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Looks like she is trying to encourage her kid to follow her dreams. I don't think its bad idea. That why there is modest goal of 829$. If she just gives her kid money, that would be same as those women on that video who married rich old man. We have enough no good rich kid who are good for nothing in this world. So this is great idea in my opinion. I'am not super good with english but i hope you get the idea.
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Btw, I'm on the fence on this one. Yes, technically she's going to create a game and people are funding that. But how many people are actually wanting to fund her GAME, and not just the idea of a 9 yr old girl making a game?
Here's my question: If its about the game, why doesn't McKenzie give us some ideas about what type of game it will be? Text based or action based? Future or fantasy? Etc etc. I'd like to at least hear her vision, which so far seems to consist of "I beat my brothers!"
I'm in a bit of a tight financial situation right now and I would really love to give you more - I hope my $1 donation counts for something however and I firmly believe "every little helps" is the correct attitude in any walk of life..
Quite frankly Susan and Mckenzie I think some people who have commented on your project are ignorant, vindictive pigs who would like nothing more than to quash what you have attempted to do because quite simply - they are too shortsided and reluctant to see the bigger picture, they would rather troll and poke fun at a much larger cause. I am a male systems administrator, programmer and network technician from Great Britain. I've seen women be oppressed, mocked and be the victim of prejudice in the IT industry and I hate it. There is nothing in reality that separate you from men - you have the skills we do and the ability we do, so I can see exactly what you are trying to accomplish by promoting "girl power" in your Kickstarter. There are women I know who are technically amazing! They truly overshadow us men and still they get the cold shoulder - for why? Because they are women. And it's disgusting. I firmly believe women have a very large part to play in the world of IT and gaming being a more and more involved part of the industry I think your daughter will grow up to be a very keen and able member of it. I really hope she does - her mother has pulled out all the plugs to give her that opportunity and I hope she takes it. My partner is a programmer and a very capable one at that, but when studying we found she would be second guessed by men on the course and even when running our own company people would consider he an unimportant part of the company. Even her friends would. It made me very angry - she was just as capable at what she did as I, and I did not think it fair that she should be discouraged or put down due to some bigotry from a lot of men!
This attitude is changing - but it's changing very, very slowly...
I realise what it is like coming from an 'ordinary' background having come from one myself. I can see why you don't want to deliver her education on a plate - you've made a success of yourself, great! - but why should she interhit that? She needs to learn how to make a success of HERself - so yes, I can see why you're not willing to pay for it yourself and to prove her brothers wrong and show them that girls too are a success in the modern technology world. She *should* learn to make her career from the ground up. You're a great mother for giving her that nudge.
I wish you all the best with this endeavour. Please do not get put down by the negative comments here. They are jealous, snide people and you would do best to ignore them. The internet is full of people that think they are better than the next person and this is a prime example of that. Kickstarter is a method to fund a project. I believe this not to be just for your daughter, but for women in IT as a whole - so I wholeheartedly support it. I cannot see anyone else in this comment list having even attempted to make a stand as you have and I applaud that.
All the best to you and Mckenzie.
@Heather, that's not really the point though. In fact, if everyone were allowed to post projects that were "charity" more so than actually funding a business, then Kickstarter would be moving away from its intended purpose.
I am a 26 year old .NET programmer. I am happy to back a child with an interest in engineering, even as a hobby. End of story. No other explanation needed. Anyone who is against this should find a better use of their time than complaining about it on the internet.
I thought the 'I think I'm a Lesbian' T-shirt, on Cinderella's evil step brothers was a nice touch. 9 year olds are so sophisticated these days.
Clearly Mckenzie loves games and wants to program her own. Thats awesome and I for one am backing this. A ton of kids will get very motivated to program if Mckenzie can succeed here, and I think there is a high likely hood of that happening.
Its not the going to the camp that will be inspring by the way, its creating a release her own game.
Again if you want to back the project, do it, if not move on.
I thought it may be worth noting that this was mentioned, briefly, on the PAX East panel, on Saturday, that featured all the former 38 Studios guys who have gone on to do their own indie projects.
Cleanthes...I keep hearing the word 'entrepreneur'...frankly I think it comes down to what connotation one assigns to the word. Now I don't have a daughter , but if I did the LAST thing I would want her to be at the age of NINE is an 'entrepreneur'. I just don't assign a high level of compassion to those in the profession. The use of 'other people's money' involved just resembles this Kickstarter a little too much. I wish Kenzie well despite her winning the genetic lottery, but I don't think her success should result in the public ridicule of her brothers (frankly I'm disturbed with Susan's attitude towards the boys.... No wonder they lash out) or potentially divert funds from someone with similar dreams that may need the help more. And I think claiming that her going to camp is going to inspire girls everywhere is a bit naive.
