• David DePape, the man who broke into Nancy Pelosi’s house and assaulted her husband, claims he was influenced by gaming personalities on YouTube and various conspiracy theories.
  • YouTube and social media platforms have become breeding grounds for conspiracy theorists and dangerous individuals, making it easy for them to find content that feeds their interests.
  • Despite the lack of evidence linking gaming to violence, incidents like this can cast the gaming community in a negative light, leading to backlash and calls for distancing from individuals like DePape.

The man who broke into the house of US Congresswoman and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is claiming in court that he was influenced by gaming personalities on YouTube among other sources. David DePape is currently on trial for the home invasion as well as for assaulting Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer. The attack, which DePape has already confessed to in court, took place on October 28, 2022, shortly before the United States midterm elections.

DePape has claimed that he targeted Pelosi because he believed she was part of a grand conspiracy by evil forces against the country. The would-be attacker of Nancy Pelosi has been previoulsy inpsired by GamerGate and, based on his statements and past writing, he had come to believe in a mashup of conspiracy theories that included elements of the PizzaGate conspiracy, QAnon, Holocaust denial, and bizarre and radical ideas. Now, it seems gaming YouTube has also been thrown into the mix.

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As reported by KQED, DePape testified on the stand that YouTube videos about GamerGate were what first drew him to politics. From there, it seems he moved on to more explicitly political YouTubers and found himself exploring conspiracy theories that led to his radicalization. He also described spending hours every day playing video games while listening to right wing podcasts.

nancy pelosi

YouTube, as with other social media, has become a home for many conspiracy theorists and disturbed individuals. A few years ago, YouTube took steps to deal with 5G conspiracy theories on its platform, and there is no shortage of other theorists, ranging from flat earth believers to anti-vaccination advocates. For those prone to radicalization and believing in conspiracy, it’s very easy to find videos and posts that will feed their interests.

It’s also not uncommon for such individuals to draw from many sources, believing in many, sometimes contradictory, theories at once. It appears that this is what has happened with DePape, as evidenced by his explanation that touches on numerous conspiracies involving a range of politicians, academics, and celebrities. Still, gamers are likely to be upset that their hobby is being connected to a violent crime. The American Psychological Association has found no meaningful link between gaming and violence, but incidents like this can still cast the community in a poor light.

Some would argue that YouTube and the gaming community have become more political in recent years. In 2022, for example, YouTuber Dream had to deal with criticism for his political beliefs, and many others are choosing, or expected, to take stands on many controversial issues. No doubt, many will want to respond to this news and distance themselves from the beliefs and actions of DePape.


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