Dubious Kickstarter at $21,000 and [Edit] (Hopefully) Dropping

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I was browsing kickstarter today, the video and tabletop games sections, when I cam across an odd one.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/susanwilson/9-year-old-building-an-rpg-to-prove-her-brothers-w?ref=category

Long story short, a mother wants to help her 9 yr old daughter go to a camp to learn how to make a videogame.
It seems a noble cause at first, especially considering recent issues with claims of unfair treatment of women in technological industries and especially videogames. However...

Kickstarter rules explicitly state that charity or "fund my life" projects are not acceptable. Now despite the promise of a completed "game" (created by a 9 year old as a learning excercise), the project is essentially a way for them to send this child to a camp and buy her a new laptop.
But that's not so bad I guess, after all we'd be helping a young girl achieve something she would otherwise be unable to do. Except...


Corey Brin, a backer of this kickstarter has posted this picture in the comments, along with comments speaking out against it.
Not only does it seem that Susan Wilson has no regard for the policies of Kickstarter but she's also rich (sorry, successful). Far richer than most of us, and likely richer than most of the people backing her kickstarter.

What initially appears to be a touching story about a young child achieving her dreams and breaking gender barriers in what is percieved as a misoginist industry, is looking more and more like a scam to line a rich person's wallet.

Given recent news and the Escapist community's general "interest" in this subject matter, I wanted to bring it to your attention and see what the general concensus is.

Personally, and fairly obviously given that I've posted this topic, I think its disgusting. A deliberate misuse of what has otherwise been a useful tool to the industry and especially independant developers.
Granted, big names with lots of money have been using it recently, but all have done so with the promise of a full and completed product that would be fit for retail and have been open about what they truly wanted to achieve (creating games without publisher's interfering). To me, Susan Wilson is using her child, and recent contraversy to make easy money with very little offered in return. As others have said in the comments, some of the outrage would likely be quelled if the excess money (all 21+ thousand dollars of it) was put towards a program which helped children from less fortunate families get the same oppurtunities that her daughter is. Sadly that's yet to become the case.

(for reference "rich" in this case means multi-millionaire)

I think kickstarter needs to be included in the coming flurry of shit ricochet from the fan, this is not the first time things like this have slipped through and if they refuse to take responsibility I seriously hope it starts to damage the business

....?

If true this seems like a really stupid idea. If she is a multi-millionaire she stands to lose significantly more than the money she is scamming from lawsuits.

/sigh

Kickstarter is a fantastic idea, but things like this was the first thing that popped into my head when I first heard of the project.

I agree with Orange. Pretty soon, kickstarter is going to to be involved in a very sad, public catastrophic event in regard to things like this. I hope they survive.

I hate when people get things for just being a girl or religious or having a different skin colour. I really wish people would just get over these arbitrary groupings and people would start rewarding each other one actual merit instead of arbitrary physical aspects.

AccursedTheory:
/sigh

Kickstarter is a fantastic idea, but things like this was the first thing that popped into my head when I first heard of the project.

I agree with Orange. Pretty soon, kickstarter is going to to be involved in a very sad, public catastrophic event in regard to things like this. I hope they survive.

I agree as well.
The misuse needs to be cracked down on, but the concept needs to stick around.
Because of Kickstarter I'm getting a publisher free sequel to Broken Sword, a bunch of cheap (relatively) good quality miniature painting brushes, and a massive amount of miniatures to paint, including some from a small operation that are better sculpted and more detailed than anything I've seen from big miniature companies.

I guess a fool and his money are soon parted. I don't really have much sympathy for the people who donated, the entire page is pretty shady looking for something supposedly made by a 9 year old.

The woman herself seems to be the perfect example of scum always floating to the top. Domain hoarding AND debt collecting harassment? Why not just sell your kids and add child trafficking to the list? The way she pimps out her daughter tells me she's not far from it anyway.

on the one hand, its good that a girl wants to prove that she is into video game developement.
on the other hand, thats just the only thing that will drive this kickstarter to be superfunded(plus the help of trolls)

but this,
image
what the flying fuck?

a camp for rpg maker? whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
and she already owns a mac.

i cant throw as much "fuck you's" as i possibly be physically able to and i am hindered to do so by the fact that she is just a child.

rhizhim:

what the flying fuck?

Yeah. What the fuck do game ratings have to do with games she might like? That last part of the picture is utter bullshit.

TheKasp:

rhizhim:

what the flying fuck?

Yeah. What the fuck do game ratings have to do with games she might like? That last part of the picture is utter bullshit.

i dont know. maybe i should just go with the times and show my future 9 year old nephew exessive violent and sexual content.

