Stolen Pixels #247: Her Price is Right

By Shamus
on Apr 1, 2011
Filed under:
Column

Yes, Stolen Pixels returns! I’ve decided to kick things off with a news story from… last week!

I know some people were looking forward to the rest of my comics on New Vegas, so let me say a bit more about that…

I only had one more joke written, and I’d planned to write more as the series ran. Of course, that was months ago. I haven’t touched New Vegas since then, which means I no longer have funny things to say about it. If you’re that curious, here is the other joke I had written:

Same style as the first one, narrated by the player in yellow text boxes.

Panel 1: Shot of Veronica:

Narrator: I ran into Felicia Day.

Veronica: (Says some Felicia Day quote from some other place – Dr. Horrible, The Guild, whatever.)

Narrator: She said she was good at disarming people in hand-to-hand, so I brought her along.

Panel 2: Shot of Veronica punching some dude’s arm off.

Panel 3: Narrator walking away from the camera, as in the first strip. There’s a grave in the foreground.

Narrator: I buried her in the desert.

Narrator: I hate puns.

Eh. I came back to the joke later and decided I didn’t like it.

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20201151 comments. It's getting crowded in here.

From the Archives:

  1. Even says:

    Brilliant. I like what you did with the site.

  2. Nyctef says:

    Aww, that would have been good. (I laughed, at least)

  3. Andrew B says:

    Wait, is the gag meant to be that British pounds means that it IS cheaper than his girlfriend? Is this a subtle commentary on American values regarding the rest of the world, or is it just an unfortunate error? Because pounds Sterling are worthmore than US dollars (about 1.5 dollars to the pound) making that game actually more expensive once you realise it’s in pounds, not cheaper.

    Have I over analysed this and descended into Internet nitpickery? I have, haven’t I? Sorry.

    P.S. April fool’s template loads waaaaaaaay faster than the real one for me. Pity it’s so dull.

    • Shamus says:

      Yes, pounds are more than dollars. But I liked this ending to the joke because it implies Travis doesn’t know the difference. Of course, many will assume *I* don’t know the diff, but what can you do?

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Move to europe,because our jokes are funnier.In europia!

        • X2-Eliah says:

          Nah, continental Europe’s too radical, he should go to the UK – the only part of europe that doesn’t admit being one.

          • Zak McKracken says:

            Kinda, bigot, don’t you think? But maybe that’s actually closer to how things go in the US?
            OK, so I do like it in the UK, a lot, really. It’s just freaky that lots of people talk about “Europe” as if Britain wasn’t a part of it (but still want to tell the EU what to do). Please stop that. And talk about freedom and stuff but surround themselves with cameras, at which point it becomes scary. And if you want an apartment you ned to bring a recommendation from your last landlord. if we had actually asked our former German landlady for that thing she’d have thought we’re criminals, just saying.
            But then again … alright, I’m moving there, so maybe it’s just the transition pain? I hope so.
            I just tried to imagine the nicest state in Europe, but there’s not a single one where I find nothing to complain about, so it probably comes down to a matter of taste.
            I think I’ll try to spend a year or more in as many countries as I can manage. It’s good for your horizon, I’m told.

        • FatPope says:

          Yes come to Europa, where all is heavenly. Except Ireland, where everything is rapidly going to shit! That’s why I’m moving to the UK.

      • Andrew B says:

        Too subtle for my blood, Mr Young. (I fear the tendency to assume American ignorance is too strong this side of the pond. Which is, of course, just as ignorant as that we bemoan.)

      • Dev Null says:

        Oh. Irony. I should have known better. *blush*

    • Audacity says:

      Heh, I laughed because I thought it was a joke about his, Travis that is, equating Pounds Sterling to his girlfriend’s weight. *shrug* Am I the only one who thought this; does that make me evil?

  4. krellen says:

    Didn’t you make that joke during your review of New Vegas?

  5. rrgg says:

    You changed things. . . change is bad

  6. Halfling says:

    So glad Stolen Pixels is back. Though for some reason I always laugh harder at the text beneath the comic then the comic itself. Truly Shamus you are meant for prose!

