Mike Krahulik knows we're all products of our childhood, "and what came out of mine was an unrepentant asshole."
Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik knows he's a bully, a self-described "unrepentant asshole." He's a product of his childhood, years spent being tormented and abused. He spent his early years striking back, attacking with words people who attacked him with fists but, while he imagined himself a Robin Hood, in fact he was becoming a bully. It's damaged relationships, hurt Penny Arcade, and now, he says, it has to stop.
"I know I don't want to be this angry kid anymore," says Krahulik. "I take medicine to control my anxiety and depression but there is no pill I can take to stop being a jerk."
Krahulik adopted this defense mechanism because he had to convince himself, at a very young age, that nobody else's opinion mattered. It was that, or kill himself. By the age of 12, he could enrage someone with just a few words. Then the insecure kid grew up, had a career, became someone influential and important; yet he remained the same angry, spiteful child deep inside.
Now he realizes that the kind of person he is hurts the projects he's trying to accomplish. "The person I am isn't good for [Penny Arcade] anymore and in fact who I am and the way I behave has caused real damage to it," says Krahulik. "So this person isn't good for PA but I'm not sure it's good for me either."
That's a good part of the reason why Penny Arcade has tried to distance itself from PAX and Child's Play. Both are important to Krahulik, but he recognizes that associating them with the material he's put on Penny Arcade, or anything he's said or done in the past, isn't a smart idea.
"It's been a difficult year, probably the hardest in my life and I realize I brought most of it on myself," he concludes. He knows things can't stay as they are. Krahulik resolves to separate the man from the kid he used to be.
"Might be harder than losing 10 pounds."
Source: Penny Arcade