Here's the thing (for me at least). What if Ms. Wilson had in fact just paid for the tuition, sent her daughter to the school, and just told her how wonderful her daughter is and enthused about the game she made at camp. That's all great, right? Nothing wrong with any of that. But through doing this Kickstarter, Kenzie has the chance to learn a heck of a lot more. I'm not a game developer, but I'm willing to bet that to be a successful game developer, you've got to have a wider skillset than just "good at making games". You've got to know how to get funding for your projects and market them when you're done. By helping her daughter go through this process, she's giving her amazing experience about all of that process. This Kickstarter is an education in itself, and it's not something Ms. Wilson could simply buy her, like paying her tuition at camp. You can't pay for entrepreneurial experience, at least last I checked. (I could be wrong, in all seriousness. Entrepreneurs, set me straight.) What Ms. Wilson is doing her is teaching her daughter to be an entrepreneur like herself. I don't see that as a bad thing. For people who do, I can understand (sort of) why you might feel that way. It is, after all, giving to those who already have instead of to those who have not. And if there were another kid's Kickstarter up right now with a similar profile, and she didn't have a wealthy family, and I had a tight KS budget to stick to, I might help out the less advantaged kid instead. Especially when Kenzie's already met her goal and then some. But even then it wouldn't mean there's anything wrong in supporting this project.
All these "you are giving money to the rich" comments are bizarre. I'm paying ten bucks for a game that I expect to be worthwhile. I'm also backing other games and find it hard to see much difference save for the author's age. What I would really like to see however are game-related stretch goals and less defensive posts from the author's mom. I believe you are earnest Mckenzie, now tell me how great your game is going to be :-)
Susan Wilson is a multi-millionare. She could easily fund her daughters tuition herself. This project is just a scam to make her even more rich.
Please report this project. It violates Kickstarter's rules by asking to pay tuition.
You don't get charged until the project pledge drive ends. I would have thought that was obvious.
To everyone commenting on how this is stupid:
You paid a buck just to tell other people they are stupid.
How smart is that?
Russell - you are entitled to your opinion - I dont expect everyone to be happy. But if you are not happy dont pledge, it's that simple. I am happy to help out a 9 year old so I pledged.
That simple - The other points you are raising here are entirely irrelevant. Again if you feel strongly about it, thats cool - don't pledge.
Thats all I am saying.
I'm starting to think someone is pulling a Mortimer and Randolph Duke and we're Louis Winthorpe...
@tim Buchalka I think your additude sucks. You expect people to be ultra happy that Susan Wilson a millionair is using kickstarter to a cuase her kid cares about for the next summer to make a game with no predetermined end point or plot to infact show that woman in gaming need to be talked about more. people donating to this are not helping a child learn, if anything its showing that a mother will sell out her two young sons to make her duaghter happy.
Will we see next season Susan saying her son is going to basketball camp and will sign your very own basketball so when he goes pro it will be worth alot as the prize?
Looks like I hit a nerve. If you're under 18 you can't start a KS project. It's being done by the mother on the child's behalf.
Why are you posting? Seriously? To educate people? Because the mother is rich and doesn't "deserve" the money? That's not up to you to decide, my friend.
Instead of being negative and trying to drag people down because you're jealous of success - and no, nothing you have said has indicated otherwise - why not go and do something positive. Elsewhere.
Some of you guys and your attitudes absolutely suck. Give Kenzie a break and lets see what game comes out of this.
Honestly pull your heads in, and just give her a chance. If you don't want to pledge then don't. If you do, great do it.
Personally I am looking for to the the game Kenzie comes back with and you can be sure that a ton of kids might well get motivated to start writing games because of this. How is that a bad thing?
And in any event many of your quoting the rules have got it wrong. It's all about the end result - Yes there has been a breakdown of what the money is being spent on, but a game has been promised so there is no problem.
I've seen other Kickstarter projects breaking down what they are going to spend the money on.
Bottom line: If you want to pledge, do it. If not thats ok don't.
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@Daniel I don't think this in violation of any rules; as others have pointed out, it promises a specific product, and so on. The proceeds pay for access to resources, time, and equipment. If Kickstarter decides that this is in violation, then sure. But since they haven't, I don't think you get to arbitrate for them. If that changes, I hope they apply their guidelines fairly in this and all other projects.
