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The PA Report - It was a great two years, but now it’s time to say goodbye



  • GamethymeGamethyme Registered User new member
    This is the first time I've visited a Penny Arcade site since the Dickwolves thing reared its ugly head again last year and I walked away. PAR was the hardest part for me to walk away from - you have filled a need in a way that both Kotaku and Joystiq have not.

    The fact that your hands were tied and you couldn't talk about the latest Dickwolves thing or deal with whatever Jerry and/or Mike had said to stick their foot in it THIS TIME meant that your coverage had blindspots that were not of your making (and it was occasionally clear that you were frustrated by these limitations).

    If Jerry & Mike want to spend more time doing whatever they do, then surely they can afford to hire more staff to do the shit they don't want to do. This shutting down and laying everyone off is pure selfish bullshit. Doing so at Christmastime is epic bullshit.

    Ben, I hope you land on your feet. You've been the only public-facing member of the P/A team I have never hesitated to respect.

  • Gozer the CarpathianGozer the Carpathian Registered User regular
    As one door closes another door opens. I'm sure Ben and the gang will find new places. I kinda hope you end up at either Polygon or Giantbomb because I read those sites too. :)

  • jimbo034jimbo034 Registered User regular
    I really enjoyed your writing and I hope to see it somewhere else soon.

    We're growing into a post-scarcity economy?

    I hadn't noticed the build a dyson sphere around the sun component of the stimulus package.
  • dewordedeworde Registered User regular
    Well, glad you got to do this here long enough that wherever you go from here, I know to follow. Sorry to hear that PA's closing down the subsidiaries, but it's awesome that this site existed at all.

  • Darkness1231Darkness1231 Registered User regular
    When extra credits had their debacle with I found them here at PATV. I never came here before as Penny Arcade was about dick jokes and comics that were bloody but occasionally funny. Then Ben came here and I visited here everyday. I lamented the loss of his abilities at Arstechnica because he was sorely missed. The replacement has yet to write an article at the level that Ben treated us with consistently. And The Cut was a marvel. The escapist, and many other sites, puke out click bait that is has only recently started stating where they found it (although they usually miss the original).

    Although I will miss them both I will not miss Penny Arcade. I didn't miss them before and they are bad to dick cookies. Seems like a perfect commentary about returning to the quality that is Penny Arcade.

  • TheZKTheZK Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    While the thinly-veiled articles about social justice and gender studies recently aren't my preference, I will certainly miss the in-depth coverage of the industry, 'journalism', and interesting technology. I hope everyone lands on their feet, and that the latter sort of thing finds a new outlet soon.

    TheZK on
  • rchourchou Registered User regular
    I'm glad you're losing your soapbox, but I know it won't be long till you find another one. Hopefully the time off will give you some new perspective. You're a games journalist, not some sort of moral crusader. Quit pontificating because it makes you look like a jackass.

  • HeuristicHeuristic Registered User regular
    I'm really sorry to see this go. PAR has been a great site to see current events in our culture. You did a great job Ben.

  • RubicantRubicant Registered User regular
    Hope everyone does well for themselves after this. I disagreed with Ben on plenty of articles, but I can't say I'm going to miss it. After the first year, everything just sort of changed from a consumer oriented perspective to one big apology letter to the gaming industry. Squandered opportunity, it's a shame.

  • musimmusim Registered User regular
    Super sad this is going down. There are basically 4 video games websites I go to almost every day. Joystiq (which I mostly go to out of habit), Giantbomb (which I love), Polygon (because the people I enjoyed from Joystiq went to it - Chris Grant), and PAR (because I loved the perspectives).

    I hope everyone finds a job where they can have a distinct voice in the industry and make the money and have the insurance they deserve.

    Super bummer!

  • WarpZoneWarpZone Registered User regular
    Seriously, does nobody else see this shutdown as a symptom of a larger problem?

    I thought the whole point behind PAR was supposed to be that Garemz Jurnalizm had failed, that Penny Arcade was too big to fail, and thus had the ability to give us honest, unbiased reviews. The fact that PAR is being discontinued indicates ONE or more of the following:

    - That its owners have decided it can not and will not ever succeed in this mission
    - That its owners have decided its mission is not actually worth achieving
    - Or that its owners have decided that even Penny Arcade is powerless before the forces of greed, corruption, and publisher lies dominating this industry

    I don't know about you guys, but I would kind of like to know which one of these things caused us to lose our favorite website.

    Fuck, is that why we had so few game reviews towards the end there, compared to other shit? Because the publishers were starting to take Access away?

  • RainspiritRainspirit Registered User new member
    Thank you so much for doing this. You deeply contributed to my ongoing knowledge of the games industry and sent me to some sites that I"ll be bookmarking in the future.

    You were an extremely divisive figure amongst my social networks, but I'm sure you'll make yourself known somewhere else. Hopefully the articles will stay.

