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Penny Arcade - Comic - Very Similitude

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  • JBluewindJBluewind Registered User regular
    There's been multiple strips and posts referencing pharmaceutical drugs, yes? I remember this one pretty specifically, but this one is also pretty dark. I also recall a strip involving Pokemon Dream Radar (I think?) and how Tycho takes medication to not see things. So I think the idea's been used before, but in a different context. Still funny, if that's the word for it.

    Maybe I should start listening to the podcast.

    I like how they're not afraid to go for darker subjects too. They really know how to balance the silly and the serious. Sometimes I wish that they would both post on the news feed when they do ones like this though. :\

    Let me know how it goes! I'm hoping that they start having each one written out in a thread so I can read them (Have I missed it?). I don't have the megabytes to watch them on my phone.

    Love today's strip. Gab's face in panel 2 and dialog and art in panel 3 are great! They did an awesome job. ^_^

    I have to say that I'm happy about them no longer having the odd colored noses though. I know we have no say so in his art (which is a good thing because our suggestions usually suck), but they looked like they had been shoving their noses up somebody's butt (wives'? each other's? kinky mega rich fan's?) during some very weird and specific sex act.

  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Why are Gabe and Tycho always demons or possessed nowadays? Red eyes and eldritch elements are the majority of the comic now. I don't like the turn the characters have taken lately. It's like when I first discovered Cookie Clicker was obsessed with eldritch abominations. Can't we just have a nice, fun comic without making things turn ugly with our supposedly-and-hopefully-actually-human characters?
    They have both been possessed by demons.

    I remember red eyes back in the Comic Sans, no speech bubbles days

    *Dives into archive*

    Yep:

    214681223_PanjA-1050x10000.jpg

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • metroidkillahmetroidkillah Local Bunman Free Country, USARegistered User regular
    I also recall a strip involving Pokemon Dream Radar (I think?) and how Tycho takes medication to not see things.

    FOUND IT!

    I honestly don't know why I didn't find it earlier, considering this is one of my favorite punchlines ever.

    I'm not a nice guy, I just play one in real life.
    Sparvy
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    Redthirst wrote: »
    decide what to do
    If the game actually allows you to decide what to do, then watching it on Youtube definitely isn't the same as playing it yourself. But if the game is completely linear, then it's very debatable.
    I mean, a movie is completely linear, so I suppose it's also "debatable" whether watching it on your cell phone on the bus in two halves is different from watching it in a theater, but as I pointed out, to some people there are differences. Even in a completely linear game, you have to decide whether to progress or not, and I can tell you that in Actual Sunlight, at least, that is a huge decision sometimes. Like, a huuuuuge decision.

    You have the "do I keep going" decision in every bit of media you experience. But I agree it feels more important in games where you are ostensibly the one making things happen. It feels like the stuff in a book/movie/TV have already happened and you are choosing to experience them or not. In a game it feels like they have not happened yet (despite all being full designed and laid out by the deverlopers). I have definitely quite reading books before because I know things were going too well and I couldn't handle the character deaths I knew were coming.

    TychoCelchuuu
  • metroidkillahmetroidkillah Local Bunman Free Country, USARegistered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    You have the "do I keep going" decision in every bit of media you experience. But I agree it feels more important in games where you are ostensibly the one making things happen.

    If I recall the PAR interview correctly, the writer(s) of Spec Ops: The Line seemed to consider the very act of playing a part of the underlying moral/message; but I doubt that's the premise under which the vast majority of games are written and developed. So to take any given game and say "my decision to interact with this thing is, in itself, a significant part of the narrative experience" is kind of stretching it.

    That said, I feel that watching and playing are generally two very different experiences- even for a person who claims they're not. And I honestly can't imagine equating, say, watching a player pull off a sweet 100x combo in Arkham City, and doing it yourself. Even more narrative-heavy games like Telltale's stuff (minus the QTEs) are still better played than watched. You'd have to have something exceptionally linear, visually bland, and interaction-free to be able to make the argument that watching is as good as playing. Either that, or you're going into the game/video looking only for a very specific thing (i.e. the story) and disregarding everything else. That is a bad way to video game.

    I'm not a nice guy, I just play one in real life.
    drunkenpandaren
  • WordLustWordLust Fort Wayne, INRegistered User regular
    edited August 2015
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    You have the "do I keep going" decision in every bit of media you experience. But I agree it feels more important in games where you are ostensibly the one making things happen.

