QAnon is an ARG (Alternate Reality Game). It was set up that way and is managed that way. QAnoners are playing an ARG and refuse to stop for the very reason transreality gaming can be hazardous: you can forget what's game and what's reality. QAnoners are lost in a dangerous game.
The reason this matters is that Trump and his agents aim to expand the gamification of reality beyond the confines of QAnon's ARG mythology. Now they're turning the finding of evidence of "election fraud" into a transreality game with its own mythology. All of this is dangerous.
When we think of the far right as a space of "fake news" rather than the gamification of reality, we falsely accept the notion that Trumpists are interested in news. They're not. They're interested in tailored escapism, and in redefining reality as a mythology they can live with.
When you misdefine someone as simply an indiscriminate "news consumer" rather than deeming them a LARPer—Live-Action Roleplayer—you erroneously analyze their characteristics and erroneously model their behavior.

Trump himself is an ARG—and people enjoy the game too much to stop.
Trump and his agents are deliberately creating a new intelligence theater, in which intelligence agents must "enter the game"—yes, a bit akin to entering a Matrix—to combat the seditious ends Trump, Flynn and others intend to direct their ARG to. It's all weird digital-age stuff.
By this same logic, QAnoners cannot be reached by *real* news presented to them in *conventional* terms.

Instead, intelligence agents will end up infiltrating the Trumpist QAnon ARG with the "real" using scenarios in which the "real" *momentarily* seems to be part of the "game."
This is why I described the Trump era as the First Reality War, and urged folks in intel to treat reality as an active combat theater. Government will need many more digital-age cultural theorists than it anticipated. Not cyber folks—I mean world-builders and their interlocutors.
The good news: the generation coming up gets transmedia, transreality, XR, ARGs, pervasive gaming, immersive theater, reality mining, gamification, collaborative OSINT and the like far more than their elders. Which is key, as much of the Trumpist threat will come in such spheres.
For instance, "Communism" exists in Trumpist mythology the same way Shinra did in Final Fantasy VII: as an in-game construction defined by narrative utility and seamless integration with a UX. Trumpists have no idea how the term connects to anything actually happening in America.
So Trumpists can't be deprogrammed from their sense of what Communism—or for that matter socialism—means in meat space, as their (false) consciousness of these terms is the product of an in-game "economy." You either change their game or get them to stop playing. Both are *hard*.
But put aside intelligence and counterintelligence.

What this means for the average American is that you may have members of your family or certain acquaintances who you can no longer speak to because *even when they are talking to your face* they are playing a transreality ARG.
My advice to those with Trumpists or QAnoners they still want to interact with: you have to find ways to get them to *put the ARG aside* momentarily. Which is hard, because Trump and his team are daily expanding the size of the ARG to try to make it *roughly the size of reality*.
The best many of us can do right now is to try to draw these LARPers into non-game spaces in which they have non-game interactions with non-game participants—and to try to make such spaces and interactions of such high entertainment value that the game begins to seem unnecessary.
But you don't address the situation by trying to introduce "real news" (qua news) directly into the situation, as you are dealing with someone whose interest is in entertainment rather than news—and whose fundamental complaint is with reality itself, not with information streams.
I teach digital-age cultural theory, XR literacy, mass communications, post-postmodernism, digital journalism and transmedia worldbuilding at the university level—while my recent books are classified as being on the subject of intelligence and espionage—so these are my interests.

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More from @SethAbramson

21 Jan
Some of my favorite Bernie Sanders sightings today: ImageImageImageImage
More great Bernie Sanders sightings from Inauguration Day: ImageImageImageImage
Bernie Sanders had the busiest January 20 of anyone: ImageImageImageImage
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20 Jan
CONFIRMED: Trump Pardons Potential Co-Defendant Steve Bannon nytimes.com/live/2021/01/1…
(PS) Trump is pardoning Bannon for an unrelated offense—i.e., not insurrection-related—but remember how Trump operates: he buys loyalty, silence, and stories to law enforcement that are favorable to him via official actions like this one. And that's not the worst of it, either.
(PS2) If you've read the Mueller and SSCI reports, you know Bannon likely lied to federal investigators about how his—and Prince's—cells came to be so synchronously wiped. And lied about his contact with Prince. So Trump *knows* he can bribe Bannon to lie about the insurrection.
Read 4 tweets
20 Jan
1/ I'm not sure how to think through writing about this. On the one hand, the video is secretly recorded; on the other hand, potential abuse should never be treated as a "private matter." On a third hand, Conway daily enabled a man I consider to have killed hundreds of thousands.
2/ This is the video I was reacting to when I said "yikes." I know there are other videos.
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19 Jan
What the ProPublica videos establish is that the crowd descended on the Capitol on the northwest side. That's the part of the building closest to where Trump spoke. Alex Jones told people to go to the front, as Trump would be there. That's where the first major breaches occurred.
Watching these videos, it's increasingly hard for me to see how Alex Jones avoids getting arrested by federal law enforcement. That's significant, given that not only was Jones *directing traffic* during the insurrection but claimed on video to be *in touch with the White House*.
In a video, Jones claimed the Secret Service escorted him from the Trump speech so that he could lead the march to the Capitol. We now know that when he got there he told the crowd that Trump was coming, and directed where they should march. Breaches then occurred at those spots.
Read 5 tweets
18 Jan
(PROOF) Here's a list, for full subscribers to the PROOF newsletter, of all known connections between the Trump campaign and the event that launched the ongoing Trumpist insurrection, the "March to Save America."

I'll keep updating this as events warrant. sethabramson.substack.com/p/trump-campai…
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(PROOF) My analysis of Trump's January 6 speech has been retweeted 75,000 times and seen 20 million times. But a more in-depth look at the speech is needed—as it'll be at the core of Trump's coming trial. Part I is now available for full PROOF subscribers. sethabramson.substack.com/p/a-comprehens…
1/ While full PROOF subscribers get an analysis of Trump's January 6 speech that's three times as long and detailed as the one available for free on Twitter, I really want to make sure the latter version remains readily available also, so here it is again:
2/ I've also done the only comprehensive analysis to date of the 4 speeches that preceded Trump's on January 6 and were intended to frame his own: two by family members, one by Trump's lawyer, and one by Trump's top Congressional ally. Here's that thread:
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