The Internet’s abuzz with news that Zoe Quinn, AKA Chelsea van Valkenburg, AKA Literally Who 1, has somehow managed to score a book deal, and film rights to her memoir have been optioned. There’s been comic headshaking, learned recriminations from those experienced in publishing who wonder what idiot signed that deal for Simon & Schuster, and saliva emanating from the mouth of legendary #GamerGate attorney Mike Cernovich at the thought of future defamation awards. But I gotta disagree with those who feel the book, if completed, will be an epic disaster. If she wants publishing success, LW1 just has to do is betray the trust of everyone who loved or befriended her through the years. And that kind of sociopathic behavior is all she’s ever been good at.
Understand, unless the book’s a hit, the movie won’t happen. And the book as currently pitched won’t even get enough copies printed to make the remainder tables at your local flea market. Publishing now relies on pre-orders, so folks with a significant online presence can get deals. However, we already know LW’s textual abilities, and how despite the hype Depression Quest was never remotely popular with the gaming community. That’s her core audience, who are supposed to make success happen and raise interest among the mainstream buyer. The book is DOA. Unless.
Quinn could do the unthinkable. Actually level in her memoir about all the crap she’s pulled through the years. It’d still be sort of fictional. Duh. But, begin with her early molestation by a family member. The outrageous crap she pulled when, high on something, she wrecked a porn shoot and claimed to have stabbed a man. Discuss if she actually maybe did stab a guy or why she so desperately wanted that kind of attention. And of course her need to find weak and inexperienced men, whom she somehow manages to seduce with her, umm, beauty. How she doxxed TFYC, sabotaged a game jam, faked threats against herself, dealt serious setbacks to women in tech who may now go decades before having a private interview with a male superior, got a noted Constitutional Scholar to weigh in against her attempts to silence an ex-boyfriend through the courts, and… hey, who the hell knows what she’s done to Lifschitz. There might be an audience for that book if done honestly.
I know, seems a bit crazy, but think about the memoir market for a minute. That stuff’s been saturated with women sharing their strength and their faux adversity since Oprah. Quinn’ll no doubt try to cover for a resurgence of info on her bad behavior by blaming it all on mental illness or drugs. Best case, she’s the skanky Elizabeth Wurtzel.
Plus, Wurtzel’s an Alpha Widow for Paul Westerberg, lead singer of The Replacements, one of the most awesome bands ever. Quinn’s biggest catch in leg-spreading was maybe Ben Kuchera. Wurtzel ended up graduating from Yale Law. Not that much of an achievement, perhaps, but a little better than sleeping with a few guys to get help building a Twine game. Eight-year-olds used to hand code those.
Worse yet, even if Quinn is somehow able to force that book into the public’s hands, the success won’t last. Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation was a bestseller. It got made into a movie. And the author still owes her publisher money for later works that didn’t pan out. Just try missing a deadline with Touchstone, sweetie.
The traditional success ain’t gonna happen. And the “what the Internet needs” spiel won’t work either. If ya ain’t noticed, the struggles of African-American men are lately trumping the concerns of bitchy white girls in the SJW victim hierarchy. The traditional book will fail. The lulz will be epic.
Unless LW1 turns heel. Heck, it’s already written. Just build off the Zoe Post. Explain how it was so easy to manipulate, gullible, clueless members of the media, how to get gaming journalists to review your stuff, how anyone ever actually believed your harassment nonsense, whatever the hell it was got done to Lifschitz, the list goes on. And we’re not just talking something cathartic here. A book like that might sell.
Call it post-feminist lit, if you will. But take the numbers off a novel like Gone Girl. Two million copies sold. Nothing likable or remotely admirable about the main character. Woman “can identify.” And, to be honest, there are women out there who need to identify with a chick like Zoe Quinn.
The self-esteem training and entitlement in our public schools has led to epidemic levels of narcissistic personality disorder in young women, most recently on display at Yale. Sure, we know about the precious snowflakes at the Ivy Leagues. And of course on less-renowned college campuses, the quest for status leads to imagined victimhood. But what about those young women who, like Quinn, have no college education? Have no skills beyond service? Couldn’t code their way out of a paper bag? But have spread their legs for too many dudes to land and keep a man of quality?
Quinn is the model. I swear, I’m a magnet for that sort of chick. Their big status generator now is to demand respect for the business they’ll launch, or the academic career they’ll resume any goddamn day. You just nod politely, try to get that one Jane’s Addiction tune out of your head, and move on. There’s no cure for NPD. The only time any of them came to epiphany was in a work of fiction involving prosthetic limbs. Just call them an evolutionary dead end and move on.
But give those lost gals a model: the nerd-whore Zoe Quinn as she actually is, and… well, won’t change anything, but ZQ could make a couple of bucks, and maybe those poor bastards at WizardChan might get something out of it, ‘cuz they were among the worst hurt.