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Game Grumps/Dan Avidan and Arin Hanson


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Who Are They?

Game Grumps are a very popular Let's Play channel on YouTube consisting of Arin Hanson (also known by his Newgrounds username Egoraptor) and Dan Avidan, also of the band Ninja Sex Party. 

 

Originally, the Grumps were Arin and Jon Jafari. But in 2013, Jon left to pursue his own channel and work. A true explanation was never given, so rumors abound in the YouTube world, but I'll get to that in the Controversies section (; After Jon's departure Arin brought Dan on and the rest is history. 

 

What is Game Grumps?

The main series is Dan and Arin playing whatever video games they want, occasionally bringing on guests. Steam Train WAS a spinoff series where Ross O'Donovan, ex-editor Barry Kramer, and sometimes Dan and/or Arin played Steam or non-console games, but Ross stopped making videos with the Grumps this past year, so it's essentially ended Steam Train. Recently, the Grumps have begun a live-action series called 10-Minute Power Hour where they do odd things like play vintage board games, make each other out of Play-Doh, or use children's makeup playsets. 

 

Controversies

 

The Grumps are not without their fair share of controversies, even sparking a subreddit where fans and ex-fans post about their frustrations with the Grumps and the series. Here's a rough rundown, in the best chronological order I can get!

The JonTron Controvery

First, the Jon controversy. Many often speculate as to why Jon left. There's the theory that Suzy, Arin's now-wife, was the cause of the rift between him and Jon. (Thanks to @PurinPrincess for that old comment on the post about just Suzy, haha.) One outlandish version of that theory I remember seeing was the allegation that Jon and Suzy got into an argument and he punched her, but that is almost DEFINITELY an insane rumor that hardly anyone takes seriously. Other people say that Jon just didn't like her. Another thing people often say (and I tried hard to find a link for someone specifically talking about this but I couldn't find anything quickly. When I do, I'll edit the link in) is that Jon started to feel bogged down by always having to film Grump episodes and never having the time to work on his own channel, which is probably the most likely scenario. The Grumps themselves addressed this question at a con recently, citing that Arin and Jon just grew apart creatively more or less. Dan adds in this panel that "recent events" have solidified the decision, which is almost surely in reference to Jon's controversy with racism. 

Suzy the Scammer?

Next, the Suzy controversy. Just generally speaking, fans are kind of hard on Suzy. A lot of it is deserved, but a lot of it is pretty extra, which makes sense, a lot of times the internet is very unfair on women, especially in a male-dominated scenario like the Grumps channel. But one thing that was definitely deserved was the controversy with Suzy's Etsy shop. Here's a good link to a reddit post giving a rundown. Here's another link, and another.  Basically, Suzy was caught buying wholesale goods/jewlery/accessories and selling them at a huge markup on Etsy, often times barely really changing anything when it came to the designs she purported to have worked so hard on. It's a shitty thing to do, but the worst part IMO is that Suzy went out of her way to tell everyone that she actually supported local shops, drove out to stores to buy real geodes for her jewelry, etc. 

Channel Going Downhill

Finally, a quick explanation of some recent controversy. So, if you visited the link to r/rantgrumps, I'm sure you noticed plenty of people are not happy with the way the series has turned out. For starters, in the past, the Grumps edited out downtime -- areas where they had to play levels over and over to beat them, long cutscenes, time-wasting dialogue that doesn't advance plot, etc. Now they hardly edit anything at all. There are several episodes where they're struggling with a game and Dan suggests fast forwarding, and Arin always says "no no it's fine keep it in". The problem is, when they're in these situations, it's almost always Arin playing (more on that later) and when Arin gets frustrated he starts to act really ragey and yell a lot to be funny, and it's extremely repetitive for one thing and for another, it just prolongs the struggle because once he gets focused on trying to rage for lulz, he stops caring as much about how he does in the game. 

Secondly, Arin plays the games about 98% of the time. The only games Dan really plays are ones that he remembers from his childhood. But even in that situation, it's not always the case. For example (and this is something that in particular really annoyed me), in an earlier episode, Dan talked about how much he loved playing Wave Race 64 when he was a kid, saying it was one of his favorite games. In a later episode the Grumps played it, and Arin said that he played off screen to unlock everything for them so Dan could play the game he loved so much, but Dan didn't want to play. And you could tell Arin was at least a little disappointed. It just struck me as uncharacteristically blasé of Dan to seemingly ignore his friend going out of his way to unlock everything for him.

