Pascal Wagner is an M.A. cognitive and cultural linguist with a B.A. in English Studies and German Media and Human Rights Law from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. His theses concerned gaming-specific language in online settings and fictional spell names in JRPG games. Currently he works at the Goethe-Institut München, developing a video game-based language diagnosis test for primary school children. He founded the blog and ludolinguistics resource page languageatplay.de to further advance the field of linguistics into the game studies. In 2020, he co-founded the anti-fascist network “Keinen Pixel den Faschisten!” Reach him on Twitter as @indieflock and @languageatplay.
Becoming their target: Anti-fascist gaming network “Keinen Pixel den Faschisten” and its right-wing backlash
FROG 2020 – Short Talk
When over 40 bloggers, podcasters, developers, streamers, developers and other content creators from the German-speaking video gaming space launched their anti-fascist network “Keinen Pixel den Faschisten!” in April 2020, hatred from German speaking right wing outlets was sure to follow. Indeed it did: A counter account on Twitter was formed by German GamerGate-followers to ascribe an anti-free speech stance to “Keinen Pixel”. English translations of antifascist texts were seeded onto international messaging boards of the GamerGate campaign to rile up resistance from the English speaking right. Even a conspiracy theory was fabricated in which the German government allegedly subsidised the network financially to further the censoring of free speech in gaming spaces. This talk from one of the co-founders of the network outlines the steps taken against “Keinen Pixel” and puts them in context of well-known right wing activist methodology. It will lead with a short introduction of what lingering influence of the GamerGate movement in German speaking internet communities remains, why a network such as “Keinen Pixel” was and needed to be founded and what said network does to counter fascist tendencies and influence in gaming spaces. The talk will reference common propaganda theory and relevant linguistic basics as well as fundamentalist strategies of arguing and debating.