Long Live Tentacle Bento!

Hey everyone! I’m taking a break from my scintillating blogs on Avatar romance this week to discuss something that I stumbled upon while cruising the internet: Tentacle Bento. A game that got pulled off of Kickstarter for what we can assume are “moral” reasons. Moral reasons that, as far as I’m concerned, can go *grumble*mumble* themselves.

So what exactly is Tentacle Bento and why am I passing up an opportunity to write about Avatar in order to blog about it? Well I’ll tell you…

Tentacle Bento is a card game put together by  one John Cadice, and is described on their website as being “a cheeky, fast playing trick taking card game for 2 to 4 players.  Each game puts you in the enviable position of being a horrid, tentacle flailing, slime oozing monster from outer space.  Cleverly disguised (of course) as an adorable, and newly enrolled student at Takoashi University, an all-girls school nestled in scenic Japan.” If you can’t see where that set up is going, then let me help you

“Looks like it’s going to be another all nighter…”

So yeah, it’s pretty much a card game about tentacle rape. Horrible, un-tasteful, hilariously ridiculous tentacle rape. You heard me. I’m going to go on the record and say that, despite how horrible and damaging rape is in real life, it is not impossible for the subject to become comedic in certain mediums; this being one of them. In fact I’d pretty much go on record and say that no subject is outside the purview of comedy. If racism and sexism can become staples in the stand-up routines of comedians everywhere, then I’m pretty sure anything can. That’s just how comedy works. Clearly, not everyone agrees with me.

But be honest with yourself for a second; the idea of a tentacle alien coming down to Earth for the express purpose of molesting, groping and raping every cute girl he sees is patently ridiculous. Of all the things a monster from outer-space would want to do with his time here on Earth, you mean to tell me that “stealing the virtue” of young Japanese woman is top on his list? That makes about as much sense as two guys jumping into a telephone booth to travel through time for a school report, or a guy finding the all-powerful mask of Loki which he then uses to conga dance with the local police department and wolf-whistle like a cartoon character…

Comedy is all about ridiculous ideas, that’s its lively hood, its bread & butter. And while there are certainly people out there who find the idea of woman getting felt up by tentacles to be solely “exhilarating”, (and who am I to stop them?) I think it’s also safe to say that the “tentacle rape” genre and sub-culture is easily ridiculous enough for people to also find it hilarious. This is what bring me to my complaint over Kickstarter cutting the funding to this game; the fact that there are legitimate people out there (like me) who would fund a game like Tentacle Bento, but are now being told that we aren’t allowed to!

“Sucker every minute.”

You can call me a terrible person, a pervert, a sicko… whatever. I realize that my opinion on this game (and others like it) aren’t mainstream and I’m OK with it. I’ve never been one to shy away from something, no matter how “odd” or “wrong” it might be; and I don’t plan on starting now. One can’t obtain true knowledge or wisdom if they limit themselves to any one side of it. That’d be like reading the first Harry Potter book and then claiming you knew all about the whole series. That’s not how things work. And besides, no one is saying that you have to agree with something in order to understand it.

I mean, I get it; the real world is an ugly and terrible place. I live there too ya know. But there comes a point in time when the best way to deal with something is to make light of it. I think we can all agree that the Holocaust was a pretty horrible thing, but that doesn’t stop people from comparing their boss at work to Hitler or calling someone a “Grammar Nazi”. Funny thing though, the last time I checked correcting someone on their spelling and grammar wasn’t the same as gassing them, starving them to death and then using their flesh to make a lamp shade. Yet people use those terms anyway and life moves on.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why people would be mad at this game or want it to never see the light of day. I get it, I do. But once you start drawing the line on artistic expression you can’t really go back. And if I can walk into a store and buy some straight up porn, why can’t I play a card game that simply plays off and satires a niche genre of erotica?

“But Jason!” you might cry. “No one is saying you can’t play it. Kickstarter is just saying that they don’t want to support it. Clearly they have the right to make that call for themselves no?”

I’m sure they have a good reason for fighting over those panties…

Well you’re right, they do.

But the whole point of Kickstarter is to provide developers with a way to get funding from interested parties without going through all the usual bells and whistles. It is designed to let any idea, no matter how obscure or odd, find the funding it needs from those who would support it. Once you start barring and denying certain projects or genres from this service you also start saying what “is” and what “isn’t” allowed to be supported by its fans. I don’t know about you, but that sounds an awful lot like censorship to me. Why can I donate money towards one cause but not another? Shouldn’t be the one to decide which one deserves my money?

Which is why I hope, for all our sakes, that games like Tentacle Bento continue to be made despite all this nonsense. Because as soon as we start drawing the line between what is and is not acceptable, we find ourselves behind a wall of our own making. A wall that slowly, but surely, turns into a cage of which there is no escape…

…and Hilarious!

One thought on “Long Live Tentacle Bento!

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