Girl's Kickstarter to go to RPG camp brings out the horrible, horrible trolls

For the past several days, I've been seeing an obviously silly conspiracy theory rocket around the usual online places. It concerns Susan Wilson, whose nine-year-old daughter Mackenzie was challenged by her older brothers when she expressed an aspiration to make games, Mackenzie and her mom posted a Kickstarter to raise $800 for an RPG camp where she could hone her game-development skills.

And out came the trolls. One group was convinced that this was a scam by a "millionaire" (Wilson once attended a fundraiser where she was photographed with Warren Buffet); the other was convinced that this was a radical feminist man-hatin' exercise determined to raise funds by pitting little boys against little girls.

Both theories were silly on their face, but lots of credulous guys found something they liked in it -- specifically, evidence of a vast shadowy conspiracy of emasculating millionaire women who want to relegate men to the scrapheap of history -- and repeated it, and it refused to die. Worse, the campaign whipped up the kind of men who respond to their feelings of discomfort with death and rape threats. Keep it classy, guys.

Thankfully, CNet's Eric Mack took on the unenviable task of rebutting the rumors. And as he points out, the fundraiser has cleared $20K, and Wilson's going to use the excess money to fund girls-in-STEM causes. Victory.

Wilson also responded to other conclusions drawn by the trolls, dispelling the notion of the size of her bank account ("I don't have a million dollars in the bank, I'm not rolling in cash and I'm not a highly paid business woman. Frankly, I'm unemployed at this very moment!"); her status as a Warren Buffet buddy (it was a photo op from an awards ceremony); and those pricey shoes ( a splurge after a long-shot bet at the roulette wheel paid off years ago). She added:

"Kickstarter is about the power of the crowd and though you might not always like what the crowd says, you can't push the "It's not Fair" button when you disagree. Though I'm not in the 1% club, I do find it sad many think Kickstarter should only be used for the downtrodden and the poor because it has the power to extend far beyond. "

Wilson also took the bold move of outing the two people who made threats against her and her family, and she told me in an email that she is actively searching for a worthy cause to direct all the extra money that the crowdfunding campaign raises beyond the original modest goal.

"It's clear this campaign resonated for a reason that's much bigger than Mackenzie and ALL OF THE extra money should go to that bigger movement," Wilson writes. "I can't say I know what that is right now (it's been a whirlwind and certainly wasn't planned) but smart people are working on it with Brenda Romero (gamer in residence at University of California at Santa Cruz who's husband created Doom and Quake) being among my personal favorites."

Trolls take on 9-year-old girl's Kickstarter project...and lose


  1. Personally, even if her mother were rich, I’d rather the girl learn about how to raise money for something worthwhile via kickstarter than learn the lesson that if you want something, mommy will buy it for you.

    1. I’d rather the girl did something like make an item to sell or anything creative than just ask for a handout on kickstarter.

      1. “Businesses” ask for what you’re calling handouts from kickstarter all the time. get over it.

        1. Hi.. I’m just hijacking your position on the thread to infuriate the sad little people who have a problem with this girl going to camp to make a game.

          There are 3 very important points that these people are either too stupid, or too committed to not changing their position on anything ever to accept.

          1) you can be a millionaire and submit a kick starter project. Poor personal finances aren’t a prerequisite for starting a kick starter.

          2) kick starter has APPROVED THIS AS OKAY BY THEIR TOS. Anyone wanting to argue semantics about it can just stfu, considering they’re kick starters own rules which they are free to interpret or alter in any way they see fit. Its their site, not the fucking constitution.

          3) plenty of wildly-popular kick starter projects have done exactly this. Ouya, for example. The money raised is for DEVELOPMENT OF A GAME/CONSOLE. As part of that development the people involved with the project undertake R&D, you know.. LIKE GOING TO TRAINING COURSES AND SEMINARS.

          What is it that these simple-minded individuals don’t get?

          1. “who have a problem with this girl going to camp to make a game.”

            There are likely zero (I can’t prove this) persons in this thread who have issues with what you claim. Be careful when you throw out those “simple-minded”s.

          2. If you don’t have a problem with her going to camp to make the game, then why don’t you stop posting? 

            A girl raised funds by promising to deliver a game and asking for the money to get training and equipment that would help her make the game better. A bunch of people are curious enough about the game to want to see it, so they donated. This is a deal between the donors and the little girl.

            Enough people are curious about what kind of game a 9-year-old can produce at a camp like this that the project has way overfunded. People seem unreasonably angry about something that doesn’t concern them: that being the deal between the donors and the little girl.

            That’s what people like me and teapot are so shocked about. But it seems like the same people who display poor reading comprehension of Kickstarter’s guidelines also display poor reading comprehension of other peoples’ posts.

            I hope this was detailed and specific enough for you to understand. If not, I can provide more clarification and detail.

      2. Maybe you missed the whole point of her going to the camp so she could….wait for it…..make a game.

      3. Wow.  Not just on kickstarter.  People on here really, really hate the idea of this girl getting to go to RPG camp.  I’d give her the $800 myself for sheer pluck.  And I can’t afford it.

      4. She’s nine fucking years old. Every last sexist gamer and MRA creep in the first world now hates her ‘because stuff’. Give her a break, for fuck’s sake. Even if she WAS a trust-fund millionaire’s baby, I don’t want any young girl to be treated with that level of contempt. Enough with your Randian ‘up by the bootstraps’ fantasy.

      5. She is making a game. Backers get a copy of the game. I don’t consider a pre-order for a game, even an RPG Maker game, a handout. And you know what? I’m actually really curious to see what kind of game a 9-year-old girl would make with RPG Maker. If it weren’t for the promise of a deliverable game I wouldn’t even consider backing this project.

        If you look at the numbers, the vast majority of backers are at the $10 level, where you get a copy of the game and that’s it. I assume a lot of those people are legitimately interested in eventually playing a game made by a 9-year-old girl.

    2. There is zero difference between mommy buying everything for you and mommy orchestrating a kickstarter to pay for everything for you and pocketing the rest.

      1.  I know I look bad for doing this, but I must point out that in the first scenario mommy is out of pocket while the child gets some gear and a camp experience.
        In the second scenario, child gets some gear and a camp experience, and mommy gets a wad of cash.
        So yeah, there’s a difference.

      2. did you read the bit where the rest of the money is being passed to charity? Or were you too busy worrying feminists stole your penis?

        1. “Or were you too busy worrying feminists stole your penis?”

          Seriously, keep this ridiculous stuff on Reddit.

          1. Right, we don’t need it re-created here. I don’t see this as a failing of “feminism”, I see this as a “girl power” moneygrab from someone with mixed messages to send.

            She needs to drop the “boys will be boys” garbage and stop coddling/encouraging her sons’ behavior.

  2. The problem I see is that raising money to go on holiday and donating any excess to charity is a contravention of Kickstarters own rules:

    “Prohibited uses:

    No charity or cause funding.

    Examples of prohibited use include raising money for the Red Cross, funding an awareness campaign, funding a scholarship, or promoting the donation of funds raised, or future profits, to a charity or cause.