BEST UNCLE EVER!
------------------------------------------------
btw, it clearly goes against kickstarters rules to begin with.

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.
View prohibited items and subject matter

Alcohol (prohibited as a reward)
Automotive products
Baby products
Bath and beauty products
Contests (entry fees, prize money, within your project to encourage support, etc)
Cosmetics
Coupons, discounts, and cash-value gift cards
Drugs, drug-like substances, drug paraphernalia, tobacco, etc
Electronic surveillance equipment
Energy drinks
Exercise and fitness products
Eyewear (sunglasses, prescription glasses, etc)
Financial incentives (ownership, share of profits, repayment/loans, etc)
Firearms, weapons, and knives
Health and personal care products
Heating and cooling products
Home improvement products
Infomercial or As-Seen-on-TV type products
Medical and safety-related products
Multilevel marketing and pyramid programs
Nutritional supplements
Offensive material (hate speech, inappropriate content, etc)
Pet supplies
Pornographic material
Projects endorsing or opposing a political candidate
Projects promoting or glorifying acts of violence
Projects using Kickstarter simply to sell existing inventory
Raffles, lotteries, and sweepstakes
Real estate
Rewards in bulk quantities (more than ten of an item)
Rewards not directly produced by the project or its creator (no offering things from the garage, repackaged existing products, weekends at the resort, etc)
Self-help books, DVDs, CDs, etc

http://www.kickstarter.com/help/guidelines

rhizhim:

i dont know. maybe i should just go with the times and show my future 9 year old nephew exessive violent and sexual content.

BEST UNCLE EVER!

Yeah, the other stuff I really don't care about. The kickstarter guys need to figure that out.

But this part bugs me.

If you think your 9 year old nephew can handle that stuff then why the fuck should I not show him those games? The sexual content in those is actually just a goddamn joke and he probably saw more explicit stuff in the afternoon advertisment. And violence? So what if there is video game violence? Again, if he can handle that.

I played 'violent' video games from an early age (about 9 as well) and I won't sit now and pretend that I find that it is a bad thing if a child plays a FPS.

Please elaborate why it should concern us what games she plays with the consent of her parents?

Edit: Quotefail

The thing is she actually runs her own crowdfunding site - FundHer (female-only because reasons). I'm kinda wondering if she's not intentionally breaking Kickstarter TOS, so if her project is stopped she can make a fuss and move it to her own site, along with a good number of the 1000+ backers and everyone following.

Sure, it's dumb and transparent, but so is being a millionaire and asking the public to fund your daughter's game camp, or your husband's cape-making hobby.

Also, part of the merchandise of the 9-year old's Kickstarter:

image

Yes, rich people really are as dumb and horrible as you thought.

fletch_talon:
I was browsing kickstarter today, the video and tabletop games sections, when I cam across an odd one.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/susanwilson/9-year-old-building-an-rpg-to-prove-her-brothers-w?ref=category

Long story short, a mother wants to help her 9 yr old daughter go to a camp to learn how to make a videogame.
It seems a noble cause at first, especially considering recent issues with claims of unfair treatment of women in technological industries and especially videogames. However...

Kickstarter rules explicitly state that charity or "fund my life" projects are not acceptable. Now despite the promise of a completed "game" (created by a 9 year old as a learning excercise), the project is essentially a way for them to send this child to a camp and buy her a new laptop.
But that's not so bad I guess, after all we'd be helping a young girl achieve something she would otherwise be unable to do. Except...


Corey Brin, a backer of this kickstarter has posted this picture in the comments, along with comments speaking out against it.
Not only does it seem that Susan Wilson has no regard for the policies of Kickstarter but she's also rich (sorry, successful). Far richer than most of us, and likely richer than most of the people backing her kickstarter.

What initially appears to be a touching story about a young child achieving her dreams and breaking gender barriers in what is percieved as a misoginist industry, is looking more and more like a scam to line a rich person's wallet.

Given recent news and the Escapist community's general "interest" in this subject matter, I wanted to bring it to your attention and see what the general concensus is.

Personally, and fairly obviously given that I've posted this topic, I think its disgusting. A deliberate misuse of what has otherwise been a useful tool to the industry and especially independant developers.
Granted, big names with lots of money have been using it recently, but all have done so with the promise of a full and completed product that would be fit for retail and have been open about what they truly wanted to achieve (creating games without publisher's interfering). To me, Susan Wilson is using her child, and recent contraversy to make easy money with very little offered in return. As others have said in the comments, some of the outrage would likely be quelled if the excess money (all 21+ thousand dollars of it) was put towards a program which helped children from less fortunate families get the same oppurtunities that her daughter is. Sadly that's yet to become the case.

