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Terrible mid-2000 gaming comics are being revived on Twitter

Sometimes, the past should stay buried.


Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Published Jun 29, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 1:28 am CDT

The video game-themed webcomics of the mid-2000s were, for the most part, very bad, but there were so very many of them. Collectively, they seemed to stand for the propositions that women are incomprehensible breast-having space aliens and that one’s preference in gaming console makes any difference whatsoever. Their heroes were often thin stand-ins for the authors, their dialogue was often very bad, and their portrayals of relationships were unrealistic. It would be great to bury that shameful chapter of the internet, but we can’t, because Twitter just dredged it up. Now everyone’s looking back on the dripping piles of webcomic garbage they enjoyed just 10 short years ago.

The unsealing of the bad webcomics time capsule began with this wildly popular tweet from @ABigBagOfKeys, who wrote, “[in this thread] post the most mid-2000s video game webcomic you can find.”

His own example is a “Girlz n Games” strip that leans heavily on the overused “the cake is a lie” punchline from the game Portal. If video game references make no sense to you, just think of quoting “the cake is a lie” as the gaming equivalent of wearing a Napoleon Dynamite “Vote for Pedro” t-shirt. It overstayed its welcome in precisely the same way.

The tweet has been shared thousands of times, and the thread now contains at least 50 shining examples of the mid-2ks gaming comic aesthetic. Most of them had bigger problems than just a dated reference or two. Characters spent a lot of time insulting one another in ways that were more embarrassing than creative or funny:

They also spent a lot of time objectifying women. Especially their breasts:

And with advocating their favorite consoles, or attacking competing systems:

They also spent a lot of time attacking conservative attorney Jack Thompson, the anti-gaming bogeyman of the time. Ultimately, he proved no threat to a multi-billion-dollar industry, but webcomics creators insisted on passionately defending their hobby anyway.

A lot of people on the comics thread shared the same sentiment: Why did anyone bring these strips up again? It’s an uncomfortable look back at a culture that hasn’t really come as far in the intervening decade as one might hope.

Well, it’s been, uh … fun? … to reexamine this unfortunate phase in internet history. Now, let’s hit the showers.

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*First Published: Jun 29, 2017, 6:00 am CDT