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Sarcasm 101

by Jeff Marchiafava on Mar 03, 2010 at 10:38 AM

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Sarcasm is a double-edged sword: On one hand, the subtler you are in delivering sarcasm, the funnier it gets. On the other hand, the subtler the joke is, the more likely someone is to miss the sarcasm entirely and think you’re being serious…which actually makes it even funnier. So maybe sarcasm isn’t so much a double-edged sword as it is really, really funny.

In issue 203's Timeline section in Connect, Andrew Reiner and Joe Juba made a joke about the upcoming remake of 1981’s Clash of the Titans. In our Timeline, the diabolical duo proclaimed that the movie – and pretty much the entirety of Greek mythology – is a rip-off of Sony’s God of War.

We didn’t think the joke was exactly subtle – on the same page, we stated John Cusack has “a keen eye for compelling roles that win him Oscar nominations every year” in the description for Hot Tub Time Machine, for crying out loud. But that didn’t stop some readers from taking our claim seriously, and reporting to us how very, very wrong we were.

We’ve all been the victim of not being able to identify sarcasm before, so my goal in compiling these responses (which have all been made anonymous to protect the sarcasm detector-less) isn’t to make fun of anyone, but rather to celebrate that patently human experience of putting your foot in your mouth. Here is Joe and Reiner’s description in its entirety, followed by a small sampling of the 100+ responses we received (with their original spelling and grammar left intact).

The Courteous Responders:

  • Yes in the March issue of you magazine you have a timeline for the month of March. Well you guys didn't fully do your research. The Clash of the Titans movie was originally made in 1981. The movie is just a remake and has nothing to do with the God of War game.
  • …I was extremely disappointed in reading this because this means that you guys (and gals) are not familiar with the original film made in 1981 with the great Laurence Olivier and a young Maggie Smith. The new movie Clash of the Titans is not a rip off my friends but a remake and God of War owes a great debt to the film, not the other way around.

    If you have not yet seen the original film, do yourself a favor and check it out.  I believe it is on instant play on Netflix.

    Keep up the good work
  • …I know you guys make mistakes every now and then, most were understandable but this could have been avoided. It just hurts me to see this, I have always agreed with you all on a lot of your articles. I hate to see you all make a mistake like this please if you wouldn’t mind correcting it….

The…Less Courteous:

  • …Whoever wrote this in the March timeline is an absolute idiot. Clash Of The Titans is ripping off God Of War? Really?? Whoever wrote this obviously doesnt have a clue that COTT is a remake of the 1981 movie and that GOW is actually ripping off the original movie!
  • …I'm surprised your editors didn't catch this. Smooth guys real freaking smooth....idiots
  • ...Will you please slap the person that wrote this comment in your March calender in the back of his or her head. If you are the one who wrote the comment please find a large handed individual and have them slap you in the back of the head. Because, to say Clash of the Titans is a rip off of God of War is really stretching it.
  • ...I’m appalled by the fact that there are idiots out there voicing such clueless opinions as this and are actually allowed to post them in your magazine to be read by thousands….…….
  • ...You guys do realize that this is a remake of a movie that's almost 30 years old right?  Which would mean that God of War is the rip-off...buttheads.
  • Someone on your staff is STUPID.  In issue 203's info and release calendar (pg.43), the new Clash of the Titans movie is referred to as a video game rip-off.  It's not, genius, it's a remake of a sweet 1981 classic.  For someone to say it "steals" from God of War is unintelligent and uninformed.  "The movie even steals locations..."  Did you know Athens is in Greece (a REAL place) and that Hades existed in mythology LONG before any God of War game was even conceived?  Game Informer is great (as is the GoW series), but someone in your office is an idiot.  I've never written to a magazine before, but I felt compelled by this display of ignorance.

    Its definitely not a rip-off of any game you loser! Whomever wrote those comments either didn't do their research before they opened their mouth or they are too young to recognize a classic.

