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#gamergate 8chan attention seeking empathy deficit gamebros gaslighting harassment irony alert lying liars TROOOLLLL!!

Plot twist: Brianna Wu's gun-loving, car-flipping gamebro stalker is actually a trolly comedian. Who now claims he's being harassed.

"Jace Connors" holds forth on Skype
“Jace Connors” holds forth on Skype

That gun-loving gamebro who flipped his car while on his way, he said, to “race” video game developer and GamerGate critic Brianna Wu? It turns out he’s not the delusional and potentially dangerous asshole he seemed to be in the countless videos he’s put online.

No, he’s actually an aspiring comedian in an “extreme” comedy troupe known for trolling everyone from anime fans to TED talk attendees, and “Jace Connors” is just a character he’s been playing, a sort of parody of a basement-dwelling, monster-drink-guzzling gamebro douchebag who can’t tell the difference between real life and video games. His harassment of Wu — what he called “OperationWupocalypse” — was all part of an elaborate comedy bit that he’s been doing for years.

In other words, he’s not one kind of asshole, happily terrifying a woman who gets regular death threats in the name of video games. He’s another kind of asshole, happily terrifying a woman who gets regular death threats in the name of video games.

As Joseph Bernstein of Buzzfeed reported last night, “Connors”

is in fact Jan Rankowski, a 20-year-old living in Maine who is affiliated with Million Dollar Extreme, a provocative cult comedy group based in Rhode Island, and far from being the archfiend of GamerGate, Rankowski is himself now the subject of a campaign of harassment.

While lots of people had been suspicious for some time, the real identity of “Jace Connors,” also known as Parkourdude91, seems to have been first uncovered by a commenter on Kiwi Farm, a site devoted to trolling “Lolcows” — that is, “people and groups whose eccentric or foolish behavior can be ‘milked’ for amusement and laughs.”

The plot twist is that “Connors”/Rankowski has been milking the milkers, and the rest of us, for laughs. He told Buzzfeed that “the Jace character was just a lens through which I do satire” and that his recent behavior was designed to mock “the over-the-top, super-hyper-macho armed GamerGater.”

Now that his real identity has been exposed — assuming that this is not part of an even more elaborate troll job — the guy who terrorized Wu now claims that he’s being terrorized, with people calling his workplace and the high school he went to. He told Buzzfeed that “part of the humor of MDE is pushing the boundaries, but we’ve never encountered actually being afraid for our own safety.”

Rankowski added that he’s gained a “newfound respect for the people who are having to deal with GamerGate, Brianna Wu and Anita.”

Then again, he could be trolling us once again. On his blog Deagle Nation – named after a pistol “Jace Connors” fetishizes – he’s put up a post with the title THANK YOU FOR PLAYING. He promises that “THE TRUTH OF PARKOURDUDE91” will be revealed in a livestream tomorrow, declaring

WE’RE NOT DONE YET

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING

AND IT’S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE

All this even though he told Buzzfeed that he “was made to sign a contract at my job saying I wouldn’t make any of these videos again.”

When I wrote about “Jace Connors,” shortly after he posted a video of himself having what looked like a screeching tantrum by the side of an icy highway next to a car on its side, I noted that “his behavior is so strange and erratic and almost literally unbelievable that it would be easy to dismiss him as a troll.” But I went on to say that if he were trolling he would have to be “the most dedicated troll since Andy Kaufman’s fake comedian alter ego Tony Clifton.”

The prize was behind door number two. One difference: the famously assholish Tony Clifton was, at least some of the time, funny.

So is all this evidence that Wu and the others who’ve been targets of #GamerGate’s harassment army are making a big deal over threats that are “obviously” fake?

Well, no. To the person on the receiving end of threats and harassment, “fake” threats feel like real threats, because there is no surefire way to tell whether a threat is coming from an internet comedian or from a genuinely dangerous person.

Even if the overwhelming majority of threats aren’t meant seriously – that is, the threatener does not literally intend to track his or her target down and do them bodily harm – those who get the threats can’t simply dismiss them because, well, what if one of them is real?

So congrats, artist-formerly-known-as-Jace-Connors, you’re a huge dick. For real.

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kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@opium4themasses

@kirbywarp I remember your story now. Much better than mine. Sorry for the excessive whitespace.

No! No no no no no! Yours was great! I just shared mine because yours reminded me of it, and I was proud to have found such an old comment!

The whitespace was fine!

Robert
Robert
7 years ago

I have seen an alleged comment from him* elsewhere, in which he expressed great amusement at Wu’s having taken time and effort to seek legal protection from ‘a figment of my imagination’.

If he’s being harassed by Goobers over this, I hope against hope that he will learn something from the experience. Even if it’s as basic as ‘I shouldn’t do things like this’.

*At this point, I’m not inclined to believe this cruvveling wahoonie about anything.

Spindrift
Spindrift
7 years ago

It’s certainly hard to take his word on anything at this point.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

@Robert That sounds pretty dubious. So according to Rankowski, if I dress up as some fictional character and go murder somebody, I can get out of the charges by simply announcing that the victim was murdered, not by me, but by a figment of my imagination? And therefore was not murdered in reality?

katz
7 years ago

So this should be obvious, but even if your “satire” is proving a legitimate point and directed at a legitimate target, you still aren’t allowed to commit a crime.

Like if a politician says pepper spray is a harmless food product, you still can’t go pepper spray him in the face and go “quit crying, it’s just a food product.” Because that is still assault.

M.
M.
7 years ago

@Kootiepatra

Hah, of course. ^__^;; (And thanks!)

skullbearer
7 years ago

I never saw ‘fake it until you make it’ taken this far before.

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