Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Crowd funding updates


I've given my support recently to three projects going down the crowd funding route. Obviously I'm sure you've all gone out and supported them all... ahem... well maybe not. But I have found the relative success rate and controversy rate of each campaign interesting to watch. In fact I've found a lot of these campaigns successes or lack thereof a highly interesting phenomenon to watch from an outsider perspective. So any way where are the campaigns at? Trust me it's more interesting than you think...

Tentacle Bento

I simply have to start with the Tentacle Bento Kickstart program don't I? Why? Well because of this email:

Hi there, 

This is a message from Kickstarter Support. We're writing to inform you that Tentacle Bento - by Soda Pop Miniatures has been suspended by Kickstarter. Your $50.00 pledge has been automatically canceled and you will not be charged. No further action is necessary. 

For more on project suspension, please see our FAQ:


For those of you scratching your head as to what is going on I guess I should explain in a little more detail. There is a thing called moral panic, if you take a quick ill-informed glance at something and make your mind up it is evil you can normally work yourself up into a frenzy. Society then goes on a binge of purging and unthinking destruction without really grasping what's happening or whether the outrage is justified in the first place. But hey, why let that get in the way of a decent witch hunt? In the UK there was a famous case where a pediatrician was attacked because our newspapers had been whipping the public up into a frenzy over pedophiles for weeks. I guess moral panic sells newspapers, it brings you ratings and if you use emotive enough language in a non-declarative way, people will blindly take your crass assertions at face value and treat them as fact.

So it appears is the case with Tentacle Bento. First up we have the classic moral outrage / panic post by Insert Credit. It has all the classic hallmarks of the slavering ill-informed attacks that such articles usually make. Firstly they've filled in the blanks themselves, you know rather than actually asking about it or doing any research, heaven forbid you try and get informed about a topic! So even though tentalce rape isn't what the game Tentacle Bento is about that's what it's now about, because it suits those at Insert Coin to make the debate about that. Mention rape enough times and eventually rape is all you will see, believe and association with the topic. Rape. It's a classic marketing trick, you then blithely throw in a spurious quote from a well respected authoritative figure or organisation, in this case Amnesty International, which has bugger all to do with the thing you are talking about. You then link in tenuously and make the article about that now, and bingo, you have the sort of crass journalism I thought it was only possible to find in Rupert Murdoch owned newspapers... seems I was wrong.

The great thing about moral panic tough is that it's a horrible little weed of a thing. Normally what happens is that the Moral Panic starts in somebodies head, which actually says more about that 'somebody' than it does the thing they're normally panicked about, but their malady normally spreads to others. In this case step forward and take a bow one Luke Plunkett of Kotaku, who clearly swallowed this crap that was written on Insert Coin whole, completely hook line and sinker and gullibly believed that what was written there was true. So the badly framed and ill-informed message now gets transmitted to another moron who will do zero research as well, because why should they have to? I mean the original author did it all for them, right? Oh dear, suckered into the writing their own article based off of the misinformation of another persons opinion piece. This is how these things grow you know. It's true there are people who study the idiocy of such trends in journalism, it's a fascinating field and the hypocrisy of those involved is normally the most amazing thing about it.

I bet these same individuals who have attacked Soda Pop and tried curtailing their freedoms, have themselves trotted out the same tired freedom of speech and expression arguments, when computer games have come under attack from the moral majority. But, of course when they tout freedom of speech arguments themselves they do so from the morally superior position of being right! Oh the irony. Journalists are bizarre creatures, they seem to defend their right to say complete and utter bollocks and cause mass distress to many people, even to go past what's considered morally decent and at times legal on many occasions, and they do so by claiming it's all in the name of freedom of speech. Yet they very often write moral panic articles that are aimed squarely at curbing those very freedoms for others, they hope to enjoy themselves. As I say the most interesting thing about the phenomenon is the hypocrisy of it all.