There is a report button at the bottom of the project page, use it if this Kickstarter troubles you so. And thanks for the heads up.

This is also kind of child abuse. Children always tease each-other, and boys as young as them are still going through the "EW Cooties! Girls are icky!" phase that every boy goes through. Now she's publicly shaming her two sons, and anyone who pledges some massive amount gets a forced phone call from the two sons to say I'm sorry. The mum is clearly trying to start some sort of war between her two kids, why else would she put that god-awful "Daughter vs. TERRIBLE SONS!" picture at the top of the Kickstarter?

Also, this isn't justified just because they said they're going to make a game (In a week, with a 9 year old). A scam isn't alright if I say "Oh, and I'm drawing a picture that I'll send to you!". And the prospect of the kid making games when she's older also doesn't count, because at 9 years old we all had "dreams" that we never really pursued in any big way, and Kickstarter isn't for "She might make something a few years from now" it's "We will make this, but we need the money"

The worst part is that she IS one of the richest women in the world, why the fuck does she need poorer people to help her when she could easily pay for it on her own?

Amount of people calling for Kickstarter restrictions because other people are too dumb to figure this out: Far too many.

Are you kidding me? This was obvious to be either a scam or pretty damn wrong from the start. The very setup of the whole thing, I mean ... wtf? I looked at it a couple of days ago and thought to myself "Well, at least it doesn't ask for much."

If people are stupid enough not to do their research and blindly overfund something, it is their own bloody fault, not Kickstarter's.

FEichinger:
Amount of people calling for Kickstarter restrictions because other people are too dumb to figure this out: Far too many.

Are you kidding me? This was obvious to be either a scam or pretty damn wrong from the start. The very setup of the whole thing, I mean ... wtf? I looked at it a couple of days ago and thought to myself "Well, at least it doesn't ask for much."

If people are stupid enough not to do their research and blindly overfund something, it is their own bloody fault, not Kickstarter's.

The thing is there are restrictions to what you can kickstart, its just that people aren't using that button at the bottom of the page that has Report this project to Kickstarter

Ed130:

FEichinger:
Amount of people calling for Kickstarter restrictions because other people are too dumb to figure this out: Far too many.

Are you kidding me? This was obvious to be either a scam or pretty damn wrong from the start. The very setup of the whole thing, I mean ... wtf? I looked at it a couple of days ago and thought to myself "Well, at least it doesn't ask for much."

If people are stupid enough not to do their research and blindly overfund something, it is their own bloody fault, not Kickstarter's.

The thing is there are restrictions to what you can kickstart, its just that people aren't using that button at the bottom of the page that has Report this project to Kickstarter

I browse 4chan sometimes, and this has gotten on there. They really, really hate feminists so there has most likely been a LOT of people have reported it. The problem is it has a load of people who blindly defend it, who's arguments basically resort to "You go girl!" and "You're a troll", or the always good "If you don't like it don't back it".

TheKasp:

rhizhim:

what the flying fuck?

Yeah. What the fuck do game ratings have to do with games she might like? That last part of the picture is utter bullshit.

the first though that crossed my mind after reading the OP. that is totaly unnecessary part.

as for the topci itself, hey, 6 months ago, i told you this is what kickstarter is going to become. you ignored me, well, now you cant.

Ed130:

There is a report button at the bottom of the project page, use it if this Kickstarter troubles you so. And thanks for the heads up.

Ah thank you, I never found it, though I didn't take a lot of time to look, I came across it not too long before going to work and wanted to get this topic out first. I'll certainly be using it now.

...And done. Listed it as a Charity, but also mentioned the excellent point made above of the $10,000 pledge reward being practical child abuse in the form of public humiliation.

Looks like a case of "this is why we can't have nice things".

This shouldn't even be on Kickstarter -_- I have reported it and am moving on. I feel sorry for all the people who gave money to her.

Edit: Oh wow, I didn't even notice the $10,000 reward. Just...how could a parent do that?

I wonder how many people the Wilson boys will manage to kill before turning the guns on themselves.

That is, if these children are really hers. The entire page is so suspect I am genuinely doubting that she even has kids at all.
I don't know any parents who would be so openly cruel to two of their children will using the other to make a quick buck.

There's a CAMP to learn RPG MAKER?! For $1,348?! Just read a free fucking tutorial, they're all over the net! Or hell, if they're inclined to waste their money, I could have taught her all she needed to know for, I don't know, $999!

But the real scam here is that the end result (if there'll be one) will be a dime a dozen, cut and paste, horridly built RPG Maker game by someone who's clueless about the tools she's using, and doesn't have the slightest sense of game design or aesthetic. A game not even a mother could love.

