Excerpt From Fargo Fond Farewell
The Daily Victim
Needless to say, I enjoy writing. And we were looking for a way that I could get more of my writing on the site in a way that would build traffic. The idea? THE DAILY VICTIM. I’d write a short piece every day, accompanied by a quick sketch from Penny-Arcade’s Gabe. The Daily Victim was born. Users could rank victims and the highest-voted ones would return, along with a full-color illustration.
Here’s a great example of the Daily Victim in action. First, a group of twenty-somethings decide to bury a Sinistar Arcade machine in the graveyard when it dies. Users liked this victim so much that it returned for a sequel, where the machine is dug back up. Hilarity ensues.
Halfway through the run of the Daily Victim, Gabe decided to turn his full attention to the Penny Arcade site, and after a brief hiatus the feature returned with the excellent Lemuel “HotSoup” Pew providing the art. If you’re interested, HotSoup now illustrates BlankIt comics, which are a lot of fun.
I would’ve thought a daily feature like this would’ve done great traffic for us. The people who read it loved it. To this day, I still get emails and comments about the Daily Victim, more so than any other work I’ve written. And I always felt it was some of my best writing on GameSpy. But – here’s the cold reality of writing gaming editorial – the traffic wasn’t there. For all the work that I put into it, and the money we spent on artists, the Daily Victim never got a ton of traffic. Early in 2004 things came to a head – I had brought aboard a third artist and had sketched up a new redesign, but I couldn’t justify the resources to relaunch the Daily Victim site because of its low numbers.
If you’re interested in what could have been, here’s a mockup I had created of the site I wanted. The site would read almost like a blog written by recurring characters. It would’ve been years ahead of its time. Hold on a second – now the weeping – okay, I’m better now.
It’s fun to read all the Daily Victims from the very beginning, but if you don’t have that much time, here are some of my favorites:
Finally, one of the best short stories I’ve felt I’ve ever written: