Wednesday, March 06, 2013

So About That Male Tropes Kickstarter...

Because yesterday was about the Kickstarter women in video games series, I’ll balance it out with today’s Tropes versus Men. Last year when the Feminist Frequency Kickstarter began, a group started the Men Tropes for a similar project to Sarkeesian, with an asking goal of $3k, with some of the money to be donated to charities, such as prostate cancer research.

Since their Kickstarter goal was reached, the group that began it has fell off the map. Now their goal wasn’t surpassed anywhere near the level like Sarkeesian’s was. We’re talking maybe a few hundred dollars more than the 3 grand. Stephen Beirne, who writes for Destructoid, Gamerand, and other online gaming blogs, took the next step to research what happened to Tropes versus Men

What he found out is a little depressing and not at all surprising. As a concept, it didn’t sound bad. There are tropes and stereotypes against men in video games. While not as sexist or stigmatizing as the female tropes, it is an area of scholastic study that could, and should, be researched. However the women bashing going on by some of the members and the contributors to the project were not really the right way to go. (Really guys? If you want to be taken seriously, the last thing you should be doing is admonishing women.)

In February the campaign was put under review on Indie GoGo by the site’s administrators. Beirne did his best to track down the history of the project, rolling through Steam and Twitter accounts, even so far as to call up the charities that the group claimed to have donated money too. Apparently, they’re all fake. So whatever happened to the funds is a big mystery. And by the comments on the article, people are not all that surprised.

And thus the drawback to Kickstarter and Indie GoGo. Once the goals have been reached and the money is in the hands of the creator, they can do what they wish with it. While people are generally being honest, there are scammers. This may have been a scam, this may have been mismanagement of funds, or this may have been an idea too big for any of them to handle and it crashed. We don’t really know until we hear directly from the ones that created the project.

So if you’re looking for the other side of the project from the perspective of male video game characters, you’ll have to keep waiting. Nice reporting Beirne. You are making the “real” journalists of newspapers and television look like crap. Keep researching!

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