    We should all be extremely happy to see someone "remake" director Desmond Davis's classic clash, and from what I’ve seen from current previews it looks to be a blockbuster hit. Sooo!....Whomever wrote those inaccurate comments, you need to do research before opening your month and acting like you know what your talking about, blind fold yourself  and go play Marco Polo in heavy traffic because Mr.Davis( legend and respected director) is probably rolling in his grave right now.


  • I would like to point out that in the March issue(issue 203) in the calendar section there is a major error. It states that the movie Clash Of The Titans is a rip off of God Of War. I would just like to say that the movie is a remake of a classic made 2 decades before the ps2 even came out and 2.5 decades before the God Of War game series. I just thought I should point out that you have slandered a great movies' name. Now as for the new release, that may be coincidence that it is coming out now when there is so much hype about the new God Of War 3 game, but still I think you need to check your facts a bit better.
  • …I mean really how old are you? I'm only 25 and not only do I remember that awesome movie as a kid but I know better than to print lies and slander. Do some homework next time.


  • Was just reading edition 203 on page 43 when I saw someone was calling Clash of the Titans a rip off of god of war. This is extremely incorrect. Clash of the Titans was originally put out in 1981 directed by desmond Davis written by Beverly cross. I wasn't aware that God of War came out before 1981. Come on guys let's get your facts straight before you get sued for libel.

Is That You, HAL?

  • …These comments in your magazine would suggest an uneducated writer, if said writer believes there was never Greek mythology before the God of War video game. I know your magazine is targeted at a younger demographic and is probably produced and edited by a younger staff, but that shouldn't warrant fictional claims.

A shot from this spring's Clash of the Titans remake

Count To Ten:

  • Rip off city??  Alright...I usually don't take to heart mistakes… They one is perfect, but if I can be frank, your ignorance regarding the Clash of the Titans movie in issue 203 is downright appalling!  Your job is to be the nerds (which I'm cool with!), and with that comes the obligation of actually researching material you plan on putting into your magazine.  If you HAD done your research, which you obviously did not, you would have found that Clash of the Titans is actually a remake of the classic 1981 movie, also named....whoa! Clash of the Titans!  Hmm.. and if I'm not mistaken, I don't believe God of War was around in the early 80's... It truly baffles me that you can hold your writers to such a low standard of journalistic responsibility, and have the audacity to print a blatant lie!..

Time For A History Lesson:

  • A little history lesson:

    1981: Clash of the Titans makes $41 million on a $16 million budget
    1995: Your writer of this comment is born
    2005: God of War, Kratos commits suicide jumps of the a cliff into the Aegean Sea
    2010: Clash of the Titans, hollywood again is out of stories and tries to remake a classic

    Who's ripping off who here?

Time For A Greek Mythology Lesson:

  • Ok, first of all, this movie is a remake. The original movie was made back in 1981, way before God of War was ever dreamed of. On top of that, the movie is based off of the myth of Perseus and his trials of fighting his way to saving Princess Andromeda. The hydra and minotaur are both mythological creatures so of course you would have seen them before. However, the person who wrote the blurb needs to do their homework before they make comments on subjects. Maybe they need to read up on their Greek myths before putting pen to paper Clash of the Titans was a good movie back then and I'm sure it'll be a good movie now.

Time For A Classic Cinema Lesson:

  • While browsing your latest issue, I couldn't believe you [insert colloquial term for prostitute here] the new Clash of the Titans remake!  Before God of War was even an inkling in some game developer's eye, Clash of the Titans was a beloved stop-motion animation classic that won the hearts of many a generation back in the early '80s.  Having grown up watching the movie, I was really excited to see an updated version in the previews for other flicks this winter.  Who can forget Calibos, the giant scorpions, or even Medusa in all their hokey glory?  How about the all star cast, filled with names like Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall for the younger crowd), and Harry Hamlin - who, by the way, voiced Perseus in God of War II...