It even cuts off any sensible debate as a trend, why? Well because if someone actually engages their brain and comes up with a well reasoned and informed argument as to why all this is an over reaction, the moral panic brigade have a response for that. You know just in case there is a threat common sense and reason might break out. What is this awesome defence mechanism? Well if I say I think they've over reacted, all of a sudden in their blandly dichotomous world I'm against them and therefore I'm also everything they hate. I am now a supporter of tentacle rape, and am probably a rapist in the real world to boot! I mean what other reason could there possibly be for me not blindly falling into line behind their fatuous argument like the rest of the good little sheep? Don't I know how awesome they are? Never mind that I could be (and have been) a campaigner for the stopping of violence against women around the globe... however, I am standing up against them. Hence me writing this, I urge you to go support Soda Pop to make Tentacle Bento if only to piss these moral guardians off!

I am not trying to trivialise rape or violence against women and nor would I. It is a moral affront to all civilised peoples that women are regularly degraded, abused and mistreated in society as second class citizens. Despite what Beyoncé claims, girls do not rule the world. In fact they are often victims of it. But much of what people get outraged by in the case of exploitation of females actually masks the real problems with our legal systems not supporting rape victims, and companies thinking it's OK to discriminate against women because they might have kids. I also don't believe that Tentacle Bento as a game is trying to trivialise something as serious as rape, I just don't! I don't know John Caddice in person, but I have had email conversations with him with regards to another of Soda Pops products in the shape of Super Dungeon Explore. Now I was critical of that product, heavily so in some aspects, and John conducted the conversation with decorum and intelligence. He struck me as a pretty straight up guy, who loves Japanese culture and all the weirdness that comes along with it. I expect Tentacle Bento is meant to be a parody of a weird Japanese subculture fetish, poking fun at a thing is not being the thing, but simpletons rarely get subtle distinctions.

Now I am a fervent supporter of freedom of speech on a number of ideological grounds, I'm exceedingly passionate about it as a lecturer once found out in a debate! So I defend Insert Coin's and Kataku's right to publish what they did, even if I think it was dumb in the extreme. I'm not going to get into my own personal reasons for me fervently defending freedom of speech and expression, just believe me when I say that I have good reasons that I do. This passionate belief of mine has often meant I've found myself supporting somebodies right to express themselves who I actually physically detest and abhor. There are no halfway houses as far as I'm concerned in freedom of speech, you're either for restricting freedom or you're not. Just because I believe somebody should have the right to say what they want to doesn't mean I have to agree with it, I think with any liberty comes a responsibility to not abuse it. By all means express concerns, and tackle what people use their freedoms to express in open debate. Just never make them take their expression underground and have to hide it, because that's repression, and trust me, that way lies trouble.

So what does all this mean for Soda Pop and Tentacle Bento? Well for one it's thrown a complete spanner in the works. I think it has also set a worrying precedent for Kickstarter itself. The Tentacle Bento campaign had been highly successful, it  raced away to $30,000 or thereabouts and was well on it's way to reaching its third stretch target with 22 days to go. For a relatively small company like Soda Pop that was an impressive achievement and I'm going to say on that basis their campaign was a success... despite the project being pulled. So where now for Tentacle Bento? Well Soda Pop have moved the campaign to their own website. Where they have rapidly raced to $5428 already. So if you want to go support the project that's the place to go do it now. Thing with moral panic you see, is that often it just raises somethings coolness value and makes it even more desirable to a certain set of the general public, and often you raise awareness of it to astronomical proportions, far beyond what it would normally have achieved. Ironic hey?

Ito faction for Bushido

So has Indiegogo pulled GCT Studio's campaign because of cruelty to snakes? Thankfully no, but if I look at it long enough perhaps I can find something with the campaign to be self righteous and outraged about... perhaps the fact that not enough people have funded the project to get them up to their second stretch goal already! Come on people what's wrong with you? They've already reached their $15,000 first stretch target so everyone who signed up to receive the full Ito faction as a perk will now get Itsunagi for free, so that's awesomesauce. So although this campaign has already being successful, and I guess one might even say highly successful, I'm still going to urge some of you to go out and support it some more. Lets make sure that on day one when the Ito launch that they're not actually playing catch up with all the other factions, who have had wave upon wave of releases so far. Lets push for Ito parity!!!


