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Penny Arcade Makes Time 100

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the well-good-for-them dept.

Games 196

Precision noticed that Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade fame have made the Time 100. The writeup talks about Child's Play and PAX and lavishes deserved adoration upon the pair. I've always envied their ability to maintain control over their brand and use it for appropriately portioned good and evil ;)

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Good for them (4, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031496)

I'm a big fan of the brand and PAX, but I really have a hard time finding anything enjoyable about their writing.

Perhaps 1 out of 10 comics are interesting and most often the writing drones on like I'm reading Moby Dick

"I scrolled up and down my Steam library yesterday, listlessly, without so much as a remembered thrill; all I wanted to do was play Blur for some reason, something I hadn't picked up in weeks but whose thirsting fronds were reaching up through some mental fissure. After a few rounds to loosen up, quite organically I found myself in a Party discussing the events of the day. The conviviality and natural flow of the conversation began to disintegrate as the race progressed, slowing and then ceasing altogether, like the dwindling reports from a bag of microwave popcorn."

Re:Good for them (3, Insightful)

iknowcss (937215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031600)

"Tycho's" literary voice is one of my favorites. It flows well and sounds more like ironic Moby Dick than Moby Dick.

Re:Good for them (3, Insightful)

wetdogjp (245208) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032266)

I agree. I remember actually crying when I read the story he wrote [penny-arcade.com] for his newborn son.

Every time a read a thoughtful, poetic post from him, I think, "That's how I want to write."

Re:Good for them (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031626)

The comics are often low-brow humor. The posts are often very high-brow diatribes. I love both and the contrast they portray. But to each their own.

The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032152)

I don't think that most people here, or at Digg, or at reddit truly find comics like Penny Arcade or xkcd as being funny.

However, I think there's a misconception within the community as a whole that the other members do find them funny. In reality, virtually nobody finds them funny, but because everyone thinks that everyone else finds them funny, everyone links to those comics and then everyone fakes laughter anyway.

This misconception just causes the cycle to run perpetually. Now, we can break it by having enough people publicly admit that they find those comics to be absolutely pathetic, and to shun anyone who dares reference those comics as if they were funny.

So let me start: Penny Arcade is not funny. xkcd is not funny. Don't bother referencing them, we won't find them funny!

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032222)

I don't think that most people here, or at Digg, or at reddit truly find comics like Penny Arcade or xkcd as being funny.

However, I think there's a misconception within the community as a whole that the other members do find them funny. In reality, virtually nobody finds them funny, but because everyone thinks that everyone else finds them funny, everyone links to those comics and then everyone fakes laughter anyway.

This misconception just causes the cycle to run perpetually. Now, we can break it by having enough people publicly admit that they find those comics to be absolutely pathetic, and to shun anyone who dares reference those comics as if they were funny.

So let me start: Penny Arcade is not funny. xkcd is not funny. Don't bother referencing them, we won't find them funny!

What about nigger jokes? Most of those are funny except you feel like it's bad to laugh at them, so you feign offense instead. I've known too many black people who had a great sense of humor and were able to laugh at such jokes so long as they knew you well enough to know you're not really a racist. So I think that's what the deal is, the whole PC bullshit.

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032244)

You're suggesting that people only pretend to like things that are popular. How did they get popular to begin with?

And why doesn't everyone here pretend to like Twilight? It's genre fiction and insanely popular. Maybe the Slashdot crowd likes XKCD because it is great, and they hate Twilight because it is crap.

Just maybe.

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032744)

I hate Twilight for the same reason I hate Monster Cable.

Awww, FUCK! Why didn't I think of that first?

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (4, Insightful)

TheSambassador (1134253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032272)

You're right! Your "I don't think anybody finds it funny" argument is flawless. Now I realize that I only found their comics funny because I thought that, somewhere, SOMEBODY else thought they were funny. Eager to fit in, I quickly forced and tricked myself into enjoying it. THANK YOU for showing me the light.

I mean, why would I ever find awkward phrases like "Do you have snakes that come in sometimes? Don't stand for that shit!" [penny-arcade.com] hilarious?

All webcomics, hell all COMEDY is hit and miss. I cannot say that because one thing a person does is funny, everything else that that person does must necessarily be funny or else the first thing becomes unfunny. I find Penny-Arcade to be more often funny than not... so I like it. You might disagree.

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (3, Insightful)

TheNumberless (650099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032322)

So let me start: Penny Arcade is not funny. xkcd is not funny. Don't bother referencing them, we won't find them funny!