    No “fund my life” projects.

    Examples include projects to pay tuition or bills, go on vacation, or buy a new camera.

    Prohibited content.

    There are some things we just don’t allow on Kickstarter.”

    Support her if you want, but Kickstarter isn’t the place for projects like this.

      1.  I disagree, but the point is that paying for a trip for little child is not allowed on kickstarter.

        1. Then Kickstarter can enforce its own rules. . .  without the death threats.  The Trolls add nothing to the debate except hysterical misogyny.

          1.  Where do I do that?  I say “The Trolls add nothing to the debate except hysterical misogyny.”  Do you disagree?

          2. “Do you disagree?”

            Of course not. My problem is that people in this comments section seem to think that because some think that the project is distasteful, that any critic is a “troll” who hates that a little girl is going to computer camp, hates feminism, and is a MRA or something. 

            Bringing it up when *nobody is defending the actions of the creeps* is unnecessary.

            Though, that one guy who asked who’d ever died from internet death threats, yeesh.

          3. I’d say that using phrases like “‘girl power’ moneygrab” counts as trolling. Sometimes trolls don’t know that they’re trolls. They think that by calling this little girl and her mom cyberbeggars and grifters, they’re doing nothing wrong. They lack empathy.

          4.  Yes.  Do a search for “Matthew Pyke”, “Nimzay Aponte” or “Karen Kahler” sometime.  There are others as well.

            Internet Death Threats are sometimes followed up by the murder of the victim.  Categorically dismissing them as “white noise” is foolish at best.

          5. I don’t give a fuck; it’s a small girl who wants to go do a nice thing. Why should anyone be receiving death threats for facilitating ‘small girl gets to go do nice thing’?

          6. Are you seriously suggesting a 9 year old girl should be tough enough to shrug off death threats from a stranger?

        2. The kickstarter is specifically for paying for the camp fees, not the travel or overnight fees or anything else that is associated as travel costs. But I guess if you’d read the original kickstarter page you’d know that.

          1. Kickstarter manually approves every project. So if it was truly against the TOS then either 1. it’s actually not. OR 2. it slipped through the cracks by an employee who knows less about their own company than all the “experts” here. In which case it sounds like a problem for kickstarter as a company. There are other platforms that would allow this type of thing, so you’re not pointing out some moral failing (wrong no matter where), it simply looks like a tiny pile of pathetic excuses to not like something, imo.

          2. Being super-serious here: if you care as passionately about Kickstarter sticking to their own rules as I do (I mean, I’ve tried to get actual product ideas off the ground, meh) then go to the linked Kickstarter campaign and report it.

            I’m guessing the trigger words and phrases got it approved, or perhaps an employee got confused by some of the wording.  I admit I did on the first read, then read through again and thought, “Waaaaait, they’re raising tuition money, not building a game.”

          3. If you read the KS terms carefully and consider context, it should be clear that this doesn’t violate those terms at all.

            What’s more likely: that you’ve misinterpreted kickstarter’s terms, or that kickstarter misunderstands its own terms?

            This girl makes games. RPG Maker games, but I’ve actually played some neat Doujin games made with RPG Maker, so don’t hate. She wants to make a bigger and better game, and to do so she needs training and equipment. She started a kickstarter offering copies of the game as a reward, in the hope that she could afford the training and equipment she needs to make the game better. 

            You can use KS to fund a photography project if the budget for the project includes buying a new camera, despite the fact that KS says you can’t run a campaign just to buy a new camera if you don’t have a specific project in mind. 

            I have no idea why this is so hard for people to understand.

        1. I really hope your reading comprehension isn’t really this low, and that you’ve just overlooked the context involved. Creating a kickstarter just to fund lifestyle expenditures without a deliverable is against TOS. Expenditures that directly contribute to the deliverable are fine. Let me give you some examples. 

          Bad: Using kickstarter to buy a new camera, without offering a deliverable. 

          Good: Using kickstarter to offer a new digital photography book, and including in that book’s budget a new camera. 

          Bad: Using kickstarter to pay your rent, without a deliverable. 

          Good: Using kickstarter to sell digital copies of your webcomic, with the hope that you’ll be able to quit your day job and pay the rent with the proceeds.

          Bad: Using kickstarter to pay for college. 

          Good: Using kickstarter to offer a product, and then using the budget to get training and equipment to make that product.

          I hope this clears things up.

    1. Has everyone missed that this project involves a deliverable game, and most reward tiers relate to the game? Sure it’s an RPG maker thing, but so was the orignal Corpse Party. RPG Maker as an amateur game development platform is a perfectly valid thing. If I pledged to this, I’d be doing it because I’m interested in seeing what this girl can do.

      As far as I’m aware, requesting money for resources so that you can make a better game than you’d be able to make without Kickstarter is pretty much what Kickstarter is all about. 

      Reading Kickstarter’s guidelines in context, it seem that the “No tuition” rule means that you can’t just ask someone to pay your tuition without the context of a deliverable.  Would you consider it a violation of kickstarter’s rules if it turned out that Doublefine used some of their money to send one of their developers to GDC for a week on the Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass, so they could keep up with the latest innovations in game design? If you read all the guidelines carefully, it becomes clear that they are meant to be taken in context. After all, the guidelines also say you can’t use kickstarter to raise money to buy a new camera… but I’ve seen hundreds of kickstarters that were raising money for film production costs, and these costs included buying a camera. Oh my god, clear violation of the guidelines page! They specifically say you can’t use KS to buy a new camera! All film projects should immediately be shut down if they imply that they will spend any money on cameras. 

      Banning film production projects from buying cameras would be ludicrous, of course, and kickstarter knows this. If you look at kickstarter’s various historical rulings, you can see that the “fund your life” and “camera” rules apply to those who ask for those things outside the context of a deliverable project. They aren’t meant to keep a film crew from buying a camera, and they aren’t intended to prevent a game designer from paying for training.

  3. I’m not certain how I feel about this. While getting girls interested in traditionally male-oriented fields is great, I do think that the money aspect of this *is* important in this case.

    She downplays it in the quote above, but clicking on all the related articles, it looks like she is very wealthy (sold her online printing business to Kinko’s for $100 million, CNNMoney’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, etc). Now, that’s not a problem in general (we don’t need all inventors to be broke before we fund their projects), but this Kickstarter was just for sending her daughter to programming camp.

    Lots of kids go to camp. It’s great! It’s even greater when we encourage young girls to go to programming camp or science camp. Should we pay for them? Sure, and then it’s charity. It’s great to fund an underprivileged girl to go to science camp.

    Should we give charity to allow a wealthy girl to go to programming camp? Well… there I’m not so sure.

    I do think the Kickstarter campaign has based itself of girls+STEM = Good Thing, and in general it is. But the specifics of this case are a wealthy daughter being given money to go to programming camp. Should we fund all girls who want to go to programming camp or science camp, even when they come from a very wealthy family, just because it might make them more interested in STEM?

    1. We can’t conclude that she’s very wealthy. It wasn’t her online printing business; she was an exec VP, and I’m sure she made some money from that deal but that was a long time ago. 

