Sunday, October 20, 2019

An Example of How Narrative Control Works

I mention this in passing at the Retreat today, but here let's talk about the Thralls of Empire and how just one small node can have outsized influence.

The node is Wizards of the Coast. This a corporation based out of Seattle, Washington in the United States of America. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hasbro corporation. It is the current owner of Dungeons of Dragons, the originator of Magic: The Gathering, and the owner or originator of several other properties. Its properties arose in the media of tabletop gaming: card games, board games, and role-playing games and it holds the dominant position in those markets- especially in tabletop RPGs, where it is a global leader.

This small corporation has had an outsized influence on both gaming and fantasy fiction since it acquired TSR Inc. in the late 1990s. Because its fiction publishing and its games publishing, Wizards of the Coast has had a massive influence on what is considered "fantasy" in most of the world- and especially so in gaming. Tropes that it, or TSR, originated are memes that both employees and customers spread globally and are now prominent in properties such as World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy.

This corporation has significant control over what is perceived to be fantasy. Perception control the narrative. The narrative controls the culture. Culture controls politics. The Thralls of Empire know this; that's why they target whatever controls perception for takeover first and foremost. They believe that perception dictates reality, and insofar that it shapes politics they are correct. Where they are wrong is their belief that political control is reality itself, and as such they fail to understand why King Canute cannot dictate the tides and the seasons.

Customers of this corporation work for Microsoft, Boeing, and Amazon- all based in Seattle or adjacent suburbs. Past employees work in other gaming corporations also based in Seattle. Regular novelists working for this corporation also work with the surviving Big 5 fiction publishers out of New York City and their counterparts in London, England. The customers and past employees also work in and around Hollywood as well as Big Two comics. They work for Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, Google, and all the glorified blogging outfits that call themselves "news outlets".

Customers and past employees also work in the convention circuit where this corporation and all those others routinely display their wares, do their networking, and socialize with and without company sanction. Be it GenCon, PAX (all of them), Wizard World, or Your Local Fan Con, these Thralls take up positions where they shape perceptions and wield that like a club against their enemies- that would be you.

It's the Long Game. Just like the Long March through the institutions, this is similarly playing a Fabian strategy. The idea is to change the perception of what gaming is to conform to what the Thralls want people to believe. They aren't that concerned with the existing audience; those they can't convert they believe they can outlast, as they control all of the intake vectors via that perception control. Therefore the new gamers coming in are their gamers. The new comic readers are their readers. Once a critical mass is achieved, they clamp down control with a white-knuckled vice grip and openly purge everyone undesirable.

And those new gamers? They believe the narrative. They embrace the culture that the narrative originates. They enact on the political outcomes of the culture. They carry the cultural norms of that subculture into the wider culture, repeating and up-scaling the process in a fractal manner. This is how the narrative control angle works; it becomes a vector for subversion and then a means of informal indoctrination.

That's why the Thralls don't care about breeding their own replacements. They openly aim to steal your children and transform them--degrade them--into becoming like them. If they can't use the formal institutions to do it, then they'll use the informal ones. This is how that is done. This is how Empire perpetuates itself, by subverting necessary elements of Civilization and suborning them to serve Empire's inversion of reality. It's gaslighting as a long-form grift.

Empire Must Fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment