Of Death threats and Dickwolves :

Total posts: [280]
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1 Justice42433rd Feb 2011 12:52:50 PM from Portland, OR, USA , Relationship Status: Brony
Writer of horse words
Something that’s fascinating is going down with the creators of Penny Arcade. Mostly regarding a comic (and possibly its response, also linked)

Basically, comic where rape was the punch line created a shitstorm, comic was addressed, problem was assumed taken care of. Shirt referencing comic was made (now, no longer available check bottom post). Tempers flared, women and children have been threatened with death (“Okay that’s enough”).

I’ve haven’t followed closely, but at least have been aware of the problems this comic has caused. I was a bit surprised because Penny Arcade is no stranger to Crossing the Line Twice and rape has been used as humor at least twice before.

So is it just that Penny Arcade has gained in popularity over the years that a wider audience is seeing and responding to comics? Has the net been saturated with “rape comedy” and people are finally sick of it? Was the shirt (which didn’t mention rape, but referenced a comic that did) seen as a step too far in the direction of “rape encouraging”?

I’ll just add that I sort of agree with Tycho on the matter, that fictional rapes by fictional entities in a web comic just doesn’t register as offensive for me anymore. Maybe I’ve been overexposed to 4chan sense of humor, but also I think it’s that I’ve followed Penny Arcade and other comics (like VG Cats) for a bit now and am used to this sort of humor.

However, I do wonder if less jaded members of society are starting to use the internet more frequently and the popular sites are going to have to “tone it down” a bit if controversy isn’t really their thing.

I think one thing that can be pretty universal agreed on, threatening to kill women and children isn’t really acceptable no matter how anti-rape you profess to be.


edited 3rd Feb '11 12:53:19 PM by Justice4243

Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers.Proverbs21:15
FimFiction account.
2 Kino3rd Feb 2011 12:55:18 PM , Relationship Status: Californicating
I forgot who said it(Tycho or Gabe) something along the lines of it's funny until it offends you; I really don't see what the big deal is.
I thought "dickwolves" were hilarious. If they were being raped by humans, it would have been a lot less funny, I think.

edited 3rd Feb '11 12:58:31 PM by melloncollie

4 Pykrete3rd Feb 2011 01:08:12 PM from Viridian Forest
I find it amusing yet depressing that the whole point of the offending comic was to mock exactly the sort of apathy they're being accused of.

It's like an irony sandwich deep-fried in irony and baked over a vat of smoking irony.

edited 3rd Feb '11 1:10:39 PM by Pykrete

Yeah, this seems so bizarre to me.
6 Fighteer3rd Feb 2011 01:13:46 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
[up][up] This. A small but vocal minority of people are apparently completely impervious to understanding the concept of parody.

edited 3rd Feb '11 1:13:52 PM by Fighteer

7 TuefelHundenIV3rd Feb 2011 01:34:23 PM from Wandering , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
Honestly all of those comics were funny. They are not using rape in a serious context and the humorous intent is quite clear. Folks need to get down off their damn high horses for a bit. The threatening to kill women and children bit ok that was a bit far.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
8 Justice42433rd Feb 2011 01:47:14 PM from Portland, OR, USA , Relationship Status: Brony
Writer of horse words
Nice to see I'm not the only one not horrible offended by these comics.

I think "vocal minority" might be the key phrase here, though it's interesting to see the "rape is wrong" side toss out a "hilarious deahtthreat" in the direction of a young child.
Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers.Proverbs21:15
FimFiction account.

First here is a link to a timeline of the entire issue

I did find the comics in questions humorous and felt that the response to the first question was more of a knee-jerk reaction to the use of rape in a joke.

The entire death-threat thing was started by some trolls who were "on" penny arcade side when they made threats against a feminist blogger who was going to be speaking at pax east. She decided not to when this entire dickwolf shirt storm popped up. The attack on Gabe's wife and kid was an attempt to see how he liked the threats. I ashamed of anyone who did any kind of a threat in this storm.
10 Kino3rd Feb 2011 02:10:02 PM , Relationship Status: Californicating
They threatened his family? Wow...they're smart.
11 Barkey3rd Feb 2011 03:22:50 PM from Bunker 051 , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
I thought the two example comics in the OP were pretty tame as far as rape humor goes.