  • HazHaz Registered User regular

    As far as game journalism goes, PAR was only ever marginally better than the status quo. Ben often brought his very biased opinions to his pieces, and would shut down comment threads once he felt they were going against his views. Also, go look up the Eric Kain incident to see just what kind of journalist Ben really is. In the case of PAR, the problem was not with pressure from publishers, but from hypocrisy. I don't believe that has anything to do with why PAR is now shutting down, but I know that I certainly wasn't coming here for Ben's writing. Much of the articles on the site are just summaries and links to _other_ game news sites. I will miss the PAR community, as that is where I found the real value of this website to be. I hope that wherever Ben moves on to, he will be reigned in.

  • koryokokoryoko Registered User new member
    Just wanted to register an account here to thank you for all the writing Ben.

    Really enjoyed the perspectives you had on the gaming industry and culture, and definitely found myself quoting your thoughts to friends more than a few times.

    Good luck to you, I look forward to reading more in the future.

  • tyrunntyrunn Registered User regular
    Thank you Ben and the team for two great years of real games journalism, you will leave a hole in yhe indusrty that I hope you'll quickly find a way to fill.

  • thepuregamerthepuregamer Registered User regular
    I have been a long term Penny Arcade comic reader and when PAR showed up on the site I would read articles that had mildly interesting titles or were topics I was interested in. Yet PAR articles have never really stood out for me as terribly better or different than the rest of the many many gaming related blogging sources.

    On the other hand,if streamlining penny arcade allows them to produce more content like he mentions in his post, I am all for it. Funny or imaginative comics is why I originally started coming here and remains the sole reason.

  • ellbentellbent Registered User regular
    You worked too hard to pull too many punches. The closest this website came to being journalism was when it linked to other articles.

  • ZorbakZorbak Registered User new member
    edited December 2013
    When I heard about this website 2 years ago I was very excited, with the bold tagline of 'Game Journalism is broken' I expected you to tackle what was really broken, game reviews, the loud claims proclaiming that PA wasn't scared of the behemoths of the gaming industry and would give a fair and unbiased look at games...

    Instead the website never dealt with the current problems of game reviews instead it decided to undermine its shining vision of being a higher class of game journalism with the cut showing that every news source was in fact putting out quality content as well as the entire website slowly but surely talking about why gaming is excluding and offending everyone who isn't a straight, white male.

    Zorbak on
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    One thing this site did that few others do is portray the serious sexism in the industry. I'm sad to see that going away! I don't think the (commenting) audience was ready for it, but I hope they get there some day.

    There are many other possibilities, and I think Tycho was clear about the why.

    The mission is not for them, because it distracts them from what they want to be doing and working on.

    I think that is fair. I like this site, I like the work, but I am sure it isn't free to run it, and it sounds like Tycho wants to focus on more narrative fiction projects than journalism.

    I don't think it is anything deeper or more insidious than that.

  • dyaus7dyaus7 Registered User regular
    Thanks, Ben.

  • ParatechParatech Registered User regular
    I guess penis shaped cookies are more important than PATV. :groans:

  • PajamaHeroPajamaHero Dream Master Slumber LandRegistered User regular
    I wish everyone from the site the best. I can't say I'm surprised though, disparaging your audience can only go on for so long before they decide to click elsewhere. It got quite grating to constantly be reminded that the accident of being born male, white and straight made me a terrible person.

    Only in dreams are we free.
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular

  • Oddly NormalOddly Normal Registered User new member
    Going to miss your voice here, Ben, but looking forward to where he'll hear it next. Thanks to you and the rest of the team!

  • Semi-EvolvedSemi-Evolved Registered User regular
    The goal was admirable, but far from fixing things, I'm fairly sure the opposite's been achieved. For every dozen will written, balanced pieces (and don't get me wrong, there were plenty), there's been a debacle like the Eric Kain attacks or abysmal tripe like the next gen console DRM piece.

    Ben, you're a good writer, I just hope you do some soul searching on your approach before you try your hand at game journalism elsewhere. All the best for the future.

  • braaaaaainsbraaaaaains Registered User new member
    Been following this site since its inception, and it's always been refreshing to read the articles here. The fact that so many readers voice their arguments about the topics reflects the interesting material your team has provided us. Thank you for your work, and best of luck in your future endeavors.

  • frost2112frost2112 Registered User new member

    As another straight, white male, what's even more grating?

    Your martyrdom complex.

  • regtocommentregtocomment Registered User regular
    "We didn’t fix game journalism, but the whole idea of it being broken and needing a white knight to run in and make everything better was arrogant and more than a little pigheaded. There was good game writing before PAR, and there’s going to be good game writing after we go away."

    As stories go, this one has a wonderful epilogue.

    For as much as I whined and moaned, I did keep coming back, so you must have been doing something right : ). Best of fortune to everyone affected.