Since we're doing the whole opinions-as-facts thing: xkcd and Penny Arcade are funny because I find them funny.

It's neat that a lot of people seem to agree, but my opinion of their humor doesn't require it.

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (2, Informative)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032360)

I find about 70% of the xkcd I run into funny.

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32033668)

I find some of XKCD funny, but I probably find a higher percentage of XKCD Sucks [blogspot.com] funny.

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033840)

I find about 70% of the xkcd I run into funny.

XKCD can be funny a lot of times, but I also find it frequently unbearably smug. Not old school nerd, more like the newer trendy hipster nerd thing that cropped up in the past few years.

Jealous much? (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032366)

Here are we have popular geeks who make a living making little pictures and writing little stories for. Everyone loves them. They are witty and funny and frequently have sex with actual women and are everything you are not. Do you know there's a guy who has a whole boring ass blog about how xkcd isn't funny? Nobody reads it, because we all think xkcd IS funny. Penny arcade IS funny. You and the other haters are either too stupid to find the humor, or too jealous to admit it. Once you have achieved something in your life, I doubt you will feel the need to put other achievers down. Maybe you should try, you know, doing something, rather than bitching about the people who do.

Hypocrisy much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032460)

Why are you bitching about people who bitch?

Re:Hypocrisy much? (0)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033016)

I'm bitching about talentless losers who demean others out of jealousy rather than any real critique. That's hardly hypocritical.

Re:Jealous much? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032668)

I don't hate them, as I said "I'm a big fan of the brand and PAX, but I really have a hard time finding anything enjoyable about their writing."

I didn't bitch about them, I've supported them by buying merchandize and going to PAX, just stating I'm not a fan of their writing style most of the time.

Re:Jealous much? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032972)

I wasn't referring to you, but to the AC.

Re:Jealous much? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033160)

Sorry, I missed the AC. Cool.

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (1)

Maria D (264552) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033236)

Speak for yourself, please. I find both funny. There are among (very few) things I read as soon as they update, checking several times a day. At any given time, there are probably several printouts of each pinned around my house.

Re:The it's-not-funny-but-we-laugh-anyway loop. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033328)

So let me start: Penny Arcade is not funny. xkcd is not funny. Don't bother referencing them, we won't find them funny!

Coincidentally, you are not modded funny either. Instead you are modded troll. Which, I guess, in itself IS funny. We're laughing AT you, not WITH you.
But by all means, please enlighten us; what IS funny?

You want funny? Go to Zero Punctuation! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032622)

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation

This chap knows how to review a game.

I am not a gamer, barely play video games but this Brit makes a frankly dull subject come alive with incredible hilarity.

Re:You want funny? Go to Zero Punctuation! (2, Interesting)

li99sh79 (678891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033260)

There is a remarkable sameness to Yahtzee's work that, quite frankly, grows tiresome after a while.

Re:Good for them (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032970)

Hey, this is a big f***ing deal.

Re:Good for them (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031704)

NOTE: your post got cut off before you showed us how it should be done. Please repost, kthnx.

Re:Good for them (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031796)

You don't need to be a writer to criticise a writer.

Re:Good for them (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032208)

They answered you years ago. [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Good for them (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031884)

Both men are trying to improve their art. Gabe has come a long way from his humble beginnings. Tycho's writing outside the comics is still an acquired taste. I think it is partly an affectation, he's the smart one, Gabe is the dumb one, but those are still personae they put on for the comic.

Re:Good for them (2, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032118)

IM sorry you cant appreciate PA writing. It is very wordy and convoluted sometimes, but thats part of the appeal. He doesnt dumb it down for the masses. Most of the time when im reading i can speed skim through articles, but when i read PA i stop and really process what is being said.

Re:Good for them (4, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032986)

"slowing and then ceasing altogether, like the dwindling reports from a bag of microwave popcorn."

Any idiot can write a meandering tangle of pretentious and meaningless wank about a game that I will never care about, but only Jerry Holkins can finish it a simile so clever that I will be actually glad I read that drivel. That's why he's the one with a web comic and we're all posting on slashdot.

Re:Good for them (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32033680)

I think some of the complaints people have about how the writing in PA has gone down hill is because we aren't 16 anymore. Its easy to see to be drawn into tech writing when the next shader release is the biggest thing going on in your life.

I'm still relatively young, but PA no longer has the immediacy it once had. Your mileage may vary, but that's why I don't read all of tycho's rants anymore.

Oh, and those people denigrating Child's Play need to die in a fire.

