Goodbye Volcano High: 4chan trolls make alt-right rip off of charming genderqueer video game

A screenshot of two characters from Goodbye Volcano High.

An alt-right group has created a shoddy homophobic video game with stolen assets from LGBTQ+ developers.

Elements from the LGBTQ+, story-focused adventure game Goodbye Volcano High were reportedly stolen by homophobic bigots on the 4chan video gaming board /vg/, according to Kotaku.

Goodbye Volcano High was originally revealed during the 2020 Sony digital showcase with a captivatingly melancholy trailer showing off a few of the anthropomorphic animal characters.

While a bigoted response was fairly inevitable, online trolls took their hate campaign a step further by stealing several of the game’s character designs and other materials.

The assets were then repurposed into a vile anti-LGBTQ+ clone named Snoot Game by anonymous developer Cavemanon and various other /vg/ members.

While a description of the homophobic project says it is a “critique of Goodbye Volcano High’s characters,” it’s fairly clear which characteristics the notoriously bigoted board takes issue with.

Goodbye Volcano High characters during a cutscene.

Goodbye Volcano High characters during a cutscene. (KO_OP)

The originally genderqueer protagonist is portrayed as a clueless in the rip-off, a confused teenager who eventually de-transitions with the help of a character called “anon” – a term typically used for an average 4chan board member as a shorthand for anonymous.

In response to the incredibly lazy attempt at trolling an LGBTQ+ project, developers KO_OP made it clear hateful recreations of its characters would not be tolerated.

“We are not interested in attacking fan work,” a spokesperson told Kotaku. “However, we want to make it clear that those works and the subsequent response to them has taken a toll on the individual people – many of whom are queer and trans – who are working hard.

“The reality is that if you are making a game with queer characters, you will face harassment no matter where you go.”

The development team has repeatedly faced harassment campaigns since the project gained popularity.

Instead of giving the hateful parody any energy, the development team have opted to prevent discussion of Snoot Game in their public Discord forum.

The issue, however, is that much of the parody’s artwork is nearly indistinguishable from fan recreations, meaning that sly nods to Snoot Game are difficult to pinpoint.

Regardless, KO_OP are still excited to show its project off once it releases in 2022 – though the continued attacks by alt-right individuals has generated some uncertainty as to whether the release date will be met.

Goodbye Volcano High is being made by members of the communities represented in it,” a spokesperson added.

“We care deeply about the work we are doing and are excited to share it with the world.”

Gamers targeted online – and in real life

Alt-right online trolls have been using increasingly dangerous tactics to silence LGBTQ+ voices as of late.

Most notably is the use of the sometimes fatal “swatting” tactic in which an anonymous individual pretending to be the target calls the police with a fake threat.

The threat will typically be severe enough to warrant armed police officers that will then raid the person’s home or place of work.

The incredibly dangerous tactic was used on trans streamer Clara Sorentti, better known by followers as Keffals.

In August Keffals was swatted by users of a now-defunct forum called Kiwifarms, which has also been used to silence or intimidate hundreds of other people.

The first known death from swatting occurred in 2017 after serial swatter Tyle Barriss was paid by Casey Viner to harass teenager Shane Gaskill after a heated game of Call of Duty: WWII.

But after Barriss was given the wrong address, armed police raided the home of Andrew Finch, who was eventually shot in the chest.

Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2019, while Casey Viner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstructing justice in September 2019.

 

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