    If I recall the PAR interview correctly, the writer(s) of Spec Ops: The Line seemed to consider the very act of playing a part of the underlying moral/message; but I doubt that's the premise under which the vast majority of games are written and developed. So to take any given game and say "my decision to interact with this thing is, in itself, a significant part of the narrative experience" is kind of stretching it.

    I don't remember PAR ever writing about that game. Interesting. I ended up playing after reading (if I remember correctly) Tom Bissell's discussion of the game, which I found compelling.

    My takeaway from the game wasn't that continuing to play the game was moral or immoral. My takeaway was that it was a criticism of how games typically convey morality. It was a video game criticizing other video games (especially shooters) and how their portrayals of morality are kinda childish and silly. Before any criticis started talking about "ludonarrative dissonance" and before any critics began pointing out that it's really silly for a shooter protagonist to be conveyed as making moral decisions when he/she is literally murdering thousands of people without any care or concern about what that means... before anyone was really strongly discussing that, Spec Ops made you face those questions in a subtle, slightly surreal, experiential way. The "point" of spec ops (though it's never good to try and break down the "point" of any work into a couple of phrases) is that there are two narratives:

    1) The ego-stroking authored narrative the game is telling you that you want to buy into.

    2) The f***ed up crimes you are actually committing--or probably committing--if you stop enjoying the entertainment long enough to actually think about the implications of what these actions would be if someone were actually doing them.

    It also sort of makes the same point Bioshock tried to make with the Andrew Ryan scene (and in my opinion did so in a much better, less beat-you-over-the-head-with-it way); i.e. the disparity between:

    1) The agency and heroism and bravery and coolness the game CONVEYS that you have.

    2) The agency and heroism and bravery and coolness that you actually do not have at all, sad person who takes orders and believes everything you are told.

    I think Spec Ops might be the only game that comes right out and says, "If you think about it, it's kinda effed up that you actually played this game and did all of the things it asked you to. You know what else is kinda effed up? That you did it for the fantasy of feeling like a macho hero, when actually you're just a coward enjoying a coward fantasy on your comfy couch. Excuse me if I don't bother to sing your praises."

    Kind of a ballsy move. Kinda mediocre game, but ballsy decisions in the textual area.

    WordLust on
    cB557
  • metroidkillahmetroidkillah Local Bunman Free Country, USARegistered User regular
    @WordLust: That interview was actually the thing that convinced me to not buy the game- the way he described what he was trying to accomplish struck me as extremely pretentious. I try not to use the word, but I can't think of a better one. It just seemed like he was trying to prove how much more clever (cleverer?) and edgier he was than everyone else.

    From what I've heard from my friends, the game is quite good in the exact areas it was meant to be; but I have a hard time giving my money to people I consider asshats. That's why all my money went to charity when I got FEZ in a Humble Bundle.

    I'm not a nice guy, I just play one in real life.
  • WordLustWordLust Fort Wayne, INRegistered User regular
    edited August 2015
    @WordLust: That interview was actually the thing that convinced me to not buy the game- the way he described what he was trying to accomplish struck me as extremely pretentious. I try not to use the word, but I can't think of a better one. It just seemed like he was trying to prove how much more clever (cleverer?) and edgier he was than everyone else.

    From what I've heard from my friends, the game is quite good in the exact areas it was meant to be; but I have a hard time giving my money to people I consider asshats. That's why all my money went to charity when I got FEZ in a Humble Bundle.

    Haha, no worries. I understand that. I really liked FEZ at first and didn't understand at first what people's beef with it was, but the more I played it, the more I started to feel like FEZ was not made for a wide commercial audience but was made by Phil Fish for Phil Fish and other people who are like Phil Fish and are interested in the things Phil Fish is interested in. And on one hand, I think that's probably okay. I mean, that's sort of taking the Kevin Smith approach to games in a way, I guess. But on the other hand, I wish I knew before purchasing it what I know now, or I probably wouldn't have.