A Surprising Compromise:

  • In your March calender you claim that Clash of the Titans is just a movie rip off of God of War which is incorrect. Clash of the Titans is a rip off of the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans. The conclusion remains the same, Clash of the Titans is a rip off but the reason why is different.

Correction Gift?

  • Who was the genius that did the March calender in the latest issue that called Clash Of The Titans a "God Of War ripoff"…If they bothered to do their research, they would know that Clash Of The Titans was originally released in 1981 and that the movie appearing this year is a remake. Know your history before bashing a classic. G.O.W. was inspired by this movie. P.S.... copy of G.O.W.3 would make a nice "correction" gift!!!

That Swinging Cat, Perseus:

  • …My problem with this is that the original clash of the titans released in 1981 (and i dont remember seeing Kratos on the atari 2600). Not to mention the original was about this cat who was the mortal son of zues who waged war the gods....hmmmm.

    The nail in the ranting coffin will end with the fact that perseus the mortal son of zues actually made it into god of war two to have an epic battle in a bathhouse against his unknown half brother kratos.

    Do they not research before they type, calling clash of the titans god of war the movie is assinine god of war could have been called clash of the titans the game.

    other than that which i had to get off my chest i have nothing but good things to say about your company

The Ironically Sarcastic:

  • ...I understand how someone may have missed watching the original 1981 Clash of the Titans film which is based on ancient Greek history and mythology, but can you please explain to me how it's possible that a writer over the age of 7 has never studied Greek history or mythology at all...  on any level...  or even opened Google Maps and searched for "Athens, Greece"?!

    This just in! The film Saving Private Ryan stole its story from Call of Duty!  Storming the beach on D-Day? Seen it.

    Wait, you guys DO know that WW2 was an actual event... right?

    Yours truly,

    Oureducationsystem Mustreallybefailing

Another Apt Comparison:

  • In reading the March timeline page I was astounded at the level of ignorance in the blurb on the new Clash of the Titans film. Considering that this is a remake of a 1981 film, how can you say that it's ripping off a game released in 2005? And to say that it "steals locations like Athens and Hades from the game" (because neither of those existed before 2005) is like saying that Guitar Hero invented rock music.

    My advice: stick to informing us about games because you obviously don't know jack about movies.

A scene from 1981's Clash of the Titans, which may or may not have been inspired by God of War

For Zeus’ Sake!

  • …Seriously? You are aware that there was a "Clash of the Titans" made in 1981, aren't you?  I'm pretty sure Sony wasn't planning out the adventures of Kratos in the late 70's early 80's. And even if you don't like that argument, it's Greek Mythology for Zues' sake!!!

Almost Got It:

  • ...In many way this claim is absurd. The mythology behind "God of war" AND "Clash of The Titans" is thousands of years old. You may as well claim that Video games are ripping off books, case in point Dante's Inferno, Call of Cthulhu, Lord of the rings......( the list goes on). but the major issue i have with this claim is that "Clash of the titans" is a remake of the original "Clash of the Titans" from 1981! you could even flip the argument to claim that "God of War" ripped off Clash of the titans…
  • ...I am wondering if this was a sarcastic paragraph or not. I feel that it was not and I would like to point out that in 1981 was the release for the original Clash of the Titans. It seems like whoever wrote that sections did very little looking into the movie, if they had, they would have surely found that the 2010 release is a remake of the 1981 original. To me, it seems like they didn't know of the original and saw the similarities of Clash of the Titan (2010) and God of War (2005), both of which are based in greek mythology, and in an ignorant haze, felt that since God of War released in 2005 that Hollywood must be stealing ideas.
  • …I love the magazine, but I can't believe you guys didn't research the fact that clash of the titans was not a rip off of god of war, but a remake of the 80's clash of the titans.
  • I find it very hard to believe that your staff does not realize this is a remake of the cult classic from 1981 of the same name (the only difference is the role of Hades as the villian instead of the gorgon, Medusa) based, not on the God of War games as you have put forward, but loosely on the Perseus myth that predates GoW by about 3000 years.  And correct me if I'm wrong, but the city of Athens (which has been occupied for approximately 3,400 years) is not the exclusive property of the GoW franchise, so claiming the new movie "steals locations" is ludicrous...
  • …I'm hoping there's some subtle sarcasm that I didn't pick up on there and not simple ignorance on the part of whoever wrote the March timeline.  That kind of ignorance from a gaming community-based publication would just be wrong!
  • …And please tell me you were being sarcastic when you said that the new "Clash of the Titans" is a rip-off of God of War.  If you were serious and completely forgot about the 1981 "Clash of the Titans," I would be forced to lose all respect for you.

