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Penny Arcade Makes Time 100 196

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-good-for-them dept.
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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Penny Arcade Makes Time 100

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  • As they should! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:44AM (#32031516) Homepage

    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.

  • by 0racle (667029) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:44AM (#32031524)
    Honestly, congratulations. It's nice when good work gets recognized.
  • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iknowcss (937215) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:48AM (#32031600) Homepage
    "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 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:49AM (#32031626) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • Really, Time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:56AM (#32031734) Homepage

    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:As they should! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Saishuuheiki (1657565) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:58AM (#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! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:01PM (#32031822) Journal

    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.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:03PM (#32031882) Homepage Journal
    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:Good for them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:03PM (#32031884) Journal

    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:Childs Play (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:08PM (#32031984)

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

  • Re:Really, Time? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:10PM (#32032002)
    Speaking of Jon Stewart... how do they have Glen Beck and Sarah Palin on this list, but not Jon Stewart?
  • Re:Childs Play (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:10PM (#32032012) Homepage

    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:Good for them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spire3661 (1038968) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:16PM (#32032118) Journal
    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:Childs Play (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:16PM (#32032122) Homepage

    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:As they should! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:17PM (#32032134) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • 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:Childs Play (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:25PM (#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:Good for them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wetdogjp (245208) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:26PM (#32032266) Homepage

    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."

  • by TheSambassador (1134253) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:26PM (#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.

  • by TheNumberless (650099) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:28PM (#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.

  • Jealous much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:31PM (#32032366) Journal

    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.

  • Re:Childs Play (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shadowrat (1069614) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:33PM (#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.

  • Re:Childs Play (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:34PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:07PM (#32032946) Homepage

    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:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by donscarletti (569232) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:09PM (#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:Childs Play (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gailin (138488) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:33PM (#32033450) Homepage
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sartin (238198) <sartin@aPLANCKcm.org minus physicist> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:35PM (#32033466) Homepage

    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:Really, Time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vxice (1690200) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:41PM (#32033582)
    Stewart pointed out that his networks slogan isn't "fair and balanced."
  • Re:Childs Play (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:42PM (#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.
  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:45PM (#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.
  • Re:Good for them (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:46PM (#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.

  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld&gmail,com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:55PM (#32033840) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:Childs Play (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:55PM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @02:01PM (#32033964)
    His user page says he has kids, but as a parent I can't believe it. Nobody with kids could be so dense and so callous as to fail to understand, let alone denigrate, the value of any enjoyable distraction to a child in pain. If it's true, I really pity his kids. He's one sick puppy.
  • by IICV (652597) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @02:04PM (#32033996)

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

    .... because you've read Skymall, and that is actually what the writing in the magazine is like? The whole thing is one giant ball of awkward, badly-written text that you read only because there's absolutely nothing else to do, and sometimes the products are unintentionally hilarious (like the hearing aid that looks like a Bluetooth headset).

  • Re:As they should! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gamer_2k4 (1030634) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @02:05PM (#32034024)

    I'd say they deserve a place on the list.

    Perhaps...but any entry on a list that puts Lady Gaga as the top artist of the year should be taken with a grain of salt.

  • by hldn (1085833) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @03:10PM (#32035130) Homepage

    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.

    maybe twihards like twilight because it's great and they hate xkcd because it's crap?

    or perhaps it's just because different people enjoy different things? nah, couldn't be that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @03:59PM (#32035914)

    No, definitely not. xkcd is terrible writing mixed with terrible art.

  • Re:Childs Play (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @04:06PM (#32036024)

    Nobody with kids could be so dense and so callous as to fail to understand, let alone denigrate, the value of any enjoyable distraction to a child in pain.

    Unfortunately, that is not even slightly true. Despite what some parents think (not that I'm saying you're one of them), having kids does not grant special insight into...well, anything really.

  • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameMaster (148118) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:21PM (#32037128)

    Ah, but which Moby dick are you referring to? The original, or this one

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/1/15/ [penny-arcade.com]

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