The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

Liberal angst is for muppets

I’ve said this lots of times before, and Marvin just sent me an e-mail to tell me I’ll say it again, but fuck the Penny Arcade dudes. I don’t even mean the bizarre and largely incomprehensible rant he goes into toward the end about how we can be the "curators" of "distributed culture." I’m mostly complaining about that part where he declares that nobody should charge for Puzzle Pirates because it’s a "java based puzzle game." Do you see that part?

I dunno. I guess puzzle games are easier to make than other games (I have found this to be true to a certain extent), and I guess there’s something about Java that makes it easier to use than other programming languages (I have found this to be true to what could be charitably described as "no fucking extent whatsoever"). I suppose what we’re supposed to believe is that puzzle games are so easy to make — even MMO puzzle games — and Java is so easy to use that it’s basically no work at all and so it’s immoral to ask for compensation in return. See, I’m old-fashioned and kind of a shithead, so I’m of the opinion that, if you make a game, it’s worth whatever people will pay you for it. Apparently the enlightened view is that games should be free to a certain point; since Tycho doesn’t bother to tell us how to determine which games should be free and which games are justified in charging money, I guess we’re supposed to ask him.

Has anybody else noticed this attitude coming off of a lot of modern leftists? Don’t bother answering that, I know you have. I guess the idea is that everything has a "correct price" that people just should charge, and that this price is known to leftists through some magical a priori means whether or not they have any idea what was involved in the creation of the product or provision of the service.

Incidentally, Penny Arcade’s own vanity game is only $20 from Steam. In case you’d like to wash down your liberal angst with a bit of hypocrisy.

August 13th, 2008 Posted by | Bullshit, Games | 3 comments


  1. Dude, I think you completely misread his post. Tycho is arguing AGAINST all the people whining about Braid costing $15 instead of $10. Witness: “You’re mad about five dollars? What? Shove your five dollars up your stupid ass.”

    I don’t think those are the words of a guy saying content should be free; his whole point is that we shouldn’t get fixated on a single “correct” price for Xbox Live Arcade. games.

    Comment by Stephen | 13 August 2008

  2. Is he? I can’t say as I’m really seeing it, but I’ll allow that it’s possible. His writing is opaque to me more often than not, since he insists on writing crazy flowery shit like "genuinely huge concepts that hum with stradavarian fullness." The main part I was able to pick up on was his italicised reaction toward Puzzle Pirates not being free, and his need to find the rationalisation of "there are worse products that cost more" before he could accept that. Or maybe before he could take a shower; I don’t quite get what the hell it means that that conversation was "cleansing," but I went with the interpretation that he was filled with liberal angst over the concept of charging money for that game, and later was able to get to grips with it through that line of thinking.

    Comment by Darien | 13 August 2008

  3. I think it’s a little of both. There’s definitely some angst about Puzzle Pirates costing actual money. But he is also pissed that people aren’t willing to pay $15 for Braid. If you read the comic, the comic calls Braid a “game that is actually important.” I have no idea what’s important about it, though. But I guess the moral is, you should be willing to pay $15 for Braid, because it’s IMPORTANT. And… it’s ok to charge money for Puzzle Pirates, because people also charge money for stuff that sucks more.

    Comment by Dave | 13 August 2008

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