You Thought We Were Serious About Nicolas Cage?!

  • I read you magazine and find a lot of it to be helpful but i am quite tired of who ever puts the time line together. I wish he would stop giving his or her two cents on movies as they obviously have no idea what they are talking about. Every time there is a Nic cage film rollin' down the pipe they praise how well he is or how it will do, now this month they have him up against Tim Burton and Alice in Wonderland. Tell you what, I bet that Burton beats the hell out of Cages film, and when it does you stop writing about things you have no clue as to good or bad and if Cage brings in more i will give up my PS3 forever! What do you say is your pair big enough to put you money where you mouth is?

    As for you "welcome to rip-off city" and Clash of the Titans stealing locations from your button smasher God of War, well Athens and Hades and Minotaurs were used many times before your God of War game, where do you think they stole them from.

    I leave you with a thank you for all the info your magazine gives me but also leave a middle finger salute to the time-line writer.

The Shoe Is On The Other Foot:

  • I'm always amused when somebody finds an error in your magazine that sends them into fits of least I was, until I became one of those people.  I'm guessing that none of your editors are older than 30, because contrary to what is listed on the March Release calendar in this month's issue, the new "Clash of the Titans" movie is NOT a rip-off of "God of War."  It is a remake of a film from 1981.  I'm pretty sure that David Jaffe was only eight years old at the time of the original film's release, so it's a little more likely that Jaffe was ripping off "Clash of the Titans" than the other way around.  Ah.  I feel better now.

This scene from Gears of War 3 is actually straight from Greek mythology

Mixed Feelings:

  • …You people should be ashamed of yourselves. For either not doing the proper research, or blatantly ignoring the fact that it's a remake. I love GI. I've been reading your publication for a long time, and I will continue to read it. Never before have I felt compelled to write to a magazine to "correct" them or to berate them for something so silly, but this time I couldn't let it slide. Don't get me wrong, the original film was pretty bad by post-1995 standards, but for when it came out, it was an awesome film. I am greatly looking forward to this movie. Oh, and I love the God of War games. I have the special edition GoW3 on reserve.
Too Young:
  • Unbelievable. All I can say is my concerns about your editorial staff are now complete. In the February edition of GameInformer on the March release dates page; one of your writers took the cake, and ruined it. The new Clash of the Titans "RE-MAKE!!" was "NOT" a rip-off from God of War. Check your facts. You might want to start with the year.... I don't know.... 1981, when the original "God of War" Perseus, fought Medusa (a Hydra) and the Kraken among others from Greek mythology. And guess what...He did so in places like Athens and other locals related to said mythology.

    Check your facts, or at least get a writer who has finished puberty. Kratos kicks butt, but Perseus did it first.
  • …If your writer is close enough in age to be able to shave he might want to retract this statement. God of War is more of a Clash of the Titans rip off than anything else. Kratos a.k.a. Jason (from argonaughts fame) is tricked by the Gods to be a main instrument in their war with each other. Gaining the Favor of the Gods Jason goes on to fight giant scorpions, minotaurs, cyclopse', Gorgons and various other creatures. Sound familiar. It should, this was the premise of God of War with a few tweeked ideas.

    Clash of the Titans came out in the mid to late 70's and seems to be coming out again for old fans and new ones. God of War, if anything, is a complete and utter rip off of Clash of the Titans. Not the other way around.

