Co-founder of Id Software and CTO of Oculus VR, John Carmack, will headline BasedCon, a sci-fi and fantasy con. A con for people who are “tired of woke propaganda”. This has left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. While tweeting that this will be his second year, he mentioned that he “wasn’t sure what to expect last year”.
I’m going to be at https://t.co/plYFgrjxYP again this year. I had read books from and twitter-interacted with three of the authors (more since!), but I wasn’t sure what to expect last year. It turned out fun, in a grass-roots con way that reminded me of the old Space Access days.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) May 17, 2023
BasedCon is a newer convention in the area of sci-fi and fantasy, with the first two held in 2021 and 2022. The creation of the convention seems to be in-line with a lot of recent talking points. Specifically the kind of cons that have “became increasingly dominated by a small clique of authoritarian jerks who made them into venues for pushing social justice dogma”. Most cons shut down any sort of opinion that doesn’t “align with progressive orthodoxy”. And the reason why they’ve made BasedCon is because of the hostility some authors have against “progressive dogma”. While they mention they’re not trying to push “any particular ideology”, they do however, mention they have some “based beliefs”. Such as:
- Men cannot give birth
- Guns don’t kill people; people kill people
- A fetus is a human being
- Socialism has failed everywhere it’s been tried
- Discriminating against white people is racism
This feels somewhat disingenuous. If someone has opinions and views that you don’t agree with, they are entitled to those views. But it’s the fact that they don’t want to push an ideology, and yet, they’re pushing an ideology feels… weird.
And a l0t of these talking points, are ones that many of us have seen before from this crowd. BasedCon mentions that if you think people of colour can’t be racist towards white people, and if you expect people to use “made-up pronouns”, it might be best advised to not attend the convention. Negating the fact that all pronouns are made-up, even languages themselves are made-up. But, there isn’t much use arguing with people like this, they just need their “safe spaces”.
As PC Gamer remarks, disappointed fans of the game dev have aired their feelings. Many mentioning that they’re sad he’s fallen in with this sort of crowd. One even brings up the fact that the convention doesn’t even disclose where the con is happening, only mentioning that it’s at a hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The only reason given on why they don’t share where the event is happening is due to security reasons. Adding that, “if you’re not willing to tell people where your event is being held, maybe it’s worth examining why”.
Of course, due to the nature of the con, defenders have come out to Carmack’s original tweet supporting him or replying to disappointed fans. Carmack is the only “big name” due to be at BasedCon, but we’ll have to see what happens. It’s pretty sad to see someone who many look up to, who follow this crowd. But, as PC Gamer says, never meet your heroes.