#1 Edited by BisonHero (6054 posts) -

http://maxistentialist.tumblr.com/post/61535552966/as-you-may-have-surmised-from-the-instagrams-and

Max's post-PAX thoughts. Giant surprise: he brings up the dickwolves thing. After explaining what happened, he says:

I wasn’t at that panel, but word reached me that afternoon and I knew shortly after that a good amount of the work we had done for PAX had been washed away. After the show, nobody would remember the cube that I spent months designing or the cards and fortune cookies that we gave out, they would only remember that quote. I believe my exact words were, “Mike just fucked us.”

In what way? I don't buy the argument that PAX, as a whole, is now being thought of as this pro-rape culture environment, and by extension, every exhibitor and vendor there is obviously supes into misogyny and all about dat patriarchy. Does anyone reading this now think CAH is tainted because they attended that PAX? So if not on a screwed-the-CAH-brand level, then how did Mike fuck them? By overshadowing the booth's buzz? Plenty of people did still talk about the enormous CAH booth, and besides, a kind-of-pretty-funny booth design is never going to get the crazy amount of attention that you get from "internet celebrity says controversial thing". They're not even in the same league.

So I don't know, man. I otherwise like every word I've ever heard come out of Max's mouth, but that passage just sounds really self-centered and kinda egotistical to me.

The rest of the blog is fine, in that he talks about how some people have reacted to Mike Krahulik's comments, and then says instead of everyone boycotting PAX, they should keep going but very clearly pull a "be the change you want to see in the world" and don't tolerate bigots, be LGBT-friendly, and hey, sounds good to me. Though when he says:

Boycotting PAX creates a huge problem as well: If all of the progressive people boycott PAX it will just become a carnival of rape culture and there will be no cool game show to go to.

I really just don't see the chain of events that connects "Every progressive person boycott's PAX" and "PAX continues, but all attendees are suddenly complete monsters and PAX is functionally as bad as a Hooters".

I know Max is occasionally on this site, and I'm not trying to call him out or anything, I just think he chose a really weird angle for this blog post. And I really don't think Mike's comments somehow trickle down and contaminate the entire PAX show floor, attendees, and panels into this environment where at every turn rape culture is encouraged. Mike's opinions are Mike's opinions, and PAX attendees/exhibitors are (largely) adults who can distinguish Mike's (fairly conservative) viewpoints from the guidelines and community spirit of PAX as a whole.

#2 Posted by Bocam (3668 posts) -

What are these things you call opinions? You are either for or against rape culture. Rape culture is a very dumb phrase

#3 Edited by joshwent (2056 posts) -

In a society where some people habitually put "trigger warnings" before completely benign content just so they won't potentially hypothetically make another person feel bad, Max calling his CAH space a "safe space" is just fucking insane.

Also, people have to stop needing to have it both ways and accept PAX as the place they'd all be raving about if it wasn't for this one dumb thing. Mike can be a dick on twitter. Sure, no argument there. None of that changes the fact that he, Jerry and their crew have set up a wildly popular international con that puts a ton of focus on indies, table-top games, and other things that would never even be considered elsewhere, as well as providing a gigantic open forum for people of all backgrounds and creeds to have their own panel discussions, and are very vocal about trying to make it a comfortable place for everyone (regulations about 'booth babes', etc.).

This should be Patrick wonderland, but people just won't stop complaining about a dude who was mad 'cause people didn't like his cartoon.

This is why we can't have nice things.

#4 Edited by TruthTellah (8420 posts) -

@bisonhero: It sounds like he just felt that way in the moment; he couldn't have known whether or not it'd blow up or not. Turned out that it didn't overshadow the rest of PAX, but in the moment, I think it's understandable for him to feel like, "Man, he just had to bring that damn thing up again." I'd probably have felt the same way.

And I agree with his response as far as PAX attendance. PAX needs more good people to stay, not for them all to leave.

#5 Posted by audioBusting (1465 posts) -

@bisonhero said:

It does sound like it's a big deal for him. They've put a lot of money and time into the booth. I wouldn't want to be associated with something like that too, if I have put that kind of investment into it.

Boycotting PAX creates a huge problem as well: If all of the progressive people boycott PAX it will just become a carnival of rape culture and there will be no cool game show to go to.

I assumed that by "progressive people" he means people who realize that this is a problem that needs to be addressed. It's probably a bit much to call it "a carnival of rape culture" but I think his point is that it wouldn't be ideal to have PAX continue with people who either a) don't care enough to do anything about it, or b) think this whole dickwolves thing is okay. In that case, no one at PAX will learn anything from it. I don't really like his choice of words either, but he's got a point.

