Let’s Play The Crab Enoch Text Adventure Bro- Status Signaling Simulator

In order to shamelessly piggyback off of celebrate Nick B. Steves’s appearance on TheRightStuff.biz’s Daily Shoah, I threw together in an hour carefully recorded and produced my first ever let’s play! This is a simple, 15-minute playthrough of TheRightStuff’s “The Crab Enoch Text Adventure Bro- Status Signaling Simulator”, a hilarious little twine game featuring Crab Enoch, a star of the Daily Shoah.

Check it out here!

Pay me here and I might make more videos!

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A Quick Guide to Entryists

Since I published A Beginner’s Guide to the Alternative Right, I’ve been worried that my work is encouraging entryists. But then I began to ask myself, “What is an entryist?” So I decided I’d jot down a few notes on what makes an entryist and why entryists are bad for neoreaction. By no means is this a complete list of entryist behaviors, merely a few obvious warning signs that I’ve come to recognize.

  • Most entryists are not in neoreaction to learn or study, but rather to preach and spread their own personal agenda to as many people as possible. They are filled with narcissism and unwarranted self-importance. They have no interest in neoreaction as a whole, only what it can do for them and their image. They do not read NRx blogs or NRx books. They instead only care about their own output.
  • Entryists have the annoyingly democratic obsession with how many people listen to them rather than who listens to them or what feedback they get. Instead of seeking out the opinions and input of more established NRx writers, they strive to get as many views and shares on their work as possible. Suddenly it ceases to become about quality work and more about who can get the most hits. Neoreaction will cease to be ideological and become as depressingly corporate as the GOP.
  • Status signaling is another entryist habit: rather than produce original work, they parrot NRx ideas and slogans endlessly as to feel accepted in the movement. Rather than helping cultivate neoreaction as an intellectual school of thought, they turn it into an echo-chamber of unoriginal yes-men. Even worse is when their status signaling is to groups outside of neoreaction, thus slowly dissolving NRx by integrating it with outsiders.
  • It is not uncommon for entryists to cling to other right-wing positions and try to connect them with neoreaction. National socialists are the prime offenders here, who see “NRx” as the new “NSDAP” and ignoring the many differences between the two movements. Neoreaction aims to avoid repeating the failures of twentieth century fascism and national socialism. Some entryists will even endorse the “manosphere” PUA scene, despite it being a degenerate institution that runs contrary to core NRx values.
  • Entryists have the annoying tendency to promote democratic activism: rallies, leaflet campaigns, other sorts of mass-media NRx material. I may jokingly refer to neoreaction as the “counter-Illuminati” but the description still fits: we want to be a small, elite group rather than a raging mob. Not only that, but our esoteric nature is our strength- it is much harder for progressive institutions to counter us when they aren’t even aware of us.
  • Many entryists have no understanding of social status at all: they simply barge in and treat established NRx writers as their equals. While communication and discussion are healthy, it requires a degree of respectful deference. Otherwise, neoreaction will descend into pure anarchy, as any hope of a core element will be eroded into nothingness.

The main point here is that an entryist is a parasite: he tries to benefit from neoreaction without actually helping or in some cases actually harming it. That is not to say entryists are malicious in nature: most are just stupid, with a few misguided neophytes scattered here and there. It is in the best interest of neoreaction that entryists are marginalized, ignored, and derided. The truly malignant element will be driven out, while the neophytes with genuine potential will hopefully be corrected in their faulty thinking. Neoreaction is not for everyone: it is an anti-democratic movement. We must understand and embrace this if we are to truly come into our own.

Is HP Lovecraft truly Neoreactionary?

It goes without saying that Lovecraft is undoubtedly the most right-leaning author in the sci-fi mainstream. To question his reactionary cred is almost heretical in itself. Nonetheless, even our most core elements deserve rigorous investigation. I’ll start by saying I’ve been a fan of Lovecraft’s work since I was about fifteen, back when I was a bleeding-heart liberal. Back then, I was enraptured by the idea of these freakish monsters and their godlike powers. Indeed, for my sophomore year research paper, I wrote about how Lovecraft’s life directly affected his fiction. Not a bad paper, but being a good little liberal, I failed to see his greater social messages and just dismissed it as archaic, regrettable racism. Having grown up and undergone rampancy, I can look at his work and truly understand his message.

The common sci-fi fan sees Lovecraft’s abominations merely as creative abominations. The more literate of them will assume that such monstrosities are a metaphor for social and cultural decay. However, only the most learned of Lovecraft fans will see that there is no metaphor- indeed, the true horror of Lovecraft’s work is the very real threat of degeneracy and entropy. In The Call of Cthulhu, Cthulhu himself is not the threat to humanity. Indeed, it is never even stated that he is even aware of our existence before his awakening. The true danger is the effect his awakening will have. Mankind will return to his primordial nature: a miserable, primitive, savage existence. Likewise, in The Shadow Over Innsmouth, it is not Dagon and his disciples we are supposed to be wary of, but of a degenerate, savage culture undermining traditional civilization. The Dunwich Horror is about rural decay, and how people will revert to backwards, savage beasts when kept away from culture. Indeed, the real evil in Lovecraft’s story is not the monsters, but is in fact the darker nature of mankind, the destructive side that the monsters simply help bring out. As cliché as the line has become, mankind is the true monster.

Lovecraft’s heroes are quite reactionary: intelligent, learned white men of a socially conservative outlook. They solve their problems through a combination of a carefully honed intellect and a firm sense of virtue. They are not heroic in the sense of being human, but rather in that they are underdogs, merely ordinary men going against impossible odds. Indeed, the fact that Lovecraft often makes a character’s curiosity and fascination with the world outside civilization into a fatal flaw would be unforgivable in modern sci-fi. What’s even more enthralling is how he not only is aware of class difference, but he celebrates it: His heroes are almost always of an upper class, while his villains are either deviant aristocrats or degenerate proles. Any heroic proles are good-natured spirits simply too inept to handle whatever evils are menacing them. And yet, in spite of all of this, Lovecraft’s work is still riddled with liberal ideology.

First and foremost, we need to understand Lovecraft’s background. Howard Phillips Lovecraft is a son of New England. Yes, one of the most conservative authors of the twentieth century is from the home of contemporary liberalism. Lovecraft, however, was raised in a very puritan, conservative part of Rhode Island. This explains why, in spite of his strict belief in human biodiversity (he rejected Hitler and Nazi Germany because he deemed their science to be incorrect) and social tradition, he cannot help but embrace the liberal framework established by his ancestors in Plymouth Bay. Yes, for all of his reactionary posturing, Lovecraft was still part of the Cathedral. His work places a high value on education, especially at the University level. While Lovecraft was primarily interested in the sciences, a division not yet at the whims of progressives, he still never really understood the role that universities play in ongoing social decay. Instead, he buys into the mythology of his puritan ancestors: that the only hope for civilization lies in the enlightened minds of academia. Indeed, while Lovecraft understands the importance of oligarchy in guiding civilization, his taste in oligarchs is somewhat misguided.

There is also a disturbingly luddite trend in Lovecraft’s work. While stories like The Shunned House show mankind triumphing over monsters through science and ingenuity, the vast majority of his stories shun technological advancement. Lovecraft buys into the nonsensical idea that there are some truths mankind is better off not knowing, and some areas that we best left unexplored. In The Mountains Of Madness is essentially one large screed against the human desire to improve and grow. While Lovecraft recognizes the Hobbesian flaws in humanity, he still never really shows any hope that they can be corrected through study and exploration. While not all neoreactionaries share the sentiment that mankind can overcome its flaws, some of Lovecraft’s fiction strongly implies that striving to correct the human condition is a futile and pointless affair. Perhaps most damning of all is Herbert West: Re-Animator, a tale directly lifted from the highly progressive Enlightenment-era novel Frankenstein. The story directly criticizes men for trying to pursue power far beyond their reaches. It’s a very anti-western attitude, criticizing men for their advances in science and technology.

So in the end, can we truly call Lovecraft a neoreactionary? Not quite. While he touches on quite a few key themes and elements of reaction, Lovecraft’s work is still very much within the framework of liberalism. While we can nod our heads in how spot-on his predictions of cultural decay were, we still need to take a more critical viewpoint. His views are very coarse and unrefined in terms of intellectual rigor. They are mere observations and amateur theories rather than actual reactionary content. It would be foolish of me to say that Lovecraft’s work has no place in the alternative right, but we must not venerate him as high as we do the classics. Lovecraft is an entry-level writer, a means of awakening and encouraging individuals to explore the alt-right rather than actually educating already rampant individuals. His work, while entertaining, is hardly genuinely enlightening or interesting.

By no means should we stop reading Lovecraft. In fact, we should encourage people to read his work, and spread interest in it. Lovecraft’s fiction as well as his entire idea of social decay is wonderfully subversive. Stories like True Detective that treat human degeneracy as a disgusting evil are an important part of undermining the Cathedral and liberalism as a whole. As much as his work is hardly serious, high-level literature, it still deserves to stick around for a few more strange aeons, don’t you think?

Thoughts on Altgames, #GamerGate, and the alt-right.

