QAnon likened to Alternate Reality Game

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/17/qanon-likened-to-alternate-reality-game.html

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pic3585897

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“A strange game; the only winning move is not to play.”
(War Games, 1983)

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I seriously thought this was the generally accepted description already?

The picking over cryptic messages with thousands of other people to solve puzzles, all the rest. I had actually worked on an idea many years ago to build an ARG to encourage voting, but we abandoned it because we decided it “could get out of hand.”

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So you’re saying that when they tell me that ‘It’s free to play’, I shouldn’t take them at their word?

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It’s free to play because sanity doesn’t have a price tag.

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A game perhaps, but the rules, if any, seem mutable. “Fan Fiction” is the best analogy I can muster. An “IQNON Player’s Handbook” holds comic potential, except that any satire would be as ridiculous and preposterous as the real thing.

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Another analogy… “Connect-the-Dots Mad Libs Version”

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The systemic underfunding of mental health services in my state and results that have followed indicate that there is a price tag, but I diregss.

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It’s more “religion” than “alternative reality game.” All the more so given the ridiculously cryptic pronouncements of “Q” and the ridiculous interpretations thereof. Q is the douche-version of the Oracle of Delphi.

What’s laughable (cryable) is that it started as a joke, a troll on 4chan/8kun. Then, as with other religious tenets (eg, an omnipotent father-figure creator, a pleasurable afterlife), it gained popularity, and became “true” because so many people wanted it to be true.

And not just that! “ASK ME?” As if he knows something about this? Even the people who claim to know about it, don’t know anything about it! That’s the whole point of it. “Trust in the plan.” (Without knowing what the “plan” is.) I would love to hear this guy sputter in his ignorance over his own conspiracy theory.

And this ignorance (“You need to know more. Don’t judge until you get the whole picture”) is a central property of all cults and most religions. Just keep believing. And keep studying. Then judge. Except, you never have enough data to judge, there’s always a new tract to read, a new sermon to listen to, a new OT-level to attain. At some point, you drop the attempt, without consciously doing so, and are left in your default state: an adherent.

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Reminds me of this:

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That was my understanding as well. It was troll fiction made up “on the fly”, but as it’s evolved and more people have jumped on the wagon, its function as a way to troll liberals was lost. It became accepted as reality and truth more and more. It’s an excellent demonstration of how humans create a world that suits their beliefs when reality doesn’t meet their expectations. Q is probably the best example of that since the first religions and myths were formed. It’s a total regression of human intellect.

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It’s just like a child’s game where there is an agreement that it’s a game, that the players make up the original rules. The original rules are that if anyone else wants to play the rules change to confuse the new player. New players are encouraged to enter the game and each new player gets a new set of rules. Soon, the original game looks nothing like the original and each player makes up new rules. Critical mass occurs, everyone gets bored and goes home. It’s also known as “making up shit as you go along”… perfect for the Trumpsters conditioned to believe everything that McCarthyism stands for… no decency, just paranoia. That’s what QAnon stands for. Seventy years of delusional McCarthyism, unobstructed by truth, dignity, rule of law and yes, not a shred of decency.

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Concur: I mean, look at this guy, with his starry eyes. Could easily be a Mormon wearing an “ask me about Jesus” shirt. So you ask him the hardball questions and get the same bullshit responses.

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I strongly encourage people to read The Snowball Effect by Katherine MacLean!

It’s a wonderful golden-age of science fiction short from 1952, in which social scientists work out a set of optimum techniques for helping organizations to grow and thrive, and teach them to the members of a ladies’ sewing circle.

Things go a bit sideways.

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Not a particularly new or original idea.

Adrian Hon has been talking about this for months. Here is the main twitter thread. Here is a longer blog post that gets into more detail.

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Great story, thanks for the link.

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It’s more tom-ah-to than tom-ay-to.

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ah, but this is written by Seth Abramson, so there’s guaranteed to be plenty of new material you haven’t seen elsewhere – because he just pulled it directly out of his ass.

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