Jacob Lawrence Alley|
June 9, 1981
“The bottom line though is that I don't hate being in the position I am. It's that cynical optimism I mentioned earlier. I admit my life sucks by a lot of people's standards, sure. Most people who delve into my personal life say they'd hate to be in my shoes, I even had one person tell me he'd probably kill himself if he were, but I generally don't let it get to me. Does it bother me that I have no means of supporting myself? That I have to live off the generosity of family members? That the only money I ever have comes in birthday cards or donations from people reading this page? That my cousin has to pay 90% of the cost of my upcoming trip to Japan to go sight-seeing with him? Heck yes! I don't dwell on it though. Instead I look at the bright side of my life as it is. I have enough free time to pursue all sorts of creative interests. My mother is so easy going and hospitable that I can live in her house without either of us bothering each other. Those people who take the time to listen to what I say generally find they like to hear my thoughts. Plus one of these days I could hit upon a means of making a ton of money from home, or the internet economy could rally itself making RPGamer profitable, and I'd be sitting pretty. It's just a question of riding out the indefinite lull.”—Jake "Googleshng" Alley
Jake Alley, better-known by his handles of SecretGamerGirl, Googleshng and Violet Hargrave, is a tabletop game developer and Twitter activist affiliated with Crash Override Network, and hallmarked by his opposition to GamerGate. Alley claims to be transgendered solely for the purpose of insulating himself from criticism. He is decidedly male in both appearance and mannerisms and, like many of his associates, has shown zero intention of actually transitioning, going to far as to claim that Gender Dysphoria does not exist. He was hallmarked for his incredibly aggressive attitude towards GamerGate supporters, wanting to see the hashtag's followers arrested and disenfranchised. Ironically, despite continually advocating for escalation against GamerGate, Jake Alley would eventually be kicked out of Crash Override Network himself for running afoul of the group, thereafter alternating between complaining about being blocked by his one-time allies and begging for one of them in particular to take him back, in a fashion best-described as obsessive.
Many have rightly compared Jake Alley's behavior to that performed by the Incel crowd, as he tries everything from begging and suicide threats to threatening to air CON's offenses to get Zoe Quinn to re-open lines of communication with him. Humorously, it was Jake's desire to be a professional victim, alongside his fellows in Crash Override, that led his identity to be discovered in the first place.
Alley first came to the Kiwi Farms' attention because of his ridiculous and often hysterical long-form rants on Twitter - initially, against GamerGate, but later, on behalf of his fellow professional victims in the Norasphere, where he goes to extravagant lengths to white knight their actions - for example, he denies that Nora Reed did anything wrong in hijacking the Social Coroner Twitter account (the incident that led to him being banned from Crash Override Network). Many of these rants contain content so insane that they are practically memes in and of themselves, such as claiming GamerGate supporters were all "rape advocaters, white supremacists, and aspiring serial killers," and stating that they wish to reduce women to sex slaves. He was also instrumental in helping get evidence of Sarah Nyberg's pedophilia removed from the Web Citation archives, simply because Nyberg happened to be a GamerGate opponent.
Secret Gamer Girl is Jake Alley of Niantic, Connecticuit. Two other known aliases currently being used are Violet Hargrave, which appears to be a rebranding of sorts used as a penname for articles written about pen and paper games and Googleshng, a username with an online footprint going back to 2006. The most obvious piece of evidence comes from the 2015 Patreon data leak. In it, e-mail addresses, private messages and payment history was included. Using these leaks, we can see that SecretGamerGirl used the e-mail address "firstname.lastname@example.org." This email address, when Google searched, leads right to a bunch of World Domination LLC's stuff, including their old website, and links to Googleshng's Talking Time posts trying to get playtesters, proving that Jake Alley is both Secret Gamer Girl and Googleshng.
