Running with Scissors

By Shamus Posted Sunday Jan 22, 2006

Filed under: Rants 10 comments

Fair warning: Most of the links in this post are mildly NSFW

Rockstar Games, makers of Grand Theft Auto, manage to get the lion’s share of negative press for the content of their games, but they are mild compared to the guys over at Running with Scissors.

I’ve never seen a company like this. At the bottom of each page is a banner that proudly proclaims, “We Support The Troops”. They curse on their own news page, in the forum guidelines, and pretty much everywhere else. The fan art section is filled with crude crayon drawings, bizzare screenshots, and pictures of real guns. Check out the disclaimer at the bottom of the “About Us” page:

This site contains content not approved for consumption by children, senators, religious leaders and/or other easily damaged psyches, those seeking to enhance or establish political careers and/or possessed of delusions of grandeur. If accidentally exposed, flush eyes with cold water and induce vomiting. If irritation persists, sit quietly and watch PBS. Not for internal use. This site and its related products/propaganda are GUARANTEED not to make you go blind, masturbate (and THEN go blind), become a social liability, induce you to act out atrocities that you would otherwise never indulge in, or burn eternally in hell. Running With Scissors accepts NO responsibility for any and all random acts of stupidity or violence committed by losers who may blame popular entertainment media and/or sugary snack foods for causing their inherent basic lack of control. You’re on your own. Thank you and good night.

There is something here to offend everyone. For right wingers, you have pictures of half-naked women holding copies of the game and links to (I’m assuming, I’m not the clicking sort in these matters) porno sites. For the lefties, you have unqualified support of our troops, not to mention a very un-PC video game where you gun down (among other things) rednecks and Arabs. Amazing.

You could read their page and conclude they must be lunatics out to offend the world, but every once in a while their mask of insanity slips and you catch a glimpse of the folks underneath. Occasionally you’ll read an official statement and get an idea of where these guys are coming from. It’s a sort of test: Do you support free speech? Are you sure about that?

Politics being what they are, I’m betting the full spectrum of people from Hillary to Delay, if asked in front of a camera, would support some effort to shut these guys down. For the children.

But now my point:

When was the last time you saw a company that seemed to exist to prove a point? These guys have something more important on their mind than money. There is no doubt they could dial their products down and make themselves a lot more cash. The whole “controversy” thing doesn’t sell games nearly as well as having the game on the shelf at Wal-Mart. They are, on purpose, pissing away profits by making their game so over-the-top that most retailers refuse to carry it. In a lot of ways, I think they are the gaming equivalent of Howard Stern.

I’m a Christian man. Let’s go ahead and say that I consider myself to be devout. People who know me know that I’m given to thanking Jesus for things and praying. I’m offended by a lot of this stuff, but I wish them all the luck in the world.

Link via eToychest.


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10 thoughts on “Running with Scissors

  1. AndrewNZachsDad says:

    Amen, brother.

  2. Brendan says:

    Wow, I am so amazingly torn I have no idea what my opinion is.
    I think that I’d have to kind compromise by pointing out that while it’s important to support the first amendment (it’s #1 for a good reason) Misusing that right, just to prove that you can seems a bit silly, especially if it offends a large number of people. On the other hand, such an experiment is both pretty neat and philosophically interesting, so I have no idea.

  3. Brother None says:

    I have to disagree with the conclusion of this post. I believe this is one of those cases where the product offered by a company is so terribly poor, they are fully aware that it will not sell unless they stick to a very specific demographic by appealing to them with the least sophisticated form of marketing technique available–softcore porn and unnecessary profanity.

  4. Ravens_Cry says:

    I agree, free speech includes the right to be wrong, otherwise, it is not free speech at all.

  5. Mardiggan says:

    I have to disagree with the conclusion of this post. I believe this is one of those cases where the product offered by a company is so terribly poor, they are fully aware that it will not sell unless they stick to a very specific demographic by appealing to them with the least sophisticated form of marketing technique available”“softcore porn and unnecessary profanity.

    I believe that the market value of blatant softcore porn and unnecessary profanity is dramatically overrated. The disclaimer quoted in the original rant states a number of key points that have long been highly controversial, and what was said in said rant is undeniable: controversy doesn’t sell like having your product on a Wal-Mart shelf does. I think we all know that taste and quality are not particularly high on Wal-Mart’s list of criteria (Jesus action figures? Can we say ‘idolatry,’ nice and loud, for that portion of the population that has yet to figure out the definition of ‘hypocrite’..?)

    If it was all about the porn and the profanity, then they could easily try less inflammatory tactics by way of defending themselves than telling people they’re fake for being offended.

  6. kurye says:

    Twenty Sided » Blog Archive » Running with Scissors great article thank you.

  7. Bryan says:

    Awesome post man. :)

  8. Jokerman89 says:

    Not sure if you will get this because its an old post but…

    “This web page at has been reported as an attack page and has been blocked based on your security preferences.”

    6th link on the page

  9. Sentinel says:

    Awesome post – and a very interesting take on the company statement.

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