Thirdly, Arin has begun a worrying path of playing games he doesn't enjoy, in some cases ones he flat out hates, and complaining the entire time. He doesn't have to play Majora's Mask if he hates it, and he says he does... yet play MM he did, and predictably, he said a lot of things that pissed off people who loved the game. (I don't think that part is such a big deal, but IMO if a Let's Player isn't having fun playing the game, the viewer is more than likely not having fun watching it. And it gives the feeling that they're phoning it in if they're not doing this to try to have fun.) 

Here's a couple other (link 1) examples (link 2) of why people believe they've gotten lazy.

Continued Use of Racist Jokes

Finally, probably the worst of it all, is the fact that a lot of times the Grumps rely on racist humor. Personally, do I think they are racist? No, it's clear they are not. However, they do make a lot of racist jokes that people call them on, and they never learn or listen. Dan is nearly 40 himself, so I get that when he came of age humor was a lot more off color about racism, but that's not really an excuse IMO, especially when Dan wants to point fingers at JonTron for being racist. I'm not as hardcore as the strident Tumblr SJWs about humor stuff, but my rule of thumb is you should punch up, not down. If your joke is making fun of racism by making the racist person the butt of the joke, that's fair game. But what the Grumps usually do is just make some cheap lame joke that capitalizes on hella old stereotypes that everyone knows are racist by now and it's not even funny. The "dirty Armenian" example in this link is, in my opinion, an example of the "punching up" type of joke, because in the context they used it, they were making a joke about how Big the Cat from Sonic is a huge simpleton and it would be really ridiculous if he were racist against Armenians. But the majority of their other examples are pretty bad, honestly.

 

So, I think I've written a novel, lol. Hopefully I did everything right! What do you guys think? I'm a fan still and I have been since Jon was on (I do not like Jon anymore), but I have to admit, I've been noticing more and more things about them lately that really bother me, which is what made me wanna make this post.

Edited by loversalibi
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I'm a huge fan of GG, I think they're pretty sweet and went from a casual fan to a huge one after seeing them live here in Sweden because of how the interacted with their fans. Especially during the Q&A where people asked very sensitive questions they handled it perfect, talking briefly about their own experiences with said subject and then let it go back to the person that asked, so nothing was ever simply only made about themselves. What REALLY won me over, call me cheesy and easy, but was when a guy in a wheelchair that had to struggle to speak because of his handicap. Just by how they listened with their every being (easy to tell on their body language) to pick up on what he said between him trying to speak together with the Swedish accent was really sweet, and they somehow managed to understand him despite said accent. I also like that Arin talks a lot about equality and feminism in some videos, but despite me being really attached to Dan I get frustrated with what a brodude he can be at times.

Though I think one other thing with the Grumps' channel as of late, is that they don't fully keep up with the times. When the channel started you could still only upload 10-15min videos at most, except in some odd cases I never figured out. Now Youtube allow longer videos which a lot of Let's Players (at least those I personally follow) have adapted to that by editing longer videos (20-25min), which works well because they can show themselves making more progress in a game even during one-offs, and also when they're doing long cuts where they fail a lot. Grumps editing uses a style that would work so much better in that said format, if they're not going to fast forward more then they need to make longer episodes (especially considering how many seconds of those short episodes are occupied by intro and outro). I know they've touched on this in one of their videos recently, and they said they get really tired when they try to do that but I just think they're gotten comfortable with the way things are now. 

Honestly, I don't think the channel is going downhill at all. But I don't think it's going ANYWHERE, they are stuck in time. These guys are clever, but sooo lazy at times.

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"stuck in time" is a really good way to put it actually. like there are things that i've noticed but the people who talk the most about how the channel is going downhill are almost always people who watch every new episode religiously anyway so clearly it can't be that awful

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I started watching GG back when Jon was still around. I miss their side shows like Steam Train and Table Flip, but since Barry and Ross are hardly involved anymore it wouldn't be the same without them.

I usually keep their videos playing in the background while I'm doing other things and I don't keep up as often as I used to. Tbh watching Arin play is so painful, he can be awful at times and completely miss things or fuck up a thousand times before he gets it right. I'm kind of attached to Dan since he plays like he knows what he's doing, despite the fact that he makes a Jewish joke every other video. I can see how people think they're going down in quality, but to me I don't think they're changing at all. The only difference between their old and current videos is the amount of times Arin would start beatboxing and Dan would sing during episodes.