And I didn't say the PROJECT was to attract attention to the problem; I said I was planning to USE the project's EXISTENCE to attract attention to it.
And if you missed the chaos this week that provides its own proof: Any number of individual very successful women is in no way a sign that conditions are good in general. I run a gaming club that is about 50/50 in terms of gender, and yet most of the girls there have expressed trepidation about taking the actual class for a number of reasons that are simply ludicrous extensions of gendered stereotypes. This includes, @Will, the belief chain: girls can't do math -> girls will be bad at programming -> so girl has always avoided taking math classes -> so now she doesn't want to dive in to the advanced work/doesn't meet the pre-reqs.
Also, there is a huge merit for Kenzie to NOT just having her parents pay for everything. Kickstarter is newer and shinier than selling lemonade, and it takes a very different kind of work to set up, but both the feelings of success from running a project from this, and the knowledge that she actually has to do something (however minimal) to earn funding, will be infinitely more character building that asking her mom for a handout.
@Andrew R This has nothing to do with jealousy, this has to do with common sense. The mother of this child is a wealthy entrepreneur, who graduated Harvard and was so successful that an article on Forbes was dedicated to her. Twenty thousand dollars being donated to this child, whose mother comes from such a background, merely for education in game development comes off as a massive display of extravagance. It's insulting to actual charities, who could use such money for people that actually need it, and to families in poverty. There are countless people who come from poor families that struggle to give their children education, and yet everyone feels the need to donate to the child of an incredibly successful entrepreneur?
The entire campaign is a massive appeal to emotion. It's a manipulative way of gaining funding, putting up the image of a 9 year old child and proclaiming that this is her "dream", even though most children today are constantly changing what they want to pursue in life by the hour, and some still don't know what they want well into adulthood. Furthermore, it goes against the Terms of Service, as this isn't an actual project, but funding for tuition.
The one life lesson you should take away from this Kenzie is that there are always people who are jealous of success. And rather than trying to equalize by letting your example spur them on to greater things, they instead try to destroy what you've achieved.
These sad losers think that everyone should be equal, irrespective of skill and talent. Daniel is one of those people. It doesn't matter if your mom is rich - KickStarter is open to everyone, and as your description said, *you* wanted to pay for your own game, not use your mother's money.
I'll be doubling my pledge and I look forward to playing your game. Don't let jealous losers get you down. And don't let them take away from your success. It's yours, and yours alone.
Kickstarter is platform for funding projects that would not get off the ground otherwise. Projects that are unable to find investors or are unaffordable.
This is neither of these. Susan is an immensely wealthy individual, who could quite easily afford to pay for her daughter to go to RPG camp.
This is not a case of supporting women in programming, this is simply you lining the pockets of the rich. Where's that extra 20,000 that you have donated, not funded, donated, going to go?
Those saying that women somehow need "guiding" into programming is insulting to women themselves. Are women not individuals capable of making their own damn decisions?
To add to this, this is not a project in the first place. It is paying for training, something which is against Kickstarter's terms of service.
I think I'll add another dollar (up to a reasonable amount) to my pledge for every one of those grinch comments popping up here from people claiming the project is in violation of Kickstarter rules.
It's not - it's promising an end product in the form of an RPG, and to make this RPG, the girl needs: a) This camp to provide her with the tools and knowledge and, if possible (very possible, it turns out!) b) A laptop. It really doesn't matter that you don't think the daughter of a Harvard graduate doesn't deserve this support - having an education is (thankfully) not against any KS rule I know of. If you don't like the project, or don't agree with it, don't back it. But this is my friggin money, I'll do with it whatever I like. You go and use yours on something else.
I'm glad Susan and Mackenzie have been offered and accepted support and guidance from people experienced with this sort of thing. I think it's going to be an awesome, wild ride for the two of you, and I'm confident a little adversity won't get you down.
No publicity is bad publicity.
As a teacher of game design stuck with a class that is 27 males and 3 females.... I don't care if she could afford it without the kickstarter. I am 100% ok with using the existence of this as a way to attract attention to the fact that women in tech get treated badly, and that anyone who tries to point that out gets treated badly. To those who feel differently: If you don't feel this is a good use of your money, don't spend any here, but putting down someone successful is not making you a better person---and it makes you look quite the opposite.
@ponsquared here is a photo of her with friggen warren buffet, i dont think your funding the future your making a rich person not have to pay to give her kid the world.....