    I've never heard anyone on the Spec Ops team talk about it, so I have no sense of how pretentious they may or may not be about it. I will say that I didn't feel like it was done in an annoyingly pretentious way at any point. Usually when people feel like a game is pretentious, it's because the game has some agenda or some self-righteous point it (or the dev / team) wanted to make, and it just kinda beats you over the head with it. (Not to mention beating you over the head with I AM ART GIVE ME AWARDS). But Spec Ops is actually pretty subtle about it. If you're the kind of person who just likes to shoot things and get to the end and not ask questions, then you can totally do that, though you'll probably find some of the weird events that happen kind of nonsensical and confusing. But if you are the kind of person who engages with the text of the game a little more, and when something weird happens you feel the need to think about what that was, why it happened, what that was supposed to mean, etc, then Spec Ops is a bit more interesting.

    I would describe Spec Ops as having a sort of Truman Show type quality? Where being in the game is like being in the Truman Show, and you are Truman. You can just play along with the show until the end, but every once in a while you will see something weird, like when Truman sees the lamp fall out of the sky. And it's kinda like "what...?" and it means something, but you don't have to engage with it if you really don't want to. You'll find the story and ending kinda pointless and anti-climactic if you play it that way, but you CAN just shrug and ignore it, if you want to.

    Also, the effect of Spec Ops probably isn't as good if you have already read a bunch of criticism about it and already essentially know what it's up to, just like the revelation of being in the Truman Show doesn't work so much if you already know you are in the Truman Show.

    It's an interesting game to check out if you have a really academic sort of passion for games and game criticism, but if you're just looking for the next thing to play, then you're not missing anything by skipping it. It's pretty mediocre sauce in the actual gameplay department.

    WordLust on
  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    My very personal opinion (that I will now share with you all) is that the only way to "win" Spec Ops is not to play.
    Or, at least, do not play it to completion. When you come to the point where a sane and rational person would abort the mission and pull out, that's when you should declare that you are doing so, and turn off the game.

    darleysam
  • WordLustWordLust Fort Wayne, INRegistered User regular
    edited August 2015
    My very personal opinion (that I will now share with you all) is that the only way to "win" Spec Ops is not to play.
    Or, at least, do not play it to completion. When you come to the point where a sane and rational person would abort the mission and pull out, that's when you should declare that you are doing so, and turn off the game.

    Nah, I don't like that. Seems a bit trite to view it that way. Not to mention the obvious War Games vibes it sort of evokes:

    falken.jpg

    I wouldn't like this anymore than I would like if someone wrote a book where the intention was for you to not finish reading it, or a movie that you were supposed to turn off before the credits. Why stop there? Why not make an artistic game where the only way to "win" is to not purchase and play it at all! If that's the case with Spec Ops, then @metroidkillah has a higher "score" in the game than both of us!

    I prefer to think of it as an entire work, that you SHOULD finish, and then think about. The only reason to turn it off and stop playing before the end is if it makes you literally unbearably uncomfortable.

    I mean, what Bioshock did and what Spec Ops did wasn't really a new idea. All they did was transpose the idea of the milgram experiment to their respective game's narratives.

    But neither evoked extreme discomfort on the same level as the milgrim experiment to the point that the player refused to go on. The simple explanation being that in the games, you are not hurting actual people. So it becomes more of a philosophical/conceptual game, like when a professor pitches you hypothetical moral quandaries in philosophy 101. It's a thought experiment. Sometimes with a thought experiment, you know what the "right" or "better" answer to the moral question is, but since it is only a thought experiment, it is also valuable to explore the other option, just to see what happens. So I would tell people to finish the game, even if the only way to "win" is to not finish. =]

    WordLust on
    cB557
  • RedthirstRedthirst Registered User regular
    Redthirst wrote: »
    decide what to do
    If the game actually allows you to decide what to do, then watching it on Youtube definitely isn't the same as playing it yourself. But if the game is completely linear, then it's very debatable.
    I mean, a movie is completely linear, so I suppose it's also "debatable" whether watching it on your cell phone on the bus in two halves is different from watching it in a theater, but as I pointed out, to some people there are differences. Even in a completely linear game, you have to decide whether to progress or not, and I can tell you that in Actual Sunlight, at least, that is a huge decision sometimes. Like, a huuuuuge decision.
    Yeah, I can't really tell much regarding this particular game(the idea that someone would willingly submerge themself into depression isn't very understandable to me. But I remember watching a playthrough of first part of Broken Age, and after that I realized that playing the game won't offer me any additional experience.

    steam_sig.png
  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    WordLust wrote: »
    My very personal opinion (that I will now share with you all) is that the only way to "win" Spec Ops is not to play.
    Or, at least, do not play it to completion. When you come to the point where a sane and rational person would abort the mission and pull out, that's when you should declare that you are doing so, and turn off the game.

