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Vivian James is a fictional character conceived through a collaboration between 4chan‘s /v/ (video games) board and the indie game developer group The Fine Young Capitalists. The character can be viewed as an anthropomorphized avatar of the /v/ board community created in response to Zoe Quinn’s purported attack on the second-wave feminist organization The Fine Young Capitalists (TFYC) while they were trying to fund a Game Jam to assist women’s projects in gaming development.
On August 18, in a Reddit thread, an user named SillySladar claimed that Quinn intentionally sabotaged a female-centric game development event on the grounds that the idea was oppressive, in order to promote her own similar event, Rebel Jam (shown below, left). On August 19th, The Fine Young Capitalists released a soundcloud recording containing their explanation as to what was going on and why they were doxxed. On August 21, TFYC also gave an audio interview talking about the whole happening (shown below, right).
4chan and TheFineYoungCapitalists Cooperation
On August 21, 4chan’s /pol/ (Politically Incorrect) board came up with the idea of helping The Fine Young Capitalists with the objective of boosting the image of the whole imageboard. The board planned to help TFYC recover from Quinn’s previous attacks and spite her in the process. Shortly after, the /v/ (Video Games) board also decided to join the Operation. This was also covered by the gaming media website Attack on Gaming a day later.
[Click on the image for the full infograph]
Before starting the Operation, 4chan contacted TFYC via e-mail, getting a more detailed explanation about the boycott of their event and later coming to an agreement on how the donations would proceed (shown below).
- 4chan’s donators would be able to donate separately to prevent shills from destroying the operation.
- 4chan would also get the right to design a character ($2,000 reward).
- 4chan would choose to which charity the money would go.
The charity was chosen via Strawpoll (shown below, top image). The winner with over 50% of the votes to “chemo butthurt” was The Colon Cancer Alliance. This was communicated to TFYC who later announced it on their Twitter (shown below, bottom image).
Enthusiastic members of /pol/ and /v/ started donating to the Indiegogo campaign of TFYC, becoming the main donators to said campaign by donating over $5,000 on the first day. This was later confirmed by a tweet from the TFYC (shown below). On August 25th, TFYC shared an update via Twitter, stating that over $13,000 of the campaign’s funding had originated from 4chan.
On September 11th, the Indiegogo campaign reached its final goal of $65,000 in donations. That same day TFYC also shared on their Twitter that over $23,500 of this amount had originated from 4chan. The campaign ended on September 26th with a final amount of $71,496 raised.
By reaching at least $2000 in donations, 4chan gained the right to have a character of their design be placed in the video game that would result from TFYC’s Game Jam. When /v/ noticed that they had reached the character design reward, multiple threads where created to brainstorm for ideas. This eventually led to the idea and design for what later would become Vivian James (shown below).
It took a series of polls to eventually reach the final character design and her name. Afterwards the character design was sent over to TFYC, who subsequently shared Vivian James and her final design on their Twitter account (shown below). Some aspects present in Vivian James’ visual design represent 4chan’s /v/ board, such as her striped sweater being green and purple, a reference to the infamous daily dose images, and the four-leaf clover on her headband.
We have received /v/'s design and we are going to see what we can do to have the character appear in the chosen game. pic.twitter.com/f7PKVyM7ee— TFYC (@TFYCapitalists) 22 augustus 2014
/v/ has finished yelling at each other. Here are what’s been decided:
- Name: Vivian James (joke here is that slight pronunciation corruption makes it “vidya games”, /v/s term for our hobby).
- Nickname: Clover (4chan symbol).
- Online Handle (should it ever for some reason come up): Level (Level → lel →lvl →/v/).
Plenty of excited discussion around personality was had, but that’s something I think you should be free to work around. The only thing we’d like you to keep in mind (should relevant situations ever come up) are the things that are obvios from her designs and our board’s attitude towards the current controversy:
- Tough-loves video games.
- Loathes dishonesty and hypocrisy.
- Low-affect, grumpy, perpetually fed up and tired.
Ultimately it’s your game and the game of the ladies that pitched whatever concept wins.
Following the creation of Vivian James and the cooperation between 4chan and TFYC, The Fine Young Capitalists received negative feedback on both Twitter (shown below, left) and Tumblr (shown below, right) from certain feminist groups and supporters, claiming TFYC to be hypocrites, for dealing with 4chan in a friendly manner and accepting money and help from them.
In reply to the accusations, The Fine Young Capitalists defended their stance regarding 4chan, claiming that should they wish to stop them from taking part in the project, they would have to oppress 4chan and that they didn’t wish to do that (shown below).
Hack & Deletion
On August 24th, the campaign page on Indiegogo appeared to get closed and subsequently removed. It was rumored that the page got hacked and was edited to look as if it were taken down by Indiegogo (shown below). The Fine Young Capitalists subsequently shared this message on their Tumblr account, and said that they would try to get the project repaired with the help of Indiegogo. The funding page was temporarily repaired that same day, but it took another day for it to be back up completely.