Barracks army builder for Gruntz

Well I thought the $2222 target would be absolutely obliterated when I first saw the campaign, within a day or two it had raced to $2000 in no time at all. Surely it was going to be a doddle, the Gruntz community was in full swing and they were working their networks well. Then it stalled. No other word for it, I think it's exhuasted the initial support and is now slowly grinding on towards it's target. Probably because I don't think the perks were well defined and the goal arguably too low, IF a certain perk was offering enough of a fiscal yield to allow development of the software. Sure it's ticking over with the odd small donation here and there, and it's painfully close to hitting its target. It's just that they're likely to be limping over that target rather than striding beyond it. I do think though it's a worthwhile project that I'd like to see funded, so if you've thought about getting involved with Gruntz before perhaps now is the time to do it. Robin Fitton has been dedicated to his one man mission to give us a good game and he's not doing it as a business, he's doing it as a hobbyist who loves what he does. It'd be nice if we could all swing round behind him and show a little solidarity to a fellow hobbyist.

As you can see the first two projects have already been funded, and are well on their way to hitting some serious stretch targets, well sort of in Tentacle Bento's case. Tentacle Bento being a success, prior to the funding cancellation, wasn't that much of a surprise to me though, especially given Soda Pop Miniatures relative profile in the industry. They might be small, but they've struck a clear and bold unique path with their design ethic, and have made a name for themselves as many people like what they do. So I have to be honest and say I wasn't at all surprised to see them smash through their target so early on. They have a lot of fans and I knew they'd whip up enough support and money to make it to not only the initial target, but many more stretch targets besides. Even so, I was surprised to see that within 7 days they had not only obliterated their original $13,000 target, but also raced well and truly passed their first stretch target of $18,500 and had met their second stretch target of $25,000. That's pretty darn impressive performance if you ask me, and I'm sure we'll see similar levels now on their own website.

It's also pretty impressive that GCT Studio's have managed to make it through their initial $5,000 target to get their Ito faction made and then race to their first stretch target of $15,000. They're also not that far off of making it to their second stretch target of $20,000, that's a subtle hint people! Now I'm going to have to say I was surprised to see this Indiegogo campaign take off as quickly as it did, and to see it garner as much support as it has. There's no question that what GCT Studio's are up to deserves people's support, but they're not as well known as Soda Pop are and they're a pretty small outfit. So I'm really pleased to see that their campaign has been as successful as it has. I think the reason it has been as successful as it has though is primarily down to perks or offer levels they've created. In effect they've run their campaign as a pre-order service, and no doubt factored in the cost of including the product in the money they're getting for development as well.

That's the exact same process Soda Pop have used with Tantacle Bento. It is also the method most used by other successful campaigns. So what has happened to the Barracks army builder campaign for Gruntz? Well a number of things actually. First and foremost I'm not so sure their perks or support levels were going to be enough to entice people. The $9, $14, and $19 perks actually feature nothing 'physical' as it were. I've noticed that it's actually quite difficult to get people to sign up to campaigns that aren't offering a physical product, which is interesting. People like to get something 'solid' it seems for their backing. So the only other realistic option for most people is the $34 perk, which actually grants you a physical copy of the Gruntz 1.1 rulebook. There is the $999 perk, which is well, insane and out of most peoples reach, that's probably why there is also only 1 of them. Now the Barracks campaign will reach their $2222 goal of that I'm sure, but it does appear to have stalled after an initial growth at around the $2000 mark. The reason is there were only 45 of the $34 perk, and they went quickly.