    Nah, I don't like that. Seems a bit trite to view it that way. Not to mention the obvious War Games vibes it sort of evokes:

    falken.jpg

    That may have been was totally on my mind as I typed that. What can I say, I'm a child of my decade.
    I wouldn't like this anymore than I would like if someone wrote a book where the intention was for you to not finish reading it, or a movie that you were supposed to turn off before the credits. Why stop there? Why not make an artistic game where the only way to "win" is to not purchase and play it at all! If that's the case with Spec Ops, then @metroidkillah has a higher "score" in the game than both of us!

    Actually, given that I've not purchased or played it either, I think we're tied. :)

    Heck, you're talking to someone who's resolved to have nothing whatsoever to do with The Hunger Games and similar works - not just because they don't interest me, but to ensure that none of the culpability and complicity which (as they point out) falls on the audiences who are entertained by gladiatorial bloodsports attaches to me, even in a meta-fictional context. Extreme? Absurd? Perhaps, but it's a decision that costs me very little and provides me with a non-zero amount of satisfaction.

    Commander Zoom on
  • RonaldoTheGypsyRonaldoTheGypsy Yes, yes Registered User regular
    I purposefully turn off Dumb and Dumber when the bus pulls up, ignoring whatever ending they came up with.

    Gaslight
  • OrphaneOrphane rivers of red that run to seaRegistered User regular
    I also recall a strip involving Pokemon Dream Radar (I think?) and how Tycho takes medication to not see things.

    FOUND IT!

    I honestly don't know why I didn't find it earlier, considering this is one of my favorite punchlines ever.

    i-JT2ZtNb-1050x10000.jpg

    calamityjamie
  • metroidkillahmetroidkillah Local Bunman Free Country, USARegistered User regular
    edited August 2015
    @Orphane: I had thought of that one beforehand, but it struck me as actual drug usage rather than being on medication.

    metroidkillah on
    I'm not a nice guy, I just play one in real life.
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    So I was watching some Actual Sunlight gameplay (diplomatically not using quotation marks there) and I've got a question.

    Is the writing regular bad, or is it ironically bad?

    Like, is it supposed to be ironic that the protagonist teaches creative writing and he's a shitty writer? Is that just supposed to show us how the protagonist kinda sucks at everything?

    Or is it just a badly written game?

    There seems to be some difference in the quality of the writing between the parts that are supposed to be stuff Evan is actually writing in the game and the rest of the writing, so I am (perhaps optimistically) thinking maybe it's just supposed to make the point that Evan is a shithead.

    Gaslight on
  • AstralMuffinAstralMuffin Registered User regular
    Even though I do find it funny, that last pannel saddens me S: we know he actually has to deal with all that and it hasn't been wasy

  • calamityjamiecalamityjamie Corgi Wrangler Seattle, WARegistered User staff
    Even though I do find it funny, that last pannel saddens me S: we know he actually has to deal with all that and it hasn't been wasy

    I can't speak for Mike, but I do know he's said that humor is crucial to his coping toolkit (as it is for many of us.) Being able to speak candidly and joke about things is one way people learn to feel at ease, even with scary subjects.

    Skull2185Zilla360fortydrunkenpandarenAndy Joe
  • WordLustWordLust Fort Wayne, INRegistered User regular
    PA Jamie wrote: »
    Even though I do find it funny, that last pannel saddens me S: we know he actually has to deal with all that and it hasn't been wasy

    I can't speak for Mike, but I do know he's said that humor is crucial to his coping toolkit (as it is for many of us.) Being able to speak candidly and joke about things is one way people learn to feel at ease, even with scary subjects.

    I wish more people understood this. I use jokes and humor the same way, but there have been many times where I've been with other people in a stressful or trying situation and have been accused of not caring or not taking something seriously because I am smirking or something. But the fact that I am smirking in that situation actually means I am terrified and/or hurting and don't know how else to deal with it other than that. Being accused of being a bad person for just trying to deal with difficulty the best way you know how does not make things any easier.

    Hargaad of Omnar
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