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[PA Comic] Friday, December 5, 2014 - Tradition

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  • pslong9pslong9 Registered User regular
    Oddfish wrote: »
    This comic has nothing to do with censorship. It has to do with knee-jerk reactions made by businesses that should be viewed as extreme. Do we really need to flip out and enact a huge campaign to remove a video game from every store in the country? Or are we overreacting because of some alarmists who are likely ignorant of the material over which they're getting so outraged? When does it become the the individual's responsibility to look away and not the responsibility of others to throw a sheet over the offending thing and say "Oh! Sorry! Wow! You're right! No one should look at that. Heh. WHOOPS!"

    Personal. Responsibility.

    If the book offends you, don't read it. If the game upsets you, don't play it. If the artist's works goagainst your beliefs, don't go to the exhibit. Simple as that.

    There isn't a delineated threshold where we can say "this you can just ignore" and "this is what you should complain about" that applies to everyone. Some people think GTA V falls under the former. Others think GTA V falls under the latter. Opinions! Personal choice! Aren't they amazing?

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  • monkmunkmonkmunk Registered User regular
    So i think it's pretty uncontroversial to think that Target Australia's decision to pull the game was both the apotheosis of bullshit *and* completely within their rights to do so.

    But does it strike anyone else that today's comic was the laziest possible commentary on it?

    physi_marcSoul SanctumCentipede DamascusTychoCelchuuuseasleepyQuidAegeriShadowenTravankaortiFishmanLaCabraMichaelLCAnzekayCambiata
  • physi_marcphysi_marc Positron Tracker Registered User regular
    monkmunk wrote: »
    So i think it's pretty uncontroversial to think that Target Australia's decision to pull the game was both the apotheosis of bullshit *and* completely within their rights to do so.

    But does it strike anyone else that today's comic was the laziest possible commentary on it?

    I wouldn't consider Target's reaction the apotheosis of bullshit, but I agree with your sentiment. If Mike and Jerry were making this comment in D&D, they'd be called silly geese.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Does GTA5 prompt the player to kill prostitute NPCs? Because I'm under the impression that they aren't singled out, but are capable of being killed like any other NPC.

    I know art effects culture, but I personally have always been highly skeptical of the claim that video games promote aggressive attitudes because, in my experience, I can enjoy running over dozens of NPCs in Saints Row and still be disturbed by the idea of a real person being harmed. I never think of NPCs, even human-looking ones, as anything more than game pieces, and if another person thinks of real people the same way I think of NPCs then I'm pretty sure there's a much deeper problem than "too much GTA".

    forty
  • foodlefoodle Registered User regular
    Whelmed wrote: »
    I can't speak for other countries, but in America this would never happen in a billion years because companies like to make money, and in a relatively free market they will sell whatever makes money, so this is a pretty academic (and not very relevant) question.

    Hate to break it to you, but this is already happening in America. For example, Walmart claims to only sell "clean" music, forcing some musicians/labels to produce censored versions in order to be sold by Walmart.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/11/12/arts/wal-mart-s-cd-standards-are-changing-pop-music.html
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-webster/green-day-walmart-censorship_b_1844276.html

    forty
  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    Walmart is the reason that the NC 17 rating is commercial death.

    DiannaoChongfortyMichaelLC
  • Soul SanctumSoul Sanctum Registered User regular
    monkmunk wrote: »
    So i think it's pretty uncontroversial to think that Target Australia's decision to pull the game was both the apotheosis of bullshit *and* completely within their rights to do so.

    But does it strike anyone else that today's comic was the laziest possible commentary on it?

    Mike and Jerry have been very lazy for a long time in regards to the normal strip. When random people on facebook are one-upping you on how to make funny comics, you know you aren't giving 100%.

    LaCabra
  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    I've said it in the GTA thread in G&T, but this is less censorship than retailers being forced to stock a product would be. RockStar has the right to make what they want, retailers have the right to not stock it, even for purely aesthetic reasons.

    No I don't.
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  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    I am finding it interesting that noone brings up the point that PA created, and then removed an offensive item from their store due to pressure, but are quick to call another business nazis over doing the same.

