Millionaire tries to get $829 via kickstarter to send daughter to RPG maker camp?

Sep 17, 2008

TLDR - Susan Wilson is a child exploiting sociopath (who made her money domain squatting and via debt collecting) who kickstarter refuses to remove for breaking many rules and most of games journalism refuse to report anything negative on even though she has literally scammed before on indiegogo.

Update - Dell's giving her a free laptop, so if you can, avoid buying dell for supporting a scam~

"I'm a liar, a cheat, and a thief." - Susan Wilson ( )

Potentially learn more about Michelle McBryde aka Susan Wilson here? -


So I got an email from Kickstarter this morning.

Last night I sent an email to Susan Wilson complaining about how her project was unethical. Today, Kickstarter sent me an email saying I had abused their system and now features on the site are going to be withheld from me.

Her response -
SusanWilson • 3 hours ago
I'm afraid I'm going to regret this but I'm hopeful that the truth really does trickle to the top. My concern and goal is to ensure the facts are properly disclosed and the order in which things unfolded are transparent. It's sad that something good can be so twisted. Why can't my success as a business person be seen as an asset that can add value.

Again, I'll point out that success does not equal wealth - particularly for female entrepreneurs. I'm not claiming to be poor but the reality is that like most women, banks won't let me money for my business endeavors so I fund them myself. As for, do the research because I was on the founding team of a startup,, that raised $2M from Flatiron Partners in 1998 and went on to do a strategic deal with Kinko's where we became (a separate legal entity from Kinko's). The goal at the time was to take public but the internet bubble burst and Kinko's bought for $100M which is money that primarily went to the investment bankers and venture capitalists. I didn't make 7 digits so I wan't made a millionaire from this. In fact, the whole process was pretty traumatic and horrible but it was a ride most people never experience in their lives so I'm grateful I was in the thick of it all when the internet was building and popping it's first bubble. That wasn't cybersquatting because we had over 200 employees at and feel free to reach out to them and Kinko's/Fedex for details. Or Rick Steele who was the CEO while I served as his 2nd in command.

The picture with Warren Buffett was when he presented ten female entrepreneurs with awards - nor awards for having the most money but for being good entrepeneurs. And I bet if you survey the other 9 on FORTUNE's List with me that year, most would agree they're far from rich and are still struggling to build their companies because being a female entrepreneur is anything but easy. Check out the team at because these women are brilliant and totally badass and like many other female entrepreneurs frustrated that it's been such a long road. I wouldn't trade it but it also means I've traded financial security (b/c I could probably get a job somewhere that paid more than what I've made over the last two decades) for entrepreneurial freedom simply because it feels like what I'm supposed to do.

Yes, I bought a $1500 pair of shoes years ago when I made a small bet on a roulette wheel on 17 black and HIT. I'll admit alcohol was involved when I won as well as when I purchased that pair of Christian LouBoutins, but I won't apologize for it. I've got 3 kids and it's rare that I ever do anything like this for myself. Yes, it was a total splurge. But in the last five years, have none of you done something similar.

And speaking of that, regarding exploiting my kids and my intentions in all of this. Haven't any of you been with your family or friends and had an argument escalate into a bet. That's essentially what happened here. Kenzie wanted to build an RPG game, I put down a security deposit for camp, her brothers proceeded to say it was a waste of money and Kenzie stood up for herself and said it wouldn't be. Yes, I defended my daughter but it was all playful and fun. My kids have been raised in a household that's pretty open and they're encouraged to have their own opinions as long as they don't denigrate others. My boys aren't complaining about this. Strangers are. That's what's so sad.

And if anyone has teenagers, I'm sure you know firsthand how they can behave. It's not how they always behave. It was one point in time. And just because I was honest in sharing their reactions, I got slammed for throwing my boys under the bus. All I did was tell the truth. Isn't that what you want and are fighting for? Why beat me up because of it?

What about all of the women and men I've supported through crowdfuding and mentoring. I was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown and earned a grand total of $1000 that didn't even cover the cost of parking and gas to participate in the program. People have no idea what they're talking about when they jump to conclusions. Reach out to students I've worked with. @DenaSholk on twitter is a great example b/c she's a brilliant girl hellbent on making her mark.

Again, this campaign started small and only when it passed it's goal quickly did I get requests from gaming vets and industry experts to add more rewards - especially the higher end rewards and particularly the $10K reward. Something was resonating and my family along with the women in gaming and game dev vets saw an opportunity to potentially do something bigger because it seemed like the overwhelming response was about more than Mackenzie. My boys thought the $10K reward was funny. They see the humor in all of this because they have the self-awareness to know they're not awful kids and their mother isn't exploiting them. But they're smart enough to know this is a unique organic opportunity and if there's anything they can do to help kids in STEM, they're all about it now.

As for death threats, if you give me a link, I'll post them all there because there have been plenty. I didn't focus on them because I prefer to focus on the positives, but I'd love an email address of someone at 4chan or reddit that wants to take a look at them. It's clear 4chan and reddit are powerful truth seekers and I'm all for it. I'd rather work with them to do something great with the extra money. Clearly you guys know a great deal more about the power of the crowd than I do so why not have a few reps step forward and try to do something positive with this?

I woke up to emails that my twitter and godaddy accounts are frozen so I'm guessing someone tried hacking them. I hope not because life is too short to be distracted with negative stuff when there's a real opportunity to do something good.

At this point, the recommendation is to use the extra proceeds to work with the camp and setup scholarships to send more kids (boys and girls) to STEM camp. But that needs to be okayed by kickstarter. I understand the notes to donate the extra proceeds but that too is a violation of KS guidelines. But rather than do this without 4chan and reddit, I'd rather have you participate directly so I don't have to keep defending decisions.