This is where I think running these sorts of crowd funding projects can get a little bit tricky if you ask me. I fully understand the reason why they limited the $34 perk, because they wanted to have as much of the money pledged go to nebulous digital product, as opposed to providing a costly physical product (a rulebook) and thus eat into the funds for developing the actual software. Similar problems occur with other campaigns to actually develop a game or miniatures, you see similar tactics. But this is where careful planning comes in. If you know a few things about what you are offering and what will prove popular, and what people actually want you should base your targets off of that perk. If the $34 perk grants you less of a percentage to pay for development, then up your target value based off of that profit profile. Then at least if people go for the higher yield options it'll be a pleasant bonus... can you tell I've raised finance for projects via more conventional means before? It's not as easy as people think it is, and it's fraught with pitfalls, and I sometimes look at what people are offering as perks on these things, the projected targets and question whether they're selling themselves short. Any way I hope you all go out and support these projects because they're all pretty cool if you ask me. Peace out!


  1. /salute Frontline.

    Already moved my pledge to the new site for Tentacle Bento and ranted at Kickstarter. I knew you'd be flying the flag, and was glad to see this post go up.

    1. You know it Ant. I hate, loathe and detest censorship. I also get angry when people tell me what I should and shouldn't be able to buy. Freedom of speech and expression are hugely important to me and it pisses me off when people back down over such things. Especially when the articles themselves are as badly written and ill-informed as the drivel written at Kotaku and Insert Coin.

      Freedom of Speech is alive and well at Frontline Gamer!!!

    2. Did you get a response to your ticket with Kickstarter? I just got a "It is against policy to discuss cancelled projects".

    3. Yep I didn't expect anything other than the corporate palm off to be brutally honest with you. So I wasn't disappointed to receive it. Just made me chuckle at their wimpish predictability.

  2. "Thing with moral panic you see, is that often it just raises somethings coolness value and makes it even more desirable to a certain set of the general public, and often you raise awareness of it to astronomical proportions, far beyond what it would normally have achieved. Ironic hey?"

    Pretty much the biggest contributor to why D&D is a part of American pop culture. Lots of delicious, delicious moral panic in the game's history - including speaking tours no less!

    1. Heya Lauby, I think the really big irony is that it's Kotaku getting all bent out of shape. The website that defends computer games right to objectify women and depict visceral acts of violence at every turn. Surely I can't be the only one to spot the hypocrisy to all this?

    2. hey man... I was just talkin' 'bout some Dungeons and, possibly, some Dragons.

      On point though - video games journalism is a shit hole.

    3. Ansolutely Lauby, I know a few people who have worked for games mags in the UK and they were always telling me not to trust most reviews as publishers brought there scores effectively with free crap and advertising space. Do you slag of the latest blockbuster by that company that provides you with 15% of your advertising revenue... erm... HELL NO!!! Corrupt badly written bollocks much of it.

  3. I don't have a lot of time thismorinign to realy dig into this but

    1. Yes agree it is hyprocrasy considering th eother prodcuts they launch

    But does that make it wrong to pull this one?

    2. Tentacle/Schoolgirl/Japan Google it with safe search off then tell me this fetish is not about rape?

    regardless of our informed sardonic pinion that its just japes the vast majority of people into this fetish do so on the understanding it is the sexual coercion through the medium of tentacles.

    I for one would not support this product even the into video made me very iffy on it before this.

    Because here's the thing. You and I may not be rapists but you do you know who think all men are rapists?

    Rapists do.

    1. Again parodying something is not the thing itself. You have every rght to be offended, but it's your mind that went there. Sure Soda Pop lead the horse to water but you drank Minitrol...

      Also as somebody who studied psychology I wouldn't presume to lump the minds of all rapists together and simply say they all think alike. That is a crass over simplification my good man and is a crock of crap. People commit crimes for a myriad of reasons, just to be clear none of them acceptable, and to reduce them all to a pithy throw away line is stupid. I'm just glad criminologists don't make such glib statements otherwise we'd never help correct errant behaviour and be able to spot it when it's developing in others. Motivation is key not opportunity in all crimes and the moment we get away from realising the crime has already been committed in many mens minds before the 'opportunity' arises the better able society will be to stop it from happening.