      I think she’s a fierce self-promoter, but I’ve looked around a bit and I don’t know that I think she’s wildly successful. One of the various up and coming award thingies people are citing also quotes someone saying “geeze, I don’t think there’s anywhere close to the kind of money in her business that she says there is.” 

      On the flip side, I find it really sad that someone espousing the cause of encouraging women in tech refers to Brenda Romero as “gamer in residence at University of California at Santa Cruz who’s husband created Doom and Quake.” She was lead designer on the Wizardry series and it’s completely irrelevant that she’s married to another famous game designer. She’s a worthwhile supporter in her own right.

      1. True, but that’s what most people would know her for, rather than Wizardry, or working alongside him on Ravenwood Fair.

        She’s still Brenda Brathwaite , professionally.

        Either way, though, Wilson gets a BIG +1 for considering Brenda, I think: she’s one of the good ones.

        1. Yes. The fact that people think of Brenda Brathwaite as “John Romero’s husband” rather than “lead designer on Wizardry” is exactly the problem, and Susan Wilson perpetuates that problem.

      2. John Romero didn’t single-handedly “create” Doom and Quake, though his contributions are significant. When tasked with actual creation, he offered to make everyone his bitch with a game that became the industry’s laughing stock.

        I agree, the author should give the lady her own credit instead of presenting her as “wife of someone famous”.

  4. Question: How is the “thumbnail” photo that exists on the video before clicking “play” created? Is that placed there by the person creating the video or is it placed there by the video hosting site?
    The photo I am seeing is the girl on the left VS. two boys on the right. If this girl vs. boys thing was generated by the mom, then that might explain some of the reaction as being “anti-male”. Also, it doesn’t help that the mom makes fun of women who make different life decisions by marrying older men.

    1.  Created by the mom, the kickstarter page paints the sons as bullies and “mean”.The reward for 10k donation is to get an apology letter by the mean brothers.

      I find the whole thing very weird( who makes their own kids villains for a story like that? ) , but I thought it was worse when Destructoid presented it as a milionaire trying to raise money from kickstarter as a scam.
      Im surprised that it wasnt.

  5. I think the only ones who should complain about this are those who either work for kickstarter, or are those who funded her and then had buyer’s remorse.  If kickstarter doesn’t complain, why should you?  If backers don’t complain, why should you?  

    1. With that attitude, nothing at all would ever get posted here. Store has a stupid policy of charging customers who browse? Just don’t go there. School expelled a three-year-old for pretending to shoot an imaginary gun? Just don’t send your kid there. Cop tazes a diabetic grandmother? Don’t encounter the cop and/or be a diabetic grandmother.

      If we can’t discuss things, what’s the point of all these tubes?

      1. The difference is that in each of your examples someone is obviously doing something pretty wrong.

        In the OP it’s not so clear what anyone is doing wrong.

        Edit: OK, seems pretty skeevy.

      2. My threshold for kickstarter is pretty low. People are asking for money to do a project. Some projects are pretty nifty, some are shifty, some are eh. Buyer beware. And she’s donating the excess $ to a charity? Oh Nos! If my opinionated complaining about your complaining is infringing on your first amendment rights, feel free to whine over me.
        You’re right, my apathy towards the outrages of kickstarter abuse is what encourages the police state to taze diabetic grandmothers. I might as well have pulled the trigger myself.

        1. “And she’s donating the excess $ to a charity?”

          Where does she say that? Why doesn’t the Kickstarter reflect this?

    2. “If kickstarter doesn’t complain, why should you?”

      Because the very well-off mom’s implying through omission that she can’t afford the summer camp, which is pretty sleazy. Kickstarter should be about business opportunities for innovative art or projects, not cyberbegging and profiting off exploitation of your kids.

      1. There’s no evidence that the mom is “very well-off.” Every bit of “evidence” everyone has provided is usually either inaccurately interpreted or unconfirmed hearsay. 

        And she’s not cyber begging. She’s offering a project and seeing if people want to support that product. People want to support that project, and most of the backers are paying money to get a digital copy of the final deliverable. They’re no more cyber begging than Doublefine was.

    3.  Granted, I’m only 25% of the way through the comments here, but so far the naysayers & the butthurt have so far been male.

    4. Because I really enjoy Kickstarter and I’ve backed over 100 projects showing real creativity. I don’t want to see it get flooded with “Send my kid to camp and I’ll give you her macaroni art” projects. I’ve already reported this project but I also think the discussion about how to keep crowdfunding awesome is totally relevant to a tech blog like BoingBoing.

      1. That’s a legit gripe. Good on you for backing that many. I believe that there’s a lot on kickstarter that look (to me) like macaroni level projects.  So, in my opinion, that ship has already sailed.  I think there’s more untalented artists/creators out there who will ask for money, so it will likely continue to get crowded.  The macaroni level projects typically don’t get funded.  Whoever did this for the kid, presumably the mom, had some basic computer animation skills, and it was slick enough to get support.  Had it looked unprofessional, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere.  I saw it, thought it was innocuous and didn’t feel motivated to support it.   Yes, she manipulated the gender issue into a contrived “less filling, tastes great” sort of controversy to get undeserved support.  So contrived and manipulative but somehow engaging, which I think is a big part of the skill set needed to script videogames.  She has the eyes of the world on  her to deliver a video game, hopefully it will be decent.  I still believe the outrage is disproportionate to the offense.  Unless kickstarter is just run by a clever script with no humans monitoring the site, they’re likely aware of the issue.  I think if they think it’s a problem, they’ll address it. 

        1. There’s a difference between this project and the tons of crappy Kickstarter projects that don’t break the rules. The latter offer a product or service and the reason they don’t get funded is because no one wants the crappy products or services they offer. This Kickstarter is not about the videogame that the nine year old will produce. No one is funding because they want that videogame. They are funding because they want to send this 9 year old to camp. While that might be a noble reason to give a family some money, I don’t think it should be within the scope of Kickstarter. Kickstarter is not a donation platform.

          1. You are basing your entire objection to this kickstarter on the fact that you made a terrible, stupid assumption about other people’s motives. Wow. Just wow. 

            I supported this kickstarter just last night, because I am really curious to see what kind of a game a 9-year-old girl could make with RPG Maker, especially with good training and support. I’m not expecting it to be a masterpiece, but I’ve seen RPGs made by my friends when they were 13 that are pretty interesting and still fun, decades later.

            I absolutely would not have supported this kickstarter if the game wasn’t a deliverable that I wanted badly to see. Reading the non-troll comments on the KS page itself, it seems like a lot of other backers are legitimately anticipating this thing.

            So your entire objection is based on a premise that is provably wrong.

          2. My objection is that the kickstarter is funding a camp, and falls into the lifestyle category. I may be mistaken about why people fund the kickstarter but I will still object to it, even if every backer has the same motives as you.

