"This is how reactionary right wing thinking lives harmoniously within the framework provided by hyper-rationalism. Those who are traditionally granted the most power and access in our society — middle class white men — are given the language of hyper-rationalism without any of the awareness or experience to understand the systemic problems facing marginalized groups. The internet media landscape is filled with pundits like Sargon of Akkad who use rationalist and objectivist language to present their sexist, racist opinions as a matter of factual reality. They paint people from oppressed groups as irrational whiners, as people who selfishly abuse and manipulate the system around them — even as genetically deficient — because they have not historically been able to reach the level of measured outcome success as their oppressors within our seemingly objective meritocratic reality. Without the dominance of hyper-rationalist thinking in our culture and the intense social isolation caused by neoliberalism, there is no way for this sort of rhetoric to become so widespread.
Forget artificial intelligence: the alt-right is the true mutant child of our neoliberal technocratic society.
But what have the neoliberal technocrats of our society replaced this total erasure of the language we need to understand power dynamics and systemic oppression with? An obsession with people’s surface behavior. This is not really a coincidence. By defining racism or sexism as merely an embodiment of personal bigotry, we’re able to believe in the monuments of our great myth of cultural growth like Obama, while still simultaneously maintaining systems that continue to brutally oppress and kill people.
Our popular culture has become so steeped in a deeply cynical sort of practicality, where many of us are able recognize the contradictions and hypocrisies of modern society, but we also cynically accept that we can’t really do much of anything about them. The awareness of this incremental progress being largely the result of a long-term collective struggle becomes completely erased and co-opted. By making displays of bigoted behavior as the ultimate embodiment of evil we have a built-in justification for moving selfishly within the system because we’ve displaced our shame of our own cultural complicity with the destruction our way of life causes onto a convenient scapegoat.
This, it turns out, opens the door for people to use bigoted language we have deemed “too far” as a show of power and dominance. People like Milo Yiannopoulos are the end point realization of this thinking — a reality that sustains itself off of a fantasy world completely insulated from any awareness or understanding of the collective struggles of the past. A reality completely nurtured by the self-fulfilling fantasies of hyper-rational objectivism. Instead of technocratic liberals being motivated by some faint glimmer of empathy or awareness for the power struggles of the past and present, the alt-right has come to understand them as simply weak and submissive “beta cucks”, controlled by the irrational manipulations of the deficient. In this view, that’s the only reason the privileged technocrats can’t stay true to the principles of their hyper-rationalist reality.
The point here is that if we accept society is a true perfectly balanced meritocracy, the end result will always be fascism."
"And this gets down to what disturbs me the most about the last few years in videogames — if we had maybe tried to look at the root causes and have a discussion about our own complicity in helping right-wing extremist views propagate inside of videogame communities instead of trying to aggressively force the issue to go away as quickly as possible, maybe we would have been able to address it more effectively. If we had used the situation to have a broader discussion about the huge degree of inequality among independent game makers, or the way the game industry as a whole exploits its workers, or how the gaming press functions largely as glorified PR run by fans and has no real role for challenging the industry, or how hyper-masculine power fantasies dominating the industry have directly provided fuel for the the far right extremist worldview, maybe we could have destroyed the momentum of this movement. And maybe it would’ve just popped up somewhere else in the end — but one of the biggest heads on its hydra would have been chopped off. We certainly still wouldn't continue to be in this hyper-vigilant state of denial about acknowledging or addressing its root causes.
When I attend the annual Game Developers Conference next week in San Francisco, I expect a similar degree of hyper-vigilant denial to what I saw at 2015’s conference after six months of gamergate. I expect industry figures to spend their time smugly taking pot shots at easy targets like Milo or Pewdiepie. And I expect more intense denial from people who will point their fingers furiously at all the internet neo-Nazi pundits who were radicalized through gamergate and loudly declare “THIS IS NOT US!”
The problem is, though, is that it IS us.
If those of us who work within the videogame industry want their medium to not be associated with far-right reactionary movements anymore, we have to use our platform to admit to some level of responsibility or complicity for helping create this problem. Games are a natural fit for realizing the self-fulfilling fantasies of hyper-rationalist numbers-based thinking. Games provide fully realized worlds constructed out of hyper-masculine colonialist power fantasies and filled with racist and sexist caricatures. Games, in general, give a great amount of power to deeply troubling and oversimplified narratives."