Gamergate Target Plays 'Wofenstein II' to Raise Money for Congress Bid

Brianna Wu is shooting virtual Nazis for a cause.


When most people run for office, the usual methods for fundraising are quite boring. From straight up calling folks, to throwing dinners, to maybe even hosting a golf tournament, it’s usually all about getting people together to give you money. But not for Brianna Wu. Instead, the Massachusetts-based game developer is hosting a live Twitch stream of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, the new, first-person shooter game where you eviscerate Nazis in brutal ways, in order to raise her campaign funds for the 8th congressional district of Massachusetts.

Wu announced the news early Monday on her campaign’s website and scheduled the event for 5 p.m. Eastern, Wu will hop on Twitch — the social networking platform where users broadcast their activity to a live audience — to play Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, the newest game in Bethesda’s Wolfenstein reboot. The game is set in a dystopian reality where Nazis won World War II.

Aside from the suddenly political perspective that Nazis are bad, Wu’s campaign idea is noteworthy in that she was one of the most prominent targets during the height of Gamergate, a controversy that, at its peak in 2014, exposed issues of sexism and a lack of progressivism in gaming (although proponents argue it was about ethical practices in games journalism). Gamergate is also largely understood as the overture for the alt-right and resurgence of neo-Nazis.

Wu announced her intentions to run for Congress almost immediately after the 2016 U.S. election, running on platforms such as online privacy, harassment, and to make Massachusetts a formidable technology hub on the east coast.

Until the presidential election of Donald Trump, “Nazis as villains” was a tired trope, especially in the realm of video games. But after Trump, whose found support from neo-Nazis and white supremacists, Wolfenstein II is suddenly one of the most politically relevant video games out right now, even while the game’s actual messages and marketing are generally apolitical.

You can watch the stream live on Twitch here.

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