            Comments are closed so I can’t reply. There is no brightline test to apply to see if funders are funding a lifestyle project vs. a project to provide a product or service. This is because anyone who starts a lifestyle project can say “oh, and I’ll give you my kid’s macaroni art.” I’m not going to second-guess the intentions of the project founder but I also don’t want to allow just any project into Kickstarter. So I’m relying on what is being advertised in the project page. Unlike the Wasteland 2 project (and most projects in the videogame category) there is no detail on what the game is about, what genre it is, what the gameplay will be like, etc. We don’t know if it will have music or original art. There is nothing to indicate the level of quality in this game or that the 9 year old game creator has even considered any of these game design decisions. If the project was made by an adult who is trying to get tuition to a game design school and will reward backers with their final thesis, I would simiarly oppose the project and report it as a violation of the Kickstarter rules.

            Also, I don’t object to some Kickstarter funds being used in a way indirectly related to game development, because I don’t think strict accounting of all pledged funds should be a requirement of Kickstarter project founders. The idea is to make entrepreneurship easier, not harder. But I do think it’s the responsibility of the project founders not to abuse project funds and it’s up to their discretion of what counts as abuse. GDC is good for promoting a game and for networking with other industry professionals, both of which can help out Wasteland 2 be a success.

          3. It’s funding development of a game. Development costs of that game involve training and equipment… just as development costs for Doublefine include salaries that will be used to pay devs’ rent. 

            I know for a fact that an inXile dev used some of the money from the wasteland kickstarter to pay for a pass to GDC, which is basically an extended, expensive summer camp for game designers. Do you object to inXile’s Kickstarters?

            The backers who back this game think they’re backing a game. Kickstarter thinks they’re backing a game. Game development often has a bunch of indirect expenses.

  6. The problem I have with this, and other similar reports, are that it pre-supposes those who oppose this Kickstarter project are “trolling”, or are misogynists.

    Firstly, it is abundantly clear the project is in breach of the Kickstarter guidelines. Specifically the rules preclude “projects to pay tuition or bills”, which this is.

    Further, Susan Wilson has broken the rules by spamming people on Twitter to “raise awareness”.

    Finally, it seems that the entire project is really about promoting the “Keep Up!” brand.

    So, regardless of the intentions of the project it is against the rules and I see it as problematic for it to continue – but I am not Kickstarter so it isn’t my place to make the judgment call.

    Secondly, whilst the idea of “getting women into tech” is certainly noble that isn’t what this project states is the intention. There is ample opportunity for stretch goals to be listed which would explain where the additional funding would go, for example.
    As it currently stands the additional funding isn’t going into the lofty aims that some supporters are claiming:
    “My Mom said I can put any extra toward a laptop”

    A better idea might’ve been, if the “Keep Up!” project were new, to make that the focus of a Kickstarted project, something t promote STEM professions amongst women, for example.

    Finally, It would appear to be a similar furore over Anita Sarkeesian’s project, but there it was an eligible project, with clearly outlined stretch goals.

    The buzz generated for Ms. Sarkeesian both helped her project get over-funded, and lead to massive numbers of appalling comments made by the internet at large. A similar thing has happened here, but to assume that the two projects are the same is to purposely ignore the differences and any legitimate complaints made by people – attempting to silence them by labelling them as trolls.

    I happily pledged to help “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games”, and donate to projects like “Girls Who Code”, but it is a shame that I have to publicise this for any underlying complaint I might have to be listened to.

    To sum up, the project is not one I’ll be backing and I do believe that there are significant issues with it, but I don’t believe that this justifies any of the abuse (because I don’t believe this abuse can be justified). I do think that some people are being suckered into supporting a project because they want to support a noble aim, but it’s not clear how this project manages that ideal.

    1. Not only am I not backing this project, I’ve reported it to Kickstarter as a violation of their own rules. However, I don’t think conflating trolls and people with valid criticism is actually going on here. In this latest internet controversy, as in all of them, there are trolls. To point out this fact is not to deny that there problems with the Kickstarter project. You should blame the trolls that they taking attention away from the criticisms of the project and giving more legitimacy to Susan Wilson.

  7. I wish we could keep the “horrible, horrible trolls” part separated from the “is this a pretty sketchy kick-starter” part.  After reading up on this in other forums, I’m beginning to think all these internet controversies (like the recent “dongle-gate” one) need to be separated from the get go into two discussion threads.

    1.) Discussion of the actual controversy itself

    2.) Discussion of the misogyny and general horrible behavior of some assholes out there in responding to it (especially if a woman is involved).

    The 2nd seems to inevitably takeover discussion of the 1st, muddying the issue at hand, feeding the trolls and making reading the thread an exercise in wading through yet another flame-filled accounting of dickwads doing the same dickwad things. 

    1. Absolutely. That people are annoyed that Kickstarter’s getting filled with lifestyle scams like this is not misogyny. The millionaire mom can afford her daughter’s summer camp. Her other project appears to be similar emotional pleas that funnel cash directly to her.

      She’s also great with PR, apparently, from how she’s controlled this. Good for her. That doesn’t mean that she’s not a sleazeball for exploiting her daughter to make a quick buck. Seriously, how could anyone read her daughter’s “quotes” on the page and think that a nine-year-old would have said any of that?

      Anyway, I’m sad here that the story is about the usual Reddit MRAs and not that Kickstarter has become a “send me to camp!” / “send me on a european vacation!” for trust funders. 

      1. I completely agree with the last paragraph. Sketchy on the rest because I haven’t held proof of the mom’s net worth in my hands. However…

        I’d still be a bit upset about it even if mom only earned 80k a year. $800 is only 1% of that. I don’t see how borrowing from mom with interest would be such a problem.

        Where’s the challenge? From what I have seen, one of the deciding factors in whether a project gets funded is providing tangible proof that your project *could* succeed. Artists usually are expected to show a body of work, builders expected to show a past completed project or a prototype, musicians expected to perform in the video to show their skill level. Mackenzie’s proof is “I love to play RPG games, and here’s my cool D&D toyz!”

        Sure, she’s only 9, and it’s her first foray into programming, but c’mon…RPG Maker is a paint-by-numbers project. Why not wait until she has a couple of beginner courses under her belt to start this kind of crowd-sourcing, and fund something that is wholly unique and completely hers?

        I’m worried that funding such a fluff project(?) is going to open the flood gates for so many more “fund my life” projects, that it will be impossible to wade through them all when visiting Kickstarter.

        Confession: Yes, I have a project I’d love to submit to KS. However, I would prefer to first make sure I have my debts eliminated, for fear of encountering this kind of flak over what might appear to be a “pay off my debts” project.

        1. You should submit it.  The successful artists/writers of my acquaintance are the once who continually put stuff out in the world.  If they’d waited until their finances or other parts of their lives were perfect, they would never have submitted anything.  Good luck to you.  

    2. Part of the problem, is for some of us the actual controversy is small potatoes compared to the knee jerk, very sexist backlash that happens, when the controversies occur around folks that identify as women. 

      I think we could have a better discussion of these controversies if the subject was not so muddied by death and rape threats. We get a disproportionately loud number of those voices, and folks like me start to question “opposition” views, because there is no way to know if it’s an MRA, fresh from some photoshopped threat, or a well reasoned response. 