Im all for helping young people grow ...but how about a kid whos mom is not rolling in cash.
I'm not funding this for the game. I am funding this to give this girl a chance to develop and perhaps one day, make a game changing RPG. Best of luck to you, enjoy camp, the laptop, and use the rest for your college education. I look forward to playing the game you make in 15 or so years.
What a horrid way to treat your sons. Why not try raising them better than for 1k you make them call a stranger and say sorry for picking on one of their siblings.
Try raising your sons better and being better parents and just paying for your kid to go to camp instead of trying to get kick starter folks to fund a gender war.
I put in 5 dollars and will be taking my money back on the last day of your kick starter.
Your teaching your duaghter that you need to be funded and sponsered by others to do something with her life and her only goal should be showing off to her older brothers and getting the aproval of a crowd.
Phillip...starting a project for the purpose of 'promoting a message and a hope for the industry' violates KS rules.
As a woman in game dev, I just want to tell Kenzie: you rock, girl. Best of luck in your career, and keep not letting anyone tell you what you can't do ;)
What IS amazing is that she has a chance to do something fun and productive while also helping to inspire other children, and more importantly other girls/women, to take part in an industry that can always use more of them.
I'm sorry this campaign is attacking you personally. I'm sorry you are naive enough to think that people pledging at this point believe their money is going to anything other than promoting a message and a hope for the industry. I'm sorry that you actually care so much about standing on your soapbox that you'll stick around here continuing to find anyway you can to attack this project.
But I'm not sorry I donated.
Oh and Terra? I think you're right. Kenzie's mother might have been sick that day at Harvard Business School and may not be aware of how to deal with the tax liabilities....I too worry about how they will deal with this unforseen burden.
Right Philip...because there is NO WAY this child would have been able to go to camp without our help. In fact I think I see Sally Struthers over there....Sally? Is that you? Can you come over for a second and help explain how we changed a life today? Oh she now has access to food, water AND RPG camp? Well that IS amazing!
There are a lot of undertones and motives you can talk about or you can be happy that another child is getting a chance to do something amazing.
@silverhawk This was not intended to be a fund my life project... look at what the goal was set at... whose life can be funded that way? This project is also getting the notice of other developers in the space too... don't be surprised if they start getting involved to help out. A 9 year old girl wanting to learn to design and potentially code is a MASSIVE impact on this industry. It also helps prove that not only are our core gamers as young as she is, but that they have the drive and the capacity to create at such a young age...
Incidentally I'd be more inclined to buy into their failed project last year about turning the family into an FLGS. Mackenzie have a blast at camp.
@Terra cannot do anything except CANCEL this project early.
I see other regulars here. I feel a game made BY A NINE YEAR OLD would put the gaming world on notice. But this project is honestly a "fund my life" project...
Hi Kenzie! This is so exciting! I'm very happy that you've gotten this tremendous reaction, and I'm looking forward to playing your game and proudly wearing the t-shirt. I even tweeted and posted on Facebook about your project when I made my contribution yesterday. YOU ROCK!
My biggest concern at this point is, once that money is released to them they're going to have to pay a lot of taxes. I mean, right now it's at $20,047 and the KS is good for another 27 days. They could easily have a years' worth of income in another day or two. How are taxes handled when you get this much money?
Now this family will need an accountant and maybe a lawyer to handle their upcoming tax issues. Perhaps they could invest it in Mackenzie's school? (I'm a teacher, so I go there.) Maybe scholarships for other kids who want to go to STEM camp? Donate it to a worthy cause? Any of these could potentially help mitigate the tax issue they're about to have.
It would be sad if all this money they've raised to send their daughter to camp ends up costing them hundreds of dollars in taxes. I sometimes wish KS had a limit so campaigns wouldn't accept pledges past a certain point.
The awkward issue here is that the dynamic of lending extra support to women over white men in the tech industry in the WORLD may be positive right now, but doing so inside one family unit is ... troubling. However, I sympathize with the mother in this case-- it's clear that she was not expecting this response from the internet, and doesn't really know how to handle it. Like, she actually seems to genuinely care about the trolls and their comments, and she seems to not be posting a video of her daughter out of some idea that this will protect her from the free web. Too little, too late. The free web, as Andrew is quick to point out, does not distinguish what you are entitled to based on economic class. This girl has a lot to live up to now, and I think there ARE a lot of people, even reasonable people, who should be nervous about this as a trend and a thing. Because maybe, Amazon has a reason for requiring a KS campaign to be run by adults.
