Jon Stout Profile picture
Mar 26, 2018 21 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Hi, @constancegrady - just read the article. First of all, thank you. It's among the more evenhanded approaches to #ReadyPlayerOne than I've seen around. Highly recommended. Just wanted to post my reaction, if you're willing to humor me. /1
Let me mention before I start that your opinion of the book pretty much matches my own -- pretty standard white male nerd power fantasy with a cyberpunk flair. Enjoyed it for what it was. I still liked it better when it was called "Snow Crash." /2
But it's the "white male nerd" part of it that's the real problem here, right? Because if I'm reading your article correctly -- it seems you're saying that the entire figure of the "white male nerd" has been irrevocably tainted by Gamergate. Is that a fair summation? /3
This is where I need to remember not to take things personally. Even if all those labels do apply to me, obviously. /4
Anyway, let's put it another way here: Cline and his work are being held responsible because a bunch of alt-right f**** decided to be assholes (which, yes, involved death threats and doxxing, not trying to minimize that)... /5
... even though to my knowledge Cline didn't have anything to do with Gamergate. Nor has his work been any particular kind of rallying cry for that side of things.


Guess that makes as much sense as anything else I've seen online. /6
But let's talk about gatekeeping, because that's where the article gets really interesting, and where you draw the largest connection between Gamergate and #ReadyPlayerOne. /7
So the connecting theme here is this nebulous category of who gets membership in the Real Nerd Club, whatever that is. That's the flag that the Gamergaters waved... as they apparently believed that they had that right somehow. But I digress. /8
You suggest that #ReadyPlayerOne feeds into that mentality by emphasizing the importance of minutiae and cultural shibboleths. Since it posits a world where mastery of those things actually matters/is the only thing that matters. Again, fair summary? /9
You also suggest that being white and male is an unspoken requirement of this world -- that the fiction explicitly bars entry for women and people of color... /10
... even though you cite an example in the text where this turns out to not be the case, and one of the main character's friends turns out to be a black lesbian. /11
Which was again very fair of you. And maybe your criticism is valid and that moment was mishandled, I honestly can't remember. Point was, it didn't bar her from being a "real" gunter. Right? /12
In short, there was nothing stopping anyone -- regardless of identity -- from participating in this contest. Which was essentially a posthumous attempt by a socially-incapable gazillionaire man-child to find someone who understood him. /13
The only reason the protagonist won... is that he was the protagonist. Because he was the author stand-in, and this was *his* power fantasy.

And that's the real issue here, isn't it? Whose Fantasy This Is. /14
It's not about Cline. It's not about his writing, or the quality thereof. It's not even about Spielberg and his studio machine.

It's about White Male Nerds being overtly catered to (or pampered) at this cultural moment... /15
... and the fact that there hasn't been a successful Black/PoC Male/Female/Trans Nerd Power Fantasy yet. It's about Someone Else Getting A Turn At The Mike.

Isn't it? /16
Yeah, okay. I agree. I want that to happen.

So why can't we just talk about that, instead of singling out Cline and #ReadyPlayerOne for abuse? You know as well as I do that that's not fair. /17
I guess that's what sticks in my craw about this whole thing. That Cline and his story/movie are being singled out for massive cultural factors beyond his or anyone else's control. And -- by extension -- white male nerds like me in general... /18
... regardless of where we stood on Gamergate, or how we voted, or whatever.

"Well, now you know how PoCs/women/insert minority group feel, suck it up." Yeah, I get that, and I'll live. I also remember when the whole point was that no one deserved to be targeted like that. /19
It just bugs me that we have to indulge in this high-school-level pettiness all the time, because it's always the extremists driving the conversation. And that it seens we can't talk directly about the real issue of Who Gets Cultural Power. /20
And I've sunk an hour into tweeting about this. Right. I've said enough. Probably too much. You have any sort of response, please feel free. /21

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Jon Stout

Jon Stout Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @jon_stout

Apr 29, 2018
ME: Hi, um. Mr. Thanos, was it?
THANOS: That's correct.
ME: Could we just talk for a second here? I feel like if I'm going to die here, I'd appreciate having a clear understanding as to why.
THANOS: Hm. Well, I don't see why not.

#InfinityWar #Marvel #SpoilerAlert #Thanos
(I now pause for a half hour or so, specifically so @KolarRachel @eflind and others trying to avoid spoilers can mute this thread)
ME: So I understand that your lifelong goal is to curb overpopulation on a galactic / universal level.

#Thanos : Indeed.

ME: So I might disagree with your means, but rationally, I guess I can at least sort of see where you're coming from? Kind of? A little anyway.
Read 16 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!