      Plus, folks that deal with that big an avalanche of death/rape threats end up the underdog, and I personally always sympathize with the underdog. 

      1. “folks like me start to question “opposition” views, because there is no way to know if it’s an MRA, fresh from some photoshopped threat, or a well reasoned response. ”

        This, while understandable (and I sympathize), is still lazy reasoning. It’s very easy to tell the “activists” from regular, decent people. They are rarely the sort to shy away from tone and insults. And if they stick to facts, are the facts themselves corrupted? If you’re unable to attack the position without bringing MRAs into play, the position is pretty untenable.

        They occasionally, stopped-clock like encounter situations where there’s some overlap between sensible and actual negative-towards-men situations. The problem is that most of these situations are created and made worse by men, not women. There’s the occasional isolated case like this, where I can see some sad overlap.

        The difference, I suppose, between reasonable persons is that we criticize the grifter, not “women” or “feminism”.

    3.  Very true. The trolls are almost white noise in the internet society of today, you know they will be there, and knowing that doesnt make it right, but focusing only on them is losing sight of whatever else is going on.

  8. I read the Kickstarter page and it clearly states that the purpose is to fund a 9yo girl’s educational activity and to buy her a laptop.  I don’t care about trolls or accusations of misogyny or whether she’s a millionairess or not (she’s certainly comfortably middle-class) but this is a clear violation of KS’s Ts and Cs.

    As it is “ghost written” by the mother,  this is a clear attempt for the mother in question to abuse kickstarter in order to attempt to provide education and hardware for her child.

    She certainly didn’t deserve to be on the recieving end of the Internet Hate Machine,  but her cynical attempts at using KS to provide for her child under the guise of promoting her brand along with all the triggers she invokes on that page doesn’t necessarily mean that she deserves our sympathy.  She doesn’t have mine.

    It’s not “support girls in tech”. it’s “get my daughter some free swag”

    1. That’s what I concluded. There’s no product – none of the backers really want the game – just ‘send my kid to camp so I can afford more shoes.’
      As someone with daughters who is *actually* poor, this makes me think cranky thoughts. :/

      1. Why the hell would you think none of the backers actually want the game? I want this game even more than I want Planescape: Tides of Numenera, and I really, really want Tides of Numenera.

        I’ve recently said that it’d be really interesting to see more games where the lead designer isn’t a middle-aged dude. This is almost as far from a middle-aged dude as you can possibly get, and I am super intrigued.

        1.  Assumption. Obviously I assumed wrong.
           I read a couple of comments to that effect and assumed that was the likely reason for most backers. I can’t see why anyone besides family would want it: she hasn’t showcased any prior work on the KS (she might be the most creative kid ever, but none of that comes through on the KS).

          1. This is what depresses me most about the response to this project: how so many people seem completely unable to conceive of a world where someone would care about the creative output of a child who is not biologically related to them.

            I’m a game designer. I make games, mostly for grown-ups. I think a lot of games for kids, especially young girls, aren’t great.I’m very excited to see what a young girl would produce on her own, especially if she has professionals helping her with some of the mechanics. This game may be the first step in producing better games for girls in the future.

            If there were a website where kids could post their RPG Maker games and adults could support and play those games, I would support the hell out of that site. But there isn’t one, so I have to use this kickstarter, instead.

            If your daughters have creative projects they want to work on that require resources they don’t have access to, then put together a kickstarter. Just bear in mind that it has to have a deliverable people would be interested in.

    1. Oh bullshit. I fully, absolutely supported the sociological breakdown of “misogyny in gaming” kickstarter. I do not support someone grifting others, regressively, under the guise of feminism.

      Not everybody who thinks this is exploitative is a Reddity fedoras-n-neckbeards troll. I’m even more insulted that the originator exploits goodwill through these emotional pleas (and disappointed that people fall for it and find any criticism of the methods intolerable, “because feminism”.)

      1. So don’t contribute. I personally think it (along with the vast majority of Kickstarter campaigns) is kind of stupid.

        My issue is the Internet hivemind going completely ballistic over such a trifle. So some weirdos decided to donate way over the goal because it got a bit of media attention. They’re the ones with lighter wallets, not you. Besides, the cries of “ZOMG TOS violation” are based on information taken directly from the Kickstarter page. Where exactly is the grift/scam/bait & switch? Heck, there is probably a better chance of the little girl’s shitty RPG actually materializing than a lot of supposedly on the level Kickstarters.

        Basically, what’s the big fucking deal?

        1. “Basically, what’s the big fucking deal?”

          Well, you’ve got two issues here. Sexism and classism. That she’s upper-class and cyberbegging is annoying. That she’s exploiting her kids and inventing a story to play on feelings (as with her previous unfunded project) is also distasteful. I’m not freaking out and don’t support the people who are. People here are expressing opinions on the story, but they’re hardly originating outrage.

          1. So is it annoying that Richard Garriott is upper class and “cyberbegging?” I ask, because your definition of cyberbegging seems to be “creating a game project and taking preorders for it, then spending that money on resources and training that contribute to the game’s development.”

    2. My issue is that it isn’t about feminism – it’s about someone using feminism as the bait and switch to get people to fund a trip to a camp and a new laptop.

      1. I guess you could say that about every single female orientated project or non profit or group. They all give stuff — money, gear, opportunities, trips to camps, laptops. Or actually, feminism itself! It’s trying to use itself to get stuff. Like, equal rights and wages and respect and less raping.

        1. Honestly? Is “give my daughter money to buy a laptop” really the same as getting equal rights for women?

          1.  Here’s a little devil’s advocacy: is nor ‘use some well-known funding channels to facilitate doing the things you want to do, and you’ll be able to utilise those skills in the future to do more stuff’ not a good lesson for a kid to learn? I’ve kind of jumped on this without delving into the background, so I’m working purely from the BB article & the comments here (I have come home drunk and care not for the googling), but I can’t see how that’s a bad thing. It would be nicer if she’s done it all off her own bat, but she’s nine for fuck’s sake. If my daughter had wanted to do something like that at nine, I’d have backed her and helped her out to the hilt. I’m nowhere near as well-off as a comfortably ‘middle class’ American family, fuck, no. But if myself & my daughter did something similar I’d be surprised if the same result didn’t come from the same tedious trolls, and no matter what I feel sorry for the kid, learning about the odious woman-hating creeps that live on the internet like this.

        2. “I guess you could say that about every single female orientated project or non profit or group.”

          In this case the Kickstarter is to fund a child going to a camp and the additional money going to a new laptop.

          Whilst the child hapens to be female I don’t see that it’s a “female-orientated” project because there is no actual project. It’s a “pay my tuition” fundraiser – which isn’t allowed by the Kickstarter rules.

          It’s not like the “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” project which absolutely was not only female-orientated, but an actual project with a defined goal that fit the Kickstarter terms.

          If the Kickstarter had been “My daughter wants to make a video game – we need $X to make it happen” that would have been within the rules, but wouldn’t have been able to be sold as some great fictional struggle. I’m sure you can find lots of similar projects on Kickstarter, but this one had a false narrative that it is somehow a blow against the kyriarchy to fund it along with a honed PR machine spamming Twitter (another breach of the Kickstarter rules).

