a giant helldog after him. The concept of "we need to get to some kind of store or place of business" might seem weird but it's comprehensible and fits his overall "RUN!" desire. The concept of "trap ourselves in a cul-de-sac while Malakite mutters about fountains" doesn't, you see.

Comment from: Doc posted at October 18, 2005 11:25 AM

Merus: Yeah I know about the text adventures, and as I said whether the game is as requested or not is irrelevant as JT didn't check and apparently didn't have any intention to because he is, as you say, a weasel. I just wanted to point it out and say that it didn't in any way diminish the impact of what they did before someone trolled saying it invalidated the whole thing.

Eric: Yes I do see and I do appreciate the intersting contrast to very level headed character we've seen so far. Getting angry at characters for not knowing everything I know and not being able ot be objective about their situation is just something I do. Given it's emotional involvement I'd imagine it can only say good things about your writing.

Comment from: Remus Shepherd posted at October 18, 2005 12:34 PM

On the Penny Arcade story -- Jack Thompson has just filed a harrassment charge against Penny Arcade with the Seattle police. Link here.


I don't understand the logic of pissing off 6 million daily comic viewers as a way to *avoid* harrassment, but there you go. :)

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 18, 2005 12:59 PM

Well, Thompson has been getting better at hiding his email addy. He already closed down two different ones, and so many gamers have tried a WhoIs on his site that Register.com isn't processing any of them at this time. So he is keeping his access down.

However, it's not like they didn't hate Thompson before or anything.

Comment from: larksilver posted at October 18, 2005 1:50 PM

Personally, I kept expecting Malachite to smack Keith. The now-famous "Fountains" line is very much evidence of a man who's completely out of his element, and more than a bit freaked out (Greg did an awesome job portraying that ohshitI'mgoingtodie moment, btw). All it needed to be a flashback to an old buddy movie (think: Dean and Jerry or Bing and Bob) was for Malachite to smack him and say "Snap out of it!"

Or at least, the image makes *me* happy.

I think Keith's reaction to all of this has been just the way a "real" person would handle it. After all, he's had sort of a busy week, lots to process.. and now he's being chased by the cutest killer dog in history.

Comment from: Matt Sweeney posted at October 18, 2005 2:37 PM

Penny Arcade has a responce to the harrasment charge on thier site. The short is, they aren't worried in the least.

I have to say though, between this whole thread and everything that's been happening with the Valerie Plame case recently, it has been an interesting couple of days.

Comment from: kirabug posted at October 19, 2005 3:14 PM

After all, he's had sort of a busy week, lots to process.. and now he's being chased by the cutest killer dog in history.

Cute? That slathering beast scares the hell out of me, and I've owned dogs of all types all my life.

...

Okay, maybe a little cute, if he wasn't about to chomp a head off.

Comment from: larksilver posted at October 19, 2005 3:18 PM

I think Rottweilers are cute, so maybe I'm not the best judge. The Barghast has a lot of the same vibe that a Rott does to me, actually: they'll bite your head off if you're in their space or hurt their people, but they'll do it with a smile. And for those they love? Sweetest thing EVER.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at October 22, 2005 12:12 AM

And of course, Penny Arcade... well, nailing a win.

Dammit.

I spend all week sending up superheroes and then Kurtz walks all over me with a newspost.

Dammit.

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