    Edit: Am I the only one who thinks the coal train car is looking at Thomas with Rape Face? I find it down right disturbing.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Yeah, now that you mention it, it is there. Then again, the blue dude looks like he’s high on something, and the yellow/blue/red one in the corner might be having an examination..
      But hey, trains with faces, whatchagonnado.

      • Soylent Dave says:

        I’m far too offended at the flagrant and deliberate missing-out of Sir Topham Hatt to look at the banner image any more.

        *sniff*

        • Andrew B says:

          The Fat Controller! His name is the Fat Controller and I will hear none of this Sir Toppam Hatt retconnery! You hear me? That’s my childhood you’re murdering!

          Hmm, time to review the medication methinks.
          Edit: also, yes the train was totally about to get his rape on. Now I can never watch Thomas and friends again.

          • Soylent Dave says:

            Fear not, your childhood remains intact – it was Rev. Awdry who named him Sir Topham Hatt, Bt*. It’s just that he doesn’t mention it very often, so I don’t blame you for thinking it was made up by Ringo Starr or something.

            And also there are at least three of him in the books (Baronet Hatt is always the Fat Controller, but it’s not always the same man…)

            *That’s Baronet, for any colonials reading. It means ‘almost as important as a Baron’.

    • Scott (Duneyrr) says:

      “Watch out, I’m gonna get ‘ya!”

  7. MichaelG says:

    In an ad pitched to gamers, I would think “cheaper than A girlfriend” would have been more appropriate.

  8. burningdragoon says:

    Interestingly enough, Veronica was indirectly responsible for me stopping New Vegas early. Had her with me for almost the whole time, did her quest and got buddy buddy with her home base. Of the 4 main quest sides, I wasn’t feeling ambitious enough to do my thing, I viciously murdered the legion camp, the NCR line bugged out and I never got the quest and Mr House wanted me to kill everyone at Veronica’s home. I was just like eh…. I don’t like these options and turned it off.

    • Someone says:

      Funnily enough, the NCR line is probably the only one that has a good ending for the BoS. ‘course they also ask you to kill everyone, but there is A Different Option. Maybe there was one with House, but, knowing House, there probably wasn’t. You can still try to do your own thing though.

      Also:

      got buddy buddy with her home base

      The first thing that sprung to my mind when I read this: you can have sex with Veronica? How?

      …I’ve played too many Bioware games.

  9. Mari says:

    Dear Marketing Execs of the World,

    Sorry, but I’m neither outraged nor offended by your Gamestop advertisements. I know it was the clear intent of your ad, much like EA’s “Your Mother Will Hate This” campaign. Sadly, I expect no better from marketing people so your outrage-based advertising tactics have no impact upon me whatsoever. You marketing people have left me so jaded and cynical that I expect, at any moment, for McDonald’s new ad strategy to be Ronald McDonald eating a baby wearing a Golden Arches onesie with the “I’m lovin’ it” slogan in the background.

    I think I lost faith in you folks a few years ago when I took a marketing survey for Harris Poll about pet food. With every question, you implied that my love for my dog was tied to what I feed him. You asked me if it was more important to feed my dog a nutritionally sound food or a food he liked to eat. You suggested that if I really loved my dog, I would give a rat’s @$$ about what shape and color combinations his kibble came in. For seven pages. Honest to Bob, seven pages of pictures of kibble combinations I had to rate. You actually asked me if I thought my dog’s affection was linked to how moist his dog food was. That’s when I broke. My dog is just happy to eat. He eats his own poo. Believe me, our love transcends your dog food and your pitiful, transparent ad campaigns.

    When I was a teen about one out of every 30 television commercials was clever or funny enough to actually make me want to buy a product. That ratio has spread a big way. I’ve seen one funny or clever ad in the last three years. This wasn’t it, in case you’re wondering. Because I’ve gathered you’re not really all that bright as a group. Either that or you think I’m almost as smart as my dog’s kibble. Either way, your industry is beneath my contempt any more. Seriously, I just don’t care anymore. Consider joining a career that would do the world more good like national politics or crash testing.

    Sincerely,
    Jaded (and you’re the one that jaded me)

    • Someone says:

      Amen to that.

      Unfortunately marketing execs are soulless, emotionless servants of Satan, so I doubt the message will get through to them.

