John Carmack Responds To BasedCon Controversy

Imminent Doom


Legendary game developer and Id Software Co-Founder John Carmack incited fan backlash this week by revealing his attendance at BasedCon, and today he responded.

Earlier in the week, the game developer responsible for Doom and Quake, John Carmack, posted on Twitter that he would attend BasedCon this year. BasedCon is a sci-fi convention that doesn’t adhere to societal norms — evidenced by the secrecy surrounding the location of the convention — and has its very divisive core tenet beliefs wallpapering the convention’s “about” page.

The announcement of Carmack‘s attendance can be seen below.

BasedCon believes “Based behaviour is the opposite of social justice activism, which is about meaningless virtue signalling and beating up strawmen,” and its core tenets, according to its website, are:

  • 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

John Carmack expanded on his purpose for attending BasedCon, saying, “I was just going to show up as a normal attendee/fan of the authors last year, but Rob nudged me into doing a talk and some panels, and I enjoyed it.” John Carmack’s fans have since responded to the May 17 announcement expressing their disappointment in his attendance/participation in the event.

Among many responses, @zorinlynx responded to the Twitter post directly, imploring, “I’ve been a fan of yours over half my life, and it’s disappointing you’re going to an event run by people with such reprehensible views. Please reconsider. There’s so many better tech events that would gladly have you.”

John Carmack’s Response To BasedCon Backlash

John Carmack Responds To Basedcon Criticism 23051905

John Carmack defended his decision to attend the event today with a massive Twitter post titled “My comments on BasedCon,” which outlines his reasoning for attending the event. He starts by explaining, “It is unfortunate that Rob has made BasedCon so intentionally provocative. I told him as much after the event last year – I felt a little uncomfortable,” expanding with the notion that although these beliefs exist and are present at the event, assuming everyone at the event believes the same message “shortchanges a lot of people.”

Carmack continues with, “I’m not a culture warrior, and I don’t want to strike blows against anyone. I don’t follow activists on either side, including Rob(Rob Kroese)” on his association with the event’s core beliefs. Carmack assures fans his reason for attending is “I like hard science fiction stories with a bit of competent libertarian vibe” and continues with, “I met several more authors and came back with a backpack full of new books to read. Politics didn’t come up once in my conversations.”

John Carmack Responds To Basedcon Criticism 23051905

The response also garnered a new wave of fan backlash, with @Astra_Ebonwing stating, “To me, this decision is deeply saddening, as a fan of yours and a woman inspired by you.” On the other hand, some fans have applauded the decision, with Twitter user @fareesh responding with, “You are allowed to attend any events and read any books and associate with whomever you like. Do not apologize or pay attention to anyone suggesting otherwise.”

BasedCon will take place at an undisclosed location in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from September 8 to September 10. Readers can head to their site to read more about the event. Fans can read up on the whole saga by heading over to John Carmack’s Twitter account.

Philip Watson
Philip Watson

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