Candidate for US Congress to Fundraise by Killing Virtual Nazis

Game Developer Brianna Wu to Stream Wolfenstein II Playthrough on Twitch

Politicians have a shopworn list of ways to raise money. Send emails, call people and hold bad chicken dinners. But congressional candidate and former game developer Brianna Wu has a new idea - killing virtual Nazis.

The game is Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. For most of the life of the 36-year-old game franchise, killing virtual Nazis has been non-controversial. With the election of Donald Trump and the rise of the alt-right, things have changed, and some have called the new Wolfenstein inappropriate.

 

Rather than shy away from the so-called controversy, game developer Bethesda has leaned into it. One of the game’s marketing taglines is “Make America Nazi-free Again,” a clear allusion to Trump’s campaign slogan.

Enter the Brianna Wu 2018 campaign. Wu, a software engineer now running for US Congress in Massachusetts District 8, was targeted by the alt-right through much of 2014 and 2015 in an international controversy known as Gamergate. Women in the game industry speaking up about inclusion were threatened with murder, sexual assault and mob attempts to discredit them. The events were so shocking, a Law and Order episode was based on the incident. 

Starting today at 5 pm Eastern, Wu will stream a playthrough of Wolfenstein II on Twitch in a fundraising effort for her congressional campaign. Viewers will be able to stream the event online and donate, and watch her kill virtual Nazis and speak about her plans to grow the US economy. 

“One of the reasons Millennials feel disenfranchised is politicians don’t speak to them in ways that feel genuine,” said Wu. “Twitch is one of the most important ways to engage younger people. I plan to go to voters where they are, not asking them to come to me.”

Wu released a parody ad today, based on the arcade opening of the 1989 video game Final Fight. In the ad, Brianna Wu and her husband Frank vow to take to the streets to save America, who has been kidnapped. The ad uses a retro 16-bit style and can be seen on Youtube.

Viewers can view the stream of Wolfenstein II starting today at 5 pm Eastern by going to https://go.twitch.tv/brianna_wu_2018/ and can donate to Wu’s campaign directly by going to supportbrianna.com

 

I am officially announcing my campaign for House of Representatives

On election night I was at Hillary Clinton headquarters, standing not 30 feet from where I expected her to accept the presidency. The next day, I expected to travel back to Boston and return to my work leading my game studio and creating jobs. 

But then, our worst fears came true and Donald Trump was elected president. If this were just another Republican president, someone like Mitt Romney or John McCain - I’d take the loss in stride. But we all know the truth, Donald Trump represents a unique threat to the American system. Not only is he temperamentally unfit to be president, but there are unanswered questions about his ties to Russia and business conflicts of interest.

I have respect for so many of our leaders in our great Democratic party. But, the contentious primary between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton revealed a deep divide that must be reconciled. There is a disconnect between those marginalized and our party leaders who vote too often as moderate Republicans. I personally supported Hillary Clinton in the primary, but today I see the vision of Bernie Sanders for America is one we must bring to pass. 

I believe today’s Democratic party is ill-equipped to fight the Trump administration’s assault on women, on people of color, on the poor, and on the LGBT community. We do have true progressives, but too often they don’t have the support of the party establishment. 

I’m announcing my candidacy today for the House of Representatives in Massachusetts district 8 to change that. It’s time for a bolder Democratic party. 

I’ll be the first person to tell you, I’m not a politician. I am a software engineer and an entrepreneur. I launched my first startup with a quarter million dollars when I was only 19 years old. I believe my experience in the tech industry is a desperately needed perspective in government. In the startup world, we don’t form a committee to solve a problem. We don’t shake our heads and say that it can’t be done - we roll up our sleeves and get to work. It’s a deeply American approach to problem solving. 

My campaign for district 8 will have two primary objectives - our national priorities and our local priorities. Let’s start by telling you what I’ll do for the local economy in Massachusetts.

We spend a substantial amount of money on education in Massachusetts, which I very strongly support. I am proud that we lead the nation in educating people for the tech industry and biotech industry. But the truth is, all too often our investment is taken from the taxpayers of Massachusetts and used in San Francisco and Austin. Every day, students with the solutions for climate change and renewable energy are forced to build those businesses in other states.

I want to make Boston the third great city in the United States to build tech and biotech jobs. I want you and your children to be able to proudly work in these high-paying fields. Our current leadership in district 8 doesn’t understand these industries, but I do. 

My second mission objective is national. As a software engineer, I am uniquely qualified to help improve our nation’s cybersecurity. There’s no polite way to say this, but our tech policy in the United States leaves us woefully unprepared for a cyberattack.

The wars of tomorrow will not be fought with tanks and submarines, but with electronic warfare against our financial systems and infrastructure. Last year, the Mirai botnet attack showed that we are completely vulnerable - and our congress did not act strongly. The special interests have a say in our tech policy, it’s time for technology experts to have their say as well.

My campaign is greater than these two issues. We have a bold vision for America that includes repairing our rigged economy, ensuring justice for our most vulnerable citizens and an omnibus privacy bill that I believe will have broad bipartisan support. I look forward to making my case to the people of district 8 one at a time. 

Now, I have to say a word about my opponent, Stephen Lynch. This man has been on the wrong side of every fight for over a decade. He voted for the Iraq war, and never really answered for it. He voted against the Affordable Care Act. He’s crusaded against women’s reproductive health care for his entire career. He once introduced an amendment that would give people that committed hate crimes against the LGBT community a “get out of jail free card.” When I think about people that do not represent the Democratic party, I think of Stephen Lynch.

It’s time for Stephen Lynch to answer to the people of district 8 for his incredibly poor record on progressive issues. He’s never had a real primary fight for district 8, but I’m about to give him one. 

I know I’ve got a lot of work to do to make the case to the people of district 8. I’ll spend every single day for the next two years shaking your hands, listening to your ideas, and earning your trust. And no matter what, the people of Massachusetts will be better off with a real discussion about our future. 

With Donald Trump in the White House, there’s no room in our party for people that don’t stand with the poor, the marginalized and the unheard. I look forward to earning your trust and proving that I will stand for you.

All the best,

Brianna Wu