WTF! Rich people shouln't be allowed to scam, they likely already have a wealth of experience in that area already so just wouldn't be fair on the rest of us.

And there's a sexism/feminism side to this story too? Lovely. Even better when kids are involved so that prejudices may be ingrained and learnt for future resentment.

Frankster:
WTF! Rich people shouln't be allowed to scam

Just wanted to say, chances are that's how a good amount of rich people got rich, through things like this. They have a lot of money because they never spend their own cash.

Of course, not all rich and successful people are scammers. This just points out one facet.

__
On topic, I can't sympathize with anyone who funded this, even if it was/is true/pure. You're throwing money at a 9 year old girl. INVESTING MONEY IN A NINE YEAR OLD GIRL. If she came up to you on the street and asked for 21,000 dollars, chances are you would never give her a cent. It would just be irresponsible.

I am all for gender equality, don't get me wrong but money would be so much better spent elsewhere.

I read this thing on Destructoid the other and it seemed dubious to me even without the whole "she is rich" thing.
And why do people keep giving money to projects hat are already funded? Unless they have some kind of master plan for more money you are probably doing more harm than good

TheProfessor234:
[
Just wanted to say, chances are that's how a good amount of rich people got rich, through things like this. They have a lot of money because they never spend their own cash.

So my parents keep telling me :( Hence why me and my family are poor, we believe too much in gifting and making others happy with what extra money we do have.

In other news.... Carlos Slim has started a kickstarter to scrap together some funds to afford a car for his soon to be 16 yr old son (if needed replace son with daughter for added dose of GRRRL power and Rawr! Fight the patriarchy!).
Stretch Goal: if 300k $ is reached, he will appear on MTVS sweet 16 when its his birthday and YOUR name as a loyal backer will be added to a thank you list at the end of the show! Hurry only 25 days left!

The worst part of this, is that people are fucking dumb enough to fund this bullshit.

While I'm really glad you bring up the subject of Susan Wilson, I can't really contribute much at this point in time.

Just...

If I may suggest...

Do check her out. Google her, do some research, make up your own mind.

Check out her twitter. Check out her online presence.

Do not confuse her with Susan Wilson Solovic, though.

Makes me wonder if Kickstarter bothers to go through this shit and just start banning and removing the blatently obvious BS projects. I mean they must but odd things really obvious ones slip thorugh the cracks.

My first reaction to the Kickstarter was: "Aww. this is the cutest thing ever!"

Then I read the Kickstarter page and did some research and realised that it's pretty much a scam.

The way the page was written made it clear that her mom is just using her to get pity pledges. Then I saw that bit about her brothers and it just felt like the mom was riding on the coat-tails of that thing called Sarkeesian.

Sorry if I come across as an asshole, I'm a bit upset/dissapointed over this.

Well good news and I've changed the Title to reflect this. The project's funds have dropped from nearly $22,000 yesterday to just under $21,000 today.
Evidentally people are realising that their support would be better placed elsewhere.

The unfortunate thing is that Kickstarter has seemingly yet to respond to the project being reported. People who support Susan Wilson and this project are even in the comments section claiming Kickstarter fully supports the project which saddens me.

I realise people who back this project are responsible for their own money and what they do with it, but I just don't want this woman to have it. If we get some proof that all (or near enough to all) of the excess money ends up going to a cause or charity of some kind then it won't be so bad.

I sent a Report to Kickstarter reporting that this KS violates KS policy. I put a link to the image in the OP into the report.

Do any of you guys wanna get this thing taken down by doing the same? Got a KS account? Report this shit.

Thank you very much for the attention grabbing headline, I will gladly support the removal of that project from kickstarter. I admit I do not know exactly what guidelines should exist for what should or should not be crowdfund-able through kickstarter, however I do support any action from Kickstarter that could be seen as "cracking down". I do not think that the project should be removed simply because the child's mother is wealthy, but I do agree that her actions could be classified as "scummy".

Also, the amount of money in this project has dropped by a couple hundred since I first opened that page to report it. It is currently at $21,019. Oh, and will the word and context of the word "scummy" put me at risk of MOD wrath, considering this...situation?

aba1:
I hate when people get things for just being a girl or religious or having a different skin colour. I really wish people would just get over these arbitrary groupings and people would start rewarding each other one actual merit instead of arbitrary physical aspects.

but DAS SEXIST.

and/or racist.

OT: You know, the idea of getting more girls and women into technology, let alone gaming, is good. However, in the event that she really is trying to get her 9 year old to the camp, why couldn't she pay for it herself if she is already well off?

In the event that it really is a scam, shame on her.

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