#6 Posted by Brodehouse (9521 posts) -

...?

The maker of Cards Against Humanity believes that Mike Krahulik telling a joke about evil, slave taking canine penis monsters encourages and legitimizes the crime of rape.

And then he says come see my game, the one with the card that says Jerking Off Into A Pool Of Children's Tears.

There is only one subculture or area in the entire Western world in which sex without consent is legitimized and encouraged, and it's prison. That's the only place in which anyone thinks that rape is suddenly 'a good thing' (especially the people outside of prison who get a sadistic thrill from knowing criminals will suffer rape by other criminals). If we're living in a rape culture because we're capable of making jokes about how terrible rape is, then we're living in a slavery culture, a murder culture, a theft culture, an incest culture, a torture culture and a child abuse culture.

#7 Posted by BisonHero (6054 posts) -

@brodehouse: For what it's worth, at least one notable feminist (bell hooks - yes, she prefers it not be capitalized) thinks the "rape culture" paradigm is missing the point because really we live in a violence culture that normalizes violence, and that rape is not some special unique snowflake among violent acts. That idea I can actually kind of get behind! Our culture does promote violence in everything from movies to video games to TV.

But yeah, as much as there are problems around rape (rape victims are stigmatized, and a lot of the dialogue blames the victim by asking "Why weren't you more careful?" when you would never ask that of a stabbing victim or a burglary victim because you generally respect that those victims were minding their own business and the perpetrator is solely to blame), it still seems like hyperbole to label it as an entire rape culture that continues to exist.

#8 Edited by Brodehouse (9521 posts) -

@bisonhero: We don't live in a 'violence culture' either. We don't live in a culture that encourages and legitimizes violence against non-consenting people. That two MMA fighters agree to beat the shit out of each other to see who wins, that we have stories of police officers who gun down violent criminals, that we have stories where war is reality (because war is reality), is not the advocacy of violence against innocent subjects. In almost every case, it's violence by consenting agents meant to prevent violence visited upon non-consenting victims. What fiction we have that features a character being violent against an unwilling, undeserving subject is usually there to highlight _how violence is bad_. Our culture is far more ethical than these amateur sociologists would like to believe. They would like to believe that modern media has instilled violence in human beings due to free speech allowing people to hear whatever stories they want, despite the fact that we in Westen liberal democracies in fact live in _the least violent society/era in human history_.

We used to hear about how society was corrupt and perpetually crumbling just from priests and moral guardians who want to legislate human behaviour as much as humanly possible. Now it comes from so-called progressives, who apparently have a startlingly low understanding of history.

And to your last point, you in fact do ask burglary or stabbing victims if they took precautions, that's actually part of the basic questioning process in reporting any crime. If you report a home invasion, you will be asked if the doors or windows or point of ingress was locked. Because that's relevant information so as to discern what and how the crime happened. And then after collecting the evidence, the victim will be given information so as to lower their risks of being victimized again. When the police say "you should invest in a bike lock to prevent your bike from being stolen", it's not victim-blaming, it's public safety. Which is their job. It's not justifying a criminal's behavior, it's information that can reasonably prevent victimization. The world is not, and never will be, a place that is automatically safe in every regard, there will always be someone or thing willing to abuse others for their own gain. And people can either take some reasonable precautions on their own part, or stamp their foot and demand that mommy government always be watching them in order to prevent bad things from happening to them. I don't want a police state, even if I think they can totally take care of me and make everything all better forever.

As for 'stigmatizing rape victims', aside from your occasional brutal conservative asshole only out for themselves, the people who stigmatize rape victims the most are those that push the idea that rape is the most awful, terrible thing that can ever happen to a person, and that once a person is raped; they'll never be the same again. The people who preach that rape is worse than death shouldn't be surprised when, after hearing them, _some rape victims feel like they would rather have died_. If you tell people how damaged and ruined they are because of a crime that was enacted upon them, don't be surprised when they internalize it and begin to feel like they're damaged and ruined. I have empathy for anyone who suffers violent crime, but I refuse to be in the crowd who tells them they're permanently stained.

#9 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1504 posts) -

The idea that PAX would descend into a "carnival of rape culture" without the guiding hand of Max and his band of progressives is more than a bit insulting.