          The fact you think this project has anything to do with feminism is proof that the trick has worked.

          1. How much would I have to pay you people to use ‘orient’ instead of ‘orientate’?

          2. I’m afraid you will have to accomode me on this topic whilst I articule my thoughts. I think if you hesit for a moment and cogit, maybe even medit, you will find that, whilst the usage may irrit, it isn’t necessarily wrong.

        3. Do you really think that “My sons said something mean to my daughter, so please pay for her trip to camp, buy her a laptop, and help popularize my line of “Keep Up” brand cozies, mouepads and apparel” is in the same category as the fight for equal rights, wages, and respect and against rape?

  9. I don’t see how this is a violation of Kickstarter’s TOS.  Folks are paying to receive, at the base level, a video game product developed by a 9-year-old girl.  They’re not paying for the camp, they’re paying for the product (there are also various promotional t-shirts and junk you can get with added donations). So long as the little girl delivers the video game, then that should satisfy Kickstarter’s TOS just fine.  

    1. The question is whether or not the video game is a straw product. Though, I’ve never heard of KS stepping in in the case of a straw product.

      The majority of video game products on KS include “feed the devs” as one of the uses of the money, so I don’t see how this is that much different. Sure, she probably didn’t need the money, but neither does Richard Garriot, and that hasn’t stop Shroud of the Avatar.

    2. “They’re not paying for the camp, they’re paying for the product “.

      From the Kickstarter page itself:

      My Project:

      I’m raising $829 to cover the cost of attending this RPG STEM Camp for kids 9-12 years old for a week (it’ll be my first overnight camping trip by myself and I can’t wait):

      Where’s the Money Going?

      I really want a new laptop but my Mom said I should start small since I’ve never done a crowdfunding project before. So the $829 will be used to cover the basic cost of RPG Camp (not the overnight fees and extras). Here’s a copy of my registration confirmation so you can see the details:

      My Mom said I can put any extra toward a laptop. I asked her if I raised even more than that, would she let me spend another week away at RPG camp. She said if I raised the money, she’d send me to RPG Camp all summer (which would be amazing because my friends at home are great but they’re not really gamers like me so it’ll awesome to hang out with hardcore gamers like me that are my age).

      1. I’ve backed other projects where I was buying a comic, but I knew that the money I was spending was going towards paying the artist’s rent or medical bills.

        At this point, you’re saying that your entire problem is that the kickstarter actually tells you where the money is going, rather than just handwaving and saying “training and production resources.” 

        Kickstarter says that it’s fine. Backers have no problem with it.

  10. I am always amazed at how quickly discussion turns to dismissiveness and attacking the intentions of the women involved whenever someone does anything to do with gender and games/video games.  This thread is the latest example.

    A kid learning how to raise money to support a project is a crucial skill that most of us should have been taught.  Never mind what or how much our parents have or earn (nobody mentions this when boys do this for some reason, or their dads). 

    There are almost no games or businesses out there that weren’t created at least in part with investment from outsiders.  Kickstarter is a novel approach to the old challenge of ‘how do I get funding for this idea?’  It allows small projects to have a shot as well, which is a good thing.

    Teaching your kid how to raise funds for a business is a good and valuable action.  As with any business, it is up to investors or supporters to decide how viable such an idea might be. 

    For some reason, in this case, many people have decided that because someone has nice boots that the idea does not deserve support, and that in fact it is a threat to all they hold dear.  What. the. fuck. It is hard not to conclude that the ‘controversy’ is because it is girls and women rather than boys and men.

    1.  I think you’re seriously drawing attention away from the idea that Kickstarter exists to help those who don’t have the funds to start a project with the support of crowd patronage.

      Sure, ANY project *can* be funded, provided it doesn’t break the rules, but it’s firmly implied that we’re there to help the ones who need it.

      How does having nice boots have anything to do with gender issues? I don’t think there is a clear and supported connection between the two. As stated in the responses above, let’s try to keep the two issues separate, as they should be.

      1.  Agreed they should be separate.  Nice boots refers to the logic used by some on reddit and (to a lesser degree) here that the mom is rich (as deduced by her resume and her footwear in some picture) and therefore the project is not worthy. 

        Having nice boots has nothing to do with gender issues, unless it is used as a club to thump uppity women with – which appears to be the case here.  I don’t care what a person’s footwear is, but neither should anyone else.

        I love the idea of Kickstarter, and I have toyed with trying it for some business/project ideas.  As yet I haven’t had an idea that fits their model, but some others do.  Of course some people will try to ‘game’ the system – like all systems. 

        I have no issue with people disliking the project and not funding it or opposing its funding on its merits or lack thereof.  I’m not funding it.  I have a huge issue with people making assumptions about the girl or her mom and being aggressive or hostile to them.  And I have a massive issue with people who take a ‘next’ illogical step and get into physical threats and the like.  Fuck them.

    2. “I am always amazed at how quickly discussion turns to dismissiveness and attacking the intentions of the women involved whenever someone does anything to do with gender and games/video games. ”

      Certainly many people are guilty of this sort of action, but does that mean that all those who raise an issue with this Kickstarter are guilty by association?

      “It is hard not to conclude that the ‘controversy’ is because it is girls and women rather than boys and men.”

      It may be for many, but for some it’s because the Kickstarter breaks the rules in various ways, and because the thin veneer of feminism breaks down under scrutiny.

      1. Well, it depends whether they’re being enormous assholes about it or not, really. That’s kind of the tell, right there.

      2. If you think that this breaks the rules, you’re bad at interpreting the rules. 

        You, personally, might just be upset because you misunderstand Kickstarter’s rules and think that your interpretation should overrule Kickstarter’s own interpretation. I think that’s silly, but fine. Still, count how many times in this thread people who claim not to be trolls use “feminism” as a pejorative. That’s why we think that a huge percentage of the people who are claiming to be upset about rules are really just angry at women.

        If a poster has not referenced feminism or referred to gender politics in any way, shape, or form, then I’ll believe they object solely on the grounds of rules. However, the vast majority of people who are objecting are bringing up the feminist aspect in a negative way. If they were truly just impartially in disagreement about the rules, then they wouldn’t.

  11. Wilson also took the bold move of outing the two people who made threats against her and her family

    I wouldn’t call that “bold” but it’s certainly the right thing to do.  Good for her!

    Incidentally, reading this thread has given me a strange compulsion to stop shaving my neck and go buy a fedora.

    1. Looks more like her mother is trying to teach her how to saddle the trolls and ride them into the sunset (or piles of cash, either way). I’m kinda worried that this is becoming a “thing”:

      1. Post a KS for a vaguely feminist project
      2. Wait for hate to come in
      3. Publicize the hate you get
      4. Watch as your rebuttal spurns even more hate
      5. Watch as Boing Boing et al learn about this hate and broadcast your project to far more people than you ever could with a sweet tag line like “Trolls want to rape girl!”
      6. Profit

      1. Seriously?  You think women are just champing at the bit to receive rape threats for them or their children as a profit centre?  Have you ever heard of the concept of ‘victim blaming’?

