Gamergate's color scheme is a rape joke–but they might not know it


Vivian James was created to represent charitable efforts and soften hearts.

With her game obsession, flat affect and passive defiance, she's an antifeminist adolescent's perfect fantasy gal. Alas, the color scheme was inspired by a dumb 4chan rape joke of ancient vintage, and it isn't helping. Fast Company:

The image first appeared on 4chan in the 2000s and was frequently reposted by forum trolls, who spoke of giving a "daily dose" of the graphic to forum members, who'd then reply with the catchphrase "Thanks, doc," according to the meme encyclopedia Know Your Meme. Soon, the image was banned, and users began to post other purple-and-green images understood to be a reference to the forbidden GIF.

The colors purple and green, taken together, came to be associated with the image on 4chan and other forums and used to troll users similarly to the once-popular links to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" music video or to more disturbing shock sites.

Driving home the subconscious nature of the meme, another forum post included "seeing green and purple together produces uncontrollable laughter" on a list of "ways 4chan has ruined your life."

Though most Gamergaters were obviously not clued into the color scheme's history at 4chan (and resist the association now, invoking any innocent thing they can find that is purple and green) it's clear that many of those involved in the graphics' creation were intentionally giving and receiving the daily dose. A fundamental problem with decentralized, leaderless groups that anyone can exploit and manipulate, perhaps?