After initial reports that he was pulling out of the Penny Arcade Expo East (PAX East) video game convention scheduled to take place in two weeks, and before claiming that #gamergate plans a sarin gas attack, Revolution 60 developer Brianna Wu has put out a call for help on Twitter, asking for gamers to provide “security”. Specifically, he is looking for gamers who can “throw down if called upon”, that is, physically assault someone at Mr. Wu’s request. Willing participants will be provided free badges and passes to the event. It is unknown, however, if Mr. Wu will be paying their bail money.
Mr. Wu claims that these unlicensed, unbonded, and untrained “security guards” are necessary because he feels his safety is threatened by #Gamergate. This is, of course, unfounded nonsense. After his a rambling statement where he insulted the convention’s organizers and said he “struggles” each year with whether or not he should pay to attend the convention, the PAX East organizers reminded him that everyone who enters the convention hall is searched and there is a police presence on site.
PAX is known to be a well-run, safe, and welcoming convention, and its staff, known as “enforcers”, have a reputation that even Mr. Wu grudingly admits is excellent. And of course, there’s the fact that in the past 6 months no one has actually been hurt by #Gamergate.
I had initially thought that Mr. Wu’s pulling out of the PAX convention was another example of a tactic we’ve seen many times in the course #Gamergate, a very public overreaction to an anonymous “threat” which is then played for sympathy. We saw this with Ms. Sarkeeesian, who stated she received an anonymous threat from a computer in Brazil, and used this an excuse to pull out of a scheduled speaking engagement at a university. This generated a lot of positive publicity for Ms. Sarkeesian as the media cast her as the victim of a faceless, online mob. She later parlayed this publicity into a massive amount of donations and corporate funding.
Mr. Wu’s tendency throughout #Gamergate has been to be a less attractive and less competent version of Anita Sarkeesian, so it would make sense if he was attempting to copy from her playbook here. But why then, would he want to recruit a personal gang of thugs in Twitter? There’s no need for it, and having unknown and potentially dangerous and violent men around you when you’re trying to promote your game is a huge liability. So why do it then?
The Link Between Transsexualism, Psychopathy, And Paranoid Delusion
A reasonable man who felt his life would be in danger at PAX might do any number of things. He may decide to skip the convention altogether. He may work with the local police or convention staff to provide security. He might hire a personal bodyguard (they’re not too terribly expensive). What he would not do is ask a bunch of men on Twitter who he’s never met to protect him from a potentially deadly assailant.
Why might Mr. Wu not be behaving reasonably, then? Why is he not doing the things a sane person would do? As is well known by now, Mr. Wu is a transsexual who’s original name was John Flynt. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, a well-known scientific publication whose history stretches back to before the Civil War, showed evidence of a link between transsexualism and serious psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, psychosis, and paranoia. In a small study of 20 transsexuals who were seeking gender reassignment surgery, well over half showed evidence of one of the above.
Numerous other studies since then have found a very high incidence of mental illness in the transsexual population. In light of these and other findings, it’s worth asking whether Mr. Wu is not behaving a rational or sane manner because he is not rational or sane. Whether his transsexualism caused him to go insane, or whether the two are linked to some deeper cause in his childhood or genetic makeup, there’s no way for us to know. But given his behavior, the question must be asked.
From the content of his tweets, it’s possible that Mr. Wu is looking for a fight at PAX. The reason he’s asking for help on Twitter instead of hiring a professional to protect him is that he wants to hurt someone, and having a policeman 10 feet away would make that difficult. Paranoids can be extremely dangerous people, capable of doing anything to others they wrongly perceive as threats. With his long history of crying threats and obvious persecution complex, Mr. Wu certainly fits this pattern.
What this means for you #Gamergaters who are reading this is: if you see Brianna Wu at PAX East, either at a press event or on the show floor, you would be well advised to stay far away. Don’t go up to him to tell him what you thought of Revolution 60, or what you think of his behavior in #Gamergate. He and his friends are likely to behave in a very violent manner, and it’s not worth getting hurt over. Some of his followers have already started talking about “crushing the skulls” of #Gamergate supporters, so there’s good reason to be careful. No matter how reasonable you think you are, no matter how mild your disagreement, he will very likely lash out at you.
With any luck, his erratic, unstable, and completely inappropriate behavior will cause the PAX convention organizers to ban him entirely. Otherwise, something very bad may happen to an unlucky #Gamergater.