As they should! (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031516)

They are arguably among the most influential people in an industry bigger than Hollywood...I'd say they deserve a place on the list.

Not bad for two nerdy dweebs who probably got swirlied in middle school.

Re:As they should! (3, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031644)

Didn't Halo 3's launch weekend generate more revenue than the biggest Hollywood opening weekend of all time?

Video Games are just as influential and big as the movie indudstry.

Re:As they should! (2, Insightful)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031764)

I think that's a false comparison. Theatres are limited it the number of people that can fit in at any time, however games can manufacture the cd's ahead of time so they don't have an upper limit in the same amount of time.

Re:As they should! (2, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032086)

Well it may be a false comparison, but the video game industry is now larger than the film industry in terms of revenue. The film industry made around 10.5 billion in revenues in 2008, while the video game industry made around 11.5 billion. This is counting movie and game sales and rentals. The film industry may hold more cultural cachet and influence, and more people consider films to be true art, but that is changing as well.

Re:As they should! (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032636)

Box office revenues I could find for 2008 say they were about 10 billion, the home video revenues were around 22 billion. That was after a 5% decline.

Re:As they should! (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032902)

No, the video game industry is not bigger than the film industry.

Film Industry in the US employs 361,000

http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs038.htm [bls.gov]

All software publishing in the US employs 263,700

http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs051.htm [bls.gov]

Globally video games are worth 40 billion

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/VideoGameSalesOvertakingMusic.aspx [msn.com]

US film revenue is 42 billion, total box office gross is 10-11 billion, but that's only a piece of the US film industry.

http://www.allbusiness.com/media-telecommunications/movies-sound-recording/10512814-1.html [allbusiness.com]

Re:As they should! (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033088)

Okay, you've got better sources so I must admit to being mistaken. Still, it's clear which way the trend is going, film keeps losing entertainment market share while video games keep gaining. It may yet be a while before games are accepted as real art, look how long it took for comic books.

Re:As they should! (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033198)

Yea, I bet by 2015 they'll have parity in the US, or near parity, unless ticket prices keep going up.

Of course when the next gen systems come out (replacement for PS3 and 360) game prices will probably hit 80 dollars a game too.

Re:As they should! (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033518)

More interesting to me is the question of when the game industry will achieve cultural parity with the film industry. While I've seen a few of video games that I consider great art, but these are never the popular ones. Movies speak to whole cultures, video games speak only to a smaller subset. When will we see a video game with the cultural impact of, say, Star Wars?

Re:As they should! (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033692)

Mario as a brand is the closest we've come.

WoW and Starcraft are getting there, you see more and more actors and athletes saying they play WoW as a pastime. One of the top NFL draft picks listed WoW as his hobby outside the game.

I don't know when a game will strike Humanity the same way Star Wars or Star Trek did. It might take a while, after all cinema from the advent of the art took, what 40-50 years to really go international and the first things that did were Disney animated films. So maybe Mario is the Disney of video games.

Re:As they should! (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031822)

Halo 3 did make more than most hollywood movies in its first day than they do in their first weekend. Over the course of a few months though I believe most movies catch up.

While I would agree that video games are a big industry, I wouldn't go as far as to say they are as influential as movies. Video games (especially new releases) usually cost about 5 or 6 times as much as a movie ticket. If you consider the amount of sales and not the dollars earned as influential (which I have come to take its meaning), than movies still win out.

Re:As they should! (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032134)

A video game costs $60. Avatar tickets cost me $15 a pop. Even assuming a standar movie ticket is only $10, a video game is more expensive. So for the same money, more people are seeing movies. I'll give you that. But if I buy one copy of Mario Party and invite my friends over to play, then multiple people are playing on the one purchase.

But you often watch a 2 hour movie onec, and you're done. Video games you spend more time with. Video games are often played multi-player, or online. You aren't supposed to talk during movies, so one could argue that video games are a more social experience.

For the dollars, I'd contend that video games consume more of our time and conscience. Furthermore, I think they have subsumed a larger piece of the cultural zeitgeist. My daughter is 4 and doesn't own a video game console yet, but she knows who Mario is.

Re:As they should! (1)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033584)

"Recentering globalization: Popular culture and Japanese transnationalism" is a study by Koichi Iwabuchi published by Duke University Press that was done in the 90's and shows that the character Mario is more recognizable to American youth than Micky Mouse. If there's better support for your contention, I think you'd be hard pressed to find it :)

Re:As they should! (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032164)

Video games (especially new releases) usually cost about 5 or 6 times as much as a movie ticket.

