Webcomic: Virtual Shackles
The life of a troper.Virtual Shackles
by Jeremy Vinar and Mike Fahmie is a webcomic about video games. It occasionally strays into Real Life
Strips tend to fall into two categories: The two main characters discussing a topic, or, as is typical of gaming webcomics, parodies of games, their mechanics, and their plots.
This comic provides examples of (or parodies):
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Kinect's a bit murderous, but fortunately the Xbox360 is suicidal, so things balance out in the end.
- Art Evolution: While the art started out somewhat close to where it is now, there have been some changes to depth, shading, ears, and lines to make things seem sharper in general. Compare this early strip to this much later one.
- Author Avatar: The two main characters, Jack and Orion.
- Bad Ass Santa: Santa is apparently an ancient magician, capable of speaking Dragon tongue.
- Beating A Dead Player: A long-range version called The Atomic Teabag!
- Benevolent Architecture: Lampshaded in this strip, which explains the strange interior designs in the Prince of Persia series.
- Bottom of the Barrel Joke: You wouldn't ordinarily think a joke about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle would be one of these, but the creators of the strip agreed that if they ever used the joke, they would stop making the webcomic, and they passed the comic on to a new team altogether.
- Christmas Episode: A three-part Christmas comic was made that involved Santa, videogames, light cycles, and Farmville.
- Comically Missing the Point: Upon being told of the horrific things done by a Dungeons & Dragons player, Jack's response is shock - at the fact that people still play it.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Parodied with the Stopped Clock analogy - a backwards clock is right 4 times per day, and backwads as 7200 RPM is right 864002 times per day. note
- Fight Clubbing: Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, and Link all participate in "Smash Club".
- Freud Was Right: Invoked in the console wars, where apparently Sony's end-goal is the "Playstation: Giant Penis".
- Impossible Item Drop: Made fun of in this comic. "What the fuck Darksiders. Why does everything I smash have a soul in it?"
- Indy Ploy: Rico is really going out of his way to get rid of one dictator; he's blowing up half the country just to eliminate him.
- Inconvenient Summons: Charmander is not pleased to come out of his comfortable Pokeball to go fight. It's raining.
- Item Get: Link does this for every article of clothing.
- Man in a Kilt: Orion puts one on in an attempt to lure perverts. It Makes Sense in Context
- My Future Self and Me: Peter Molyneux travels back in time to warn his past self that the video game he is working will throw the world into chaos. The past Peter simply replies with "Dammit not again!"
- My New Gift Is Lame: Orion's entire family does not show any enthusiasm when receiving the latest and greatest tech gifts.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Pewter City's electrical needs are met by a mass array of Pikachus hooked up to pods.
- Refusal of the Call: Starkiller decides to ignore his destiny and just use the Force to open a beer.
- Running Gag: Various strips show what depths Jack will sink to due to his World of Warcraft addiction.
- Super Prototype: Why BioShock's Alpha Series is so badass:
"As you can see, the subject is too awesome, but with more time and funding we can achieve desired levels of mediocrity."
— Dr. Suchong
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Pointed out as one of the quirks with Skyrim's guards.
Guard: "Wait, I know you..."
Dragonborn: "That's right! I am Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold, Harbinger of the Companions, Thane of Whiterun, Nightingale of Nocturnal, Listener the the Night Mother and of course the great Dragonborn."
Guard:"No, you're that guy that was moving plates around at the tavern. You're under arrest"
- Tropaholics Anonymous: Jack's wife sends him to a support group for his World of Warcraft addiction, where he encounters characters such as Mario and Link who have far bigger problems.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: The Dragonborn has a series of titles, but is more recognized for moving plates around in a tavern.
- Two Gamers on a Couch: Some comics use this format, normally with Jeremy and Mike, but sometimes with actual videogame characters, such as Link and Zelda.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: Played with, as the cause is not alcohol, but videogames.