    • some random dood says:

      Well said! (Maybe you should work in marketing – might be good if someone with a clue was there…)
      Gave up watching TV about a year or so ago. Whenever I am over at friends or family and the brain-melter is active, and I actually end up seeing some of the commercials being put out – well, I sometimes need to make my excuses and leave. People sometimes ask me if I miss watching TV, and from my very occasional glimpses of what is still on, the answer is very much a resounding NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

  10. kreek says:

    i found it funny, but as a girlfriend-less loser, i find the add to be completely impossible
    after all, nothings cheaper then my left hand >.<

  11. Zak McKracken says:

    Shamus, you said that this ad excluded married guys, I’m not quite agreeing there.
    When my wife and I got married, we agreed to still be friends. Most people we meet call her my Girlfriend (and vice versa) and we don’t object because, seriously, she actually is my Girlfriend, that spot is not vacant!
    Apart from that: The bit about the ad that I (if I was very much more uptight about these things) could find offensive is attaching a price tag to my girlfirend. I didn’t (and don’t) pay for her, much less buy her, and I seriously don’t like if people say things like “yeah, nice having a girlfriend, but it’s so expensive”, and being completely serious about it (which does happen to me at times). So you could argue that was what the ad implies. But then, hey, I don’t actually think it could or should be taken that seriously.

    • Mari says:

      I think you and a lot of other people might be missing one of the implications of the ad. Maybe it’s a regional thing but down south a “cheap” girlfriend could also be said to be easy, fast, loose, morally questionable, or downright slutty. So I took the ad to mean it that way. It implies that your girlfriend is morally questionable (but GameStop is more so). Basically it’s an insult to every female out there. That said, like I mentioned above, it doesn’t really outrage or offend me anyway because I’ve become too cynical about the marketing industry as a whole already.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Why should women be offended if someone says gamestop is more morally questionable than them?Yes it is insulting to women,but not because of this.Its insulting because it assumes that only males will buy this product(leaving the few exceptions aside).

        Personally,Id make the ad say “Cheaper than going on a date”.There,non-offensive,applicable to almost everyone,and implying that playing a video game can be just as fun as going on a date.

  12. kmc says:

    I think there are multiple off-putting ways this ad could be read, but *sigh* as a female gamer (I hate pulling that card, but it’s relevant), it doesn’t just exclude me, it insults me. And this is one of the problems with game companies’s attitudes towards women, women in games, and all the other vagina-related problems in this damn industry. They’re saying, as though with fingers in ears, “Nope, girls don’t buy games here, because games aren’t girly enough!” It’s the nominally-adult version of “girls have cooties.” It’s just like the time my now-husband and I went into Best Buy around Valentine’s Day, and their whole holiday ad campaign was, “Hey, here’s a table of stuff your girlfriend would like!” And all they’d done was take all the pink iPhone cases and purses (seriously, Best Buy?) and shove them in a pile. Note that not once in this tirade am I surprised. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t depress me every single time.
    To make it absolutely clear, the insulting thing is that they’re making a statement about who they think I am as a person, as well as everyone else who goes into the store, based on whether we go in or out. It’s stupid, and it’s as insulting to men as it is to women. I mean, unless you all like to be seen as guys who are more interested in a sexy, high-maintenance bitch than a lovely woman with whom you share interests.

  13. anna says:

    Hey Shamus!

    I have to say this is the first time I can remember not thinking Stolen Pixels was funny (given the funny:unfunny ratio of most webcomics, that’s a compliment, by the way).

    But, as kmc commented already (and I would like to add my own $.02 in), it’s not whether the girl is ‘cheap’ or ‘expensive’ that is the problem. It’s the suggestion that she has monetary worth in the first place. It’s objectifying in the worst sense – the idea underlying suggestions that women have monetary worth is that women are vending machines: input money, output attention (and the suggestion is often that this attention is of a sexual nature).

    So, that’s the part of the advertising that is abhorrent. And comparing that advertising with the content of the game is disingenuous – whether or not the game has race problems, the advertising certainly has sexism problems, and suggesting that one of these things should somehow invalidate the other is a fallacy.

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