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

Mar 14, 2012
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This would go a lot better if she:

1. Deleted her tweet spams (they are still up, still against TOS)
2. Took out everything about her boys (including the rewards). It is getting embarrasing.
3. Circle back and state that the kickstarter is expressly for the game. The extra funds will be put into developing the game further with help from other female game designers. Her statement that she is paying for the camp herself invalidates the project.
4. Redesign the reward logos to present a more positive message, like Kaedryl pointed out.
5. Delete the tweets to 4chan and Reddit. They aren't going to buy it. It will only provoke hate.
6. Stopped discussing her financial situation.
7. Take down any reward tiers higher than the original project cost. Or at least take them down until she can get a better idea of what her stupid KS is doing.
 

bernardobri

Steve, the dog with no powers that we let hang out with us all for some reason
Dec 5, 2008
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How sad that the media is focusing most, if not all the attention, on the acts of a few (such as the "death threats" and "misogynist snarks"), and not giving the proper importance to the loopholes in the TOS, the cybersquatting, the contradictions and all the rest of the repertorie behind Susan Wilson that has been discovered by several communities.
 
Apr 7, 2011
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This would go a lot better if she:

1. Deleted her tweet spams (they are still up, still against TOS)
2. Took out everything about her boys (including the rewards). It is getting embarrasing.
3. Circle back and state that the kickstarter is expressly for the game. The extra funds will be put into developing the game further with help from other female game designers. Her statement that she is paying for the camp herself invalidates the project.
4. Redesign the reward logos to present a more positive message, like Kaedryl pointed out.
5. Delete the tweets to 4chan and Reddit. They aren't going to buy it. It will only provoke hate.
6. Stopped discussing her financial situation.
7. Take down any reward tiers higher than the original project cost. Or at least take them down until she can get a better idea of what her stupid KS is doing.
Damn you and your reasonable points.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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I hate it when media takes the wrong side because they feel like being a white knight. Bullying is an horrible social issues that destroys the life of many people and I don't want to downplay it's importance at all but at the first use of bullying or its internet counterpart trolling it seems everyone takes the side of the "victim" without looking at the facts.

EDIT: It's basically the magical card you can play when you are in trouble. Scammer being debunked? Oh the internet is SO mean with me.
Serious question- can it be called a "scam" if the financiers aren't expecting to get anything back in return for their money?
 
Apr 8, 2011
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I've been following this thread from page 1 with morbid curiosity, and with every new turn things just become more and more disturbing. It has kind of soured me on Kickstarter, and I'm thinking about waiting until current backed projects are over, and getting rid of my account. I can back good projects through other means.

What I'm most baffled about this is how people are still backing this project. It's way past its goal with no real rewards besides hokey KEEP UP™ merch for backing it, and there's a ton of information out showing how the project creator is probably not someone to be trusted. I should just run a Nigerian Princess scam with this angle and see how that works out.
 
Jun 30, 2006
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Something something never let the truth get in the way of a huge error in judgment.
fixed. there're people that just cannot admit they were wrong. especially if they were personally duped...

Serious question- can it be called a "scam" if the financiers aren't expecting to get anything back in return for their money?
why i far prefer the word 'con'. the product here was always 'susan: champion of moms/women'. the backers got what they wanted - a good feeling inside, & a new (if bogus) heroine they could love/admire (& possibly continue to support down the road) :) ...
 
Feb 6, 2012
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This thing is really ridiculous. The real issue here is Susan Wilson is clearly doing a great job of controlling the message and the story. HuffPo so far is the only outlet I've seen give this the proper amount of skepticism. It seems like the extent of everybody's "research" into this woman involved a Skype chat with her, an e-mail to Kickstarter which got a copy and paste response, and at best a skimming of Reddit/GAF. Since she's the only actual person actively engaged in communication with these media outlets, she's really been able to shape the narrative of this.

This is a great example of the internet being really dumb (the outright lack of investigative journalism going into these articles, and also death threats) and the internet being really smart (the shit people on here and Reddit are digging up on Wilson).
 
Nov 29, 2006
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I keep trying to stop reading this thread because I'm ultimately done.

I know someone else mentioned it above (I believe it was on this page) but to me this really is less about the woman and anything she's done and more about Kickstarter not upholding its policies, quite likely because it really just comes down to money. Or possibly because they'd look like bad guys in some way.