Then again I'm kind of used to rape humor.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Proud Canadian
TL:DR. Dickwolves?
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
Failed Comic Artist
I really, REALLY dont get what the big deal is. Theyve joked about way worse shit than this before, one of their characters is a literal rapist... then again, the kind of people who make death threats over comics on the Internet arent exactly the brightest bulbs in the bucket.
I dont know why they let me out, I guess they needed a spare bed
14 Justice42433rd Feb 2011 03:46:41 PM from Portland, OR, USA , Relationship Status: Brony
Writer of horse words
[up][up] The first two sentences of the OP sum it up pretty well, I think.

Of course, I'm a tad biased here.
Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers.Proverbs21:15
FimFiction account.
Gunpla is amazing!
These people getting their panties in a wad over dickwolves are bugging the living hell out of me.

Its a freaking comic, it was not even ABOUT RAPE. It was about how 'heroism' in a MMO is kind of laughable.

And i'm sorry if this offends anyone, but to me, the woman raising a shitstorm about this is just an attention seeking bitch.
vigilantly taxonomish
I think this whole issue is absurdly overblown. I thought the comic was mildly amusing, but I don't see what the big deal is.

I mean, OK, I can sort of see why the feminist bloggers objected like they did, but really. I know "lighten up" is pretty much the worst thing you can say to a feminist. But rape is widely condemned in society, at least in this present society, and the joke in the comic doesn't even make sense unless you take the rape reference to mean "something traumatic and bad". That's kind of the point; it's obviously bad and the hero isn't doing anything about it.

And death threats... ugh. The stupid is painful.
If you put it that way, the response to the original dickwolves comic was not justified. I thought the "apology" comic was even funnier, but that one was less ambiguously about rape and Rape as Comedy.
18 TuefelHundenIV3rd Feb 2011 06:46:39 PM from Wandering , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
Still sounds like shameless attention whoring in the end.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
I thought the issue was less about the comic in question and more about PA's response to the criticism. I can't say I'd want to be at a con with people wearing rape joke t-shirts either...
The perspectives in play, the lenses, are too different: one side believes that not according the issue of rape the proper respect fuels a kind of perverse, perpetual engine called rape culture. There is a vast, specific lexicon and hundreds of tacit assumptions that gird it. The other side (that’s me, but not just me) believes that when it comes to expression nothing is off the table. It is the creator’s prerogative to create something - even something grotesque - out of anything they can find.
I think I agree with both sides. The rape culture concept makes sense, from what I've read of it,  *. But freedom of creative expression is just too important to me for any additional compromises to be made.
21 Fighteer4th Feb 2011 09:12:01 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Someone recently edited the Penny Arcade article to insert a "rape culture" Take That! in the image caption. It was obviously removed, but there are a lot of people who take this stuff too damn seriously.

If anything, we have an anti-rape culture in this country, where it is highly stigmatized against, far more so than in olden times. This doesn't mean that people won't try to glorify or justify it, but that the mainstream culture rejects such things. You can't excise rape from the human experience by censoring a freaking webcomic, especially one that advocates against it.
This is a controversy? Someone is bored and wants to be offended. Well too bad, you don't have a right to not be offended.

Also, Penny Arcade sucks.
23 Morven4th Feb 2011 10:22:25 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Actually, I think the T-shirt WAS a bad thing. The strip, I'm completely fine with; it made a point about the punch-clock "heroism" of MMORPGs. The shirt, though — it was inviting people to identify themselves as a raping dickwolf, and by being an official shirt, implied that Penny Arcade was OK with that message. Most of those wearing it would probably be joking. Some — maybe not.
A brighter future for a darker age.
24 Kino4th Feb 2011 10:31:59 AM , Relationship Status: Californicating
They had shirts?
Yeah, I think the T-shirt took it too far. I suppose one could say that they're not supporting dickwolves/rape, they're doing it to stick it to the Moral Guardians. So at best, it's trolling.

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