The big news today is that Penny Arcade grows even more beyond its webcomic origins and launches “The PA Report,” a sort of news magazine devoted to taking a more serious look at video games. You’ll get things like an interview with Gabe Newell and a tour of the Valve offices.
Now normally I guess I wouldn’t count this as webcomic news, but there are two things to consider:
- Video game news reporting is in a really sad shape these days. (Mike Krahulik seems to agree, which was probably the inspiration of the PA Report.) The joke about reviewing — which is probably true — is that the major games are being paid off by people who pony up the most advertising money. And anything about games seem to be stuck in a permanently adolescent male mindset, despite everyone crowing about female gamers and older gamers. So it’s nice to see a site take a more mature view on the gaming industry.
- It’s pretty interesting to see what can be accomplished when you use webcomics as your starting point. Seriously, if anyone had started reading Penny Arcade back in 1998, did anyone thing that a charity, a gaming expo, and a serious video game news site would come out of it?
It reminds me a little of something I did in college. I’d started a college comic, but it got rebuffed due to offensive material. So, kinda shamed — and also kinda miffed that all the school paper ever seemed to focus on was what the frats and sororities were up to lately — I decided to break off an start an underground paper. All of the sudden, I had four or five writers putting together articles and distributing papers in the school hallways. It lasted five issues, but man, it was kind of a rush. And it all started with a little comic I did in the school paper.
So I salute Jerry and Mike on their new phase of Penny Arcade, an empire that, let’s not forget, started with a comic about two guys playing video games.