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.