    Next time have your writer think before they speak, because older gaming fans could and probably would take offence to such a claim.
  • ...SERIOUSLY!? How young was the person that wrote that? This movie is a remake of a very excellent movie that was released in 1981 that starred Harry Hamlin. The movie was ground breaking at that time and is still very watchable even today. I found that comment very poor and very dumb. God of War, and excellent franchise, MOST LIKELY takes many of it's ideas from that film and should probably be the one that is called rip off city.

    Please do not comment on other forms of media any more, that looked just as bad as other media when making poor short sited comments about video games. You all serious need to inform readers that This remake is not a rip off of God of War.”

Do They Still Make VCRs?

  • I assume that somebody has already brought attention to the March 2010 Timeline in the 203 issue of Game Informer. Obviously whoever wrote the Timeline has no concept of history, modern or ancient. …I had to laugh when the author implied that the creators of God of War were also responsible for creating Ancient Athens, God of the Underworld Hades, and King Minos' Minotaur. Get a history book and a VCR buddy!

The Good Old Fanboy Argument:

  • …How big God of War fanboys are you guys? What do you mean Clash Of the Titans is a Rip off of God Of War? It is a remake. The original came out in 1981 and starred Harry Hamlin. And the movie is in fact based on the myth of Perceus.
  • ...I think you guys need a new fact checker or maybe a reality check. Clash of the Titans is a remake of a movie from the 80s that stared Harry Hamlin, if anything God of war ripped it off instead of the other way around. Maybe if you take your Sony fanboy glasses off you'd stop worshiping them so much...

We Are Pretty Cute:

  • …As adorable as it is that you think that this movie is ripping-off your beloved 2005 God of War, it is actually a remake of the classic 1981 movie of the same title starring Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith.  Also, I wanted to point out that Hades is not something stolen from a game, but is a god that the Greeks actually believed to be the ruler of their underworld (also sometimes refered to as Hades itself).  And again, Athens is not some place stolen from a game, but an actual city in Greece.

    Maybe before you choose someone to do the comments on your calendar page, you should make sure they are some what more informed about things other than video games and are more well rounded.

Nicolas Cage's performance in Con Air (pictured above) was also heavily influenced by Greek mythology

Congratulations, You Identified The Joke:

  • There was a comment in the March issue on the upcoming releases page that I thought was kind of funny because the person who wrote it was very wrong. The comment I'm referring to is the comment about Clash of the Titans where "Hollywood once again rips off a video game idea." The person who wrote that needs to go back and study greek mythology, especially when he/she thinks the movie stole locations like Athens and Hades... hahahah wow that is funny. By the way it is on page 43 in the magazine.

Research, Research, Research:

  • I just read through the issue 203 and saw the March release calendar. Whomever wrote it was complaining and whining that the Clash of the Titans movie set to come out was a rip off of God of War. Are you serious?

    Maybe your writers should do a little research first. Clash of the Titans is actually a remake of the 1981 movie of the same name. It's more appropriate to say God of War is a rip off of the original Clash of the Titans movie. That was probably a rip off of Jason and the Argonauts, etc, etc until you get back to the original mythology.

    Now I will give a little leeway that your writers are obviously too young to know about a movie from 1981 but honestly, research before you spout on about something.
  • …I just started flipping through issue 203 and got to the new release calendar and was totally blown away by the complete ignorance when it came to the release of the movie "Clash of the Titans". Did the contributor really think that this movie was made because of a video game? Do the contributors of your magazine have to do any research?

    Or maybe the contributor is just too young to realize that there is nothing new made to today for the theatre, except "Avatar", and almost every movie is a remake of an older one. This movie is a remake of a 1981 movie starring Harry Hamlin called, and get ready to get blown away, "Clash of the Titans".