As for outcomes I think the best would be if she just cancelled the project. Her daughter is going to camp, she's proven that much money could be made with crowdfunding, and it'd stop a lot of the negative side of things that she's dealing with. All around her goals would be met and while I still wouldn't plan to support Kickstarter themselves in the future I'd at least feel the correct thing had been done in terms of this particular project.

But if she lets it run its course and continues to look for outside answers on what to do with the money? Use the money, after fees, to pay for all the rewards and anything left over should simply be donated. Who honestly cares if that is against the Kickstarter terms at this point since neither her, nor Kickstarter, have followed all the rules all that well. And there's no legal action if her daughter still produces a game and they're able to fulfill all the reward tiers so the remaining money at that point could be used for anything. I know it's not supposed to be used that way but there's nothing legally stopping her. Put it towards some sort of education or women's rights charity or something.

Anyhow, there needs to be less focus on the woman's personal financial situation as that's really just a moral issue. To me this was always about the factors that were against the actual terms of service and by bringing up all her personal stuff it only engenders people to her instead of looking at the real problems of Kickstarter allowing this to continue.

Blah.
Agreed 100%
 
May 12, 2009
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she's been kinda caught making this shit up before, hasn't she? i guess this stuff was vetted.

really disappointing, cause after this blows over, she'll keep scamming/hustling, but worse yet, the damage to KS has been done. again ive only ever supported 2 causes from established game devs but now im gonna go out of my way to find alternate modes of support.

really starting to see why gaming side constantly shits on the venue...and fahey.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Serious question- can it be called a "scam" if the financiers aren't expecting to get anything back in return for their money?
I believe that it is the case when the project doesn't respect the rules of Kickstarter and that she's obivously using pathos to trick people.

By scammer I'm also talking about her other awful project like the Iphone case she wanted to resell while pretending they are her creation, the hero's cape KS which was just a red towel and her awful indiegogo project which she had her family back them to start them.
 

Kaedryl

Neo Member
Jun 13, 2010
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http://kotaku.com/internet-rallies-against-kickstarter-for-nine-year-old-459542190

"The trick is figuring out what to do with the money. Susan no longer wants to use it to pay for tuition for the RPG camp. She'll do that herself. Now she's looking for ideas on how to turn the raised funds into something positive, without violating Kickstarter's terms of service -- no charity, no "fund-my-life"."

So, did just state in this interview, that the money is no longer going towards Kenzey going to camp, the entire reason she started the KS. Paying out of pocket for Kenzey to make the project, at camp, that the KS is supposed to be covering? Doesn't that mean the KS is now for some other purpose, completely different than the original proposal and no longer for the intended project? Isn't THAT complete against the TOS?
 
Oct 31, 2012
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This seems like an elaborate Catfish-style deception. Do we really know for a fact that anyone other than Susan Wilson is real?

Nothing those "kids" have said remotely sounds like a real kid. It reeks of what an adult would think a kid writes like, which is never even remotely accurate.

Have we seen actual family pictures?
 
Jul 4, 2010
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http://kotaku.com/internet-rallies-against-kickstarter-for-nine-year-old-459542190

"The trick is figuring out what to do with the money. Susan no longer wants to use it to pay for tuition for the RPG camp. She'll do that herself. Now she's looking for ideas on how to turn the raised funds into something positive, without violating Kickstarter's terms of service -- no charity, no "fund-my-life"."

So, did just state in this interview, that the money is no longer going towards Kenzey going to camp, the entire reason she started the KS. Paying out of pocket for Kenzey to make the project, at camp, that the KS is supposed to be covering? Doesn't that mean the KS is now for some other purpose, completely different than the original proposal and no longer for the intended project? Isn't THAT complete against the TOS?
Projects can re-allocate funds to purposes that don't violate the ToS. Double Fine Adventure shuffled around its budget for portin, voice acting, etc., and that's kind of what stretch goals are.
 
Jul 27, 2011
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http://kotaku.com/internet-rallies-against-kickstarter-for-nine-year-old-459542190

"The trick is figuring out what to do with the money. Susan no longer wants to use it to pay for tuition for the RPG camp. She'll do that herself. Now she's looking for ideas on how to turn the raised funds into something positive, without violating Kickstarter's terms of service -- no charity, no "fund-my-life"."

So, did just state in this interview, that the money is no longer going towards Kenzey going to camp, the entire reason she started the KS. Paying out of pocket for Kenzey to make the project, at camp, that the KS is supposed to be covering? Doesn't that mean the KS is now for some other purpose, completely different than the original proposal and no longer for the intended project? Isn't THAT complete against the TOS?
Possibly. I'd at least hope that she's informed every single backer and updated her page to reflect this complete change though.
 
