By: Stephen Crane (Photo: Courtesy PA Report)
Just yesterday one of the newest wings of the Penny Arcade Megacorp opened: The PA Report. So far it's been received happily by a large audience with only a little controversy regarding a man's facial hair.
Ever since Ben Kuchera announced he would be leaving his position at ArsTechnica, there were some questions regarding the direction he was going to take in his new assignment. Would one person be able to cover all of gaming news? Was he even going to try? Is Penny Arcade reaching too far in being more than a comic site?
As of the first post last night, fears were quickly set aside. It's become obvious what The PA Report is about. It's about coverage of not just games: but criticism, analysis, and stories. It's a place where the discussion of video games is raised to a new height with high journalistic standards.
It doesn't hurt that Ben Kuchera has always been an amazing writer, but with the apparent freedom given to him by Penny Arcade, it's obvious he is hoping to create a source for the best of games journalism.
Ben Kuchera won't be the only writer featured on the site. A special section of The PA Report will be called "The Cut." It's where the best features around the web will be curated for all fans to see. Anyone can submit a relevant link. If an article is chosen, a blurb will be posted with the name of the author and publication along with the reason why you should check out what the author has to say. It's a brilliant system, really.
The quality firsts posts of the newest news source have even cause one writer to apologize for his misconceptions of what the site was supposed to be. I highly recommend you read Ben's interview with Gabe Newell. Yes, the brilliant Gabe from Valve now sports a beard.
The new site didn't escape a bit of controversy, however. Luke Plunkett wrote about Gabe's beard last night, only to wake up today to a firestorm of attacks questioning his ethics. The picture he posted apparently lacked the watermark of The PA Report.
This morning Ben tweeted "The first site to take one of our images and chop off the watermark is @Kotaku! Keep it classy, guys!" A post was also created on Reddit decrying the lack of a watermark. Ten hours after Ben's tweet, Luke apologized and explained what happened, describing it as an error in posting and completely unintentional. All in all, the problem was quickly resolved with a proper apology and Ben seems okay with everyone now. Also, expect another awesome beard on Friday.
I'm incredibly happy for Ben Kuchera, the team at Penny Arcade, and the future of The PA Report. Its focus on quality over page views, and on posting only when there is something to post about is sure to raise the bar in games journalism.
Ben, with the page up for only one day, you've already made a devoted reader in me. I look forward to the continued success of The PA Report.