I appreciate what they've done to help charities since their channel is so big they use it to donate money during streams. 

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i've actually noticed one major difference and that is that back in the jon days arin said he'd rather play whatever they wanted than do AAA games or games that were getting a lot of hype but now they seem to do every hyped game right away like other LPers. i personally haven't been bothered by it but it does seem like arin enjoys those games less (not as a general rule of course, but arin's always had kinda weird/particular tastes in video games) 

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So people threw a hissy fit because there wasn't a Ghoul Grumps this year?? To the point that they spam the new NSP video with it?  Holy shit that's pretty damn immature and ridiculous :notimp: I shouldn't be surprised considering their fanbase but still. 
I didn't even notice there wasn't any Ghoul Grumps this year tbh, and I'm all about them spoopy gaems when it comes to my tubers.

 

 

Edited by boopa
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So people threw a hissy fit because there wasn't a Ghoul Grumps this year?? To the point that they spam the new NSP video with it?  Holy shit that's pretty damn immature and ridiculous :notimp: I shouldn't be surprised considering their fanbase but still. 
I didn't even notice there wasn't any Ghoul Grumps this year tbh, and I'm all about them spoopy gaems when it comes to my tubers.

 

 

 

dude it's ridiculous right. i mean, they probably should have said something or tweeted something once they realized they forgot bc it is a tradition but still, who honestly cares. i mean, not to sound like i don't like those episodes because i really do, but truthfully the games they play for ghoul grumps are always wii shovelware anyway. i was kinda hoping for more of that scooby doo game because i was lowkey really enjoying it to the point where i considered buying it for myself (i still might) 

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Yeah, they should have notified the fans that other projects got in the way so there simply wasn't time to do Ghoul Grumps. And I also agree with you that it's mostly shovelware, I guess it's because they're not as scary as most serious games, considering how wimpy they get when it comes to horror (iirc didn't Dan leave the room at one point while play PT because he couldn't handle it?)

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I felt bad for arin and dan getting railed for not doing ghoul grumps. They work nonstop to bring content to their channel and I don't even remember ghoul grumps ever being significant enough to notice it was missing. 

 

However, besides the casual Diet Racism something that really really bothers me about them is how they voice female characters as the same ditzy soprano every time. Arin's a skilled voice actor surely they can be a bit more creative.... Most women don't sound like birds with bubbles in their throats :/ 

And on the general topic of women this may be nitpicky but sometimes Dan says things about women that tend to... rub me the wrong way. Not necessarily straight up gross or mysoginistic but he makes passive comments about women's appearances and pedophilia jokes and such and it's just.... gross. 

 

I used to watch GG every day but now I just check in from time to time and they only seem to be getting more boring while not changing any of the things they're criticized for.

On a more positive note there was a recent animation collab/music video posted on their channel that I really enjoyed! It was really touching to see all of the hard work and love put into it by fans. 

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Yeah, they should have notified the fans that other projects got in the way so there simply wasn't time to do Ghoul Grumps. And I also agree with you that it's mostly shovelware, I guess it's because they're not as scary as most serious games, considering how wimpy they get when it comes to horror (iirc didn't Dan leave the room at one point while play PT because he couldn't handle it?)

 

haha yeah he said he was going to but i think arin convinced him to stay. i'm surprised he didn't nope out of doki doki literature club, even. 

I felt bad for arin and dan getting railed for not doing ghoul grumps. They work nonstop to bring content to their channel and I don't even remember ghoul grumps ever being significant enough to notice it was missing. 

 

However, besides the casual Diet Racism something that really really bothers me about them is how they voice female characters as the same ditzy soprano every time. Arin's a skilled voice actor surely they can be a bit more creative.... Most women don't sound like birds with bubbles in their throats :/ 

And on the general topic of women this may be nitpicky but sometimes Dan says things about women that tend to... rub me the wrong way. Not necessarily straight up gross or mysoginistic but he makes passive comments about women's appearances and pedophilia jokes and such and it's just.... gross. 

 

I used to watch GG every day but now I just check in from time to time and they only seem to be getting more boring while not changing any of the things they're criticized for.