Attempts to discern Jake's identity first began on the Kiwi Farms soon after his exposure in the Crash Override Network Log Leaks. It was noted that Jake had a number of mannerisms that suggested a prior history on the Internet, and the Farms quickly got to work analyzing the CON logs themselves. One thing became apparent extremely quickly: Secret Gamer Girl had a history in traditional gaming and was demoing a card game of some sort at cons, and had worked on some kind of game project that had fallen through:
[01/01/2015, 10:21:37 AM] Secret Gamer Girl: Seriously- I worked on this one card game, had it pretty much where I wanted it, was running demos at cons, attempting to hire artists, a year or goes by waiting on people to get back in touch with me on art contracting, I go screw it, I'll just do my own illustrations, Tweak the rules a bit, fix the issue that'd been bugging me, start looking for printers... "Hey! Congratulations on getting that game in stores!" I don't know if it's just a REALLY nasty coincidence, or someone was really paying attention when I was running demos but there's an S on the name
[01/01/2015, 10:25:15 AM] Secret Gamer Girl: and the big expensive game that kinda ruined me financially kinda had the same thing happen, although there at least mine was technically on the market for a year first
[24/12/2014, 3:05:28 PM] Secret Gamer Girl: the server for the official site of these games of mine went down without warning a year or two ago, and I've frankly been too depressed to fix it, but... I may also have missed this final notice from godaddy on the domain itself this month
Googleshng was well-known in the traditional gaming community, as the head of one "World Domination LLC," and their two biggest projects of note were a board game called "The Massive versus the Masses," and a card game called Red Shirt. Red Shirt matches the card game that Secret Gamer Girl claimed to be "beaten to the punch" on, as evidence shows that Googleshng was playtesting the game at cons, and is only one letter off from the card game Redshirts. A thread on Talking Time chronicles exactly when it was revealed that Googleshng was beaten to the punch, and he did not take it well at all. Similarly, it was quickly determined that the very game that Jake was saying he lost big on was Massive Versus the Masses, as he had been beaten to the punch by Privateer Press and its game Monsterpocalypse.
Evidence further started to pile up due to their speech patterns online; Googleshng had an interesting verbal quirk wherein he would use the old English term "yon" frequently, to the point where it was complained about by his associates. SecretGamerGirl has the exact same habit on Twitter.
Secret Gamer Girl would later go on to attend GenCon, and would demand that nobody take photographs of her. Later, Katherine Cross would discuss the game Massive versus the Masses, which demoed at GenCon and was reported to be the work of one Jake Lawrence Alley - the same name tied to Googleshng previously, cementing that Jake Alley was both users. Cross would go on to explain that, yes, she played the game at GenCon, which Secret Gamer Girl had also attended. Secret Gamer Girl would like Cross' review on the game later, further establishing that they're the same people. Jake Alley can also be seen at GX East, sitting with Cross.
Violet Hargrave and Internet Presence
One of Jake Alley's most common activities on the internet is using a false claim of being transgendered in order to allow him to engage in identity politics. This was a centerpiece of his involvement with Crash Override Network, is a major component of his involvement with the Norasphere, and remains a major aspect of his online persona. He has been published as a self-proclaimed "expert" in #Trans: An Anthology About Transgender and Nonbinary Identity Online. He also wrote The Myth of the Anonymous Troll in the essay compilation Queer Privacy. When writing for online publications, Jake does so under the pen name Violet Hargrave. Jake first started claiming to be trans around 2010, when he claimed to be "possibly a hermaphrodite" in his blog.
Like many other people of interest, Jake is a Twitter addict. He spends 16 hours a day on the platform, on average, In less than four years, he's made over 105,000 tweets, averaging 71 tweets per day.
Like Brianna Wu, he tends to overexaggerate his actual talent and experience, describing himself as a "talented freelancer for trans issues." He also claims to have worked in "Games and Games Journalism for 20 years." Most of this is done to run interference on behalf of his associates, who, in turn, do the same for him, as evidenced by an incident in which Nora Reed tried to intercede on Jake's behalf. Despite this, he's been turned down by VICE on several occasions. Despite his kibitzing, Jake Alley is perpetually unemployed, and sees little trouble mooching off his parents; in a blog post in which he covered a co-worker that committed suicide, he found it strange that they'd kill themselves over financially imposing on their own family. Jake has only actually worked one job - a stocker/cleanup position at a grocery store - which he was fired from for skipping out halfway through his shift. He refers to his unpaid work for the likes of RPGamer and CON as actual work, for which Jake was never truly paid. His initial support for CON, by his own admission in the storify post he put up condemning it, CON was supposed to be his first step towards economic independence.