        What is a ‘thing’ is that there are a lot of asshole men out there who seem to spend their energy threatening women.  What is emphatically not a ‘thing’ is that women are seeking out those threats.

        1. Only when they start publicizing the trolls. That’s when I start wondering. It’s possible that these folks live in a cave and haven’t yet learned that you don’t feed the trolls, but I find that explanation less and less likely each time this happens.

          1.  Right.  It’s better to meekly take whatever shit the trolls give them.  Less avaricious that way.

          2. That’s when I start wondering. It’s possible that these folks live in a cave and haven’t yet learned that you don’t feed the trolls

            Thanks for the view from the privilege side, but the rest of us will continue not being submissive in the face of bullying.

          3. Uppity women, not knowing outside which caves they should just keep their fucking mouths shut, eh? T’was ever thus, I suppose?

          4.  “Don’t feed the trolls” doesn’t work when the trolls are completely sincere about their woman-hating and are just using troll tactics to advance their misogyny.

      2.  Yeah, I think you nailed it.  Pretty disgusting if it’s intentional.

        Of course if it weren’t for the trolls this strategy wouldn’t work in the first place so I guess we still get to complain about the trolls.  That’s something.

      3. Seriously?  Two female-lead projects get misogynist death threats and your worry is “feminists are doing too well”?

        Next up: Details of my Jewish conspiracy to make money from neo-Nazi violence.  Because that’s totally my business model.

      4.  Gee, if you don’t like that model, maybe you should undertake to make it so that our society isn’t so freaking sexist that waves of violently misogynist online abuse and harassment aren’t a 100% predictable result of women and girls doing pretty much anything online.

  12. I think it’s not cool that a mom is publicly making fun of her sons to get donations for her daughter.

    1. Well, true, but for some balance, it looks like she tried to do a Kickstarter for them, too, last year.  It was unsuccessful.  Not hard to figure out why, either; what is this, money to sell towel-capes?  And “US Veteran” thrown in to boot.  When panhandlers hit me up for money and they throw “disabled US Veteran” in there, I automatically look them in the eyes, to see if they’re drunks.

      Looking at that one, I think I see where this kid gets her love of role-playing. That makes it sweet imho. It melts my heart when the kids take an interest in what we, their parents, do.

      My poor wife…my kids seem to take no interest in her work. And she’s the one bringing hope the bacon.

      1.  But they have secret pockets! Oh wait…4 capes for ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS?!!!!!


  13. Cory really dropped the ball on this one. He’s taken an opposite knee jerk reaction. Here’s some of the VERY good points that the supposed “trolls” made (remembered from the top of my head). Also, a lot of this discussion came from reddit, where, invariably, there is always going to be a troll or ten to point at.

    1) There’s a 10,000 donation level, but she states she only needs to raise $800 and never addresses where the extra is going.2) She has made other unreasonable kickstarters
    3) It clearly fits under tuition and “fund my life” which is against TOS.
    4) She inappropriately ties the camp to STEM education programs when the camp isn’t associated with them, presumably just for the buzz.
    5) She demonizes HER sons. 
    6) Why should anybody have to pay $10,000 for her to raise her own sons properly (read the reward description). 
    7) She has a photo of the already paid tuition for the camp.

    Also, even if it was just a “photo op” with Warren Buffet, you still have to be well off enough to afford $800 to even have a chance to brush shoulders with Warren Buffet. 

  14. Also, something nobody else has commented on that’s been really bothering me.
    What kind of female empowerment mother lets her son wear a “I think I’m a lesbian” shirt. (I can’t read the whole shirt, but that’s my best guess). 

        1. I can’t find it now but I believe I saw Susan address this point and that she is trying to being up her boys as feminists, and explained away the shirt as being a gift from a lesbian couple the family is friends with.

          Edited to add:

          “And btw, my oldest son Zach IS wearing a t-shirt that says, “I think I’m a lesbian” and he’s wearing it with pride! It was given to him by his best friend Kristen who just happens to be a lesbian and has a matching shirt. They also have matching “I love girls with tattoos” shirts along with matching Ellen underwear. I won’t apologize for that either.”

          Turns out I didn’t remember it exactly but that’s the explanation.

          1. That’d be interesting to read!

            I rarely see that language from allies and not the bachelor party/forever alone aisle of a novelty gift shop.

  15. People saying ‘she might not be rich now’ are missing the point. She went to HARVARD….that gives her earning potential that most people will only dream about. But for some reason she decides to use that education and risk her reputation on panhandling for $900!!! There are also pictures of her on the web making it rain!

    I’m sorry but if you promote yourself on the web with a picture like that you lose the right to beg online for ANYTHING forever!

    1. Richard Garriott has been to space. 

      Has he lost the right to raise money online for his game projects FOREVER?

  16. Hi,

    Dismissing a dissenting group as “a bunch of trolls” contributes to the problem, not the solution. Dissent is natural, it’s a critical part of rationality, and of science. The act of questioning something is what allows us to be introspective and correct our behavior.

    You may recall that every movement that has led to a renaissance of rights, whether civil rights, gay rights, or women’s rights, began with a majority dismissing the dissenting minority as a bunch of trolls. Now that the shoe is on the other foot (topics involving civil rights, gay rights, and women’s rights are wildly popular and celebrated in mainstream, or at least internet, culture), it would be a terrible mistake to continue propogating that cycle by dismissing a less popular minority as a “troll.” While it would no doubt be sweet, deserved vengence on our misogynistic forefathers, it only serves to ensure that the cycle of blame and “us vs them” mentality continues.

    The fact of the matter is that neither the world nor anyone living in it can be wholly separated into categories of black and white. Everything exists in a grey area, and when anyone says otherwise (Cory included) it should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

    1. How about dismissing a bunch of trolls as a bunch of trolls?

      It’s important to be able to distinguish legitimate dissent from a bunch of trolls.  But if you’re on the same side as a bunch of trolls you should probably at least acknowledge this and tailor your criticism accordingly.  You may have to be a little extra polite so that you are not mistaken for a troll yourself.

      Perhaps this is not fair in some sense but it’s also not fair that a lot of people try to control the discourse by trolling. 

      Your “gray area” stuff is fine as far as it goes but ultimately the human mind operates on dualistic reasoning — things are or they aren’t, statements are true or false.  Yes, these are heuristics but since the only alternative is epistemological oatmeal sometimes we’re just going to have to call a troll a troll.

      1. “But if you’re on the same side as a bunch of trolls you should probably at least acknowledge this and tailor your criticism accordingly.”

        I don’t think all criticism is the same, or comes from the same “side”. I’m glad a girl’s getting her computer camp (whether it was paid for before the KS or not) and hope her mom gets whatever attention for her personal projects she was seeking.

    2. Now that the shoe is on the other foot (topics involving civil rights, gay rights, and women’s rights are wildly popular and celebrated in mainstream, or at least internet, culture), it would be a terrible mistake to continue propogating that cycle by dismissing a less popular minority as a “troll.”