    I can see where this would have been very hard to find out. In fact to see how hard this was to find out for myself I threw out my basic knowledge skills and typed "Clash of the Titans" into Google search. The top two results were, in this order, "Clash of the Titans" (2010) and "Clash of the Titans" (1981). Both were links to the IMDB site (Internet Movie Database), which offers all the information that any one interested in finding out things about movies and all things associated with movies might go if they were doing research.

    In short this lack of simple research bothered me enough that I have to question all things written in your magazine now.”
  • …Come on put the controller down and do some research and find out that this is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. Oh yeah god forbid anyone else uses greek mythology for ideas. The writer seemed a little off with the whole comment. With his comments you would think that no movie based on Greek mythology can happen in Athen or Hades. The writer reminds me of the kids on XBox Live that never heard of a Sega.
  • …Only if you don't do ANY research into the ancient myths that both God of War & Clash of the Titans were based on.  Oh yeah and Athens? That would be an actual city in Greece.

    And even if that wasn't the case, Clash of the Titans is a remake of a film that was originally released in the early 80's.  Which is long before God of War was even thought about.

    Try doing some more research next time.”
  • …the writer of this article should be ashamed. First thing he should of checked is Clash of the Titans is a remake of the 1981 original. Also God of War didn't create places like Athens and Hades. You can still visit Athens, and Hades came from Greek mythology. A simple Google search can make my accusations truth and relevance. thank you for your time.
  • …Either you are pulling an April Fools joke early, or the writer of this article is too young to remember the original Clash of The Titans which is a Ray Harryhausen classic, that was released in 1981, long before there was a PS1.  Instead of guessing the author of Connect is to inept to use GOOGLE, I am assuming he or she is too young to remember the original movie.
  • …I'm a huge fan of the movie and I was shocked how uninformed (see what I did there? Get it..? Ah... Nevermind) your editors and/or writers were. Perhaps you should take a few more minutes next time to do some research...”
  • Up until this point i thought you guys where somewhat smart but you proved me wrong with this one. Clash of the titans is not a god of war rip off it is a remake of a 1981 movie by the name of you guessed it clash of the titans, the original movie has the minotaur the hydra (kraken) and all the locations you mentioned like hades and athens, so unless god of war came out on the original atari then clash is copying no one, maybe next time you should do your research before trashing someones idea.
  • Now, I normally NEVER do stuff like this (send in letters to magazines), but I felt this particular situation required attention. I just received my March issue of Game Informer, and I have to tell you, your writers have got to learn to do their research a little better before puting certain things in your magazine...I mean, I understand you're a gaming magazine, not a movie magazine, but you really shouldn't have people who don't know movies at all writing they're personal preview/review of movies. Thank you.
  • ...All i am saying is give credit where it's due, and dont default to the ‘_____ is ripping off ______ because they have X factors in common’ argument; it’s just embarrassing....... and do a little research.

Oh, I See What You Did There:

  • …And to be so obnoxious about it is shameless, just shameless.
  • God of War  - A game series which rips-off greek mythology STRAIGHT FROM THE MYTHS AND LEGENDS or STRAIGHT FROM THE MOVIE CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981). Shameless... for writers to publish something without being rightfully informed. Just shameless.
  • …I think it's shameless, just shameless, that you wouldn't even give a nod to the original before writing off the remake.
  • …The fact that you can allow this is, how you so elegantly phrased it....Shameless. Just shameless...
  • …I recommend that next time you slander a movie or game you do your homework first.  This is, and I quote, “Shameless.  Just shameless.”
  • …Your apparent lack of research is ‘shameless.  Just shameless.’
  • …The only thing "shameless" that I saw in your brief mention of the movie was the fact that no research went into your comments what so ever… 
  • ...Check your comments before you bash a great remake movie and make Gameinformer look shameless just shameless for being so uninformed.
  • …Please tell me that the author of this was joking because if not the only thing “Shameless. Just shameless” was giving that dope a job writing for your magazine!
  • ...I'm not saying "Titans" is cinema gold or anything, but calling the remake of a movie from the 80's a rip off of a game from the late 90's?  Shameless.  Just shameless.