I feel pretty safe in saying the vast, vast majority of PAX attendees and exhibitors are reasonable, morally-grounded people who don't need to be reminded that rape is bad or illegal. From what I've seen, Krahulik doesn't need to be reminded either, he just needs to get better (much better!) at handling criticism in a way that isn't cruel and immature.

I haven't followed this that carefully, but I've seen the original comic that set this all off, and it didn't contribute to "rape culture" any more than Cards Against Humanity does. Because I'm almost positive I've played cards that implied rape, and it was funny because we were playing Cards Against Humanity and saying horrible stuff that we'd never do or endorse is the whole point. If anything, that comic was less bad, because the joke wasn't even about rape, it was about an MMO hero leaving after he saves X people from [terrible thing].

If he's really so worked about this, they should be boycotting it rather than pretending slapping up a "safe space" poster constitutes "protest".

Online
#10 Edited by Hailinel (23690 posts) -

The idea that PAX would descend into a "carnival of rape culture" without the guiding hand of Max and his band of progressives is more than a bit insulting.

Yeah. I mean, I like CAH, but Max himself comes off as an egotist. He doesn't have to agree with Mike on the whole Dickwolves thing, but painting himself as some sort of bringer of cultural balance to PAX is more than a little stupid.

Online
#11 Posted by JasonR86 (9587 posts) -

This might be a side comment but I'm not 100% sure what exactly 'rape culture' specifically means.

Also, it's the dude's personal blog so I would imagine he speaks without a filter. So you'll see things like this and I'm sure, if he were to filter and write and rewrite this post, it'd read better for more people. But it wasn't so this is how it looks.

#12 Edited by Bocam (3668 posts) -

@jasonr86: Rape culture: A concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society. Basically a culture that thinks rape is not one of the worst crime possible and because of that opinion condones rape

#13 Edited by audioBusting (1465 posts) -

@jasonr86: I'm not completely sure too, but the Wikipedia article on it actually kinda helps.

Rape culture is a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society,[1] and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape.[2]

So like, thinking that rape is just a thing that happens in our society is a part of "rape culture", I guess. Or at least the acceptance and/or trivialization of that.

#14 Edited by Brodehouse (9521 posts) -

@jasonr86: From every description I've heard, rape culture is defined as the legitimization of rape as an ethical behaviour within society. As in; media that attempts to push the message that rape is a perfectly okay thing to do.

It generally is used to attack things in which rape or non-consensual sexual violence is depicted (even if it is clearly depicted as a terrible thing to happen), or in media which depicts consensual sexual violence (rape fantasy, rough sex, etc). I've also heard it used to attack dark humor/satire that uses how terrible rape is as the basis for humor (Tosh's "wouldn't it be funny if like 5 guys ran up and raped her right now?", Carlin's "Rape can be funny, imagine Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd", or pretty much everything in Cards Against Humanity).

#15 Posted by MikkaQ (10264 posts) -

My friends who play CAH don't know or care what PAX even is. CAH is farther reaching than just the nerdy circles that made it popular. Terrible people come from all walks of life as my friends and I have demonstrated time and again through our games of CAH.

#16 Edited by Hailinel (23690 posts) -

@mikkaq said:

My friends who play CAH don't know or care what PAX even is. CAH is farther reaching than just the nerdy circles that made it popular. Terrible people come from all walks of life as my friends and I have demonstrated time and again through our games of CAH.

But neither does PAX need CAH's presence. Max can complain all he likes, but no one was thinking about CAH when Mike spoke up on Dickwolves again. He is basically inserting himself into the whole incident and making it about himself and his game.

Online
#17 Edited by nsmb2_mario (72 posts) -

Is Temkin a goon? All signs point to yes.

For clarity's sake, I mean goon in the literal sense, i.e. SA frequenter. Not a universally-known term.

#18 Edited by MikkaQ (10264 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@mikkaq said:

My friends who play CAH don't know or care what PAX even is. CAH is farther reaching than just the nerdy circles that made it popular. Terrible people come from all walks of life as my friends and I have demonstrated time and again through our games of CAH.

But neither does PAX need CAH's presence. Max can complain all he likes, but no one was thinking about CAH when Mike spoke up on Dickwolves again. He is basically inserting himself into the whole incident and making it about himself and his game.

Yeah sorry that's kinda what I meant. It's that PAX and CAH have so little to do with each other, other than some cultural overlap that Max is overreacting about the impact it'll have on CAH's reputation. And yeah I do think he's throwing himself into the fray unnecessarily, especially given how deliberately tasteless the game is.

