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  • Published: 12 November 2024
  • ISBN: 9780262549417
  • Imprint: MIT Press Academic
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 238
  • RRP: $69.99

Gaming Democracy

How Silicon Valley Leveled Up the Far Right



How play and gaming culture have mainstreamed far right ideology through social media platforms.

How play and gaming culture have mainstreamed far right ideology through social media platforms.

From #Gamergate to the ongoing Big Lie, the far right has gone mainstream. In Gaming Democracy, Adrienne Massanari tracks the flames of toxicity found in the far right and “alt-right” movements as they increasingly take up oxygen in American and global society. In this pathbreaking contribution to the fields of internet studies, game studies, and gender studies, Massanari argues that Silicon Valley’s emphasis on meritocracy and free speech absolutism has driven this rightward slide. These ideologies have been coded into social media spaces that implicitly silence marginalized communities and subject them to rampant abuse by groups that have learned to “game” the ecology of platforms, algorithms, and attention economies.

While populist movements are not new, phenomena such as QAnon, parental rights activism, and COVID denialism are uniquely “of the internet,” with supporters demonstrating both technical acumen and an ability to use memes and play as a way of both building community and fomenting dissent. Massanari explores the ways that the far right uses memetic humor and geek masculinity as tools both to create a sense of community within these leaderless groups and to obfuscate their intentions. Using the lens of play and game studies as well as the concept of “metagaming,” Gaming Democracy is a novel contribution to our understanding of online platforms and far right political activism.

  • Published: 12 November 2024
  • ISBN: 9780262549417
  • Imprint: MIT Press Academic
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 238
  • RRP: $69.99