And about 1/2 the price of a small bag of popcorn and soda.

Re:As they should! (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032558)

How did Halo 3 sell the next weekend, and the next, and the next? How were the DVD sales? How about the TV rights?

Re:As they should! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032788)

Does your definition of “the world” only include “Geeks, mostly only from the US” again?

I don’t think in all of Europe more than a few geeks have ever heard of Penny Arcade. I used to create web pages that were (willfully) read by 13 million people every day. So am I now also influencing the world? (Hint: No.) ^^

Well congratulations (3, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031524)

Honestly, congratulations. It's nice when good work gets recognized.

I love the picture (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031554)

And the fact that "Fruit Fucker" is in it with them.

Re:I love the picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32031770)

And that Jerry is hiding.

Popularity contest (5, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031586)

Kudos to them, but sadly this was a popularity contest where the likes of Justin Bieber and such were receiving votes.

I'd rather a wide-range, rational panel try to offer their opinions rather than open up a massive internet vote.

Re:Popularity contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032120)

Yes, it would be much better to only have a few select people make the decisions instead of opening it to a public vote. Wonderful idea.

Re:Popularity contest (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032274)

Yes, it would be much better to only have a few select people make the decisions instead of opening it to a public vote. Wonderful idea.

That depends on who those few select people are. Specifically, do they make a decision "just because", or at every step of every decision can they give you good solid reasons to justify why they made that choice?

Re:Popularity contest (2, Funny)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032290)

Don't forget this is a contest moot from 4chan has won before. It makes the whole contest seem moot. (Partly intended pun there)

Re:Popularity contest (3, Interesting)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033404)

Anyone know if they fixed the massive flaws from last year that allowed 4chan to precisely control the top 21 entries to spell "marblecake also the game"?

Re:Popularity contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32033454)

To be fair, marble cake is delicious.

Really, Time? (5, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031734)

I was impressed until I read the rest of the list, particularly this love letter [time.com] to Glenn Beck........ written by none other than Sarah Palin herself.

Really, Time? Sure, he's pretty influential, and a demagogue to be certain. But casting him as an intellectual and a history buff? Have they ever even watched his program?

Jon Stewart had a great point last week: The Daily Show is as absurd and farcical as it's been since Day 1. However, the "real news" media are slowly inching their way toward the realm of absurdist comedy and entertainment.

Re:Really, Time? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032002)

Speaking of Jon Stewart... how do they have Glen Beck and Sarah Palin on this list, but not Jon Stewart?

Re:Really, Time? (2)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032942)

Speaking of Jon Stewart... how do they have Glen Beck and Sarah Palin on this list, but not Jon Stewart?

Jon Stewart is only popular amongst high, college-aged kids who don't even realize that there were other hosts of The Daily Show before him. And he was eclipsed in popularity by Steven Colbert long ago.

The gp said that Jon Stewart claimed "The Daily Show is as absurd and farcical as it's been since Day 1.".

This is bullshit. The Daily Show has tried to get taken more seriously in recent years. They need to have some "serious time" once in a while (typically when Stewart goes off on a rant, or has a serious guest) in order to differentiate The Daily Show from The Colbert Report.

Jon Stewart is being pushed out of his comfort zone and people are making him out to be an intellectual when he isn't. The irony is that Colbert has more of that background than Stewart, yet Colbert insists on parodying the right so hard that he's merely a self-parody of the left's "educated" and "tolerant" views of "lol the right is retarded lol lol".

Re:Really, Time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032226)

I've always been under the impression that The Day Today and Brasseye actually dragged the real news media closer to parody rather than acting as a warning.

Re:Really, Time? (1)

Karrde45 (772180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032584)

But casting him as an intellectual and a history buff? Have they ever even watched his program?

I wouldn't jump to conclusions about Beck as a person just based on how he acts on his program. It's fairly plausible that he hams it up a bit to play the 'everyman who loves his country' role that he's carved out. I haven't watched his program, but from what I hear it's a bit more over the top in comparison to his show back on CNN. He could very well be an intellectual and history buff, who happens to become an emotional demagogue once he's in front of the camera. Stewart and Colbert (as you noted) aren't the only ones playing up the entertainment angle.

Re:Really, Time? (4, Insightful)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033582)

Stewart pointed out that his networks slogan isn't "fair and balanced."

Re:Really, Time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32033338)

I just wanted to mention that I completely agree with you on this. I immediately noticed glen beck as well, and thought time did a great job of ignoring the fact that he refuses to answer the question of whether or not he raped and murdered a young girl in 1990?