#19 Posted by BisonHero (6054 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

This might be a side comment but I'm not 100% sure what exactly 'rape culture' specifically means.

As you might have gathered, the issue with the term is A) it isn't well understood by the general public, as right now it only gets used in feminist and/or liberal arts circles, and B) there's still a lot of disagreement about whether it's even a legitimate paradigm to apply to anywhere but the countries with the most sexist/lawless conditions. Continue Googling the term if you're interested, but note that you're going to get a lot of feminist sites that will assume that of course everyone already believes rape culture is a real thing that applies to nearly any culture on the planet.

audioBusting basically summed it up. This section of the Wikipedia article: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture#Theory_and_manifestations_of_rape_culture) gives some examples of the sorts of things that are considered evidence of a rape culture existing. "Rape culture" basically goes hand in hand with "the Patriarchy" or god forbid "the Kyriarchy", in that none of those things are strictly enforced by the laws in most of the developed world (most developed countries have laws against rape, most developed countries allow women to hold equal authority to men, etc.), but it suggested that a bunch of societal and cultural trends keep them alive even though no governing body is explicitly trying to continue rape culture/the patriarchy/the kyriarchy, for the most part.

It's honestly best not to think about any of it unless you're already way deep into feminism and academia. I feel like in the last few...decades, it's become more common for anyone who thinks of themselves as progressive or liberal to kind of just blindly support these ideas, but unless you're actually going to do the work to read up on them, don't just accept them into your worldview. They're complicated. Not to derail this thread, but I get that vibe from Patrick sometimes; in the interviews/articles he has done about sexism/misogyny in games, I really just don't get the sense that he's very informed on the state of feminism today and he kinda just enters every interview with the mindset of "I don't like anybody being discriminated against, so I'm totally into whatever this interviewee is saying". In reality, sometimes feminists can be wrong too! They are human beings, capable of meaning well but ultimately being incorrect.

Anyway, just remember "no means no", "super drunk girls who say 'yes' aren't really giving proper consent so you're a total scumbag if you take advantage of the situation", and occasionally try to see things from the point of view of others that don't share your traits (whether that means gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.). And remember that dickwolves have basically nothing to do with any of this (the comic never trivialized rape, though mentioning it was potentially a "trigger" for rape victims), and that the only reason this whole controversy exists is that Penny Arcade made this comic where they had the gall to (accidentally) make light of the idea of rape culture. Sure, it's really immature and condescending to their critics, but whatever, their critics were the ones flipping their shit over a stupid dickwolves joke that wasn't even making light of rape. And feminist blogs (and the progressive people that kinda just go along with whatever the consensus of those blogs is) are basically still mad that they weren't able to shame the dickwolves thing into oblivion.

Granted, it looks bad that Mike Krahulik can't just drop the whole thing since it's obviously terrible PR for them every time it gets brought up.

#20 Posted by BisonHero (6054 posts) -

@nsmb2_mario said:

Is Temkin a goon? All signs point to yes.

For clarity's sake, I mean goon in the literal sense, i.e. SA frequenter. Not a universally-known term.

OK, so you mean "goon" not in the literal sense, since if he were literally a goon he would be "a hired hoodlum or thug", "a stupid, foolish, or awkward person", or "a roughneck". The world does not revolve around Internet subcultures, though to your credit you acknowledged this. Anyway, I'm chalking this up to your own confirmation bias, unless you want to actually list off some signs that explain how Max's topic and his discussion of it have anything at all to do with SomethingAwful.

@hailinel said:

@mikkaq said:

My friends who play CAH don't know or care what PAX even is. CAH is farther reaching than just the nerdy circles that made it popular. Terrible people come from all walks of life as my friends and I have demonstrated time and again through our games of CAH.

But neither does PAX need CAH's presence. Max can complain all he likes, but no one was thinking about CAH when Mike spoke up on Dickwolves again. He is basically inserting himself into the whole incident and making it about himself and his game.

The bolded passage sums up my overall point with this thread pretty well. Like I said, it's just a really weird angle for this blog post of his to take.

#21 Posted by erhard (380 posts) -

Who? And more importantly, who cares?

#22 Posted by Brenderous (1097 posts) -

That's because, I'm assuming, it doesn't affect you. Or me for that matter. So it's not going to seem like a big deal to us. Other people see it a different way however, and I don't think it's a bad thing to respect their feelings. Not saying you're not doing that, just a statement on the matter as a whole.

#23 Edited by Sergio (2038 posts) -

@bisonhero: I think you've pretty much said everything that really needed to be said about that. (No sarcasm.)

