My god, this goes beyond favors for friends. I get people in an industry doing favors (this can be done well for the benefit of the consumer. Like that brewery that gave their hops to other companies when their was a hops shortage), I get richer people in industries doing favors to keep/make money (sometimes illegally), and I assumed this would happened in games long before any of this.
But THIS?! If this stuff had happened, I'd have banked on it being a major corporation of ill-repute (who's name contains the letters 'A' and 'E'). I guess "beware the quite ones" is more of a health warning than a grimm fairy tale. Worst of all, the winners of the IGF usually get on Steam pretty quickly. I'm tempted to email them and ask not to. Forwarding the above information of course. I also feel pretty sorry for those who lost and who basically lost $100 to have their confidence knocked.
Heh, my captcha says "hissy fit". I think people should do a lot more than that in light of this.
EDIT: Apparently a Youtube user "CameraLady" wrote that message. She is going to make a video on it soon. Or so I've read from other places.
EDIT2: Meanwhile, back on Namek, the IGF give their statement: http://igf.com/2014/09/igf_statement_re_judging_proce.html
Basically they explain how they judge.
IMO They are not addressing that the random judging pool tends to be people linked to the starters of the IGF, or how the judges have been accused of not playing games: https://therottingcartridge.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/whats-wrong-with-the-igf/
And here's the main event, the video:
- Call to stop people flinging insults. Both sides have had people acting poorly and acting in favor of one or the other during it. CameraLady had her Twitter account flagged/suspended. Anthony Burch said he was annoyed no one was talking about the real issues. When CameraLady tried to talk to him, he blocked her. Briana Woo called CameraLady a man because she disagreed with a point of contention on feminism. 4Chan funded TheFineYoungCapatilists to show good faith (after accusations that Zoe encouraged harassment against them in the past)which some claimed was "blood money".
Intro gives the opinion that those against Gamergate are not interested in equality (any minority that speaks against them is demonized/attempted to be silenced). Intro ends calling for Gamergate supporters to keep a cool head, those against it to watch the video, and those in the industry to watch the video with an open mind as well.
- An apology is offered to the developers of "Crypt of the Necrodancer". "SlopeOak" (a developer of the game) pointed out some errors in the video. The narrator for the video (CameraLady is unable to speak) promises to alter this in the past video. C418F did not work on the game. Other claims SlopeOak has made have not been verified yet, though the author feels there is no reason to dis-believe SlopeOak either. Silverstring Media is also mentioned. Their statement on the issue (in a comic summery) was "We are denying everything, here are some links to articles saying gamers are dead." SlopeOak feels it is less than a case of a giant roundtable in secret, but rather indie gaming is "too big to be indie". So a clique in indie development has gotten bigger. What was acceptable for a smaller dev is no longer appropriate. Video sings praises of Crypt of the Necrodancer, since dev had the guts to speak up. Attempts to contact other winners from IGF has failed apparently.
- Cameralady and Dave have spoken to lawyers. They now state the following. They cite a case from 1971 (New York Times Co. VS United States) saying (in short) journalists can report on contests of illegally leaked document, as long as a) the content of the document is not related to the leak itself and b) the contests are of public interest. Addendum have been made regarding national security. In short, CameraLady cannot get in trouble for using leaked documents in her video, as long as she does not break those above rules.
- Polytron; Phil Fish's company, was doxxed (private information was hacked). All information in the company leaked. CameraLady does not approve of any doxxing. They do not share where the information can be found now. Any information used in the video is censored (when not relating to the matter at hand) and they will never share those documents uncensored. Using the above law (while the condemn and do not approve of the doxx) they use it in the video.
THE DETAILS. Polytron, IndieFund, and the IGF:
- Polytron was founded in 2008. In 2009 the company got loans to set up and make Fez. Names of people in the loan contract include Ron Carmel (creator of 2D Boy), Capybara Games (Nathan Vella[sic]), AppAboveGames (Arin Askasken[sic]), Kellee Santiago (Ouya, Indiecade, and ThatGameCompany), Kyle Gaber (of 2D Boy), Jonathan Blow (VGW) and Flashband Studios (Mathew Wagner). It lists how much was invested and profit share and voting right. Out of 14, only those are relevant.
- Fez was funded. The 7 formed "indieFund", a funding source for indie developers. The video theorizes that Fez was a "beta test" for the indieFund project. Polytron repaid it's loan to indieFund, not the individuals. However, indieFund does not list Fez under their "funded games". The why is explained with what happened later in time.
- In 2011, the Indie Games Festival had 5 of the 7 indieFund creators and 3 Polytron staff members on the finalist panel as judges. Before the IGF accepted submissions that year, Phil Fish announced a delay in Fez. The video theorizes Phil would have been a "shoe-in" to win that year if it was completed on time. Fez is entered into the 2012 IGF.
