Ndemic Creations recently updated Plague Inc. to include a new “Fake News” scenario, where they teamed up with Full Fact and Politifact to bring gamers a number of different scenarios involving fooling the general public at large using fake news. One such scenario involves an achievement based on #GamerGate, with the actual achievement called “GamerGate”, which can only be unlocked by having a bunch of gamers troll while blaming journalists for malfeasance.
Plague Inc. creator James Vaughan commented in the news announcement about the scenario and how players will be able to create their own fake news schemes to deceive the general public…
“Just like a deadly pandemic, the spread of misinformation is a huge threat to our society. When designing this new update for Plague Inc., it was scary how many of our infection algorithms translated perfectly to the world of false facts, fake news and bad information. Full Fact are a hugely powerful resource that everyone should use to make sure they really know what is going on.”
Some gamers weren’t so readily convinced that this was an exercise in edutainment, and began asking about why #GamerGate was added to the scenario and what was the motivation behind the decision.
“why did you have to bring up gamergate literally years after it fell out of relevance
literally one of the most divisive topics to bring up in a gaming community and you named an achievement after it [sic]”
As the discussion unfolded, one user noted that some of their comments about the topic were removed from the thread, and that apparently the moderators were removing comments and forum threads, with [Linux] Ryblade writing…
“This thread seems to have lost over an entire page worth of posts, including one I had made.
“I guess the moderators are playing their own Fake News scenario, called the Steam Community Forums.
“A new ability has evolved: Narrative Control – Stealthy Post Deletion.”
He’s not lying.
While I was checking into the forum links that were sent to OAG to investigate the topic of #GamerGate being mentioned in Plague Inc., I found that some of them had already been deleted by the forum moderators.
Attempting to visit the links will take you back to the Steam forums for Plague Inc.
We saw these tactics unfold when A Hat In Time‘s hidden trans Easter egg flag was discovered and forum topics were censored to keep dissent from spreading. People like Chris Raygun even spread the fake news that no censorship was taking place in order to cover for the developers.
But why the censorship surrounding the discussion of #GamerGate? Well, in a separate thread Steam user Ress outlined how you unlock the #GamerGate achievement in Plague Inc., and it involves starting a fake news campaign in the USA by men, with the motivation of “trolling” and the blame being put on “journalists”.
So the general gist is that #GamerGate was a trolling campaign that only blamed unethical media outlets and corrupt journalists as a distraction to engage in a harassment campaign, something that was never true, as evident by the FBI report and a peer reviewed report by WAM!.
In any case, it looks like history won’t be kind to movements like #GamerGate, and since corrupt media outlets set the tone for what the consumer revolt was about, it has resulted in it saturating pop culture based on their narrative.
(Thanks for the news tip tempestarcade)