      Of course people can be outraged by Tentacle Bento as it stands now. I would want people to express their outrage in an articulate and clear manner. So that it can be discussed sensibly. I'm not the sort of person who would EVER say just because 'X' over there is still going on 'Y' shouldn't be banned... but there's a lot of hypocrisy going on around this and that's what I find most distasteful.

    2. “Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.”

      I refuse to be afraid of something because others cannot deal with it. I refuse to stop playing shooters because they glorify violence. I refuse to stop playing toy soldiers because it glorifies war.

      Most everyone can find images that make this just completely innocent cartoon art within about half a second on the internet. If people can't trust themselves to safely consume media without destroying their fantasy/reality divide, they should please stay away from this (and most everything else).

    3. I agree Ant...

      Now quick question, did you get the quote from Mark Twain or Presidential candidate Santos from the West Wing? Be honest!!! =P

    4. Mark Twain. I didn't/don't watch the West Wing :)

    5. If Mark Twain still got royalties every time somebody quoted him he'd be the wealthiest person alive today!!! lol.

    6. Hey fair enough. I don't agree with the product and to say "my mind went there" well that's very true but it’s naive to think the creator didn't intend that connection be made is very unlikely.

      To be clear I dislike anime intensely for variety of reasons and this cards-on-table definitely informs and colours my perception as does my experience.

      "Also as somebody who studied psychology I wouldn't presume to lump the minds of all rapists together and simply say they all think alike. That is a crass over simplification my good man and is a crock of crap"

      Now I don’t want to have a tentacle measuring contest with you good sir (I’ll win ; P ) but let’s just assume we are all as well read as each other within degrees of variance and I say you are incorrect and it is borne out through numerous studies. Not ALL but a majority.

      “Of course people can be outraged by Tentacle Bento as it stands now. I would want people to express their outrage in an articulate and clear manner”

      But I went over the mark and I apologise.

      I totally agree (as above) that pulling the game is hypocritical (and pointless considering the funding just transferred over) but it’s beside the point they (Kickstarter) have that right.

      I did say "I" wouldn’t buy it. Ima not gonna lynch anyone that does but I think it’s a game we don't really need. The market disagrees but hey the market also thinks we need the Kardashians … so...herm.

    7. I'm not going to turn this into an argument about academic research into the motivation for criminal behaviour. I'm sure you are well read... but in this field I have to say there are some very poor pieces of leading research that are continually debunked by anyone with half a brain.

      We're talking about a very emotive and highly emotionally charged subject, one I myself would find very, very difficult to research without bringing my own personal judgement to the piece. Truth is their have been plenty of very well researched studies to show that why an awful lot of rapists have similar views towards women, these views are formed in very different ways. There's also plenty to suggest that not all rapists think all men think the same, and that many know they've committed a heinous crime.

      Sorry but for too long in criminology research, particularly in motivational research within psychology there has been a focus on finding the silver bullet. The root course of all this so we can invent a cure. Noble idea I guess and a laudable one... but utter bollocks, it will never work. Why? Because its sort of like schizophrenia, if all you do is diagnose the symptoms you never truly understand the cause. For too long we thought many mental health disorders were the same because the behaviour was the same.

      It does a disservice to society and the victims of such crimes not to acknowledge that there are often unique circumstances in each case. We spend far too long trying to study the similarities and making linkages that quite often aren't there, when we should be looking at the whole picture. I am more than cognisant of the research within the field having been a researcher at a university with a large grant looking into the field to know there's a lot of bad research in the field and very little good. That should also be an affront to civilised peoples everywhere that such a serious crime isn't taken as seriously as research into fraudulent behaviour.

      Getting back to Tentacle Bento, having spoken to John Caddice about the game now it's clear to me this is a case of mistaken identity. The game doesn't reference rape in anyway shape or form and only very lightly parodies a sub-set of Japanese culture, which by the way really isn't limited to Anime and Hentai alone. There are some really weird squid fetishes in Japanese culture held by both men and women, that quite frankly I don't even know where to begin with and quite simply can't comprehend... so I'll try not to judge. In simple terms Tentacle Bento actually appears to be a piss take of another Japanese Cultural phenomenon, the dating sim. Again I'm not sure where to go with that cultural phenomenon!!!