  • pinkpantiespinkpanties Registered User new member
    Goodbye and good riddance. The slander flung towards the Wonderful 101 in your "review" of that game was enough for anyone with a brain to stop taking PAR seriously. The leftist slant and anti-male agenda being pushed in a good portion of your articles and links didn't help either. Hopefully Polygon is next.

  • ods94043ods94043 Registered User regular
    Thank you, Ben & co, for a stimulating mix of features, curation, and geekery. It has been a welcome, sometimes desperate companion to my work week! I hope, wherever you go next, you keep alive some part of the flame that ignited the creation of this site two years ago. Cheers!

  • MygafferMygaffer Registered User regular
    I wondered why no new content was coming out. But why is PAR shuttering? I quite liked the site, alongside The Escapist, Quarter to Three, and RPS it was a nearly daily read for me. Are we ever going to get a breakdown of why PAR is closed?
    Thanks for all the articles.

  • MygafferMygaffer Registered User regular
    OK, aftering reading the post discussing the site wide stuff I can't help but feel like this is a mistake for PA. Some of the most interesting stuff they do is getting shed. I hope whatever they are coming out with is worth losing Extra Credits and PAR. Of course with donations and limited ad revenue maybe having extra content didn't bring as much money? It would be great to get a window into the nitty gritty of all this.

  • hextopiahextopia Registered User regular
    I'm a little sad to see the PAR go. They've put out some really intriguing articles, and are always well written. I do think some of the writing had an unnecessary anti-white/male/straight slant to it, but even then the viewpoints expressed were well worded and thought provoking.

    I do think the PAR provided meaningful critique on gaming journalism's corruption and provided a place to expose that corruption, and that is most certainly what I'll miss the most.

  • tovertover Registered User regular
    being someone who made the horrible mistake of being born white and male i was pretty damn pleased when i read ben was leaving.

    then i realized par is goin all together.thats kinda sad,sucks they cant just replace ben with someone who doesnt wana push feminist views on us.

  • Laythe_ADLaythe_AD Registered User new member
    Crying shame, you offered something genuinely different to the rest of the games writing sphere. I wish you well, and will miss your articles!

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    I hope they keep Ben, and replace you with someone who has the emotional maturity of at least a 17 year old.

    So sorry you had to occasionally hear that women are people. It must have been really hard on you. Considering there are probably 100,000 games sites that agree with you, why did you ever waste a minute here?

  • alcalc Registered User new member
    Ben, if you're reading these comments (and you are, of course you are), I have one thing to say by way of feedback: though I usually agreed with you on the bigger issues you were tackling, there is a thin line between informing and preaching, and whilst the line is vague and hard to pinpoint, at times you definitely crossed it.

    I hope that for you the princess is in the next castle. Or prince, y'know, whatever.

  • Oblivion_NecroninjaOblivion_Necroninja Registered User regular

  • Oblivion_NecroninjaOblivion_Necroninja Registered User regular
    Ok, now I see what's happening.
    Sorry to see YOU have to go, Ben, because your bosses can't stand the criticism that comes with being prominent internet figures.

  • hotzphotzp Rochester, NYRegistered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Yikes. This is about the last thing I was expecting to read when I loaded up the page this morning. I'd somehow missed Tycho's news post on Friday and this article hadn't been posted yet when I checked in on PAR on Friday.

    Just to simply echo the sentiments of previous posters, this is incredibly disappointing, and I feel it's a gargantuan mistake for PA to cut both PAR and PATV. Both of those things gave me additional reasons to come to site on days other than Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and also stay on the site for much longer periods at a time other than to glance at the comic and read the news post. I'm sure PA has its reasons, and some of those may also be very good business reasons, but I'm very sad all the same.

    I know Ben and Andrew will land on their feet, but I am going to miss their near-daily input on video games, tech, and nerd culture. PAR consistently did something most other gaming sites don't even bother to do: Beyond simply providing more original content, less cutting-and-pasting of press releases, and parroting of PR people, PAR challenged me as a reader. For example, thanks to Sophie's work on this site and the ensuing community discussion, I became more aware and have a much better understanding of the challenges that transgender individuals face. Ben's relentless (and necessary) articles about the role of gender in our culture opened my eyes to just how disparately we treat men and women gamers. PAR made me a better person because of these things.

    Let me reiterate, in all caps, no less:


    I'm a registered user on almost every gaming site, but all of my profiles have single digit post counts as I usually don't find it to be worth it to engage with those particular communities or I don't consider the articles thought-provoking enough to contribute. PAR was an entirely different beast, and, for the most part, I loved the time I spent reading the comments on the articles and occasionally replying myself.

    Thank you, Ben, Andrew, Sophie, Dabe, Kristin, and anyone else who worked on PAR. You will be missed.

    hotzp on
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