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Open Letter To Penny Arcade

Here's a copy of the letter I sent to the Penny Arcade guys tonight. It's unedited other than the addition of hyperlinks I've included for our readers' benefit.
Mike and Jerry,

I've been a fan of PA for years. It's been awesome to watch your comic, Child's Play, and PAX evolve. You're a huge inspiration to me.

Unfortunately, I'm somewhat disappointed by your decision to donate money to the ESA. I understand the following reasons for your choice:

1. You wanted to show that uninformed maniac Jack Thompson up
2. You surmised that the ESA would have been Paul Eibeler's choice of charity
3. The ESA fights for some noble causes, such as the current court case in California

Those are all understandable reasons and I agree with them. However, a further examination of the ESA reveals it as an organization that:

1. Is a staunch defender of the DMCA. The DMCA is a notably anti-consumer, anti-gamer and anti-competitive piece of legislation.
2. Is opposed to console modchips. Another anti-gamer stance on their part. While modchips have obvious piracy ramifications, there are plenty of legal and legitimate uses for them as well.
3. Is opposed to the emulation/abandonware scene, without which many classic pieces of home and arcade software would literally be lost forever
4. Is a spokesperson for the billion-dollar game publishing industry. With the billions of dollars raked in by the industry every year, do they really need a charity to speak on their behalf? Is the ESA even a charity?

It seems to me that the ESA, while espousing some worthwhile causes along with their anti-consumer/anti-game causes, is basically the game-industry equivalent of the RIAA or MPAA. It's clearly your money to spend and not mine, but I'm sad that you supported an organization that alternately supports and fights our great hobby.

-John Booty

PS: I hope that you will address the questions I've raised in a future news post. Others are wondering the same thing. If you reply to me via email instead, would it be permissable to share your reply with our readers?
I removed our previous article because it's less concise than this letter, but it's here if you really want to read it. Additionally, OB member Skriker made an informative post about some of the positive aspects of the ESA.

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