      As to the Kardashians and indeed pop culture and the cult of celebrity... it might not be for me. I might prefer documentaries on little known renaissance poets from Latvia, but I'm not going to judge others again for the ways in which they choose to nullify the grim realities of life in the 21st century. If we all liked the same things the world would be a very dull place... besides gems truly shine at their best when they placed next to a pile of crap!!! =P

    8. Ahh dude the point I was making was lets not get into a debate on that issue - perhaps we can find another blog to debate it on?

      Replying to you is such a mission you know when you have hams for hands...I am not made of reading you know!

      "Getting back to Tentacle Bento, al"

      Very true and as stated I overstepped. We're all guilty of snap judging and I leapt to a conclusion. Not something I do often I assure you.


  4. Quick! We need to act now to save our anatomically unlikely schoolgirls! If this game were to hit stores, it could easily fall into the tentacles of an impressionable young giant squid, who might believe that assaulting ridiculously buxom students is appropriate behavior! Think of the squids!

    In seriousness though (mostly), I wasn't going to bother funding this game before now, since I wasn't planning on buying it, but now I think I'll send a few of my hard-earned dollars their way. The level of offense I've seen people taking to the idea of this game seems waaay out of proportion, if you ask me. And I'll be operating on the assumption that you did, in fact, ask me. Is real-life tentacle rape such an epidemic that we need to start censoring harmless parodies? Did I sleep through yet another alien invasion? Yes, tentacle porn is weird. I don't know who got the idea to mix Lovecraft and pornography, or why it became such a well known phenomenon (Hey! I spelled that right on the first try!), but of all the questionable things you could watch, surely it's on the lower end of the "Threatening the collective safety of Mankind" meter.

    Just my thoughts.

    1. I don't know, I just shook my head over the whole thing. I thought kickstarter's whole perspective was to let the market decide if something should be funded... turn out the market did want it funded almost 3 times over within 7 days. I've seen people claim Kickstarter pulling the project was the market deciding... well sorry it is not. It's market interference.

      I fully understand why people might find the themes displeasurable or even the hint of something in such bad taste. I'm just not so sure Tentacle Bento is what people are saying it is... and even if it was I'd still defend somebodies right to make, even if I myself would refrain from purchasing such a product. I wasn't sure where I sat on the whole spectrum of the game before, and I still won't be until I see the finished product for myself.

      Because here's the thing... nobody outside of Soda Pop have actually seen the damn thing!!! So how anyone can be sure what it is or isn't is truly beyond me and utterly baffling. Sorry but it is. Perhaps I'm just too open minded, I have seen things that offend me, I'm not a totally desanitized crazed homicidal maniac pervert hell bent on the destruction of common decency. I'm just sick of people telling me what I should think, and judging those who think differently. I guess we're all guilty of that from time to time I just like to think if I stepped over the line like that I'd have the guts to apologise.

  5. Thank you for being a voice of reason in the community. I knew there was a reason why I kept returning to this blog.

    All the best,

    1. I'm glad somebody thinks I'm the voice of reasons, I've had an email off of some dimwit claiming I'm in support of rapists... *sign*... it's almost like they were out to prove every point I made in the article. lol.

      Oh and thanks for coming back to the Blog again and again. It is very much appreciated.


  6. Great post. I really enjoyed the read after watching everything happen.

    1. I just chuckled at first, shook my head and thought of all the projects on Kickstarter to get pissy about they chose this? Then I started to get annoyed. Not because they could have potentially dealt a death blow to a game and possibly materially damaged a small company trying to forge an existence in the world. No. Mainly because the articles are so badly written and are just bad journalism... especially Luke Plunketts awfully derivative brain fart of an article. It's like the bloke was a complete sock puppet for Insert Coin. Terrible, terrible piece of journalism and if the guy is paid to produce what he does somebody should ask for their money back. Very poor piece of work.