I don't claim to be perfect and clearly I've second guessed myself but if there are local reps for 4chan or reddit, I VERY MUCH WANT TO WORK WITH YOU because clearly you know way more than I do. So instead of attacking me for what I'm trying to do, help me do something you want to see done too?

I can do skype chats or whatever works.

As for the Twitter stuff I did, I had no idea it could violate KS guidelines. I thought part of KS was about leveraging social media. I never intended anything bad but I'll readily acknowledge I learned a hard lesson and I apologize if I offended anyone with my actions.

Again, I'm the mother of a 9 year old girl that I need to get in front of you guys in way that's safe and comfortable for her because I'm confident then you'll understand what she says better than me because I'm not a gamer. I've been told to interview her and put the video up but the questions I ask are irrelevant because I don't game and she's 9 so she clams up when there's a camera on her and b/c she knows I don't game, she doesn't talk the same way she does with gamers. Remember, she's 9. But skyping with some gamers who ask her questions will probably be the best way to help her and give you guys a level of comfort that she's a gamer and I didn't pretend to be her. I hope I don't get hammered for this and I certainly want to talk with the people first to make sure she doesn't end up scarred for life or something ridiculous that I'd never imagine happening until recently.

pledged of $829 goal

Not the first case like this on kickstarter :
May 24, 2012
Well some people may not like a millionaire asking people to donate her money that she probably makes in a week.
I'm not concerned about that...I just don't like the idea of where all the extra money is going to.

This girl only needed $829. The mother was just using her daughter as a pawn to make a cool 20 grand by banking on her situation and novelty.
Jul 21, 2011
Well some people may not like a millionaire asking people to donate her money that she probably makes in a week.
Then don't participate. I don't see how having money excludes you from being allowed to ask for more. The world's biggest donation collector is the Catholic Church. Which just happens to own billions.
Mar 2, 2011
I'm not concerned about that...I just don't like the idea of where all the extra money is going to.

This girl only needed $829. The mother was just using her daughter as a pawn to make a cool 20 grand by banking on her situation and novelty.
I agree with this. The original kickstarter is pretty cute, but now the family just seems to get greedy.
May 31, 2010
Beaverton, OR
This is right from the Kickstarter Help section:

"Kickstarter does not allow charity, cause, or "fund my life" projects. Check out our project guidelines for details."

Honestly I have an extremely difficult time seeing this as anything but that. While there's a finished game to come out of it this isn't to fund the game. This is to pay for a kid to go to camp and hopefully get extra money for...who the hell really knows.

This is pretty terrible, at least the way it's written and presented. I don't think the idea in itself is bad, to help a kid get what they need to work on a game but as noted above, this isn't about a singular project and instead is both charity and a cause.

Edit: And this is in the project guidelines:

"No "fund my life" projects.

Examples include projects to pay tuition or bills, go on vacation, or buy a new camera."
Dec 12, 2006
Kickstarter gives unscrupulous people direct access to individuals that are naive and ripe for exploitation.

You can't get mad at the unscrupulous people for taking advantage of this.

Don't hate the playa, hate the game!
May 14, 2012
Man, that is just such successful manipulation that I have to honestly admire it. Use popular gender politics to get free money from a bunch of people with no clue what is going on. Brilliant.

Could probably ask for your entire tuition on Kickstarter if you're a woman that wants to go into computer science. Frame it like Sarkeesian, like it's getting back at someone, and people will just toss you money apparently.

"18 year old needs help going to Harvard to stick it to the patriarchy!"

"Help dad hack Zelda 2 so Zelda saves Link for his 5 yo daughter!"
Jan 24, 2013
Oh God. This is just using Kickstarter for personal funding, against the rules and also pretty fucking ridiculous.

It's nice that the kid want's to create her own RPG and I wish her the best of luck but her mother has more than enough money to send her there if she really wanted, she doesn't need a damn Kickstarter. This is essentially a charity now.

Kickstarter is for businesses, or am I missing something?

Edit: I couldn't bring myself to report it, feel so bad for the kid.

But let's also try and remain calm and not send any death or rape threats to the owner of the page, OK?
Jan 24, 2010
Too bad Shagg_187 is banned, we could've started a GAF Inn project for this.

Pledge $10,000 or more

ROCK STAR REWARD LEVEL: At this level, you get everything from the previous levels plus a personal apology from her brothers and the satisfaction of knowing that you've not only started a career, you've also helped to fund future courses in computer programming for her along with more (and better) games!
Dec 25, 2012
Yeah, this Kickstarter is bs, she absolutely didn't need the money to send her to camp. This was about proving a point. I think to be honest, if this was right there on the front most of that money would NOT have come in.

As for millionaire game developers didn't people give GODUS shit for this very same line of thinking. I.E Kickstarter is for people who can't find funding in other ways.
Jan 1, 2013
Was there a rule that rich people couldn't use kickstarter and that it's only for indie devs or poor people?

Hell if I knew people were dumb enough to fund it, I'd do the same thing.
May 13, 2012
Also I'm not sure about the psychological implications about declaring your sons as fools to the entire internet.
Kid is wearing a shirt with the words "I think I'm a Lesbian" on it. But yeah, this rubs me the wrong way. Mostly because it looks like the mother is using her nine year old daughter as prop to further feminism(or equality, confused on the proper word right now) in technical industries...and pocketing quite a lot of cash.
May 31, 2010
Beaverton, OR

The camp has been paid for, so this is charity. You're not funding her going there.

This kind of thing is disgusting tbh hth
I also reported it. I really hope this is cancelled and if not Kickstarter somehow addresses it to explain how they feel this is appropriate. I understand the concept that people are allowed to use their money how they please so let uninformed people throw their money at something like this but not on Kickstarter where this abuses the purpose of the site.