Recent cringeworthy things

The new big thing in the penoid world is a reboot of a sort-of-Japanese (but actually hugely #problematic because orientalism) themed card game.

One of the things they do at the beginning of events is have the organiser yell “UTZ!” and they all reply “BANZAI!!!”. I watched them do this on a stream yesterday. Seeing a room full of Comic Book Guys - some in homemade game-themed robes - chanting a phrase that has awful WW2 connotations without a shred of self-awareness made me cringe so hard I was worried I’d rupture something.

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time to give up the Penoiding?


I’d like to see a picture of these homemade game themed robes.


It’s the same company that makes Netrunner and they seem completely tone-deaf about this. When the other penoids are making fun of something, you know it’s gone too far.

Can’t believe I’m going to have to witness this shit at events.

I can’t imagine voicing your concerns is going to go down very well. My brother is a penoid and he’s absolutely tone-deaf about this kind of thing.

People have been trying. It’s really weird, because Netrunner is really big on diverse character representation in the game (none of the core characters are white men, there are several trans* characters, etc etc).

One of the big review sites is great on this stuff, so I’m trying to get them to talk about it instead. Might get through that way.

This is the one that did me an injury:

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We had a guy in the office storm into our part and start talking shit about parking in disabled bays, saying that it was totally fine and he didn’t care. He didn’t realise that one of the clients was in, and his son is in a wheelchair and has a mobility car and stuff. you could cut the air in the room with a knife.



he’s got his dressing gown on back to front

Why are the people on the left all checking their arses?


Although I’m sure you yourself are the very model of a modern man, I can’t imagine the level of personal hygiene at the events is through the roof.

In fact, I imagine it smells like a CeX.

Is this the case? I’d be quite pleased if I’m wrong.

Yeah it’s really bad. Most of my lot are fine, but at large mixed board game cons the smell in some of the areas is… indescribable.

I distinctly remember having to leave a room in one because the whole area smelled like unwashed arse. Awful, awful scenes.


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I was behind a guy with dreadlocks at a Deftones gig in Glasgow and have genuinely never smelled anything worse. It was the scent of death.

I wonder why there’s such a correlation between people who like playing games/listening to metal and not washing one’s arse.

I think about this a lot. I think one angle that we need to be careful about is that as “outsider” hobbies (sort of) there is probably a higher proportion of people with various mental illnesses at these things than in the general population, for whom personal hygiene is either difficult or not that well understood.

But it’s also cultural. Those spaces need to make it clear that it’s not acceptable to ignore those parts of the social contract in those spaces. And some of them do.

For my part I slightly overdo it to try to shift the status quo at these things. I’m always freshly showered and shaved, nice jeans and ironed (casual) shirt on. Doubt anybody notices tbqfh but it’s about trying to alter the demographic however I can.

Slightly disappointed with what followed this as I’d already pictured you in a 3 piece suit with a monocle and cane.

Agree re: mental illnesses, it’s tricky. it probably is largely due to the 'outsider’ness – where most people reach a certain age and start caring about boys/girls, and realise the need for extra personal attention, if this is of no interest to you (or you just see it as something other people do) you probably don’t bother and continue sitting in your room for hours playing games.


I hope he was massively embarrassed by this

There is a regular (really good, he fucking ruined me the only time we’ve played) player who does basically this.

I think there’s also the aspect of it being self-selecting. Or rather, exclusionary or off-putting to normos. I don’t go to one of the local meets when it’s warm out because it’s a stuffy, poorly-ventilated space. There have got to be people who go to one of these things to check them out and never come back after getting a whiff of it.