Joking aside, I thought that time would at least touch on the fact that he's controversial. But then I was not smart enough to notice who it was written by...

this article was so much of a love letter, it could be read during nailin' palin 2 as the background music.

posting as AC to save my karma.

Re:Really, Time? (0)

Happy Nuclear Death (911893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033544)

We get it. You don't agree with Beck's opinions, so he shouldn't be on the list, even though you admit he is influential. This is what passes for "Insightful" here?

Childs Play (-1, Troll)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031744)

I like to read PA from time to time. I could do without the sophomoric language that seems to be thrown in simply to 'identify with the youth', but sometimes I really find the comic funny. But the Child Play charity is primarily just a tax shelter for PA. They make a lot on money on advertising and PAX, and use CP to avoid (or at least defer) paying taxes on it. Not that that's anything unusual for a corporation, but I hate when companies portray their 'charitable giving' as some grand altruistic philanthropy, when it's just a way for them to dodge taxes.

If the laws that allowed this type of behavior went away, so would the giving.

Re:Childs Play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32031848)

Wait what, I don't even

Re:Childs Play (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32031984)

If you can show proof, great, but I sincerely doubt this.

Re:Childs Play (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032012)

You can only write off what you actually donate. So unless they're donating enough to make their net income zero, they're paying taxes on their advertising income.

The vast majority of money for Child's Play comes from donations, donations that go completely into the charity, and are completely unnecessary for your It's Just A Tax Shelter theory.

They've raised literally millions of dollars for sick kids to have games to play in the hospital.

You're full of shit and an asshole to boot for trying to tear down something as great as Child's Play.

Re:Childs Play (-1, Troll)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032454)

You can also write off the income of anyone designated at 'administrators' of the charitable organization. The money comes into PA from ads and whatnot, they direct most (if not all) of it Childs Play (therefore writing it all off as a 'donation' to themselves), and set themselves up as administrators (therefore avoiding paying payroll taxes). And the money that comes directly from donors is just more income into the same de facto pool of cash (might be separated on paper, but they can pull whatever they want out of it as 'expenses'). But that income is not seen by the law as 'real' income, hence is tax free.

Re:Childs Play (2, Interesting)

theantipop (803016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032604)

The money comes into PA from ads and whatnot, they direct most (if not all) of it Childs Play (therefore writing it all off as a 'donation' to themselves), and set themselves up as administrators (therefore avoiding paying payroll taxes).

Where's your source for this? Everything I've heard about the way Child's Play is set up is that they distance it from PA Inc. as much as possible for two reasons. The first being that they don't want the image of the comic to draw ire towards the charity. Secondly, they don't want the possible collapse of their company to take down the charity.

Re:Childs Play (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32033060)

Let's not forget that it has donated money towards hospital equipment as well.

Re:Childs Play (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032946)

Oh great. So now you've gone from accusing them of using CP to dodge taxes on their advertising revenue to accusing them of laundering charitable donations into their own pockets.

Do you have any evidence for any of this? Do you have any proof that the two of them are paying themselves wages as CP's "administrators"? Do you have any proof that they have extracted "expenses" from the pool of donations that were not actually expenses of the Child's Play charity, but rather expenses of Penny Arcade or simply profit-taking?

Because that all would have to be spelled out on their tax returns, and if those "expenses" weren't really expenses then they can't be claimed and the IRS would be on them like flies on shit. So you're not just accusing them of cynically taking advantage of the tax code, you're actually accusing them of being tax cheats. The law is very specific on what can actually be counted as charity and what can't.

You're a real piece of work, you know that? People are out there making a real difference in children's lives, and all you have is baseless accusations founded on cynicism. Cynicism for its own sake is wrong and stupid. And it also doesn't help anyone, unlike Child's Play.

Re:Childs Play (-1, Troll)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033054)

If they wanted to help they would give food, clothing, shelter, or just money. Giving a shiny Nintendo DS to a kid with a three pound tumor in his abdomen, while his parents are slowing bankrupted by medical bills, does nothing...other than sooth the conscience of the giver.

Re:Childs Play (4, Informative)

krmt (91422) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033330)

You've apparently missed all the heartfelt and often tearful thank-yous they get from parents with their kids in the hospital. I was in the room only a few yards away from the woman who broke down crying during PAX East thanking them for doing Child's Play because such things meant so much to her. It's on the episode of their reality show for PAX East that came out recently if you want to see it for yourself. Child's Play does make a real difference in people's lives and that shouldn't be discounted.

