The 2017 Hugo nominees were announced yesterday; attendees at this year's World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California will choose from among them to pick this year's Hugo Award winners.
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Read Max Read's sharp précis of what happened to the internet over the last few years: the slow drifting of message-boards to the right as their inhabitants grew from sad kids to angry adults, then the sudden explosion of that pattern across social networks run by corporations with only an ambivalent interest in stopping it.
This was the core value of message-board political consciousness: sovereignty, a concept similarly important to the politics of the far right. Posters and trolls wanted to reserve for themselves on the internet the power and freedom they couldn’t find off it. And as the online and offline spheres slowly merged over the course of the 2010s, that sovereignty expressed itself as an abject refusal to resocialize — the reservation of a sacred right to be cruel. The puckish left-libertarianism that had characterized the early message-board political activity of groups like Anonymous transformed into a revanchism, seemingly intended to protect “Kekistan” — the joking name, from the LOL-like word Kek, for the safe spaces of the frustrated men of the internet.
This was the sensibility galvanized in 2014 by — what else? — a depressed and frustrated man’s rambling, 9,000-word post falsely accusing his game-developer ex-girlfriend Zoë Quinn of exchanging sex for video-game reviews
Tim O'Brien's painting of Pepe is fantastic: a poisoned meme made creepily, grossly real.
One of the interesting oddities about the Alt Right is a "geek fallacies" thing: loyalty to parasitic luminaries, even though they're crudely exploitative, too weird to be on television, and all seem to hate one another. Read the rest
Zoë Quinn, creator of punk games, knows more than most about the sharp end of online harassment. But she also knows what it takes to fight back, an important skill now that the same playbook used against her is wielded broadly by abusive reactionaries of all stripes.
So I can't wait to read her book, Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate, which is finally available for preorder. The release date: September 5, 2017.
Update: Quinn stresses that it's not just about that one particular campaign:
Here's the blurb, from Amazon:
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You've heard the stories about the dark side of the internet-hackers, anonymous hoards attacking an unlucky target, and revenge porn-but they remain just that: stories. Surely these things would never happen to you.
Zoe Quinn used to feel the same way.
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it's the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You get the ebook immediately upon purchase. Read the rest
Technologists have a dismal pattern: when it comes to engineering challenges ("build a global-scale comms platform") they rub their hands together with excitement; when it comes to the social challenges implied by the engineering ones ("do something about trolls") they throw their hands up and declare the problem to be too hard to solve. Read the rest
Gamergate bogeywoman Zoe Quinn is making a new punk game, in collaboration with Amazon deep weird porn-writer (and table-turning, MRA-confounding Hugo nominee Chuck Tingle, and It. Looks. Awesome. Read the rest
For the second year in a row, a bunch of disgruntled "conservative" sf readers and writers are attempting to destroy science fiction's Hugo Awards by nominating slates of works that are, variously: rabid racist tracts; works by their ideological opponents; tepid military sf; works by bystanders; and weird porn by Chuck Tingle, a master of the form, who has nothing to do with any of this. Read the rest
Zoe Quinn, sometime Boing Boing and Offworld contributor and object of pants-wetting apoplexy by Gamergate's jerk-squad, has sold a memoir telling her tale of being targeted for one of the Internet's most grotesque and cowardly pile-ons, and had the film-rights snapped up by Pascal Pictures, with rumors that Scarlett Johansson will play Quinn. Read the rest
Zoe Quinn knows what it's like to be lied about, harassed and generally made a prop in other people's angry inner lives. But she also knows what it's like to have been one of the internet's useful idiots—and how to build something powerful in response to the online mob. In her XOXO speech from September, she talked about providing targeted individuals with the means to unfuck their situation, but also about what the internet could be—should be—after years of growing failure.
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Zoe Quinn continued to encourage new voices in indie game development with learning resources like Sorting Hat and Games Are For Everyone, and launched Crash Override, a volunteer-run task force for victims and targets of online mob hatred.
Recorded in September 2015 at XOXO, an experimental festival celebrating independently produced art and technology in Portland, Oregon.
When I set out to research the out-of-control harassment problem in gamer culture, I never dreamed my mother would be caught up in the middle of it all.
Internet madness, Gamergate, and the special happiness of farewells.
There's a new, great resource-gathering tool
designed for folks new to game-making. Here's why you should check it out.
The game developer and Gamergate bogeywoman/survivor has furnished the authorities with the graphic death-threats she received for speaking out about online harassment of women, but they won't take action. Read the rest
Its time to break down the walls between games and other creative fields.
Let these cool developers cheer you on