Gone Home developer withdraws from PAX Prime

Saturday, 22 June 2013 17:00 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Gone Home developer The Fullbright Company has announced it will not be attending PAX Prime this year, due in part to remarks made by Penny Arcade co-founder Mike “Gabe” Krahulik regarding transgenders earlier this week.

According to a post written by Fullbright co-founder Steve Gaynor on the company’s page, the latest comments made by Krahulik were the last straw so to speak.

“First there was the “Dickwolves” debacle, during which Mike said that it “felt pretty good” to “support rape culture,” wrote Gaynor. “Then there were the Penny Arcade Kickstarters, one of which offered to let backers pay them $7,500 to work as a Penny Arcade intern for a day.

“[Then] when critics recently raised objections about the over-the-top depiction of female characters in Dragon’s Crown, [PA co-founder Jerry “Tycho” Holkins] referred to opinions that differed from his own as “censorship.” And then yesterday a panel was announced for PAX Australia entitled ‘Why So Serious?'”

The panel, the description of which has since been changed, originally featured rawDLC founders Dave Kozicki and Josh Philpott , AusGamers Stephen Farrelly, GameArena editor Joab Gilroy, Gameplanet NZ editor James Cullinane, and Rae Johnston gaming editor for TechLife discussing, in part, how: “Any titillation gets called out as sexist or misogynistic, and involve any antagonist race aside from Anglo-Saxon and you’re called a racist. It’s gone too far and when will it all end?”

The description was eventually changed to something less “inflamatory.”

“We believe that people’s opinions and actions on social issues and business ethics are important,” Gaynor stated. “We believe that agreeing to pay the organizers of PAX over $1,000 for booth space, and to present our game on their showfloor for four days, provides explicit support for and tacit approval of their publicly demonstrated positions on these subjects. And we have finally come to the conclusion that we cannot support Jerry, Mike, and their organization by participating in this event.

“We know that this will do them no harm; that’s not the point. Another developer will take our slot at the Megabooth; they won’t lose any ticket sales; we won’t hurt their feelings. If anything, we’re hurting ourselves– our ability to reach new fans who might not have heard of Gone Home, to connect with players, sell stuff, meet with press and video crews, and so on.

“But this is not something that we’re doing for practical reasons. We are a four-person team. Two of us are women and one of us is gay. Gone Home deals in part with LGBT issues. This stuff is important to us, on a lot of different levels. And Penny Arcade is not an entity that we feel welcomed by or comfortable operating alongside.

“We wish all the best to the organizers and participants in the Indie Megabooth, as we really do believe that it is an incredibly positive force for indie games and video games in general. We just wish it weren’t at PAX.”

We won’t go into the whole controversy on here. If you want to read up on it, you can do so through the links, and various op-eds on the net – but we’re sure you’ve heard about it already. Krahulik has since issued an apology on the matter.

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