Re:Childs Play (3, Insightful)

Gailin (138488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033450)

You couldn't be more wrong. As an adult who recently went through 5 rounds of chemo and a bone marrow transplant. The 5 months overall I spent in the hospital over the last year were a lot better because I had an electronic outlet. For me this was my laptop and smartphone, for a child, it may be video game console. Don't underestimate how important it is to get your mind off the shiatty situation you are in.

There are lots of people and resources to give food, clothing, shelter and money. Of course, there can always be more. But don't denigrate a group simply because they found a unique and beneficial way of helping. Believe me its worth it and is appreciated.

Re:Childs Play (4, Insightful)

sartin (238198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033466)

If they wanted to help they would give food, clothing, shelter, or just money. Giving a shiny Nintendo DS to a kid with a three pound tumor in his abdomen, while his parents are slowing bankrupted by medical bills, does nothing...other than sooth the conscience of the giver.

This is quite simply not true. My oldest son was on treatment for leukemia for 3 years and 2 months, so I have spent quite a lot of time in the children's oncology clinic. The clinic we went to does not receive games from Child Play, but from other sources. The kids in the clinic love the games and they make it a lot easier to be stuck in a chair doing a six hour infusion. Yes, it's true, some of these kids need clothing or shelter, and a distressing number of the parents face bankruptcy. That doesn't make the games a conscience-soothing gift. They actually deliver a lot of value for the majority of kids stuck at the clinic.

Re:Childs Play (5, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033846)

Alright, I've lost it. As parent of a child who has benefited from Seattle Children's Hospital's care more than once, let me say you must truly be the most bitter, irredeemable, self-righteous, scum-sucking, ignorant, foolish, truculent, and repugnant bastards I have ever had the misfortune of wasting my time reading. If you can't understand the value of bringing a small amount of fun engagement into the lives of children who may very well die slowly in the most agonizing pain imaginable, then you yourself are worthless, inhumane excuse of a being.

Re:Childs Play (5, Informative)

dank zappingly (975064) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033162)

As I have noted from your other armchair legal opinions, you do not understand the law. You do not know anything about Penny Arcade's corporate structure or how they pay their bills or Child's Play's bills. You are accusing a charitable organization of fraud without any basis in reality. Here is a quick sample from the FAQ on their website: Q. Does Child's Play charge administrative fees? A. We try our best to have every dollar that comes in go right back to the hospitals, but there is a slight administrative cost that does get paid for with donations (for example, shipping $200,000 worth of Nintendo DS' to dozens of hospitals worldwide is not free, sadly). Historically, these charges have not exceeded 2-3%. It's true that we're a non-profit, but unlike most non-profits, we're not in it to create a self-sustainable entity. We do it to give. Again, I ask you to please stop polluting the internet with misinformation. These people are doing good work to make the lives of sick children better. By defaming them you are taking trolling to a whole new level.

Re:Childs Play (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032034)

I have similar issues with PA. I used to read it, and thought it was quite humorous, but with the language and dialogue, it was like drinking your favorite soda (Mountain Dew) with a bit of raw sewage in it. After a while, I just couldn't do it anymore.

However, I must give them praise for standing up to Whacko Jacko Thompson. That guy really needed to be put in a box for his own good. Thank you, PA, for taking him on, and being a major factor (IMO) in shutting him up.

Re:Childs Play (4, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032424)

OH NOES! TEH SWEARS!

I have never, and will never, understand this mindset. They're just words. Words are giving power and meaning only by the reader. To me, they're not a big deal, if anything they indicate that the authors are being honest and not filtering themselves just to fit in some moralist 'acceptable' box.

Re:Childs Play (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032122)

I like to read PA from time to time. I could do without the sophomoric language that seems to be thrown in simply to 'identify with the youth', but sometimes I really find the comic funny. But the Child Play charity is primarily just a tax shelter for PA. They make a lot on money on advertising and PAX, and use CP to avoid (or at least defer) paying taxes on it. Not that that's anything unusual for a corporation, but I hate when companies portray their 'charitable giving' as some grand altruistic philanthropy, when it's just a way for them to dodge taxes.

If the laws that allowed this type of behavior went away, so would the giving.

You do not understand tax laws as well as you think you do if you believe the primary motivation for charitable contributions is to dodge taxes. It's a secondary motivation. You don't come out ahead.

