Have you heard about the Video Game Voters Network? It is a thing. We made a comic strip about it.
Well, loosely about it. It’s mostly about Gabe.
I understand the idea behind it - the network, I mean. But I don’t think there’s actually a monolithic "gamer" voting block that receives their signal from the mothership and then behaves according to some agreed upon protocol. Even assuming there were, the people who would be most grievously affected by gaming legislation aren’t of voting age. They cannot vote, they are not allowed to, even if you put an adorable stepstool in the booth so they can weach the bawwot.
I actually believe the site when it says that "fifty percent of Americans play games", or that "seventy four percent of gamers vote." That is to say, I don’t think the use of entertainment software is restricted solely to lunatics - authentic American citizens are daily being engaged by this medium. And as compelling gaming becomes more portable, more distributed, less onerous, more people will identify themselves with the term. That’s more people, with their own goals, and lives that incorporate the matching of gems or the desecration of tombs, but are not dominated thereby.
You can’t get eight fucking nerds to agree on what kind of pizza will accompany Saturday’s dungeon crawl. And I think it’s a fair bet to say that you’ll have a hard time marshalling the troops on gaming legislation when your "troops" are this disparate. Will I have the same ideas about the tongue-in-cheek sexual content of God of War as, say, one of the squad leaders of Christian Gamers Online? Will I arrive at the same conclusions regarding fines when a store doesn’t follow the ESRB guidelines? Should I? That seems to be the assertion.
I think the threat to adult gamers is usually described as a "chilling effect" that will constrict the themes of even mature entertainment, the self-censorship of games to secure a more desirable (i.e., marketable) rating. The First Amendment is often hauled out in these instances, as though concessions to the marketplace amount to the tromp of the jackboot, but to the best of my knowledge the "Right To Be Sold In Wal-Mart" is not enumerated in the constitution.
senators, congressmen: please heed the call
And honestly, I can understand why that might be - this press release is a little on the long side.
Kameo is getting online co-op. Had that already been announced? Anyway, there’s your verification.
Also: free online poker for Xbox Live Arcade, in addition to (wait for it) Uno, which as a social card game could actually be a pretty good match for the service. Games of skill and chance can bring a person’s inner bastard to the fore, but I know of no other game that can turn a person into a complete fucker in the way that Uno does.
Sometimes people ask us “how do you guys write the comic?” The answer is that we sit around and look at game news and we talk about it until we start laughing at something. It sounds boring and I think it probably is. That’s why we decided to record the process and let you download it.
I’m happy and a little scared to present “Downloadable Content: The Penny Arcade Podcast.” This is essentially just us turning on a mic and trying to write Monday’s comic strip. This is our first real attempt at doing something like this and we learned a lot. Things like, maybe I should have my own mic because you can barely fucking hear me. Other stuff too.
So if listening to us read game news and bullshit for about a half an hour sounds good, you should give our little podcast a try. We’ve decided to make the podcast ultra ultimate hyper content. That means you will need to be a member of Penny Arcade Supreme™, our member’s only service. However, by coming to our page today you have all qualified for an unlimited lifetime membership good for all infinity! You can log in and access our select prime content by entering www.penny-arcade.com in your browser of choice and navigating to this link.
Honestly this first one was sort of a spur of the moment idea. We’re putting it out there to gauge interest. Would you guys like to get one of these a week? I mean, we’re writing the strip anyway, it’s not hard to turn the mic on. Or is this as stupid as we think it might be? Should we tear the mic out of the laptop or maybe just throw the entire thing in the garbage. Either way let me know.
Okay so we’ve had about 4,000 downloads of the podcast in just a few hours and I’ve gotten hundreds of mails. It seems like you all agree that we should do more but that they need to be recorded better and distributed like other podcasts through iTunes or released as a torrent. Well we can certainly do all that. Like I said this was really just a test to see if there was any interest.
So from now on you can expect one of these a week. You can also expect the sound quality do jump up on the next one. The format will always be the same. We don’t have any desire to do a “show” of any kind. This is just a hot mic in the PA office and that’s it.
Thanks for all the input guys. I’m glad you liked it.