Cartoon Analysis 2
Economists have long used terms like "widgets" and "guns and butter" to describe basic economic principles. Instead of talking about 1000 steam engines having been produced, they talk about 1000 widgets, a generic term that everyone could understand. Regrettably, blogging has hijacked the term to mean something similar, though it ruined the widget-ideal for economic analysis. "Bear butts" is a tongue-in-cheek widgety concept for MMORPGs. Basically, it's been somewhat widely used to refer to anything trivial that players must gain in a gaming environment. For example,
"Hey Thor, Pwnurnubcatzlol needs six bear butts to complete his quest."
"Ask Lady Neptuna, she's got lots."
"She didn't have any. She said you were keeping some on Uranus"
"Dammit I'm Thor! Why am I always the butt of jokes"
Lady Neptuna snickers.
In today's comic, it looks like our protagonist is having a bit of fun with Mookie, or Mookie is having a bit of fun with our protagonist. Sometimes it is hard to tell how many individuals are in on a subtle joke. Again, the writer presents us with some whimsy, though he leaves us with many more questions. Is Mookie asking "How much gold is enough" to pull off the economic manipulation, or is Mookie condemning our hero for his thought process in an enlightened Bud Foxx to Gordon Gecko sort of way?
There also may be some social commentary going here as world oil prices continue to rise and consequentially inhibit business growth. Are bear butts truly the motive force behind whatever economy these individuals seem to know about? If they were, could one individual corner the market in such a fashion as to be able to manipulate it? While it doesn't seem likely, we know very little about the individual behind the purple chair.
The name "Dwarftown" has a generic, "bear butt" feel to it. It's possible that these individuals are playing an MMORPG. Or, perhaps they really are part of that "Dwarftown" parallel universe. Whatever the case, it seems apparent that the writer wants us to know that they at least have access to Google. If you look closely in the comic, you'll notice its distinctive logo on one of the computer screens. --Kevin R. Scripps
Gaming Ghosts 1-1
Gaming Ghosts 1-2
Gaming Ghosts 1-3