This week London's prestigious Financial Times published a 15-minute video investigating the question: "Is QAnon a game gone wrong?"
In 2017, the Q team, whoever they may be, made use of the modern equivalent of the Playboy's letters page. It's a message board called 4Chan... A YouTuber called defango has since claimed the work was his. He says he created Q as an alternative reality game, mostly for the LOLs, but also to smoke out bad journalists in the alternative media space. But he also says that in 2018, a man called Thomas Schoenberger wrested control of the game from him... Nobody knows if what he says is really true. What is becoming clear is that the whole thing has run away with itself...
Anyone who plays live action role playing games, known as LARPs, will recognise the gaming elements of QAnon [according to alternate-Reality Game pioneer Jim Stewartson.] "In 2015, 2016, and 2017, there were a lot of what are called LARPs, live action role playing is what the term means. And it really just means that there is a person pretending to be somebody else. The players knew they weren't real, but it was fun for them to interact with. But what happened on 4Chan and 8Chan is that individual people would go and LARP all by themselves, and create basically a single point of contact for an entire alternate reality game. In 2016, there was FBI Anon, and CIA Anon, Meganon, and all of these different LARPs that were basically practicing, they were prototyping what QAnon is... So it turns out there's a guy named Thomas Schoenberger. He saw this Cicada game as an opportunity to radicalise smart people, and he ended up creating puzzles and calling it Cicada, even though he was not the creator of it."
To this day, no one seems quite sure who the creator of Cicada was. We haven't been able to confirm Thomas Schoenberger's involvement in either Cicada or QAnon... [But Jim Stewartson tells them] "There's a woman named Lisa Clapier who runs an account called SnowWhite7IAM. And her job was to bring people from Cicada to QAnon. So there was a whole theme about follow the White Rabbit. A whole theme around Snow White and Disney characters. And that theme was used specifically to pull people from Cicada into QAnon."
A similar origin story appears in a new article at Heavy.com:
Between 2014 and 2016, Schoenberger "stole" Cicada, Heavy's source said, and he started manipulating the puzzle. Later on, while working with Chavez, "breadcrumbs" — vague top secret information hidden in clues, were presented through the Cicada game.
In October 2017 QAnon posts premiered on 4chan, a site Schoenberger was prominent on before moving to 8chan in December, a site run out of the Philippines by pornography mogul and pig farmer, Jim Watkins, Heavy's source said...
Read more of this story at Slashdot.