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    Soul Sanctum
  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    I imagine no one brought that up because it's asinine.

    Andy JoeDjiemA Dabble Of Thelonius
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    In the name of free speech Gabe and Tycho need to change their ad policies. As I understand it, right now they only put ads on their site of games they actually enjoy. They still have ads, right? I can't tell from work. Well if they don't have ads they need to start them up again, because if you don't give everyone a platform then you're doing censorship. And Nazis. Nazis are in there somewhere.

    ShadowenkaortiButler
  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    Does the comic use the word censorship somewhere

    forty
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Tube wrote: »
    Does the comic use the word censorship somewhere

    Jerry's post does.

  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    Oh ok, we're on the same page now.

  • DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    I've read the post now and I don't see the problem with it or with the comic (which really makes no point, people are just reading stuff that isn't there).

    Now, I disagree with Jerry that this is censorship, but I guess he has the same view as Namrok had earlier in this thread: that some retail entities are very strong and can control media sales in a way that has a "power" or "effect" similar to censorship. Or he's suggesting that censorship is a concept that can go beyond the limited textbook definition of a state official outlawing a product.

    This said, Jerry also suggests that all this does is slightly inconvenience gamers, who nowadays can shop online, or directly in the console's marketplace, etc. and that therefore, these marketplaces are a platform that can help preventing efforts to "ban" (note the quotations marks) a game's sales.

    Djiem on
    forty
  • foodlefoodle Registered User regular
    PA tends to go off the rails when they delve too deeply into political or controversial topics.

    It's ironic that Jerry makes the following comment in the new post: "But there’s nothing there. Poke this framework once and it flies around the room, farting, like a balloon," since I feel the same way about the points they are trying to make in the comic.

    GaslightShadowenkaortiLaCabra
  • DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    foodle wrote: »
    PA tends to go off the rails when they delve too deeply into political or controversial topics.

    It's ironic that Jerry makes the following comment in the new post: "But there’s nothing there. Poke this framework once and it flies around the room, farting, like a balloon," since I feel the same way about the points they are trying to make in the comic.

    That's because they're not trying to make any point in the comic. It's just a silly conversation that, as you point out, goes off the rails. They do that all the time. They write some conversation or dialogue they think is funny, and the gaming news is simply the setting or the jumping off point for the comic.

    Further proof of that is that they used retail workers instead of having Gabe and Tycho discuss the subject.

    forty
  • Evan WatersEvan Waters Registered User regular
    Nice little point being overlooked here-

    The group that made the complaint? Sex workers. Not Jack Thompson wannabes or religious fanatics, but a group of people actually vulnerable to the attitude of prostitutes as disposable non-persons.

    Stop punching down, Jerry and Mike. Stop punching down.

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  • BryanCBryanC Registered User regular
    "...because if you don't give everyone a platform then you're doing censorship."

    This is inaccurate I'm afraid. You're equating an intentional suppression of content that one finds objectionable with...doing nothing.

    forty
  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    An accusation of punching down doesn't really make sense in this context.

    fortyDjiem
  • Evan WatersEvan Waters Registered User regular
    Tube wrote: »
    An accusation of punching down doesn't really make sense in this context.

    Sex workers don't face a higher risk of violence and erasure? They're not the less-powerful group in all this, between a AAA publisher and a major retailer?

  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    This comic doesn't "punch" anywhere near sex workers, and neither does the newspost. It punches at Target. You're attempting to conflate the people that actually made the decision with (some of) the people that lobbied for it because you think it gives you unassailable high ground, but there is no sense in which this is punching down.

    DistecfortyGaslightDjiemAegeriA Dabble Of TheloniusLaCabraArteenJermsdarleysam
  • Spiced HamSpiced Ham Registered User regular
    I actually received this petition in my inbox this week. It was completely factually inaccurate, as in full of lies. The sad thing was what when they we're called out on this they called the people pointing it out misogynists. If there were any sexual violence in it GTA5 never would have made it in to Australia in the first place, Saint's Row 4 was initially banned because the anal probe weapon was considered sexual violence by the ratings board.
    It's a game that encourages players to murder women for entertainment. The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'health' points – and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking.

