Okay, Pig Hug can stay. Good work, Jim. Any luck with that winky trans mouse girl I asked for?

Yeah, I know, four kilobytes, just kinda focus on the ears and do the best you can.

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Well it's a damn sight more fun than Space Invaders, that's fer damn sure, and we keep one of those around for some reason. Maybe to remind ourselves of the shit we used to play when we didn't have nothin' better to do. It was Space Invaders or go look fer interestin' bones down by the river.

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Oh, you reprogrammed it so he's goin' down to introduce himself an' establish diplomatic relations, I see, sure ya did. What about the whole blowin' 'em up like balloons until they pop mechanic, huh?

What? Cookies an' hugs?

Oh, Pig HUG, I see.

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You can't just make him a pig and have it all be okay, Jim!

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Jim Dig Dug is about a guy who digs down into the homes of some peaceful creatures who ain't hurtin' nobody an' kills them horribly for no dang reason at all! He don't have to be down there! There ain't even treasure or shit! He went down there to KILL, Jim! You think you can rehabilitate THAT shit? It's awful! It's the first game where there's NO doubt AT ALL that you're playin' the villain!

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So I guess we're announcin' that we got ourselves a new game in today called Pig Hug, it's one of a kind and you can't buy it from the bastards at GamesTop 'cause it's what our lawyer calls an "unauthorized bastardization." You play as a pig who goes an' invades the homes of these subterranean Jim hold on a sec now

Jim

You tellin' me you suddenly got woke an' decided you was gonna enwokeify fuckin' DIG DUG

THE MOST AWFUL GAME IN THE DAMN ARCADE

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To which I said it was a little early for such conversation an' would he like some coffee, and lookin' at the state of his stubble did he even go home last night, to which he replied no he did not, he was busy turnin' Dig Dug into Pig Hug, to which I replied whatever makes you happy Jim

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Anyways, his point was it's easier an' less societally problematic to encode CAT as distinct from GIRAFFE inside sixteen by sixteen pixels an' four colors than it is to encode WOMAN as distinct from MAN given the same limitations, an' in so doing one might also be encouraged to abandon the idea of a male player character as a default state against which a female character would be treated as a variation.

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And THEN he said well, if Pacman were a cat, then Ms Pacman coulda been a husky or some kinda snake thing an' they wouldn't of had to give her traditionally-feminine-stereotyped features to distinguish her from regular pacman, whom he's taken to callin' Mister Pac-Gal lately on account of a meme he saw.

(to give it credit it was a pretty funny meme)

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I told him now Jim, yer gonna hafta connect the dots for me here, an' he starts rantin' on about the male gaze and the limitations of early videogame hardware, and on about how Mario's only got a mustache 'cause they had half a dozen pixels to make his face with, and how in the early days the lack of memory kinda encouraged the artists to caricature everythin' to the point o' outright stereotyping.

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Anyway we been updatin' old nudie Qix knockoffs to replace the anime girls with nice wholesome shirtless fox guys, and Jim's come to the conclusion that these games shouldha been full o' funny animals from the start, 'cause humans is bullshit.

I asked him to elaborate on this thesis, an' by way of supporting evidence he pointed to Ms Pacman.

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Hello neighbour. Jim's been doin' a journey o' self-discovery an' reflection on himself an' his role in society when it comes to the artwork in crappy old vidyagames, an' he's come to some kinda out-there conclusions.

Now Jim's a salt-o'-the-earth type an' I don't necessarily agree with some of the things he's sayin', but he raises some interestin' points that might provoke some rich discussion so I think they're worth explorin', if you'll indulge me a little.

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Pop a couple shirtless cat ladies in there too, shots from the back, lil' cheeky but keep it PG, y'know. Some non-binary characters too, why the heck not, right? Jim, think you can encode a trans mouse lady winkin' at the camera?

What's that? Lemme check... that's be four kilobytes per image, Jim.

Well I'm sure there's things you can do Jim

C'mon Jim buddy, you can do it.

I believe in you

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Now, all that Japanese shit's yesterday's news, the kids today get their jollies from them animal people like @RobinHood an' that there bear from the toilet paper commercials, so that's what we're gonna do. Nice, wholesome, broad-appeal shirtless fox guys. Whole bank o' them right in front, probably stick 'em in some o' them Japanese candy cabs with the big 27" monitors. Keep it family-friendly at least in the first levels, maybe some butts once you're five bucks in up level twenty or whatever

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Back then you could squeeze five bucks' worth o' quarters into gettin' a glimpse o' pixelated armpit and folks'd be happy. An' these games were a product of their time, y'know, a lil' outdated by the standards of today.

But that ain't to say people don't like paying a quarter to test their skill and try an' see some pretty person with no shirt on. So, Jim and I have talked it over, and here's what we're gonna do. He's got himself a ROM burner and we're gonna update some images.

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Oh, I never did say hello, did I? Sorry, we've had a busy week, I'm forgettin' my manners. Hiya neighbour. Jim and I are thinkin' on some new measures to expand our notoriety a little.

So far what we've got is, well, y'remember them horny Qix knockoffs? You'd move the little cursor around to reveal some nudey cartoon lady, pixel by pixel, you remember those? Back before people got all kinda weird right in their phones all the time, y'know. More innocent age.

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Dang it Jim I think we lost her

We'll jus' have to think o' somethin' ourselves

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@RobinHood Sarah

Sarah you thinkin'?

You been starin' six minutes now Sarah

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Y'all see that big sign over yonder in the food court, with the cartoon thermometer? Well, it's one o' them fundraisers fer the needy n'at.

gofundme.com/f/mastodon-commun

See that fox guy @RobinHood standin' next to it with no shirt on?

SARAH, YOU SEE HIM?

That there's the kinda advertisin' we need, Sarah. Hotdog pit worked pretty well for a couple days, we need somethin' new. Have a think on it, Sarah.

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gamestop.store

gamestop.store is a game retail roleplaying instance. i don't know either, y'all