Mar 14, 2012
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http://kotaku.com/internet-rallies-against-kickstarter-for-nine-year-old-459542190

"The trick is figuring out what to do with the money. Susan no longer wants to use it to pay for tuition for the RPG camp. She'll do that herself. Now she's looking for ideas on how to turn the raised funds into something positive, without violating Kickstarter's terms of service -- no charity, no "fund-my-life"."

So, did just state in this interview, that the money is no longer going towards Kenzey going to camp, the entire reason she started the KS. Paying out of pocket for Kenzey to make the project, at camp, that the KS is supposed to be covering? Doesn't that mean the KS is now for some other purpose, completely different than the original proposal and no longer for the intended project? Isn't THAT complete against the TOS?
I read and reread the TOS when the TvsW fiasco was going on. I was trying to argue that she (Anita) would have to spend the entirety of the $150,000 on the videos. I was wrong. The TOS says that the only obligation a KS project starter has to do is fulfill the rewards. There is no mention of how much or how little of the funding needs to go into the product.

You are right that the project is null now that she has paid for the camp herself. However, all she has to do is keep raking in the dough and make the rewards (cheap and easy with a custom merchandise shop) project successful. KS washed their hands before the first dollar was donated.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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I believe that it is the case when the project doesn't respect the rules of Kickstarter and that she's obivously using pathos to trick people.

By scammer I'm also talking about her other awful project like the Iphone case she wanted to resell while pretending they are her creation, the hero's cape KS which was just a red towel and her awful indiegogo project which she had her family back them to start them.
Ah, missed that other stuff. It reminds me of this other kickstarter, where a guy wanted to bottle and sell a collection of air- captured from all 50 states.

So, did just state in this interview, that the money is no longer going towards Kenzey going to camp, the entire reason she started the KS. Paying out of pocket for Kenzey to make the project, at camp, that the KS is supposed to be covering? Doesn't that mean the KS is now for some other purpose, completely different than the original proposal and no longer for the intended project? Isn't THAT complete against the TOS?
Lots every successful kickstarter projects receive more money than they budgeted for. Does KS have rules regarding how project leads have to spend surplus funds?
 
Dec 10, 2007
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I keep trying to stop reading this thread because I'm ultimately done.

I know someone else mentioned it above (I believe it was on this page) but to me this really is less about the woman and anything she's done and more about Kickstarter not upholding its policies, quite likely because it really just comes down to money. Or possibly because they'd look like bad guys in some way.

As for outcomes I think the best would be if she just cancelled the project. Her daughter is going to camp, she's proven that much money could be made with crowdfunding, and it'd stop a lot of the negative side of things that she's dealing with. All around her goals would be met and while I still wouldn't plan to support Kickstarter themselves in the future I'd at least feel the correct thing had been done in terms of this particular project.

But if she lets it run its course and continues to look for outside answers on what to do with the money? Use the money, after fees, to pay for all the rewards and anything left over should simply be donated. Who honestly cares if that is against the Kickstarter terms at this point since neither her, nor Kickstarter, have followed all the rules all that well. And there's no legal action if her daughter still produces a game and they're able to fulfill all the reward tiers so the remaining money at that point could be used for anything. I know it's not supposed to be used that way but there's nothing legally stopping her. Put it towards some sort of education or women's rights charity or something.

Anyhow, there needs to be less focus on the woman's personal financial situation as that's really just a moral issue. To me this was always about the factors that were against the actual terms of service and by bringing up all her personal stuff it only engenders people to her instead of looking at the real problems of Kickstarter allowing this to continue.

Blah.
Unfortunately, after taking a look at the rules and guidelines on Kickstarter, it doesn't seem like the campaign itself would be prohibited. The policies & terms that exist allow for a project like this. Similar projects exist on Kickstarter as well. She has broken the rule about Twitter spamming, but even that guideline only states that doing so "puts the project in jeopardy of being suspended," not that it's absolute. They must've ruled that her spamming wasn't bad enough, or perhaps she stopped once asked.

So in Kickstarter's opinion, they believe they are upholding the policies, as this campaign doesn't clearly break any of them aside from Twitter spamming, which is probably why the project is still up and hasn't been taken down. While the policies have been upheld, it's still a questionable campaign overall. Seems like Kickstarter is leaving it in the hands of the people who donate to decide if it's too questionable for them or not.
 
