Penny Arcade 'Rolls for Diversity' With Segregated Lounges

Illustration for article titled Penny Arcade Rolls for Diversity With Segregated Lounges

In today's edition of Missing The Point, Penny Arcade, a large gaming company that has previously dredged up controversy for making rape jokes, is trying to be diverse by offering diversity lounges at its Seattle, Boston, and Melbourne expos.

According to the Daily Dot:

An anonymous Penny Arcade (PA) employee leaked internal documents to game review sites IndieStatik and Rock Paper Shotgun last night detailing the franchise's plans to create a "Roll for Diversity" lounge at each conference site. The lounge would function partially as an info-booth area, a place where attendees could stop by and receive brochures and other kinds of information on inclusivity-related issues and subgroups.


Sounds like Penny Arcade sure knows how to put the "fun" into diversity. They also know how to pay lip service to promoting diversity within the tech industry by setting up areas that attendees can simply swing by while making their way to the all-male/white main event.

Not surprisingly, people raised some eyebrows on twitter, including this person:


Or maybe they got their inspiration from The Office. Do you think they'll have an exercise like this in the diversity lounge?

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Ari Schwartz: Dark Lord of the Snark

So, I'm going to just say that, for whatever their strengths are, Gabe and Tycho can be awfully stupid. They're better at this than most in the community (credit where credit is due, honestly), but they have serious gaps in their knowledge of things outside of their general purview and it shows in issues like this.

Tycho seems to stray from his bubble more, but Gabe is pretty much happy in his comfort zone (which may, in part, be explained by his anxiety issues.) That's not to pardon them, but frankly, I don't expect them to be much more than they are. They haven't generally shown that they're really more than two guys who like video games and aren't total assholes on every level. As a result, I think this is why they're reducing Penny Arcade as a brand, too: they seem to recognize that they're not capable of managing this large entity with the kind of face that is required of them.

I have really mixed feelings about all of this: on the one hand, they've generally been better for the community than the corporate bullshit and general bullshit we usually get, but they're also often too tone deaf to be effective voices for a large segment of the community.

Really, I don't agree that they don't deserve criticism, because if they're going to occupy such a large place in the mindshare of the general gaming/nerd community, then they have to be criticized. On the other hand, I try to be a half-full kind of person because the alternative is... what? E3 was hardly better, and there's at least a glimmer of hope here otherwise.

I dunno, shit like this in general has made me almost pull out of the gaming community in general, because the best voices are still not that great half the time. And I say this as someone who LOVES the medium, but hates the community for its inability to not be less up its own ass.

So yeah, Gabe, Tycho, I think you guys do a ton of good when you're on the mark, but sometimes shut up and listen. You can be massively better, and be transformative for gaming, rather than just influential.