During his time working for CON, he portrayed himself as an expert in harassment prevention, a role he effectively undermined when he was caught being involved in the very same things he was accusing the GamerGate hashtag of. Much of Jake's work for CON involved him pushing the narrative that GamerGate was nothing but a harassment campaign centered around harassment, and decrying the hashtag itself as "stupid," despite constantly attempting to work counter-actions against it in private. He was big on demanding that GamerGate supporters publicly apologize for their wrongdoing, and repeatedly argued that opposing his associates in any way meant that the hashtag as a whole hated all women, As he was especially aggressive in his actions against the Hashtag, it should be unsurprising that he's often found with other CON orbiters who were exiled from the clique, including David Gallant, Dan Olson, and Israel Galvez. Like them, he was repeatedly caught being involved in the same behavior he accused GamerGate of. Even after GamerGate's end in 2015, Jake Alley constantly treated the hashtag as a legitimate threat, claiming that the hashtag campaign itself was the work of Nazis. He is also known for being involved with attempts to bury evidence of Sarah Nyberg's self-admitted pedophilia.
One thing true of both pre-and-post CON Jake Alley is his habit of producing gigantic Twitter threads and Tumblr posts; these are a centerpiece of his online activity, and now are affectionately dubbed "Googleshnging" by those familiar with him, in recognition of one of his other online personas. Fittingly as someone who threw his lot in with the professional victims and serial harassers of Crash Override Network, Jake has created a host of completely fictitious incidents that are intended to make him seem as oppressed as humanly possible, which are often so ludicrous as to defy reason, constantly portraying himself as being the target of both bigoted hate groups and over-enthusiastic potential romantic partners at the same time; the bulk of these seem to be geared towards keeping Jake's actual identity as nebulous as possible. Good examples of Jake's attempts to use this strategy include repeated claims of being concerned about "tranny chasers" despite Jake being visibly a male with a full beard and no intention of transitioning, claiming to have been "thrown down ravines" and had dogs sicced on him as a child because of his gender, And the nigh-endless claim that his life is in danger for standing up against GamerGate, frequently saying that he is at risk of being raped and murdered due to being an ever-so-vulnerable transwoman. He does not limit this behavior and has signed up on various websites just to declare how he, a delicate transwoman, puts her life in danger every time she uses a public restroom. When confronted, he tends to also claim he's suicidal.
Alley's online persona is centered on reaching out for as much coverage as he can get while at the same time trying to portray himself as perpetually at-risk, such as his posting in which he claims he should be considered a "token woman" invited to podcasts and streams of RPGs as a trans representative (provided they screen their users so Jake is not raped, of course). Not even his own family is safe from him doing this; his cult-like mindset regarding his embrace of identity politics was commented on by his mother, who was concerned he had joined an actual cult. Jake later responded by claiming that his mother is a bigot for daring question his gender identity. This is especially ironic as all evidence currently shows that Jake lives in Niantic with his mother. When not trying actively to bolster he and his associates' careers, he attempts to drum up pity for himself on Twitter, often plugging his Patreon and begging for users to buy him various items he wants but lacks the money for. Humorously, despite his constant insistence that he is, in fact, trans, much of the Twitterati sees right through his lies, and Jake struggles for even a fraction of the influence other members of the Rat Kings have on social media. On the rare occasion Jake takes on a target that's too big to handle, he quickly backs off.
