By fr0y0 36 Comments
One of the more polarizing topics from last week was the launch of Penny Arcade's Kickstarter project (PAKS, in short). Their plan is to replace the website's ad revenue with funding provided by the community, in order to possibly run it without any ads for the entirety of 2013. They are looking to pay serveral expenses with those funds, such as rent for their office, payment and health insure for their fourteen employees, server costs etc. And I'm excited. There are at least two possible reasons for you to be excited about it as well (and maybe even to donate).
The first reason is quite simple: You are a fan of Penny Arcade's work. The removal of ads takes place in two steps. At $250,000 one of two banner ads will be removed from the homepage, the other at $525,000. At $999,999, the whole site will be ad-free. There are multiple steps between, and also exceeding those goals. At each one of these steps, going up to $1.4 million, a Penny Aracde-related project will be funded. Those include a tabletop adventure written and designed by the webcomic's creators, the revival of a community-favorite podcast and a new webshow that replaces season 4 of the quasi-docu-series PATV. That new show is described by them as "essentially Hell’s Kitchen for web cartoonists". These are only a few reasons to be excited as a fan, with four more projects yet to be revealed.
The second reason (bear with me here): You are a Giant Bomb Premium Member. When Whiskey Media announced premium memberships for pay, I was following them for about a year. I was absorbing all the Giant Bomb and most of Tested.com's video content. For me, they had become a substantial part of entertainment and information alike, and I could not have been more excited to help pay the bills and, in return, get even more content out of that. I also learned to appreciate that good content needs support. Cutting out at least one middle-man between creators and the finiancial support from their followers seems like a sensible idea to me. Lastly, a comment made by Jeff seemed to have stuck with me since the Premium launch - "building a better internet." When I got a sense of what PAKS is, I was immediately reminded of that phrase and it still sounds very appealing. If some or all of those notions remind you of why you paid to be a Premium Member: Penny Arcade are essetinally doing the same thing, but on a much larger scale.
I will not try and convince you to donate (after all, I haven't even done it myself), but you should be conscious about the fact that even $1 would be your Yes-vote for cutting out the middle-man, directly supporting the creators you like, and building a better internet. Either because you are a PA fan, or someone who already knows why they give money to their favorite website.