I’m about to do something that will be very, very shocking to my readers, especially the ones that know me: I’m going to endorse an idea of Zoe Quinn’s. Now don’t get me wrong, I still despise Zoe Quinn. She’s an abuser, an adulterer, a liar, and altogether and unpleasant person who doesn’t belong in gaming. But her recent post on the idea of “altgames” is 100% spot on. In it, Quinn describes Alt Games, a spinoff of indie games. Altgames could be defined as DIY games and games criticism made by amateur indie outsiders not as a commercial product to sell, but as a means of expression. In what I think is very spot-on, she compares it to punk rock.

I’ll admit, I’m not well-versed in punk. Most of the pretentious liberal bullshit doesn’t speak to me and makes me roll my eyes. But I do have a history with the genre. When I was an angry kid in my senior year of high school fighting mental illness, I found transgressive punk bands like Anal Cunt and GG Allin And The Murder Junkies. Those bands to me were punk: disaffected dudes who didn’t fit in with the world lashing out in frustration and discontent. It was the same thing that attracted me to black metal: a feeling of general discontent with the world. As I got into college, I forgot about punk. But when I dropped out and started working, I started listening to bands like Blood For Blood and Antiseen: artists who made music for low-class people talking about the lower-class lifestyle. I wasn’t from the white ghettos of Boston or the backwoods of South Carolina, but I was a working man trying to make my way in the world. I felt like an underdog, so I listened to underdog music. It’s helped me really find a sense of contentment with my existence as a prole. So while I’m not 100% punk, I get punk well enough to see what Quinn is going for here with altgames.

If we expand the definition of altgames to include games criticism, then I was altgames before altgames was even given a name. Make no mistake, as much as I’ll shill my gratipay, The Right Vidya (and now The Right Drama!) is a labor of love. It’s my desire to create games writing that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Putting up a new blog post is exhilarating. When Nick Land and Adrian Chmielarz shared my post on Hatred, my heart skipped a beat. To me, getting the attention of a blog like Xenosystems or a dev like Adrian Chmielarz was more valuable than any cash donation. I felt like what I was saying mattered and made a difference. I was helping introduce video games to the alt-right and the alt-right to video games. I was merging the two. I’d like to think that I still am, given how much traffic my posts on KotakuInAction get me.

This is why I’m throwing my support behind the idea of altgames. I get that a lot of people in the alt-right, especially neoreaction, look down on Rachel Haywire for her idea of a punk aesthetic for the right. For most of us, outside decadent skinheads, punk is seen as a degenerate liberal cesspit. I disagree. The key element to punk is that it’s subversive- a word that I’ve been thinking a lot about in the past few weeks. As our alt-right critics will note, there’s a lot of LARPing going on in NRx: too many people talking about what the glorious neoreactionary future will look like and not enough people focusing on the here and now. What we should be doing is focusing on how we can subvert the Cathedral and undermine its reach. I think #GamerGate is a major breakthrough for us: we saw a bunch of young, unassuming enlightenment-friendly types openly challenge their progressive “betters” and manage to keep it going for over six, soon to be seven months so far. Part of the success of #GamerGate lies in the DIY culture that permeates it: you have tons of people making #GamerGate art, starting #GamerGate charity, hosting #GamerGate streams, and even making #GamerGate games. Hell, The Right Vidya was inspired by the DIY culture of #GamerGate. It’s their ability to produce content that has helped them keep going.

But we need to be better than that. What helped turn me on to the alternative right was the work of HP Lovecraft, telling the kind of stories about social decay that no one else told. It helped subvert what I was learning in high school at the time as I realized that Detroit and other urban centers confirmed the predictions in his work. It taught me to look outside the box and embrace esoteric political wisdom. Obviously it wasn’t the only factor: the transgressive punk and black metal that I mentioned before helped me really clarify my distaste for modernity. Neoreaction needs to get on that: we need more media out there that subverts the cathedral and undermines it. And that’s why we need to hop on the altgames train. We need to take advantage of a DIY-centric scene and use it as a means of subversion. Altgames are already pretty big, and they’re only going to get bigger. I think one of the smartest things the alt-right did was to embrace tech, because with the tech boom we grew and prospered. I think when it comes to altgames, this is a boom coming that we could use to our advantage.

As for my brothers and sisters in #GamerGate, the idea of altgames is important to us as well. We all know that the community in the game business is awful: the testimony of guys like Roguestar and the work of the ShortFatOtaku team tells us that much. It’s a closed little circlejerk of industry buddies all working to get each other over, even at the expense of everyone else. Altgames is about realizing that the circlejerk exists and using various platforms like itch.io, twine, Patreon and more to really help break it up. Imagine if the DIY spirit of #GamerGate met with the DIY attitude of altgames? We could build a new, better GDC, a better IGF and Indiecade. We could an alternative to the corrupt, broken industry and build a much better one. The nature of altgames is about trying to empower amateurs and beginners. It’s perfectly in touch with #SolutionSixMonths and #OpRebuild. It’s the perfect platform for #GamerGate to use to help expand our influence and get our message out. We are the real alternative, and we need to make ourselves known.

