Theory: QAnon is popular partly because the act of “researching” it through obscure forums and videos and blog posts, though more time-consuming than watching TV, is actually *more enjoyable* because it’s an active process.
Game-like, even; or ARG-like, certainly.
This has always been part of the appeal of conspiracies and the occult, but I feel like QAnon is one of the first to have done this deliberately in a very online, responsive, real-time manner.
This is blowing up, so I’ll add this:
Today, ARGs generally don’t have stories, they’re more like puzzle trails. But back in the day (2000-2010), they were all about stories.