Why did she try and flog a product (an iphone case) as a new product made by her through crowd sourcing when it is in fact already widely available?

What pile of utter shite could she possibly say to justify that nonsense?
That's has been a pretty popular Kickstarter strategy for the last couple years. There were a number of multi-million dollar Android-powered HDMI stick projects last year that were clearly just stuff being ordered in bulk from Alibaba.com and drop shipped to backers. They promised revolutionary smart TV experiences and delivered late, shitty Chinese built commodity devices that barely worked (if you got them at all). That kind of thing was the impetus of Kickstarters "We are not a store front" policies.
 
Feb 6, 2012
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Can somebody also explain why Fahey put "millionaire" in quotation marks like that? I mean, does he have any evidence she's not? Innocent until proven guilty, sure. Maybe he thinks her wealth is irrelevant. If that's the case, he should have said so. He shouldn't have put it into quotes like it's a false claim when it hasn't been proven to be.
 
Sep 1, 2012
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Ah, missed that other stuff. It reminds me of this other kickstarter, where a guy wanted to bottle and sell a collection of air- captured from all 50 states.



Lots every successful kickstarter projects receive more money than they budgeted for. Does KS have rules regarding how project leads have to spend surplus funds?
No, which is why Kickstarter is awful.
 
Sep 17, 2008
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Can somebody also explain why Fahey put "millionaire" in quotation marks like that? I mean, does he have any evidence she's not? Innocent until proven guilty, sure. Maybe he thinks her wealth is irrelevant. If that's the case, he should have said so. He shouldn't have put it into quotes like it's a false claim when it hasn't been proven to be.
She said she wasn't, but with the indiegogo campaigns she has been definitively proven to have lied in the past.
 
Oct 11, 2004
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While this lady seems like a real piece of work, it is not her fault that she says wants to raise $829 for something very specific and people see that and think "oh my, she's already raised $5,000 for a $829 camp tuition fee, I think I'll give her another $500!" is it?
 
Mar 29, 2010
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"Am I crazy or is there a reason others aren't embracing the power of the crowd? Why don't more people support the notion regular people CAN CREATE the future. Technology allows lots of regular people to come together w/our meager resources to outspend the very rich. (U+Me+Them) x $mall Change = BIG DIFFERENCE! I don't blame the rich. They're doing what we all should. The problem is the rest of us aren't participating. I'm thrilled & proud to support your effort! Well done!"

http://www.indiegogo.com/individuals/103307/activities
lol wow! She doesn't blame the rich, she agrees they should needlessly profit from others
 
Aug 9, 2011
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This just reeks of pro snake-oil sales. The 'product' of this kickstarter is really the fuzzy feeling of having stuck it to 'the man' on some level by paying money. Plucky cute underdog vs bully who can't even put on a shirt for this photo - a dollar equals one vote.

I've had good experiences on KS with DFA and Shadowrun Returns, but it's the people working to get projects of value funded with no name recognition who will lose in the flood of slimy opportunists who know how to work the publicity like this person does. KS was always caveat emptor, but their own casual disregard for what standards they had in the face of what's pretty damning - I mean, even turning around and saying "I give up; now that we've got all this money we're going to do something different with it than we said we would because nasty emails" is shady enough, beyond the tuition aspect and everything else.

Lack of KS action here makes it look like they'll let anyone try to fund anything and keep changing project goalposts as long as they get their cut. Even if that is the reality, it's super gross to see it demonstrated with this particular case. I'll avoid going through the site in future.
 
Nov 13, 2010
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http://kotaku.com/internet-rallies-against-kickstarter-for-nine-year-old-459542190

"The trick is figuring out what to do with the money. Susan no longer wants to use it to pay for tuition for the RPG camp. She'll do that herself. Now she's looking for ideas on how to turn the raised funds into something positive, without violating Kickstarter's terms of service -- no charity, no "fund-my-life"."

So, did just state in this interview, that the money is no longer going towards Kenzey going to camp, the entire reason she started the KS. Paying out of pocket for Kenzey to make the project, at camp, that the KS is supposed to be covering? Doesn't that mean the KS is now for some other purpose, completely different than the original proposal and no longer for the intended project? Isn't THAT complete against the TOS?
Oh man, if Wilson somehow ends up being the hero in all of this..I'd rather she kept the money and not receive all the perceived karma points she'll gain from it with the amount of exposure this is getting.

It's like she got caught stealing from a bank and said 'Nah, its cool dawg, this money is for the orphans.'
 
