This is a long goddamn post, so bear with me.
Of course I’m going to keep talking about the Hugos, last week was the first post I ever made that made me any money. But seriously, all jokes aside, there’s a lot more I want to talk about on the matter. Like I said last week, this is a big deal. How could I contain it to just one blog post? This is, along with #GamerGate, a defining moment in the history of geek fandom.
What sparked this second post was a reddit conversation by some liberals discussing the broken window effect. For those of you who don’t know, the best description of the broken window effect and its application comes from Malcom Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point.” The idea is that small, petty crimes in urban environments like public drinking, vandalism, and toll-jumping contribute to a social atmosphere where larger, more troublesome crimes like robbery, rape, and assault are more likely to happen. If a window is broken and not fixed, it becomes acceptable to break windows. When breaking windows is acceptable, soon other petty crimes become acceptable. When those crimes become acceptable, larger crimes soon become acceptable. One thing leads to another, and soon you get Detroit.
Broken window theory was one of the driving forces behind Rudy Guliani’s policy that effectively turned New York City around. “The Tipping Point” focuses on the Guliani administration’s cleaning graffiti off of subway cars in order to help curb toll-jumping. By keeping the cars cleaner and nicer, it created an atmosphere that favored civilization over crime. Guliani’s administration cleaned up NYC in other ways as well- he rid Times Square of most of the vice that it was famous for, and made it a family destination. He encouraged a more strict NYPD that cracked down harder on petty crime, creating an atmosphere of public order. In Singapore, the great Lee Kuan Yew did the same thing, cracking down on minor transgressions like spitting, littering, and chewing gum in public as to create order.
Nowadays, broken window theory has fallen out of favor. While only a select few question its effectiveness, liberals soon realized that whenever you build your police policy around the broken windows theory, it means that more black people wind up in prison for criminal behavior. In fact, the idea of improving the neighborhood to keep crime rates down often eventually leads to gentrification. In fact, you could argue that the new ideology of “Dinduism” to spring up from the Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown incidents was coined in direct response to broken window theory: it doesn’t matter that Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown or Eric Garner were acting in a way that was detrimental to public order- neighborhood watch or even the police keeping tabs on them to enforce said order is just racist!
The greater irony in all of this is that liberals love to use broken window theory. Of course, rather than use it to preserve public order, they use it to create a more “equal” society. The entire reason why liberals get so mad over “micro-aggressions” is because those are their broken windows- minor, seemingly harmless actions that reinforce bad attitudes which create an undesirable society. Thus, to the liberal, every single bold anti-liberal, anti-leftist transgression that goes unpunished helps set the precedent that this sort of wrongthink is okay.
This explains the mass amount of rage over the Puppy Coup. More often than not, the rage comes back to one single target: Vox Day. Most of the Sad Puppies are moderate liberals and moderate right-wingers. To them, the Sad Puppy slate is about restoring balance and neutrality to the Hugo Awards. But Vox Day’s Rabid Puppy slate is even more offensive and more enraging- because it means someone as brazenly, unabashedly anti-liberal as Vox Day can win an award. It means that Vox Day has power and influence. It’s him breaking a window and them being unable to punish him for it. The anti-Puppy old guard is screaming for blood, because they know how the slippery slope works. If Vox Day can participate in Sci-Fi/Fantasy, it means people like Vox Day who agree with Vox Day’s views are also welcome. It means that now, evil right-wing people like myself will start to participate in SFF.
That’s also why the leftist rage against #GamerGate has been so severe. Leftists hate #GamerGate because #GamerGate hurt leftists and continues to hurt them, and no one is getting punished for it. Nero is going to E3. Brandon and Liz now write for the Escapist. Jen Dawe and Rogue both got their games on steam, and TFYC is likely to follow. #GamerGate is not going away, #GamerGate is only becoming more visible and more culturally influential in gaming. #GamerGate has broken so many windows.
And ultimately, we need to break even more windows. We need to find more windows and break them. We need to flood the comments sections of anti-#GamerGate websites and make our presence known. We need to find a way around the block lists so we can make it very clear to the opposition that twitter is our territory. We need to spread our shit-talk of SJWs to the public sphere, and go public. Every time #GamerGate gets to transgress against the SJW norm without consequences, we make transgressing against them more acceptable.
One of my personal idols is weev. I get that it’s kind of weird for a gay sperg to like weev, but the man is simply brilliant. He once said to me that his goal was “to widen the overton window until genocide becomes acceptable”. In a sense, Encyclopedia Dramatica has done just that: it’s become the perfect tool to attack the SJW establishment without consequence. Someone on /r/GamerGhazi was chimping out quite hard because googling “Sarah Nyberg” brought up little Nicky’s page on ED. If anyone wants to look up nick Nyberg’s body of work, the first thing they see is that he’s a sexual deviant and complete waste of flesh. ED helps give a platform for otherwise unspeakable ideas and lets people find them, internalize them, and spread them. Part of what helps keep troll behavior alive is that ED can exist without repercussions. Weev is part of what was the most successful window-breaker in internet history.
And yes, I know weev doesn’t think too highly of #GamerGate. But that doesn’t make him any less brilliant. We need to take a page from his book and be more aggressive and transgressive. Every time we hurt SJWs and get away with it, we de-legitimatize them and make hurting SJWs more acceptable. Every time we take away a safe space, we assert that we’re the norm, not them. Every time an Ellen Pao or Sabrina Erdely gets publicly humiliated, they are forced back into the shadows. At this point the #GamerGate doctrine should be to attack, attack attack.
Think about it this way- the more people publicly shit on Gawker and Vox, the easier it will be to pull away their advertisers through our e-mailing. The more vocally people shit on Anita and friends, the harder it will be for the games press to ignore it or try to rebuke us. The more #GamerGate embeds itself into gaming culture, the harder it’ll be for games press and SJWs to take it over. We need to break all of the windows and graffiti all of the subway cars, and change things so #GamerGate is the norm.
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.
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.