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Ophidiophilia

Okay. I think - think - there's two more. Then we'll be all done! Gorkamorka is having a lot of fun and making cool shit but he also gets very nervous when we exceed our remit, which is to do what we ordinarily do. I think he's nervous that we will overstay our welcome with these rodentine antics, and I understand the inclination, but I think we might have done that around, oh, 1999. He did put up a more tender, more juicy panel on the Tweeter if you were looking to increase the size of your .jpeg:

Mouse art!

By Gabe – January 25, 2023

I think it’s probably pretty obvious that Jerry and I are having a lot of fun with this mouse storyline. 2023 marks 25 years of making Penny Arcade and I love that it really is just whatever we want it to be. I could not ask for a better job so thank you for supporting us through our various flights of fancy. 

 

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Mice To Meet You

I love having the story in my back pocket where, because I had an opportunity to experience the Satanic Panic first hand, D&D wasn't something I could play because of the red-hot, hoppin' Devil. Ironically, the time that I did spend in church taught me to try to find the lesson in such things, and as a grizzled ancient it's clear what that is: I think a lot of people start with D&D and stay there. I would have too, if I'd been allowed to. So the endpoint of that story is that I consider it a good thing, even if the reasons for it - that I was gonna learn real magic and deny my maker - were kinda weird. Although, I did sorta deny my maker so maybe she was half right.

Ogle

Thanks for seeing me, Mr. Coast. Or… Can I call you Wizards? My associate is bound in silver chains; it should provide us a moment to speak. Let me congratulate you first on the new movie and television show and everything else that comes with the level of currency you've attained. Indeed; I was happy to help.  I remember when you came to us and wondered how you could get people to try D&D, and we suggested a podcast.  Different time, huh?

Retropolis

At an ancient PAX Aus, nearly a decade ago, I met the only other guy who likes Splinter Cell as much as me. We had a chance to play some together at a demo station, and hoped we could get something going when it came out; I never played any of Blacklist's substantial co-op content with the fantasy that we'd one day be able to do it. I mentioned that errantly the other day, and the motherfucker got hold of me on Steam! So I'm progressing far enough in the single player to unlock the missions we didn't play back then so we can get that going. I really, really don't replay games. But if I left a bunch uneaten the first time around. And it's still really, really fucking good.

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Containment Field

In the end, there was no way Gribb could have resisted The Callisto Protocol - the cover has a haggard man in a craggy and unforgiving environment. Generally, that would be sufficient. But then, just to set the hook, he has an alien world figuratively - and literally, I guess - resting on his shoulders. He has no natural defense against this. This will pry him apart and devour the most tender part of him, which is frankly on-brand for this kind of Protocol.

I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST BING

Bing is whatever. I use Edge instead of Chrome because Edge doesn't crash my computer, which means that very occasionally I will end up using a Bing search inadvertently. Some of the stuff it does particularly around searching for YouTube stuff is weird, but again: who cares. I feel like Google's in the shitter as a utility, and it's only the inertia of habit and vertical, featureless edifice of its monopoly that keeps it in place. But… Bing is still annoying to use. I believe things deeply or what have you but don't inconvenience me even for a second.

DML

There are lots of arguments around level scaling; I think on the whole I dislike it, but primarily for aesthetic reasons. It isn't so much about what the game does, but about how it feels to be in some of these situations. There was a relatively famous run - for Alliance players, at least - through a writhing zoo of Level Fuck You crocolisks to get to some seaside fort with a Gryph point. You had to unlock it for each character, and so it was sort of a rite of passage around… level twenty, maybe? It's been a minute. All I remember is the terror.

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Nod Of Bore: Dragsnarok

I don't have a PS5. When I was thinking about getting one a little while ago, the price was "lie down in a bathtub full of ice while an amateur surgeon parts you out like a Toyota Camry." Now it looks like you can get the digital version with God of War: Ragnarok for $460. That seems better! That seems like a better price.

The Gifted Youth

This strip is about two things: first, it's about Villainous, which was designed by local heroes Prospero Hall! Which is kind of cool, but it isn't as cool as the game. First off, everybody plays as the most wicked Disney/Star Wars/Wait That's Still Disney villains. The designers have somehow taken worker placement and card play and made them into something like an interactive model of each villain's psyche, making each one something like a custom game. Each character gets a unique deck, and these decks include their most hated adversaries to scheme against. It's just super, super strong.

Oh! Also, the strip is about the fact that young people are fed a highly redacted distillate of the previous culture. It's pretty wild!

The Evernight

We kept our power and lived more or less normally during the window of time that Gabriel's clan - The Clan Of The Midnight Moon - rose to prominence. What occurred to me the last time we lost power here is that without an essentially invisible web of human effort, "houses" are just caves. They are free-standing caves full of all the shiny things we found.

Sockrates

My doom, as I have said countless times, is that I understand what every person means when they speak. I know the irreducible part. I can understand them without agreeing with them, which is good, because this process is more or less instantaneous. If the process of understanding were inextricable from the process of believing, I would be in an incredible amount of trouble. So I understand Mike when he makes the case that the endpoint of widely available generative frameworks is a less human world. It's some Philip K. Dick shit, honestly. In the PKD version, of course, Mike would be an AI, worried about a new generation of simulated intellects. You wouldn't know that until the end! But yeah.

"Well," I said. "I guess we found your politics."