What Is QAnon? (Part 1 – A LARP is born)

(Need More Context? – Read Part 0.5 Here)

People asked me “Fiona, what is a LARP?” A LARP is either when a bunch of nerds get together and act out a kickass fantasy in the woods IRL, or it’s when your racist uncle puts on a confederate soldier’s uniform and pinkie swears that he’s only doing this because of his deep and abiding love of history.

However, in both of those cases, you have to put in some effort, just look at the kickass picture below. One of the most infuriating things about Q is just how lazy of a LARP it is.

A picture of a person dressed in fantasy robes, wearing a fencer's mask, and holding a bladed weapon in a field.
This is how you do a LARP right.
Image by Ralf Hüls, Sascha Rathjen – CC-BY-SA 4.0

FBIAnon had fizzled out by 2017, occasionally popping up to do a pointless Q&A where nothing came true. Fun way to pass the time on /pol/, but not really anything more than that. But no worries, on the 28th of October, 2017, a new and improved FBIANon, named Q, came into the world with this bold and totally accurate prediction:

Picture of an archived 4chan post which reads: "Hillary Clinton will be arrested between 7:45 AM - 8:30 AM EST on Monday - the morning on October 30, 2017."
You can totally see why people insist Q is infallible, right?

(For the rest of these posts I’m going to steal an idea from Jan Bobrowicz and deliver Q drop via the medium of Garfield.)

Make the Mark Work For You

Three posts were made on that first day and immediately they hit on the winning formula. Sure, there was the blatantly untrue prediction of Hillary Clinton’s arrest, but they also asked open ended nonsense questions. Ask any conman and they’ll tell you that getting the mark to put work in on your side is the best way to reel them in.

Here’s an example from the third ever ‘Q drop’:

Panel 1: Garfield standing next to a hole in the ground saying 'Where is Huma? Follow Huma'
Panel 2: Garfield standing next to Otie, who has a bone in his mouth in the hole
Panel 3: Otie is shaking his head. Garfield is saying 'What is the military code? Where is AW being held? Why?
Otie thought about listening to Garfield and getting pilled, before realizing he was spouting nonsense. Because even a dumb-shit imaginary dog can avoid radicalization with a little extra thought.

For the record, Huma is Huma Abedin, ex-wife of Anthony Weiner (who is AW), and former Hillary Clinton employee. At the time, Anthony Weiner was in Federal Medical Center, Devens, which according to Wikipedia is: ‘a United States federal prison in Massachusetts for male inmates requiring specialized or long-term medical or mental health care.’ He was there because he’s a white man with money whose lawyers said he had a sex addiction.

I have no idea what military or what code that question is referring to. Neither do you, because Q never provides answers. Not that it matters. You’re actively crafting this story together. What do you want it to mean? Congratulations, you cracked the code! Please enjoy the temporary dopamine boost and sense of achievement.

The worst part is, to write about this, I have to put in work. By doing so it looks as though I accept the premise that the questions were worth answering. Even if I dismiss the questions as nonsense, I have engaged. That’s how they reel you in.

And that’s why this is a game. If I were passively consuming predictions or just reading a Q&A I might get bored, but at this early stage QAnon is a LARP in a meaningful sense because by answering the nebulous open-ended questions you become an active participant and player.

Harassment Gets Baked Into The Crust

Q likes to call their posts ‘crumbs’ or ‘breadcrumbs’, and Q followers like to say they are ‘bakers’. I’m not entirely sure how you bake bread from already existing crumbs but let’s work with what we have.

As we will see in later parts, QAnon acolytes love to harass people. If you thought (as they do) that someone was a cannibalistic pedophile, you’d probably harass them too. This isn’t an offshoot or a case of something ‘getting out of hand’, it’s a core feature of the game.

You notice I didn’t go stalk Huma Abedin in my answers above. I don’t care where she is. I hope she’s happy now she’s not married to a lying pervert who chats up children. Q really cares. Four out of the first ten Q drops say to follow or check in with where she is. Why? Like I said, Q doesn’t provide answers. You decide!

In all panels, Garfield is lying down and a thought bubble is coming from his head. They say:
Panel 1: Where is Huma?
Panel 2: Follow Huma Tomorrow. Human
Panel 3: Where is Huma Today?
This is normal. Everything is fine.

Join me next week for part 2 where we explore early Q narratives, and watch the original creators desperately try and bail from the monster they made.

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