So in conclusion, I suppose you should think of this post as another call to action. It’s time we stop rolling our eyes at the DIY platforms and start using them to help build the newer, more improved gaming community, whatever that means to you. Now more than ever, it’s become easier to take control and choose where you want to guide a scene. This is perhaps the best chance you’ll get in a long time to make an impact. It’s time you take advantage of it.

Surprising Real Talk at GDC

So, it seems that the first round of industry conferences and conventions is upon us, this week being the ongoing Game Developer’s Conference of 2015. While I couldn’t go (nor was I especially interested in going) I did happen to hear about this talk given by Ralph Koster, Richard Vogel, and Gordon Walton on handling internet drama as a community manager. I was dreading another typical prog screed about how you need to purge your community of evil undesirables, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was actually some real talk coming from Koster and friends, perhaps more real talk than they’re aware of. You can read a summary of it by gameindustry.biz here.

First, let me get to what I had mentioned on twitter, the points that the presenters seemed to miss or gloss over. I think Vogel is wrong to blame anonymity as a major problem for online communities. Personally, I’m of the belief that anonymity helps produce a more stable community. By removing the importance of reputation, you remove the status jockeying that goes on in your average online community. The reason sites like NeoGAF are rapidly declining in popularity is precisely because of the constant signaling and forced consensus. Meanwhile, communities like 4chan’s /v/ tend to be some of the biggest movers and shakers in games culture precisely because the anonymity allows original content to prosper without the pesky matter of status jockeying. If you want innovation, originality, and a fun time, you want to allow as much anonymity as possible. Reputation creates a stale, boring environment where fresh ideas are not able to rise to the top.

Another interesting point I think Vogel misses in his critique of anonymity is that his solution involves building a collective identity that encourages the group to co-exist with each other. To that, I’ll respond by using /v/ as an example. Certainly, to an outsider, /v/ looks like a disaster, with so many different users butting heads on nearly every conceivable topic. However, the best way to find a consensus? Mention Reddit or NeoGAF or, god help you, tumblr. Suddenly, the group identity is obvious. Users will put aside most petty conflicts and bond over a mutual disdain for outsiders. Thus, you create a healthy, stable sense of community without ever needing to abandon anonymity.

But that leads me to my much larger point, the part of their talk that absolutely floored me. Ralph Koster actually said that Switzerland’s low crime rate is due to its homogenous population. Combined with his earlier statement that most crime in Switzerland is in areas where different groups live, I’m amazed that a horde of rainbow-haired she-twinks with their goony man-beard escorts didn’t storm the stage and tar and feather the man for being racist. Indeed, his entire lecture touched on one of the points that the right has been yelling about for ages: diversity brings conflict. Of course, any criminologist will tell you that a homogenous community is less likely to have crime than a diverse one (barring other factors like poverty and single-parent households and other statistics).

Koster initially seems to complain about people forming tribes and those tribes coming into conflict with each other. Indeed, he draws parallels to segregation when discussing Switzerland’s tribal conflicts. Of course, Vogel and Watson proceeded to drop an uncomfortable truth-bomb on the conference: that segregation was part of human nature. I can just imagine that when he said this, Arthur Chu stopped masturbating to his own reflection and gasped in horror. People naturally choosing to associate with people similar to them is the perennial fact that proponents of multiculturalism are obsessed with trying to deny, or in Chu’s case, undo.

Walton also pointed out that it’s much harder to be a criminal in a town of only sixty or so people instead of being in a large, massive city. First they acknowledge basic human tribalism, then they point out why urbanization is bad? Oh the humanity! Someone stop these evil creatures! Even more heinous is that all the developers agreed that the solution to the problem of online nastiness lied in the same key idea: promoting a shared identity. Not only do they acknowledge that tribalism is a very natural behavior, but they even understand it to be the solution to their ills. They want to create a tribe out of their community, a group with a clear, guiding identity beyond basic consumerism. Back up now buddy, this isn’t Stormfront!

I’m being a little facetious here, as you can tell. I don’t think any of the three men in the panel genuinely got what they were hinting at. If they actually understood the dangerous nature of the ideas they were playing with, they’d probably never have given the talk, lest it undermine the greater good of ideological purity. Yet I suppose a man can dream that there are still nerds who value functionality over petty ideology. Maybe next year we’ll see developers talking about human biodiversity affecting games? You never know…