Jun 30, 2006
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Can somebody also explain why Fahey put "millionaire" in quotation marks like that? I mean, does he have any evidence she's not? Innocent until proven guilty, sure. Maybe he thinks her wealth is irrelevant. If that's the case, he should have said so. He shouldn't have put it into quotes like it's a false claim when it hasn't been proven to be.
the inference that all these supportive pieces share is that, to get to the truth of the matter, one only need go to the source, because the source doesn't lie. which's definitely a pretty mind-bogglingly naive way of approaching something like this :) ...
 
Oct 9, 2010
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the inference that all these supportive pieces share is that, to get to the truth of the matter, one only need go to the source, because the source doesn't lie. which's definitely a pretty mind-bogglingly naive way of approaching something like this :) ...
It's times like these that you realize how a guy like Lance Armstrong survived for so long.
 
Oct 9, 2010
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People want to believe that everyone else is basically good. After 40 years, I disagree completely.
Playing competitive M:TG for 10+ years has been an eye-opening experience on that front.

Not because of the game itself (which is awesome) but teaching you to look for patterns of behavior in those who don't have any shame in cheating/doing others harm.
 
May 31, 2010
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Unfortunately, after taking a look at the rules and guidelines on Kickstarter, it doesn't seem like the campaign itself would be prohibited. The policies & terms that exist allow for a project like this. Similar projects exist on Kickstarter as well. She has broken the rule about Twitter spamming, but even that guideline only states that doing so "puts the project in jeopardy of being suspended," not that it's absolute. They must've ruled that her spamming wasn't bad enough, or perhaps she stopped once asked.

So in Kickstarter's opinion, they believe they are upholding the policies, as this campaign doesn't clearly break any of them aside from Twitter spamming, which is probably why the project is still up and hasn't been taken down. While the policies have been upheld, it's still a questionable campaign overall. Seems like Kickstarter is leaving it in the hands of the people who donate to decide if it's too questionable for them or not.
As I said, I'm mostly done with this, so I don't wish to get into a prolonged debate. Instead I'll just state why I believe this is against the terms of service, although I do understand how some may not agree with me.

Despite the title of the project the funding is purely to pay for an education. The camp is there to teach her how to use the basics of RPG Maker better and the outcome will be the game. The argument people have had here, such as the one mod that doesn't see this as the same as paying for someone's long-term college tuition, is that it's just a week-long camp. Regardless, tuition doesn't necessarily mean a college course, despite it commonly used in that way, and tuition really just means paying for an education. This camp requires payment for the education. That's a tuition, albeit on a smaller scale.

Secondly, I personally am bothered about the mother using this as a leverage to push her "Keep Up!" campaign because I honestly see this as being half about that within the Kickstarter project. In absolutely no way am I against educating women and getting them into more science and technology fields. I've even recently looked into how to start volunteering to teach programming to underprivileged kids locally and would urge a more equal amount of both genders. Regardless to that I still don't agree with this campaign as being a secondary goal of this Kickstarter campaign and in the terms of service they also don't allow "awareness campaigns."

I completely understand how the second thing is tougher to argue and also looks bad to argue against it. It makes me or others that would argue on that angle sound like we're against the goal itself. I'm simply against Kickstarter not following their own terms as convenient, as I personally see it, which is why I won't be supporting projects through Kickstarter following this. I've supported five or six already but now I'll use Kickstarter as a showroom and send money through Paypal when available.

Things aren't black and white so I see how some people don't think this is abusing Kickstarter. I also don't think the facts outside of this particular Kickstarter should have really been the biggest issue here. My first reply on one of the early pages in this thread even says that we should ignore the millionaire claim and instead focus on the issues against the terms of service themselves. Morally I can't agree with everything Ms. Wilson has done and I think she's smarter than she lets on about quite a bit (Harvard graduate, part of a start-up that sold to Kinko's for $100m) but this is not the main issue in my view.

There's other avenues she could have used to aim to reach her goal. Indiegogo obviously is less restricted on what projects can go up as I understand it and if this exact same thing was up there I wouldn't be as opposed. I might have just found it silly that she's wanting money for something she could pay for herself but I also wouldn't be actively against it as I am here. Likely her failures on Indiegogo is what lead her to move to the more popular Kickstarter? I don't honestly know. And in the end it doesn't really matter at this point.

Anyhow, that's pretty much all I have left to say.
 
Oct 30, 2009
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At this point, I feel the people that have donated and continue to do so deserve to be duped. I know for sure that i'll no longer be using Kickstarter.