I’m pretty terrified about how it plays out. No time for a thread or to write about it today though.
It even “solves” the content generation “problem” that ARGs have had :(
ARGs are predicated on drawing together/discovering evidence to figure out an end-goal/story and "meaning"
"The first to solve" or the "first to make the connection" that we saw way back in 2000.
Achievers: connection finders, playing for local fame
Killers: *LITERALLY, FOR FUCK'S SAKE*, but also in this case, "killing"/griefing/attacking people not even playing the game
Explorers: connection finders
QAnon is a massively multiplayer, distributed, bottom-up, undirected effort that is strikingly gamelike and has its tendrils now in politics and is a threat to public safety.
But QAnon "solved" it by being able to co-opt all content that already exists and, like I say above, encourages and allows you to *create new content* that counts and is fair play in-the-game.
That's why I'm worried: I don't know how you fight something like this.
Part of QAnon's explict "game design" is that *there is no game designer*, there's no moderator, there's no GM/DM.
We had the same experience in 2001 and we smacked that fucker down as community moderators. We knew the risks. We knew people wanted to do it.
Like I say, it's a massively multiplayer participatory conspiracy theory across multiple social platforms.
(It's not actually that hard, it's just like writing a good book)
Players are allowed to add their UGC.
Only this has real world consequences and *people are getting elected* because they are Bartle-type *achievers* in the QAnon game!
I also know they did it for good. (If you won't, and they want that info anyway, then who will they get?)
But n the Bartle point about MMOs and player types and achievers/killers/socializers/explorers - what online game lets achievers "win" public office?
I guess I do know how you can slow it down, and one way is by using the tactic we did in 2000.
Aggressively moderate & deplatform. Shut down forums, FB groups, hashtags. All of it.
The attempt to shut it down is used as evidence that the game's narrative is real.
In a way, I *don't* see Qanon behavior, or better, "people who play/do QAnon" as "deranged". Their behavior makes sense in terms of compelling (addictive) game design & our socio-ec climate.
It offers rewards for engagement. *Anyone can play*.
You can onboard anywhere, because its memes/onboarding has spread everywhere. It's on goddamn FOX NEWS!
As a game, it makes you FEEL GOOD.
But you can be a winner at this game.
To me, that's what's terrifying.
This is what Explorer player types get. You discover a new cache of info and you get to assimilate it. You can lose yourself in it.
This one also EXPLAINS THE WORLD to you and addresses grievances. The TV is also backing it up!
Its story and hook has been, I don't know, accidentally evolutionarily selected for dispossessed, disadvantaged people.
You need to fight it with *benevolent* ideas, but those ideas need to be more rewarding than the existing QAnon rewards against each player axis.
I think those genuine rewards are hard to find in late-capitalism.
DMs open if anyone wants to ask me more about this; I've got to go and do actual family and work time.
You fight it with a robust social safety net program.
That's it. People are scared this "game" is meeting their needs in a collectively societally destructive way.
Fund social services not police services.
Black lives matter.
-- end --