- Nominees are decided from September-December of 2011. Finalists are judged between January-March 2012. The finalist judges are claimed to be selected from those of good repute in the games industry due to their skill (indie, journalist, developer, etc). However, the only thing that is certain is the chair of the IGF decides. Nomination judges are hundreds of anonymous individuals of the same "batch" the finalist judges are picked from. The video claims from insider tips from anonymous members that could have been or were judges themselves. They claim that finalist judges from one year return to be the anonymous nominee judges the next year. Judges are assigned a game, but can vote on any game. A game needs a majority vote to be considered for the final. The Rotting Cartridge article states how judges are not even required to play the game (based on testimony of judges comments being nonsensical).
- In 2012 IGF, that 8 of the anonymous judges may have been the 5 of indieFund, and the 3 Polytron employees. All of them would have financial interest in the game (the loaners still receiving a cut of profits, and the Polytron workers getting paid for their game). Fez got through the nomination pool, and the judges could have worked together to make sure of this by a +8 vote. Not to mention other judges may have voted on Fez as it seemed "more popular". The software used by IGF for voting on the nominees was created by Flashbang Studios (who has financial interest in Polytron).
- The video mentions how Fez was "allowed through twice" and how it caused outcry in the community, much like how Hazard made it through in 2011 and 2012 (going under "Antichamber" on the second date, avoiding scrutiny). Hazard/Antichamber was also funded by indieFund. 2 of the finalist judges in 2012 were Andy Schatz (creator of Monaco, funded by indieFund), and Robin Hunek[sic] an employee of indieFund.
- Brandon Boyer (Chairman of the IGF from may 2010) is claimed to be close friends (as they have stated on Twitter) with Phil Fish and indieFund members. In a previous video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgW5NRUfs44) it was revealed how he had a close relationship with Maya Kramer (a PR manager for Silversting Media), and that games she supported (be they friends or clients) won in a previous IGF's (and how in turn they may be pushing Silversting Media's agenda: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/game-words-incorporated/VxYXZhDqv8I and http://pastebin.com/jrLJyp0W).
(End of Aside)
- In 2012; after IGF nominees are vetted, Fez is delayed again to April 2012 (weeks after the IGF would declare winners). Fez still wins IGF awards that year. The loan agreement says that they would receive a bigger payout for the first 365 days of the games release on XBLA and the first 183 days on PC. The video theorized the game was delayed so it could win awards, receive more coverage, and maximize payout. The video also theories Phil Fish may have known he was going to win IGF 2012, all the way back in September 2011.
How can it possibly get worse?!:
- Kellee Santiago (one of the 7 investors) became chair of Indiecade's awards jury in 2011 (Indiecade gave awards to Zoe Quinn's Depression Quest while two of the chairs; Robin Arnott and Maya Kramer, were her sexual/romantic partners). Fez won 2 awards that year. Indiecade's own rules claim the jury is made up of 100 anonymous individuals, but the jury's awards chair "works" with each of them to cast their vote. The video implies the awards chair encourages the jury to vote in their favor; in this case Kelee Santiago giving encouraging votes for Fez for her own financial gain. If this was true, Indiecade would be guilty of siphoning funds from ticket sales and sponsorship money as prize money for Fez, which goes back to the investors.
- The video states that indieFund seems guilty of manipulating the IGF and IndieCade to maximize the profit on Fez (who they invested in before they became indieFund), at the cost of those who entered the IGF, were nominated at IndieCade, and the gaming public who may have felt AAA gaming was too corrupt and that indie games would be free of that nonsense.
- The video asks several questions. Have other games have been boosted for financial gain (such as Monaco, Antichamber, Dear Esther and Framed)? What other members of the IGF or IndieCade have a financial interest in games that enter the contest/are nominated for awards? Is this disclosed to those who enter? Why have journalist sites not been covering this? Were they incentivised by IndieFund to cover the winners positively?
- The video surmises that Gamergate is not about; and has never been about, minorities or misogyny. It is about freedom of the press, good journalism, and against corruption in the gaming industry. The video encourages those that are "anti-gamergate" to look through the evidence presented and to realize they are being used by a small clique of devs and journalists to push their ideals for their own profits. Several indie dev tweets are then shown, showing they have been blacklisted/excommunicated because they attempted to speak out against this. The video demands journalists stop using "social-justice issues" and minorities to protect themselves from the truth of the matter.
- Mathew from the IGF went to LordKat's stream (LordKat announced information regarding this video, announcing the details of the possible illegal action). He was asked by someone else in the IRC if there was a conflict of interest in Fez's win. After a two minute pause he says "I haven't really thought about it until this morning." He confirms 3 other things:
1) Fez was funded by the people who formed indieFund.
2) The IGF Juror tool cannot scan for a conflict of interest. It is an honor system where jurors need to recuse themselves.
3) Matt denies connections to Fez in 2012. The video states the leaked document goes against this.
My own thoughts: People have taken money under false pretenses to advertise a product they funded. They need to be arrested for this, and made an example of.
If I have missed anything, or got something wrong, please contact me. If what I have done has gone against the rules (I felt editing my existing post would be better than making a new one) please contact me and I will fix any wrong-doing I have done.