    It is possible that they consider the mere act of prostitution to be sexual violence, if that's the case then they could consider themselves to be correct but that's a pretty long bow to draw.

    DistecSoul Sanctumforty
  • Evan WatersEvan Waters Registered User regular
    Tube wrote: »
    This comic doesn't "punch" anywhere near sex workers, and neither does the newspost. It punches at Target. You're attempting to conflate the people that actually made the decision with (some of) the people that lobbied for it because you think it gives you unassailable high ground, but there is no sense in which this is punching down.

    Suggesting that the suppression is the act of Nazis when it's the result of oppressed groups asking maybe to be not represented as expendable resources is disingenuous to say the least. Of course I suspect they never did any digging beyond "someone got it pulled from stores, must be one of those moralistic types."

  • Evan WatersEvan Waters Registered User regular
    It's not like this is the first time where they've blundered their way into a conversation and ignored the feelings of women/LBGT/minorities etc.

  • TubeTube Registered User admin
    So we've stepped back from "Mike and Jerry are figuratively punching sex workers" to "Mike and Jerry have written a three panel funny that is disingenuous."

    That seems like quite a difference!

    Distecfortydarleysam
  • DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    The problem with most of those petitions and their outrage is that they claim that this is the game's point or that it's an incentive. Honestly, in the time it takes to find a prostitute, bring her around to a secluded area, have sex to regain health and then murder the prostitute to regain the small amount of money spent on the act, you could just go to your apartment and rest, or buy and eat a bunch of snack foods. It is POSSIBLE to murder women (anyone, really) and prostitutes in GTA V, but it is in no way a thing you're encouraged to do mechanically, or via the game's narrative, and it's not a dominant strategy. There is absolutely no reason to do it, just like there's no reason to drive on the sidewalk and run over an entire group of pedestrians.

    However, you CAN do it, so I can definitely understand and respect that someone would morally object to playing GTA V, and wouldn't want their kids playing it. My problem with the outrage is when the people who oppose the game use projection and give the game an intention it didn't have, from the freedom to perform an act.

    Djiem on
    forty
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    BryanC wrote: »
    "...because if you don't give everyone a platform then you're doing censorship."

    This is inaccurate I'm afraid. You're equating an intentional suppression of content that one finds objectionable with...doing nothing.

    "Doing nothing" is exactly what Target is doing. "Doing something" would be stocking a game. They are failing to stock a game, thus doing nothing.

    Once a grocery store I like stopped stocking a type of cheese called Huntsman that is my favorite.

    I started buying the cheese from another store instead.

    Suppression!

  • BryanCBryanC Registered User regular
    Making an active decision to remove something from the shelves due to its content, while telling others "We're removing this content because of x" is more than doing "nothing."

    Distecforty
  • Evan WatersEvan Waters Registered User regular
    Djiem wrote: »
    The problem with most of those petitions and their outrage is that they claim that this is the game's point or that it's an incentive. Honestly, in the time it takes to find a prostitute, bring her around to a secluded area, have sex to regain health and then murder the prostitute to regain the small amount of money spent on the act, you could just go to your apartment and rest, or buy and eat a bunch of snack foods.

    There's still a reward cycle, and even from a game design perspective I don't get why they didn't make it so that trying to kill a prostitute to get money back doesn't make it so she fights back and can kill you or a pimp comes along, or even just 'you get no money back from killing her'.

    If nothing else it's become sort of emblematic of the series and perhaps that's not the best image.

    LaCabra
  • BryanCBryanC Registered User regular
    Exactly Djiem. It's also worth noting that in GTA5, to progress in the game, violence against men is mandatory. Violence against women isn't.

    fortyGaslight
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    Djiem wrote: »
    However, you CAN do it, so I can definitely understand and respect that someone would morally object to playing GTA V, and wouldn't want their kids playing it. My problem with the outrage is when the people who oppose the game use projection and give the game an intention it didn't have, from the freedom to perform an act.

    the problem arises because the mere fact that you can do this in games means the developers intentionally put it in there. you have the "freedom" to do things in the sense that Rockstar coded the software to include these acts.