I don't think the question of whether they could afford to send her to camp without a KS is relevant-- as much of the point was not the financials but the endorsement from hundreds of people that yes, she can do this. But I do wonder if it's worth it. There's no way her mom could have seen all this coming, so I don't really blame her, but I do feel for her in this situation.
All of that said, Kenzie deserves all the corporate support via software, and etc, that she has gotten, and she deserves to make a real go of this, camp and afterward. I think if I had been introduced to the tech world at her age, I would have benefited.
The continued use of words like 'mean' and 'negativity' is very infantile and are just ways to avoid the real issue here. No one expressing 'negativity' has any desire to hurt Kenzie. I'm sure she's a great kid...they are very amusing at that age. But you brought her to the internet...we didn't seek her out. Completely disregarding the issues surrounding you pitting your family against each other in a very sinister way ('I hope they get their cellphones taken away from them') the main issue is not 'does she exist'. The main issue is...
Tell you what....I'll trade you....if you can explain to me why the daughter of a Harvard educated mother who lives in an affluent area were roughly only 2% of the population is below the poverty line (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevensville,_Maryland) needs hand outs from strangers to go to RPG camp (something that Kickstarter isn't really FOR to begin with) then I will shut up. This project would be amusing if it was for a cute child that had an actual need. Panhandling for a child with all these built in advantages is just sick. You claim to be a proponent of crowd funding...I'm sure the free money aspects of it are very appealing. But what life lesson has Kenzie learned? Work hard...meet your goals? Kindness of strangers? Or write an essay and watch the dollars roll in?
This campaign hits a lot of hot buttons that I'm actually FOR....need more women in tech? CHECK....the larger issue of encouraging girls to become interested in Science etc? CHECK. But I see no real NEED here. Shouldn't fund raising be for people that NEED the money and not just for those that WANT it? Seriously...
I'm not sure if a campaign that started dedicated to Kenzie could be expanded to others, but certainly using 'excess' to create scholarship funds for others to attend the same program she's interested in would be a great gift and help with Seumas' insight that the second young woman/young person likely isn't going to get this level of response.
STEM education for all kids, and especially girls, is lagging and the more kids we can ENGAGE in it the better!
It'd be nice if more folks had a sense of humor, too...
My daughter's name is Mackenzie also :-). How awesome is it that you are supporting her like this. I wish her luck. Keep up that support!!
With all of the attention from gamers and people in the industry who have even commented here, I was wondering if you've gotten any sort of offers of mentorship for your daughter? The ridiculous amount of money is fantastic and I'm sure it can be put toward years of learning about and creating games on her own, but having someone you can rely on to nudge you in the right direction (it's hard to know that you don't know what you don't know you don't know!) can be absolutely invaluable. I'm sure there are a ton of indie women devs that might be eager to sort of offer that?
Just a thought. As a life-long auto-didact, I have always wished that I'd had a mentor when I was younger as it would have afforded me some opportunities I otherwise had to miss simply because I didn't have the experience to really see everything from a top-down perspective.
@light487-Obsidian Exactly. I kind of don't like the attitude that some have of "how dare you question the authenticity of those involved!". This is the internet and it's people asking you for money with nothing (so far) to show for it but some photographs that could have been pulled from a google image search, for all a random backer knows. It's healthy skepticism. Especially since there is precedent (even on Kickstarter) of exactly this sort of thing. My gut isn't telling me this isn't legit, but expecting more accountability/visibility of those involved to reassure backers (especially with how crazy t his has grown) is not at all unreasonable. Of course, that doesn't excuse just plain poor behavior of some people (which I honestly haven't seen that much of, but it's there). It's one thing to say "I want to back this, but I'm kind of not sure I feel comfortable about this being real"; it's another to be mean and insulting about it.
I also think it will be interesting, going forward, when other girls try this. Or other kids, in general. I think this one capitalized on being one of the first and of leveraging the whole sexism thing the gaming industry is constantly navel-gazing over. The next kid to come along and say "I'm really serious about wanting to learn how to program and design games and it is my life long dream to do this" isn't going to get $20,000, because everyone already "made their statement" with this one. (That's just an observation and speculation on future projects; not a critique of this one itself, mind you).
Anyway, this is really insane. It hasn't even been two days, yet, and I have barely seen any meaningful coverage of this on gaming sites. If this winds up on places like Kotaku, it's going to become a full fledged circus (and if you think the very small handful of "mean" comments is bad, now, just wait until it hits those sites -- that's going to be a nightmare!).