A major contributing factor to Jake's failure in this regard is his parasitic personality; Jake constantly demands affirmative support, financial assistance, and unconditional friendship while at the same time refusing to meet anyone halfway, making him something of an emotional black hole, and his constant support of certain people of interest involved with Crash Override Network and the Norasphere does a lot to turn off would-be supporters. Even worse, Jake's own toxic behavior constantly leads to his one-time allies turning their backs on him; Since his exile from CON in 2015, Jake has decided that it was, in fact, Nazis who were to blame for why he believes he was kicked out of Crash Override Network and blocked by Zoe Quinn, and not say, turning on his friends, in a Tumblr post he put up in 2017. His loneliness is exacerbated by the fact that his IRL friends mostly left town ages ago, leaving him alone.
In addition to claiming to be transgendered, Jake is also a fan of (equally falsely) claiming to be of Romani and Native American descent.
Ejection from Crash Override Network
“Dot replies. How fun. Actually, I pointed out precisely what the account said. no more, no less. fuck off w/your dogpiles. And this was because my family was *already* getting harassed because the account was thought to be me. My disabled father. I asked the account to stop. It didn't. You can read the medium if you want more details. But I won't take your abuse. Thx. I will take abuse from no demographic. I am not your punching bag or anyone else's. I was expected to shoulder it. I did everything I could to make it stop. and then I came forward and POINTED AT WHAT THE TWEETS WERE SAYING. I'm tired of her shit, I'm tired of your shit, and I'm not going to take it anymore. I'm tired of being beat up on by you. My. Family. Will. Not. Suffer. For. Your. Actions. That is all. And now you're blocked, have a nice life.”—Randi Harper's final words to Jake Alley
It all started because of a website known as Social Autopsy - one which never went past the formative stages - intended to establish a database allowing harassed people to dox their harassers. Because of the massive problems this site could create if it were to go online as intended, it caught substantial blastback, including from CON and Free Speech advocates alike. CON wound up contacting Jesse Singal to try to pump the developer of Social Autopsy for information about the project. This decision would ultimately prove ruinous for CON's membership. Early on, Randi Harper and Zoe Quinn both argued against the creation of Social Autopsy, but Jake, seeing an opportunity, tried repeatedly to connect GamerGate to it, despite the hashtag likewise publicly condemning it, something even CON's staff took issue with.
When the creator of Social Autopsy, Candace Owens, shut it down, someone quickly snatched up now-infamous account and used it it to aggressively attack Randi Harper for supporting Jesse Singal, and repeatedly condemning her and accusing her of transphobia. It also began throwing harassment towards her family members. Due to GG being conflated with Social Autopsy by Jake Alley, this caused the /r/KotakuInAction subreddit to begin looking into it, suspecting that Jesse Singal might have been responsible for the account's theft, or that perhaps it was another false-flag. In a rare moment of solidarity between otherwise warring sides, Randi Harper publicly condemned the account and denied her involvement with it, stating that the real culprit "wouldn't be hard to find." She wasn't wrong; it would not be long after this that the real culprit was discovered: Nora Reed. When Jake repeatedly tried to defend Nora, despite the fact that Nora was attacking members of CON (including Harper herself), Randi Harper finally had enough of his shit, and added him to her blocklist, along with several other CON members that had sided with him.  From this point onwards, Zoe Quinn refused to even respond to his tweets.
Jake has continually claimed that what Nora Reed did, and the attacks she made against Randi Harper and Jesse Singal, were entirely justified, since Singal was transphobic (a claim made by many members of the Rat King due to Singal airing the grievances of actual medical professionals), and that he thought Quinn just didn't know how problematic he was. The truth was that Jake was incredibly aggressively pushing for escalation against GG, long after it stopped being relevant, often to CON's detriment.
Many of the comparisons people make between Jake and the Incel crowd are found in his responses to this singular incident; Jake has attempted to play it off as merely "a misunderstanding" and demanded apologies for it from Zoe Quinn, who he seems outright obsessed with. When these overtures failed, he tried first pleading, then begging, and finally threatening to take action against CON's membership, before ultimately putting up his own "Zoe Posts" and claiming CON had used him and everyone else in it (while whitewashing his own and Nora Reed's culpability, of course). His reason for doing so? The fact that Zoe Quinn played Overwatch with Randi Harper, while ignoring Jake's pleas for attention.