    Minecraft gives the player a huge amount of open world sandbox-type freedom to do "anything the player wants", and yet you cannot solicit and later murder a prostitute in Minecraft. that was a conscious choice by Mojang. so are the game mechanics of GTA. they made the conscious choice to include a mechanic where a player can pick up a prostitute and kill them to get their money back.

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  • DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Djiem wrote: »
    The problem with most of those petitions and their outrage is that they claim that this is the game's point or that it's an incentive. Honestly, in the time it takes to find a prostitute, bring her around to a secluded area, have sex to regain health and then murder the prostitute to regain the small amount of money spent on the act, you could just go to your apartment and rest, or buy and eat a bunch of snack foods.

    There's still a reward cycle, and even from a game design perspective I don't get why they didn't make it so that trying to kill a prostitute to get money back doesn't make it so she fights back and can kill you or a pimp comes along, or even just 'you get no money back from killing her'.

    If nothing else it's become sort of emblematic of the series and perhaps that's not the best image.

    Well you will get a wanted level, same as when you kill any other character.
    I agree with you though that a pimp could come along, a force stronger than a one-star level, like when you start a gang attack. That would also show more about the underground world of prostitution and the danger and violence in it, by having the whole pimp baggage and not just a prostitute as a "health pack".

    And yes, there is a reward cycle. It's true. But it remains also true that the reward is much less than the trouble. Free health back can be obtained FAR more easily.

    However, hard or easy, you can argue that the prostitute is used as a "health item", and it can even be free if you do an immoral act (killing her).

    EDIT: And it's true, the fact that it's possible means the devs PUT the option in there, even if it's not a convenient one by any stretch of the imagination (now, we could argue that it not being a dominant strategy is also a statement, but I wouldn't make that claim).

    I'll agree with you on that, that is kinda problematic. And like I said, I can absolutely understand that one would avoid or boycott GTA (or hell, that a store would refuse to carry it).

    I disagree with everything else, however.
    It's only emblematic of the series because moral panic has made it the emblem of the game. For gamers, it's mostly about the free world, the shooting, the gangs, etc. It really depends who you ask, and the media have made a good job painting GTA as "murdering prostitutes" as if that's the whole game. Meanwhile, I've played a bit of GTA V and I haven't seen a single prostitute yet (for the sake of fairness, I haven't actively searched for them either).

    I also disagree with your point about the Nazi namedropping. I think people are reading more into the comic than there really is (what there really is being nothing at all). Furthermore, between the two employees, there's one that obviously the "wrong" or weird one, and he's the one who made the Nazi link, by suggesting to burn the games. The other character is going "Really, nazi, is this where we're going?" If anything, I would say the comic pokes fun at people who equal this move to Nazi-style censorship.

    Djiem on
    forty
  • UltimanecatUltimanecat Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    BryanC wrote: »
    "...because if you don't give everyone a platform then you're doing censorship."

    This is inaccurate I'm afraid. You're equating an intentional suppression of content that one finds objectionable with...doing nothing.

    "Doing nothing" is exactly what Target is doing. "Doing something" would be stocking a game. They are failing to stock a game, thus doing nothing.

    Once a grocery store I like stopped stocking a type of cheese called Huntsman that is my favorite.

    I started buying the cheese from another store instead.

    Suppression!

    Did your store stop stocking the cheese because of supply issues, or lack of sales, or a product recall? Or did they stop stocking the cheese because people who are lactose intolerant don't want the cheese at the store?

    Target AU even stated that they're going to continue selling other R18+ content of all types, just not GTAV. So now I guess an alternate analogy would be the grocery store dabbling in cheese tasting and subsequently deciding that pretty much all cheeses are good enough to stock, except one.

    Sucks to be the only one of thousands of cheeses to not make the cut, but hey, Target applied its standards fairly after all.

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  • DistecDistec Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Nice little point being overlooked here-

    The group that made the complaint? Sex workers. Not Jack Thompson wannabes or religious fanatics, but a group of people actually vulnerable to the attitude of prostitutes as disposable non-persons.

    Stop punching down, Jerry and Mike. Stop punching down.

    I hate to be that guy, but... So what if they were sex workers? I highly doubt all 40,000 signatures came from them. Or actual Target customers. Or Australians for that matter. And the actual content of their petition is false at worst or unproven at best. It relies on misleading statements and inaccurate information, which was then used to force an action from a retailer.

    I understand why people feel the need to be sensitive given the participants here. But at the end of the day they are still just as wrong as concerned Christians or Jack Thompson. It's not "punching down" to point that out.

    Distec on
    forty
  • Andy JoeAndy Joe The AdirondacksRegistered User regular
    Tycho's reaction is really overblown, I think. It's not the '90s anymore, you don't need to treat every attempt at private content restriction on video games as the nefarious encroachment of the Forces of Art Haters.

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  • DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Personally I'm still torn on the censorship argument.

    I would agree with the definition of the word, and claim that this story is not censorship, since the game's not outlawed. A store is perfectly free to refuse to stock a product if stocking it would cause them to lose customers who would then boycott them (assuming they would). It's free market, and it's a retailer catering to the demands of the public.

    But it is really? Like Distec said, are all signatures from people who would actually make good on their boycott threat? Isn't it just trying to prevent OTHERS from obtaining a product you weren't going to obtain yourself in the first place.

    That does feel very censorship-y to me. But it's not really censorship. It still rubs me the wrong way.
    It remains a group trying to prevent another one from enjoying a media.

    On the other hand, the product is problematic and many see it as damaging for society. So it's understandable they would oppose it. But that's also the same argument people have had against Dungeons and Dragons, it's the argument of all moral panics.

    EDIT: Whether Tycho's reaction is overblown or not (I think it kinda is), I like his point about the marketplaces and online stores preventing the "censorship" he talks about.

    EDIT2: I'd like to see an alternate reality where the GTA series didn't have interaction with prostitutes (or no prostitutes at all) since GTA 3, but everything else is identical. Would there still be moral outrage over some other aspect of the game, or is that really the one thing people have a problem with?

    Djiem on
    forty
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    BryanC wrote: »
    "...because if you don't give everyone a platform then you're doing censorship."

    This is inaccurate I'm afraid. You're equating an intentional suppression of content that one finds objectionable with...doing nothing.

    "Doing nothing" is exactly what Target is doing. "Doing something" would be stocking a game. They are failing to stock a game, thus doing nothing.

    Once a grocery store I like stopped stocking a type of cheese called Huntsman that is my favorite.

    I started buying the cheese from another store instead.

    Suppression!

    Did your store stop stocking the cheese because of supply issues, or lack of sales, or a product recall? Or did they stop stocking the cheese because people who are lactose intolerant don't want the cheese at the store?

    Target AU even stated that they're going to continue selling other R18+ content of all types, just not GTAV. So now I guess an alternate analogy would be the grocery store dabbling in cheese tasting and subsequently deciding that pretty much all cheeses are good enough to stock, except one.

    Sucks to be the only one of thousands of cheeses to not make the cut, but hey, Target applied its standards fairly after all.

    Target is not a government body, it is not a research organization or a university. They are a business. The only place "fairness" comes into play in a business is in their hiring and HR practices. Has Target AU started firing people for playing the game? No? Then your argument is ridiculous and you are a goose.

    kaorti
  • ZangalZangal Registered User new member
    Oddfish wrote: »
    the Bible thing is actually ironically hilarious, because it proves the point: the Bible is probably one of the most influential texts in the entirety of human history. humans have based entire civilizations on that book. many people base their entire moral code and how they behave on the Bible's text. if anything, the Bible is the ultimate example of art affecting human behavior.

    Agreed, and quite harmful in the same way as GTA. Let's see if Target applies it's own policy to one as it did the other.

  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    Why is there satire in this satirical webcomic??

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