I generally like Max Temkin, but this post just left me thinking, "Really? Really?" Of course a lot of people, including Patrick, pat him on the back.

#24 Posted by Avanzato (82 posts) -

I take it that PAX has reached that stage where the 'progressives' who lauded it as something wonderful now start attacking each other because they aren't dedicated to the correct 'cause' until the whole thing comes crashing down around them.

#25 Posted by Cretaceous_Bob (501 posts) -

If liking porn makes us a rape culture, enjoying an offensive game encourages an offensive culture. The fact that this douche is cashing in on the very culture he professes to find so intolerable should inform everyone what little his word is worth.

#26 Posted by Brenderous (1097 posts) -

The problem isn't the original comic, it was Mike's reaction to the criticism. And the shirts. The shirts were a bad idea.

#27 Edited by Harkat (1100 posts) -

I really wonder how this constant gender/sex/feminism/rape etc controversy will shape the online gaming culture in the future, certainly in the more savvy sites like this one. In one of these recent threads, someone sharply recalled that time on the Bombcast when they joked about a kid finding a used 3DS full of dick pics, with "cum suspended in the air" or something. To me, this is pretty much exactly in the same vein as Dickwolves, or shit, lots of CAH cards.

Ostensibly though, Dickwolves comic = Not Okay, but Jeff's reoccurring "creeper" jokes, 3DS full of dick pics and Jerking Off Into A Pool of Children's Tears = Okay.

#28 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1831 posts) -

@harkat said:

I really wonder how this constant gender/sex/feminism/rape etc controversy will shape the online gaming culture in the future, certainly in the more savvy sites like this one. In one of these recent threads, someone sharply recalled that time on the Bombcast when they joked about a kid finding a used 3DS full of dick pics, with "cum suspended in the air" or something. To me, this is pretty much exactly in the same vein as Dickwolves, or shit, lots of CAH cards.

Ostensibly though, Dickwolves comic = Not Okay, but Jeff's reoccurring "creeper" jokes, 3DS full of dick pics and Jerking Off Into A Pool of Children's Tears = Okay.

The Dickwolves comic wasn't the issue, the issue with Dickwolves was the creator's response to criticism. Anybody saying Dickwolves is a problem because it promotes rape is being silly because the context of the joke was definitely not "rape is good and/or funny", the problems came from the delegitimization of people who actually HAVE been raped and actually provoking them and making fun of horrible things that have happened to real people, then responding to criticism to THAT by fucking selling shirts to give a big fuck you to rape victims by making money off of it. Which THEN produced this little subculture of piece of shit human beings that harass and antagonize at conventions and just generally act like shitheads.

Jeff's creeper jokes are just that: jokes. It's a goofy little persona he's created and he knows how to play the part. He knows not to take it too far. Jeff isn't going to do something stupid like instigate somebody that has actually had their underwear stolen or been perved on.

#29 Posted by nsmb2_mario (72 posts) -

@nsmb2_mario said:

Is Temkin a goon? All signs point to yes.

For clarity's sake, I mean goon in the literal sense, i.e. SA frequenter. Not a universally-known term.

OK, so you mean "goon" not in the literal sense, since if he were literally a goon he would be "a hired hoodlum or thug", "a stupid, foolish, or awkward person", or "a roughneck". The world does not revolve around Internet subcultures, though to your credit you acknowledged this. Anyway, I'm chalking this up to your own confirmation bias, unless you want to actually list off some signs that explain how Max's topic and his discussion of it have anything at all to do with SomethingAwful.

That's what the word means, yes. SA is known for making jokes about the holocaust but getting butthurt about social justice issues. So, morbid humor, meets cringing slacktivism.

#30 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I quit following him when he praised one of his workers for rudely shooting down an inquiry from a book publisher. It was about wanting to put Cards Against Humanity into a "Gift Guide for Boys" kind of thing. The message was completely innocuous and professional. The person that worked for him basically blasted back, calling the idea sexist and that they wanted no part of it.

Gender roles are strongly influenced by society but there is no doubt that boys and girls by-and-large enjoy different kinds of things, with some obvious overlap. Much like Vinny talking about pushing his son down the girl's aisle at the store to give his son the chance to say whether he wanted any of it or not, but his son didn't. He wanted trucks and the like.

I found him and his worker's reaction to be instantly off-putting and out of touch with reality.

And all of this comes from a guy that makes a game where people make the most vile jokes imaginable.