More Alleged IGF, GDC Corruption Highlighted In New Video

There’s a new 48 minute video from Camera Lady and ShortFatOtaku tackling the IGF, the IGF’s chairman Brandon Boyer and the Game Developers Conference. The lengthy video covers a lot of different aspects of the IGF that were either previously swept under the rug by gaming media or not addressed at all.

The video brings up a lot of the past alleged transgressions of IGF chairman Brandon Boyer. However, beyond the original allegations – and the recent reports cementing his multiple conflicts of interest with various developers who won or were handed awards under his watch – they also bring up the incestuous cronyism that stains the IGF’s doorway that indie devs enter in order to get into the gaming industry. You can check out the lengthy video below.

Oh Boy, Boyer! — Indie-Fensible (#GamerGate)

It’s high time we took another look at the Independent Games Festival, don’t you agree? There’s a lot of people who have something to say about how Brandon Boyer and his bros run the bru-ha-ha. Also a word from Derek Smart on the IGDA, Meggan Scavio’s abuse of power in the GDC, and some choice idiocy from Maggie Brice and Jenn Frank.

While a lot of the information is a retread over what we already knew, some of the new information is quite interesting regarding folks like Flashbang Studios’ Matthew Wegner, Double Fine Studios’ Tim Schafer, and the fact that there were various changes made in the IGF after Boyer took over as chairman in 2010 that allowed certain individuals to greatly benefit from his position.

One of the very startling things mentioned in the video is that following Jenn Frank’s defense of the IGF back on February 23rd, 2012 – where she mentioned that one of the games she tried playing wouldn’t install, which was debunked by an indie dev speaking to Camera Lady, noting that the app didn’t have to install on mobile devices – there was a post on the Rotting Cartridge just a day before criticizing the IGF and noting that the devs were able to see behind the scenes thanks to the Testflight software. The software enabled developers to view just how long judges actually played their game (or whether the game was played at all) and it gave devs insight into potentially seeing if the IGF was rigged on the judge’s end.

However, according to the indie dev chatting with Camera Lady, the Testflight software was retired by the IGF after the incident was documented on Rotting Cartridge. Writer and journalist Brad Nichols tweeted about the Testflight app, stating the following on February 22nd, 2012.

“TestFlight is scary because it’s a stalkerish program. Dev slams IGF judges because he sees they didn’t play his game”

The issue was also addressed by the Rampant Games crew back on March 1st, 2012, where it was stated…

“Because the IGF chose TestFlight for their iOS distribution, which gave canny developers access to information on the judges’ activities with the game. In short, of eight total judges assigned to the game, one never installed the game, two others installed it but never played it even once, and of the other five, only three played it for more than ten minutes. Only one played it for nearly an hour, giving it what the author considered a good, honest shake.

“Fair? Maybe, maybe not. While the $95 entry fee is pretty low, I’d still expect the judges to install and try my game for at least a few minutes.”

The post, while short and snappy, literally ties directly into what’s mentioned in the Indie-Fensible video above – that the IGF is centered around the nepotism of who-knows-who. Allegedly, and according to the evidence available so far, if you’re friends with Boyer and in the clique you’re likely to get preferential treatment. I did try reaching out to Brandon Boyer on multiple occasions but never received a response.

However, what’s mentioned in the Rampant Games post seems to ring true for what the current day IGF is all about, stating…

“[…] it really makes me wonder, then, as to the value of the IGF. As many people have noted, the only games guaranteed to get a good, hard look are the ones that have already made a name for themselves. Games that are not already popular have the deck stacked against them, particularly if they are unable to stand out to the judges who are supposed to be giving them a serious look. Isn’t the IGF supposed to be about shining the spotlight on these otherwise “unknown” games? Or is it just a popularity contest?”

There’s a lot of content to cover in the video that leads back to the nepotism, cronyism and corruption that have been discussed over the past eight months regarding the IGF.

According to Kotaku editor Jason Schreier, he mentioned that some of these allegations of corruption involving the IGF are worth investigating. However, following Schreier’s original article about Pinsof’s statements about Brandon Boyer and the IGF, Kotaku has yet to do a follow-up.

Meanwhile, Camera Lady and ShortFatOtaku still have more to cover regarding the topics of corruption in the gaming industry and we’ll see what they turn up in their newest videos. You can read up more on the IGF and the allegations of corruption over on the This Is Video Games website entry for the IGF.

(Main image courtesy of Alejandro Argandona)

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5 thoughts on “More Alleged IGF, GDC Corruption Highlighted In New Video

  1. Kotaku’s job isn’t to investigate. They don’t earn money for investigating. Same goes with other gaming “news” sites. They earn money by regurgitating stuff people want to hear. If they go beyond that, it’s to promote their own private interests.

    It’s definitely all about popularity. When I studied at game dev college, the lecturers seemed to always focus on a select few favorites. This was also evident in how they handled feedback and grading.

    For example, I often helped many students, and in one instance I set up all of their 3d model rigs the same way. I made certain they were functional. However, those students all received widely varying grades and feedback. In some cases, whole sections were copy-pasted, complaining that the rig was “incomplete”.

    I received high grades, although I don’t recall what feedback I received. Outside of complaints, their feedback was often simple and single-worded, ie. “excellent” or “good”. I’m certain they gave proper feedback to their favorites.

    When I queried them on these practices, they said that they don’t have time to write proper feedback. It disgusts me that they can’t devote sufficient time to each of the students whose equally large amount of money they are taking.

    Another example is how lecturers and students entered contests, and then asked fellow lecturers and students to hijack the voting in their favor. They won and ended up receiving widespread national and/or international attention.

    Yes, I understand that a lot of people do this, but I am still against it. They’re not voting for their work because they honestly like it and think it’s good. They’re voting for their work just because they’re acquaintances or friends. It’s no longer about skill or quality, but about how many people you suck up to. Think about all the truly skilled people who are losing out because they spent more time making quality work, instead of socializing.

    You can see that there are lots of parallels here. The same nepotism, cronyism and corruption permeates throughout the entire industry, if not our culture. However, just because it’s everywhere does not mean it’s acceptable.

    1. You hit the nail on the head here. It’s an issue that’s blossomed throughout all of society. It’s just a matter of whether or not people will do anything about it.

      In the case of the IGF… if the indie devs really feel like they need a true contest to represent their interests, some of them are definitely going to need to step up and there’s going to need to be some outlets out there somewhere that are capable of hearing what they have to say and getting the story out there so that there will be some changes in the long run.

    2. “they said that they don’t have time to write proper feedback.”

      Teacher’s who claim they do not have time to DO THEIR JOB should be made homeless bums.

      Every. Single. One.

    3. Absolutely, in a sea of redundant arguments the statement, “of course its corrupt” is the one I find the most troubling. The sheer apathy of that statement makes me wish for extinction of the species, as in “What is the fucking point anymore” – then I remember I’m not a fucking infant, but really beyond contempt, there is only pity left.

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