    2. Hey Frontline, I had the same reaction as you. after reading more and more articles I really got annoyed. Trying to explain your side is not well recieved. If you are not with them, you are against them. But that's the internet for you: if someone screams hard enough and loud enough it must be true right?

      thanks for writing such a well thought out article, I will be sh0wing this to a lot of people

    3. Well I'm glad you think it was well thought out and balanced. I try to be but you know, sometimes I too can descend into one-sided diatribes riddled with holes and inconsistencies in approach. We all do it, as long as we acknowledge this when we do, it's all good.

  7. Wow.......


    An anime card game? We are getting upset about make believe now?

    Not only is it not real, there isn't even any sex, nudity, or rape / violence, whatsoever.

    Tentacle Bento was merely a parody of an already existing trend in Japanese culture. This trend is B-grade anime with school girls, in very unrealistic situations. What about shows like Sailor Moon? That was aimed at kids, and fits the bill pretty well. We don't need to just jump straight to hardcore hentai do we? The game seemed to be taking the piss out of the whole genre by making it even more ridiculous.

    Either everything is funny, or nothing is. Comedy knows no boundaries. It's all how you go about it, and I think Soda Pop did a good job of staying on the "right" side of the line. They made their game and art direction ludicrously unrealistic, and whilst it was all a little cheeky, I think it was all tongue in cheek, and funny far more than it was reprehensible.

    Look, if the game contained graphic sexual images, and its aim was to rape as many girls as possible, with as many tentacles as you can, I would start to understand the moral outrage. But it's not. It contains none of those things; at all.

    I find it hilarious that a "journalist" can get their panties in a twist about sexualized cartoons, yet defends video games where your main aim is to shoot as many people in the head as you can, usually in a racially charged light (e.g. your a US soldier and your aim is to kill Middle Eastern "soldiers"). And Tentacle Bento is a card game! There isn't even any action! So it OK to play murder porn games, but not to play a card game that features sexualzed anime characters?

    In saying that, aren't a lot of female characters in all games and fantasy, sexualized? And aren't most of the men too? I can't remember the last game I played where the main male character was a fat, ugly, boring guy; can you?

    If you think Tentacle Bento is about rape, then you are filling in the gaps in your own mind; so what does that say about you? Do you think of rape whenever you see cartoon schoolgirls? Or hear the word "tentacle"?

    Also, just to throw it out there, tentacle rape doesn't actually exist, except as an idea. It's not like we actually have cases of tentacled creatures raping girls now do we? It is merely an idea, and one that has existed in Japanese culture for centuries. The move to rape is more recent, and I think a separate issue, as tentacled sex (i.e. with octopi) was actually consensual in a lot of tradition mythology.

    Just because you don't like something, or think it's morally questionable, doesn't mean everyone else does. Convincing others of your opinion doesn't make your opinion true, nor does it justify you. Prohibiting people from something you don't agree with doesn't make you righteous. All truth is subjective, and nowhere is this more apparent than with opinions.

    It's fine to not like Tentacle Bento, but you don't need to lie about it and broadcast your ill informed opinions to the rest of the world.


    1. *Stands up and applauds*

      That is all.

    2. Why thank you.

      As an aside, I think this whole controversy could have been avoided by one simple change by Soda Pop; don't use the word tentacle in the title of the game.

      If they had of called it most anything else, this wouldn't of happened.

      In saying that, now the game has gotten even more press, which will probably work in their favor in the long term.

      I thought the game looked rather silly, and wasn't going to support it, but now, I almost want to support it on principle alone!

      Maybe they wrote the article in the first place...... (dun....dun......duuuuunnnnnn).

    3. I think this whole controversy was impossible to avoid because the product is cheekily referencing a cultural phenomenon that is exceedingly well known. One that people have obvious and well established opinions about. For those individuals who take a dim view of an acutely Japanese cultural phenomenon, no amount of fiddling with the name of the product or other such tinkerings would have placated them. In their mind the product can only equate to one thing and one thing alone. It's how they view it from their perspective, such views tend to be difficult to shift and difficult to converse with because they are intransigent and defensive...