On a more positive note there was a recent animation collab/music video posted on their channel that I really enjoyed! It was really touching to see all of the hard work and love put into it by fans. 

 

something i've noticed about arin is that he almost never calls girls hot, he always says 'cute' and i feel like it's in an effort to not sound like a creep or a perv haha, i think it's nice.

 

yeah that animation was seriously amazing! i was really really impressed. one of my favorite things in the game grumps animateds is when people take the audio out of context and re-imagine it like that. this one is another good example, i'm pretty sure this was taken from a dark souls episode where they were just fighting a monster that was like a terrifying undead dog beast? 

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And on the general topic of women this may be nitpicky but sometimes Dan says things about women that tend to... rub me the wrong way. Not necessarily straight up gross or mysoginistic but he makes passive comments about women's appearances and pedophilia jokes and such and it's just.... gross. 

Honestly, I don't think it's very nitpicky. This is what I mean when I say Dan has a habit to be a "dudebro" at times, like he's still stuck in his college mindset. What frustrates me is that he, almost innocently, genuinely doesn't seem to realize how he sounds even when Arin occasionally tells him off.

Edited by boopa
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I used to be a HUGE fan of GG back in the day. I don't really remember when I stopped watching them, but it was some time around them expanding the studio and becoming more company-like (which is such a weird thing for gaming channels to do, seriously). Multiple things finally made me unsub, not only the new company-like vibe from them.

Dan is kind of gross when it comes to how he talks about women, honestly. His band, NSP, is supposed to be making fun of desperate creepy dudes who hit on women in stupid ways, but at some points it really feels like Dan has more of the "Danny Sexbang" (lol) persona in him than he realizes. Idk if this is something he has stopped doing, but back in the day he would comment often on how he had "jungle fever", which is such a stupid and racist term for liking black women, it always made me cringe. 

Also we could probably mention that Arin (and Suzy) have openly interacted with and supported Shadman in the past, and if you know anything about Shad you know how fucked up that is. Arin in general has kind of a hard time separating his old edgy newgrounds animator persona from his new deal. Mostly because he never really seems to address the shit he's done that have been racist/edgy/whatever, and goes around acting all "im such a feminist you guys!!" because he wears pink or whatever.

I might sound bitter, but that's because I am lol

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Damn, I thirst follow Dan on Instagram even though I was aware he was kind of cringey but I don’t follow him closely enough to have realized all this. Thanks for sharing. 

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Used to be a fan of GG a while back, but just grew tired and bored of putting up with the racism and etc. that went on. The humor in the episodes just doesn't mesh well with the humor I have now.

I didn't know Ross and Barry are no longer involved, that's pretty sad. They were some of my faves behind Arin.

What's funny is that Arin went from animator, to LP'er when games became more popular, and now they're trying to cash in on the vlogging trend but it feels pretty late to do it. I might even enjoy watching the vlogs they do, but with the Shadman stuff I cannot support them in good conscious.

It does truly feel like they're stuck a few years back. Other people like Jenna, Pewdie, and Shane have been able to keep up with the times and changing Youtube landscape, but Arin just...is stagnant (not that I support everyone on this list lol).

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I used to be a HUGE fan of GG back in the day. I don't really remember when I stopped watching them, but it was some time around them expanding the studio and becoming more company-like (which is such a weird thing for gaming channels to do, seriously). Multiple things finally made me unsub, not only the new company-like vibe from them.

Dan is kind of gross when it comes to how he talks about women, honestly. His band, NSP, is supposed to be making fun of desperate creepy dudes who hit on women in stupid ways, but at some points it really feels like Dan has more of the "Danny Sexbang" (lol) persona in him than he realizes. Idk if this is something he has stopped doing, but back in the day he would comment often on how he had "jungle fever", which is such a stupid and racist term for liking black women, it always made me cringe. 

Also we could probably mention that Arin (and Suzy) have openly interacted with and supported Shadman in the past, and if you know anything about Shad you know how fucked up that is. Arin in general has kind of a hard time separating his old edgy newgrounds animator persona from his new deal. Mostly because he never really seems to address the shit he's done that have been racist/edgy/whatever, and goes around acting all "im such a feminist you guys!!" because he wears pink or whatever.

I might sound bitter, but that's because I am lol

 

Aint Shadman the guy who made a porn drawing of Keemstar's underaged daughter?

Edited by Countess Iris
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