Re:Childs Play (-1, Troll)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033302)

Sure, I would not come out ahead. But most corporation do. They are all very well aware that saying 'we give to X charity' will motivate people to spend their money with said corporation and they will make most if not all of it back (kind of like sponsoring a NASCAR racer). Just look at the explosion of all the 'think pink' breast cancer awareness crap that's come up in the past decade. It's the hot new thing to care about so companies from all across the spectrum are throwing a few grand at some charity (who then, in turn, pays their people with most of it) and then marketing that donation to people to promote the illusion of corporate humanity. Hell, look at how much Goldman Sachs gave to charity, while they were humping the whole country....

Re:Childs Play (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032142)

I'm pretty sure they receive no tax breaks from Child's Play except perhaps what goes into the cost of advertising and running the event, which may reach into the thousands but not into the millions that the charity raises. Child's Play is a charity auction, which means the money and items donated are tax write-offs for those who are donating, not for Gabe and Tycho.

Re:Childs Play (4, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032254)

Wow. It's hard to find the words. Yeah, there are reasons to be cynical about corporate charities, like how tobacco company Philip Morris spent tons more on advertising about how charitable it was than on actual charity...

But dude, you can't let that cynicism blind you to real charity. I don't think you have any idea how hard volunteers for Child's Play work every year. In the first year before they had any real logistics in place, a whole team of local volunteers worked night and day to physically process, store, load, move, and unload tons of toys for Seattle Children's Hospital. Even though now the toys go to hospitals directly, volunteers still help with the charity dinner, with various fund raising events around the country, with community efforts at PAX like the Cookie Brigade, etc.

Unless you have more evidence than a mere assumption, it is callous and insulting to all those volunteers to paint their hard work as nothing more than a 'tax dodge'. While I don't work for PA Inc, I know a lot of people who do, and I have heard nothing, not even a rumor, of any funds from PA revenues being somehow 'laundered' through CPC.

Re:Childs Play (2, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032488)

Wow. It's hard to find the words. Yeah, there are reasons to be cynical about corporate charities, like how tobacco company Philip Morris spent tons more on advertising about how charitable it was than on actual charity...

Right, or a great example today I heard on the radio. KFC is trying to raise $8.5 million to donate to cancer research. They're doing this by selling pink buckets of chicken at something like $8/pop, and donating $0.50 of each. This is the typical cynical corporate method of charity contributions: Making their donation dependent on product sales, advertising this fact, and thus trying to directly leverage their "generosity" into increased product sales. I wouldn't be surprised if they expected the extra sales to completely offset the donation itself.

If, instead, KFC just donated $8.5mil directly, even wrote that off their taxes, and didn't spend millions advertising their generosity, that would be fine. Getting some PR benefit out of charity is okay with me.

But dude, you can't let that cynicism blind you to real charity. I don't think you have any idea how hard volunteers for Child's Play work every year.

Yeah, he obviously has no idea what Child's Play is all about. There are a million easier ways to get the same tax benefit.

I have heard nothing, not even a rumor, of any funds from PA revenues being somehow 'laundered' through CPC.

Well I don't know about that, but I have heard rumors [penny-arcade.com] of foul play at the CP auction. ;)

Re:Childs Play (-1, Troll)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032980)

And all these volunteers are workers. Workers that provide 1000's of hours of labor, for free, to an organization. Now if all the employees of the organization took a legal vow of poverty, only received a living stipend, and the charity has no corporate 'sponsorship' (e.g. give us money and we will make you appear charitable) I would be cool with that. There are charities that do that and I support them. But as long as CP has salaried staff making money 'administering', no thanks.

Re:Childs Play (5, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033592)

Oh you mean PrincessRedDot (PRD) and maybe one or two others that in fact only make a living wage? I think you radically overestimate the financial scope of CPC's diabolical, faceless administration. You don't know anything other than your wild, baseless assumptions about CPC and its people. Whereas I have met and talked with PRD several times over many years. I have myself volunteered my time and with the help of my wife raised thousands for CPC through community events.

You want every charity to be run like a monastery that's your prerogative, but to act like CPC is some cabal of evil tax-dodging millionaire fat cats feeding off of an army of deluded rubes is so intellectually dishonest as to be disgusting and absurd. That is why your original post is rightly modded into oblivion.

Re:Childs Play (4, Insightful)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032400)

If the laws that allowed this type of behavior went away, so would the giving.

Yeah! It sucks that people get rewarded for helping people. If there were any justice in this world, we would severely punish charities. Only then could we be sure that the people were truly selfless.

I saw that in their post yesterday (3, Interesting)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031874)

When they commented that they have a bigger voice than Roger because the last time they checked they where above Oprah on the Time top 100 list.

