June 22nd, 2013
It sadly does not come as a surprise that one of the Penny Arcade boys made some ignorant, transphobic remarks. This is not the first time either of them was caught saying something dumb and hurtfull, nor the first time that they dug in first rather than apologise and acknowledging that they’d done wrong. It’s not so much that they deliberately set out to provoke or hurt people but rather that they’re somewhat more ignorant about certain hot button topics than they themselves realise, nor all that used to being contradicted. So instead of backing down, they double down on the offensiveness instead.
Why this is may be explained by their own history. Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik were your typical gaming nerds that through a combination of luck and hard work managed to make what was just another gaming webcomic into a multimillion dollar business, themselves into nerd kings. They’re in a position where they rarely have to listen to anybody else, with an audience that actively sucks up to them and they have that typical nerd mentality of thinking they know everything about anything. It’s not full on Dunning Kruger, but it does mean they have trouble recognising their own ignorance at times. Which is deadly when it comes to these kind of indentity issues. What’s troubling is that they also seem unwilling to address their ignorance, preferring to just not talk about these things instead.
In conclusion, Penny Arcade is a land of contrasts, not willfully evil but perhaps willfully stupid.