      As to Soda Pop being responsible. I don't think they are, having spoken to John the two authors actually made no attempts to contact Soda Pop prior to their articles... just bad journalism, and have subsequently taken a quote out of context of a communication John attempted to prove their twisted points, although the quote they've taken actually doesn't do that, they just say it does and it makes them look like even more of a reactionary dim wit.

    4. I was totally joking about Soda Pop being responsible.

      Just funny that the people rallying against it are merely giving it more publicity.

    5. No I know you were joking but actually some people on forums have been claiming just that as it happens. Very bizarre but it seems we live in the age of conspiracy. Nothing is just what it appears to be to some people.

  8. Hmmmm...apparently the comment I left on Insert Credit is awaiting moderation.

    I don't imagine it will be published.

    Ah, the old 'I don't like this so no one should have access' crowd.
    Gotta love 'em.

    1. Yeah, I'm going to be making a lengthly post on there too...

      How much do we bet that neither of our comments appear?

      Also, fighting urge to just troll them...

    2. They won't be published. I calmly wrote comments on both articles and asked some simple questions:

      1) Where did you get the idea the game was about tentacle rape, could you please clearly pin point it for me because I fail to see it.
      2) Have you played the game, as you seem to know what it's all about I assume you have. Therefore could you please inform us as to what it is actually like?
      3) As you are clearly an experienced and professional journalist I take it you calmly and carefully communicated with the producers of the game, in this case Soda Pop Miniatures and asked for their comment, and clarification on the product. If so why were they not represented in your one-sided badly written tripe laden diatribe?

      I have yet to receive any answers from either source and I doubt I will. Because it's very easy to spew ill-informed crap onto the Internet, it's very difficult though to then stand by and defend said crap when it is exposed for the fetid turd that it is.

    3. Woooowwwww there fella! You got this internet journalism thing all wrong!

      Opinions supported by facts? Opinions based on experience? Both sides of the issues clearly represented?

      Did you go to school or something?

      You've got it all wrong!

      This is how you do it:
      1. Write a completely biased article, based on your personal opinion, with absolutely no factual supporting evidence.

      2. Use a negatively loaded word, like "rape", as many times as you can fit it in a sentence (e.g. "I felt raped by these rapists who made this rape game about rape").

      3. Insert obligatory quote from a well respected organisation, which only serves to move the focus from the actual issue.

      4. Finish it all up with a public outcry for action, completing the circle of moral self righteousness.

      5. Post, and wait for the page count to go up.

      Now there is no need to defend your article, as anyone who disagrees with you is a degenerate, anti-social, pervert, who should be locked away to protect the children.

    4. Bishop, as you can actually see with my article I am sadly all too aware of what writing crap on the Internet is all about. I know the rules, I've listed them in the article... I just wanted to perhaps make them feel a little shame at how poorly they approached their work, and in the case of Luke a little bruised and shamed professional pride at how blisteringly dumb his entry into the 'debate' was.

  9. Thanks for the Gruntz mention. It just hit the goal today for funding!

    1. Excellent news Robin. Does that mean I'll be getting my PDF, Rulebook and Army Builder soon? :)

      Also what is the first stretch target going to be?

    2. Congratulations! I only hear good things about Gruntz - well done!

  10. On a somewhat related topic, have you seen that Soda Pop are releasing an expansion to SDE?

    Caverns of Roxor has been announced. It contains pre-assembled minis (thought you might like that :P ).

    They have also done a reprint of SDE, with new cards, etc (as in, better quality).

    I know you had very little love for the game, but I thought you may be interested to see how Soda Pop have been addressing the issues.

    1. I have indeed. John Caddice has said he'll send me a copy of the revised Super Dungeon Explore for re-review as the update looks to address many of the concerns I had about the product. If it is an improvement on the original I'll take a look at the expansion set. If not well... you get the picture!!!