I was like "NO WAY!" so I went, did some fact checking, and then voted to put them up to #1!!

Click the link here http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1972075_1976159,00.html [time.com]
To vote for them!

PA is a great organization (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32031882)

All they need is a decent web comic. Seriously the quality has dropped considerably in the last couple of years as it seems the comic is just an afterthought, they occaisionally put their heart into it and make a brilliant comic but for the mostpart I don't even chuckle anymore.

Re:PA is a great organization (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032372)

Agreed. I feel like, while their brand has taken off(PAX, Rain-Slick Precipice, Child's Play), the comic quality has diminished to the point where it's hit or miss...more often being miss.

Same goes with Tycho's diatribes.

Honestly, I think that we're used to reading their stuff when they were bachelors. Now they are married and have kids, growing a gamer family. It'll probably click when I'm in the same situation they are, but right now it ain't.

Then again, this is only how I feel. I'm sure a lot of folks are pretty content with the quality of the site and what not.

If the comic/rants went to complete crap, the type of folks who read PA would quit reading it. (Then again, look at ctrl-alt-del...)

Re:PA is a great organization (1)

VorpalRodent (964940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033676)

Honestly, I think that we're used to reading their stuff when they were bachelors. Now they are married and have kids, growing a gamer family. It'll probably click when I'm in the same situation they are, but right now it ain't.

I think that's a legitimate comment on pretty much any observer/commentator/etc. As their life changes, so does their viewpoint.

Now that I'm married, and have my first child, I'm looking at Penny Arcade and appreciating the viewpoints of individuals who make gaming a way to bond with their kids more. If I weren't in this situation, as you rightly point out, their viewpoint might be a little too distant from my own to really click.

Such is the nature of influence - you need to have some common ground to really have influence on any kind of personal level.

Brand Control (1)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032124)

I've always envied their ability to maintain control over their brand and use it for appropriately portioned good and evil ;)

From what I've understood from their past posts and various interviews, they owe a lot to their business manager, Robert Khoo.

They like explaining how they actually sold their brand and rights away before Khoo came aboard. Luckily, the buyer disappeared into bankruptcy and nobody else has since claimed that ownership. I'm not too sure of the details and current veracity of this :)

Re:Brand Control (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032990)

Wasn't that the book rights? Way back when nobody took Webcomics seriously they basically signed away their rights to a scuzzy publisher and paid him to start publishing. He then took the money and fled to the Alaska wilderness or something and then promised to sue them if they ever tried to do something with their IP. Basically IP blackmail. After several years of court battles they got the rights back and that's when they partnered up with Dark Horse for the current books.

Of course I can't help but to notice that they appear to be a few books behind again. I'm wondering if something soured in their deal with Dark Horse? Also, the videogame sequels were canceled due to poor sales of the second game.

bizYnatch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032240)

So that their and enjoy aal the 4, w4ich by all

The *very* broken clock. (2, Interesting)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032620)

It seems is easy to be a guru on the internet. You can make lots of weird predictions, and some will be right.

Like this 2006 comic:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/05/01/ [penny-arcade.com]
And this today news:
http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/54532/Activision-Bungie-Sign-Ten-Year-Publishing-Partnership [ign.com]

And this part of the reason Penny Arcade is still relevant.. theres a lot of predictions, and some are right.

Can you stop calling it a brand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32032796)

Seriously.

Re:Can you stop calling it a brand? (2, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033666)

I'm a rabid PA fan and apologist, but even I can admit it's a brand. They run a company to make money. They have a trademark identity as a primary means of accomplishing that goal. That is a brand. The end.

Time does not make My 100. ;) (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32032908)

Interesting, how they struggle to stay important, by judging others, and sucking the cattle into their reality.
Unfortunately, in actual reality, they are long fallen into irrelevance. Or has anyone of you ever bought a issue of the Time magazine? I honestly don’t know a single person. And I don’t know a reason why I should. (Hello Time marketing? *nudgenudge*)

It’s not that I don’t wish them all the best. It’s just, that maybe finding a new business model and purpose would be a good idea. :)

Maintaining brand control (1)

u8i9o0 (1057154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32033294)

CmdrTaco writes:

I've always envied their ability to maintain control over their brand and ...

That reminds me of the time they signed away their book publishing rights and nearly lost the rights to their intellectual property and the name Penny Arcade [wired.com] . Except for that, I agree.
I'm a big PA fan, but they totally needed a business manager. And since I'm writing about him, I love this anecdote about Robert Khoo [penny-arcade.com] .

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