Fittingly, despite putting up this article condemning Quinn's organization, he has repeatedly tried to get back in her good graces since. When Quinn would not reciprocate, Alley followed up with additional posts bemoaning his own loneliness. Much of his hostility in these articles is directed at Randi Harper, who ultimately evicted him from CON. He has even gone so far as to suggest he was suicidal because of CON turning their backs on him, but that his suicide was prevented by his cat.
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Denied Laser Hair Removal
- Jake Alley's Twitter - A Rant About MRAs, Nazis, and More
- Allthink - SecretGamerGirl: Zoe Quinn's Most Vile Acolyte
- Price Quote Request - World Domination LLC
- World Domination LLC Staff Page
- Talking Time Forums - Want to help me Playtest?
- Board Game Geek - Redshirts
- Talking Time Forums - Red Shirt vs Redshirts
- Fossilized Board - Googleshng's Loss
- Kiwi Farms Archive - Twitter Capture of Googleshng and "Yon"
- Kiwi Farms Archive - Twitter Capture of SecretGamerGirl using "Yon"
- SecretGamerGrrl's Twitter - No Photography Please
- Gamasutra - Katherine Cross' Review of Massive versus the Masses
- Katherine Cross' Twitter - I Played Massive Vs Monsters at Gencon (note the like by SGG)
- Katherine Cross' Twitter - Massive Vs Monsters (Note the Likes)
- Jake Alley's Twitter
- Steam - Record of Violet/Googleshng name change
- Googleshng's Page of Rantings - Sex
- SecretGamerGrrl's Twitter Time
- Jake Alley's Twitter - A Talented Freelancer
- Jake Alley's Twitter - 20 years of experience
- Storify - Nora Reed referring to Jake Alley as a "professional journalist"
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Rejected
- Googleshng's Page of Rantings - Death and Taxes
- Googleshng's Blog - Rumors of my Death
- Googleshng's Page of Rantings - Foul Mood on a Perfect Night
- Googleshng's Page of Rantings - I'm Not Thor!
- Allthink - Crash Override Network, the Modern-Day Watergate
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - A GamerGate Primer
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - That Whole Stupid #GamerGate Thing
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - How to Properly Apologize for your Gamergate Gaffes
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - The Longterm Plans of GamerGate
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - GamerGate Recap
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Give Nazis Wedgies
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Gamergate Was Always Nazis
- Jake Alley's Storify - Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Chasers and Bigots
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Pedos and Chasers
- Jake Alley's Twitter - A Collection of Tweeets About His Gender Oppression
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Failure to Disclose
- Jake Alley's Twitter - My Identity Will Get Me Raped and Killed
- Jake Alley's Twitter - My Life's At Risk
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Fearing for my Life
- Jake Alley's Twitter - People Will Rape Me and Beat Me To Death
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Threats to Rape My Corpse
- Leftover Soup - In Which Lilly is Not Served
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Surviving a Suicide
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Token Woman in RPGs
- Jake Alley's Twitter - My Mom Thinks I Joined a Cult
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Jake Loses an Argument
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Take Pity On Me
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Spontaneously Severing Ties
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - The New McCarthyism
- Googleshng's Page of Rantings - Death of a Salsenerd
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Romani and Mi'kmaq Descent
- Randi Harper's Twitter - Jake is Blocked
- Randi Harper's Twitter - Candace Owens is not GG
- BlockTogether - Jake Alley blocked by Randi Harper
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Apologize to Me
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Unblock Me
- Jake Alley's Twitter - I May Need a Publicist
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Talking to my Therapist
- Storify - How the Public Faces of Anti-Abuse Nearly Killed a Ton of Trans People (Storify Version)
- Storify - How the Public Faces of Anti-Abuse Nearly Killed a Ton of Trans People (Archival Version)
- Jake Alley's Twitter - If You Need a Hug
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - Isolation
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - Crushing Loneliness
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - Questions and Answers
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - New McCarthyism Response
- Jake Alley's Twitter - Silent Abandonment
- Jake Alley's Tumblr - Isolation