      Women and LGBT people still don’t have equal rights. You’re making a false equivalency. Nice troll.

      1.  I’m now 75% of the way through this morass; I’m still seeing a distinct pattern in the critics of this here thing…

        1. I’ve been a critic, but I rather hope that I have been able to demonstrate that not all those who have been opposing this Kickstarter are doing so out of some underlying misogyny.

          Perhaps I have failed in this.

          1. No, you did make it. Politely and succinctly too. However, that doesn’t alter the fact that there IS a pattern here, one evinced quite nicely by the excerpt quoted above by Antinous. There’s a hell of a lot do fit that pattern is my point. I’d be very intrigued to see what the response would have been if it was her dad that had set up the kickstarter.

    1. Because someone else is getting money and they’re not.  It has to do with jealousy or something like that.

      Personally, I’d rather put my money into something with true equity.  I mean seriously, would you send $450 to Apple in return for a nice thank you card?  I’d rather have the equity but that’s just me.

  17. I just watched that video, and I’m quite shocked.  This is obviously a conspiracy to prevent me from marrying a twenty-something bikini model when I reach my seventies and become morbidly obese.

  18. I don’t have much problem with the spirit of this Kickstarter; it’s essentially entrepreneurial sourcing of scholarship funds. However, I do have a problem with its conflicting (pretty clearly, I think) with Kickstarter’s ToS.

    Since the Kickstarter has clearly leveraged the Streisand Effect to some degree (although in this case it’s benefitting from trolling rather than censorship), I’d wager the mom could make $800 through a non-Kickstarter avenue just off the popularity she’s accrued.

    I’d rather the mother do that than continue on with the Kickstarter, I think. Hm. Interesting, regardless.

  19. Back before the Kickstarter had even met its goal (I think) I did the Ask a Question and inquired whether the girl would get to go to camp whether or not the KS was funded.  This was before all the crazy so there was plenty of reason to reply but I never heard back which I take as an indicator that the answer wasn’t good for marketing. 

  20. I support girls in gaming rather strongly. (I’m married to a girl gamer I met when we were gaming online and we both went on to spend ten years doing online game creation) I do not necessarily support turning to the public to raise funds when you had access to that kind of money needed but blew it on expensive shoes.

    Fund your kids before you fund your personal luxuries and certainly before you hit up the public for money.

    The question has also been raised that this appears to clearly violate Kickstarter’s rules for such projects which, to me, does not exactly show her kids the right moral lesson.

  21. What’s with all the nastiness, trite nitpicking and general dickishness in boingboing comments lately?

     This thread is shit.

    1. I was wondering that myself. I feel just like I did back when I still used Reddit, and all my favorite sub’s got overran with MRA guys. 

      1. I firmly believe all MRAs need a public dressing down and a good, solid clip round the ear off their mams. To be repeated daily until they learn to fucking well behave themselves.

      1. This comment that it was noticed makes me feel way better. Seriously. I feel like so many other blogs and comment venues are a giant whirlpool of nastiness, and here I am usually always impressed by the level of commenters. 

  22. Sorry, but this is complete and utter white knighting.
    Why is there a *10,000* pledge for the Kickstarter when she’s trying to raise less than 1,000?

    James Penrose is correct. This completely violates the Kickstarter TOS for funding a “lifestyle project”.

    I don’t have a problem with girls in gaming, but I have a problem with manipulative people pulling a scam and bilking money out of people.

    This is a scam and nothing more.

      1. Seriously. That phrase oozes douchechills. I can’t imagine how anyone could ever imagine that they’re on the right side of any topic when using it.

  23. “It’s against Kickstarter’s ToS!1!” “It’s against Kickstarter’s ToS!1!” “It’s against Kickstarter’s ToS!1!” “It’s against Kickstarter’s ToS!1!”

    Who the fuck cares? That’s Kickstarter’s problem. 

      1. I understand where this comes from but think it is unfair to shut down discussion by throwing out names and accusations.

        That said, as I stated in my response to Barry Wilson, I don’t think further discussion of the underlying topic is helpful but it would be nice if I could “clear my name”.

        (And I accept that bowing out now may lead to accusations that I am doing so only because I don’t want to be labelled a troll rather than for any noble reasons, but that is a risk I’m going to have to take.)

    1. My problems with it are:

      1) It undermines Kickstarter’s credibility as a crowdfunding platform.

      2) It appears to have had the feminist angle tacked on so as to promote an angle that would otherwise not be present.

      Unfortunately (2) caused a very unpleasant response from the dregs of the internet attacking not only the project but the people behind it. As such those who wish to discuss (1), and parts of (2) get lumped in with those trolls. I am someone who has been trying to discuss the topic, but it seems that this is being equated with those who have sent death threats.

      As it happens I have read the update from Susan Wilson where she outlines the support by Kickstarter which definitely goes against the position of those who are trying to discuss (1), but I do believe that it is still possible to criticise or at least discuss that issue.

      The issue is that trying to discuss it now does bring in emotionally charged responses (including the accusation that any discussion is itself anti-feminist as it is trying to shut down this project which many see as feminist), but without this (or any other publicised) example there’s little reason to discuss the topic.

      That said, however, it does appear that trying to discuss the problems rationally not only fuels the debate but gives impetus to those who wish to lash out and who seek justification for their hatred and supposed outrage. This would appear to leave a moral quandary, except that it is proven that voicing dissent won’t move the discussion forward and only encourages those who should not be encouraged and, as such, the right thing to do would be to drop the subject. At least for now.

      So I shall.

      1. …it does appear that trying to discuss the problems rationally not only fuels the debate but gives impetus to those who wish to lash out and who seek justification for their hatred and supposed outrage.

        Hilarious. It’s hard being the lone voice of reason in the wilderness of people who don’t agree with you, isn’t it?

        1. Unfortunately it appears I wasn’t clear enough in my previous post.

          When I referred to “those who wish to lash out and who seek justification for their hatred and supposed outrage” I was referring to the trolls who are attacking Susan and Kenzie Wilson.

          I do not want to encourage, or even give the perception of encouraging, those sorts of people.

           “It’s hard being the lone voice of reason in the wilderness of people who don’t agree with you, isn’t it?”

          It’s harder still being the lone voice of reason in the wilderness of people who do appear to agree with me.

          (I can justify replying here because we are discussing a meta-topic.)

        2. It is pretty disheartening for people to claim to be on your “side” for the wrongest of reasons, so well worth wishing the project admin the best.

      2. I don’t see how pre-ordering an RPG from an amateur developer in order to support them acquiring training and resources that will help them produce a better product undermines KS’s credibility as a crowdfunding platform.

        I backed this kickstarter purely because I want to play this girl’s game when it comes out. I backed it for exactly the same reason I backed Torment.

        I’m pretty sure the inXile people are going to use some of my Torment money to pay their bills. They might use it to buy computers for their devs to work on. Some of that money might even get used to pay for a tutorial session at GDC. 

        This is the same thing. Someone wants to make a game. They think having certain resources will help ’em make a better game. They pre-sell the game to interested parties so they can afford those resources.

Comments are closed.