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The author of this article has contributed $5 USD to the crowdfunding campaign this piece focuses on. The writer is merely a backer at the lowest tier and has never been in personal contact with any of the relevant parties.
GamesNosh previously reported a little over 2 weeks ago on the crowdfunding campaign being run by a group known as The Fine Young Capitalists. For a minimum funding of $65000 USD, they will work to help a woman make her own video game idea a reality and pay her 8% of every dollar her game earns. The remaining 92% goes back to charity. Today, one month after the campaign started, backers raised enough to fund the project.
TFYC have not had the smoothest of funding campaigns: they were the target of intense criticism by a certain high-profile woman in the indie scene; their head’s personal details were leaked by detractors; their Indiegogo page was hacked and deleted; and due to their association with the GamerGate movement, no major gaming news outlets reported on, or even acknowledged their cause. In the wake of all of these setbacks, most of the project’s exposure came from GamerGate supporters, especially from numerous anonymous (or otherwise) users from 4chan.org’s video games board, /v/. According to official word from TFYC, contributions made from users of /v/ surpassed $23,000 through a specified referral link to the campaign page. The imageboard’s community were collectively given the top backer reward of having an original character design appear in the campaign’s finished game. With this much money, /v/ could have created as many as 11 characters for the game, but they agreed to pool their efforts into creating a single character.
Vivian James was the result of the wave of 4chan donations, representing /v/’s collective culture and identity as gamers. Characterised as a youthful girl drained of energy, yet endlessly engaged with her one true passion of videogaming; Vivian has become a mascot for the GamerGate crusade on /v/. The character of Vivian James also symbolises the opposition the movement bears toward the lies and hypocrisy currently being exposed within the gaming scene. Opponents of GamerGate argued that Vivian originated from /v/’s spite toward the developer who started the initial controversies behind GamerGate as well as the hardships of TFYC. If that were the case, and 4chan were the misogynists many claim them to be, I don’t believe they would have thrown so much support behind this project. After all, they went so far as to ask TFYC to create a series of videos to explore important, yet overlooked women in the gaming industry. There is one main point to make about 4chan’s support: It shows that their community is too large and diverse for anyone to predict their actions. Even if their stated objectives include striving to ‘chemo butthurt,’ they can still accomplish a goal they see as a fight for the greater good.
Following their success, Mattew Rappard of The Fine Young Capitalists created a list of those he wished to give thanks to. The fundraising campaign will continue until September 27th, and you can visit http://www.thefineyoungcapitalists.com/Voting to vote for your favorite of the 5 final concepts.