August 28, 2013

Ouya Football Game Raises Eyebrows With Kickstarter Campaign (And Why This Matters To Parents)

Ouya is an attempt to create an alternative gaming console. By “alternative” I don’t mean REM back in the day, I mean “a gaming console that isn’t an XBox 360/One, Wii/Wii U or PS1/2/3/4.” It’s unclear whether or not the thing will succeed, but the folks at Ouya seem to have cash because they’re offering some kind of matching funds to developers who can raise a certain amount of cash via Kickstarter.

One of these developers, MogoTXT, is causing consternation amongst the console cognoscenti, according to a story post at IGN. (Note: all of our information in this post is from the linked IGN article below. That’s our source. We’re not going to go into all of the details because they did all the work so you should go there and read their story if you want to know all the stuff.)

The game Gridiron Thunder (video below) raised sufficient ducats to get more ducats from Ouya, but they had very few backers, and many of the backers seem to have names remarkably similar to each other, as well as to MogoTXT CEO Andrew Won. In other words, some suspect… foul play.

Another intriguing wrinkle: how is MogoTXT planning to release a football (as in NFL) game without having permission to use the images of real players? Maybe they aren’t planning to use images of real players? We don’t know. In general, video sports gamers prefer to play games featuring their favorite superstars, or at least real dudes. I thought the license for this was sold exclusively to the good folks at EA, which they use to make a little game called Madden NFL.

The IGN story states that Gridiron Thunder is the second game to reach the funding mark required to receive extra moneys from Ouya. The other is Elementary, My Dear Holmes!, which sounds much more fun: “A point-and-click adventure game starring legendary sidekick John Watson on an epic quest to prove that Sherlock Holmes is just a jerk.”

By the way, Sherlock Holmes? Public domain. No rights issues there. Just saying.

Why are we writing about this? One, kids play video games. Two, Kickstarter is a real thing. By that I mean crowd-funding is a way to get the money to make a professional quality video game, as well as movies, watches, and who knows what else. Your kids are going to be asking you about Kickstarter. They may already have asked you about it. It behooves you to put crowd-funding on your parental digital radar. Yes, it’s one more thing to think about/learn about/be annoyed with. (What, the Facebook, the Twitter and the Snapchat weren’t enough? Now I have to learn about the Kickstarter too? Oy vey.) At least with this one, your kids could potentially find the money from people other than you to turn their great idea into a reality. That would be awesome.

That’s why I care if a Kickstarter campaign turns out to be skeezy. I would prefer that it NOT be skeezy. There will always be a certain percentage of skeeziness with anything involving the Interwebs. But the less skeeze the better.

Suspicious Ouya Game Kickstarter Campaign Raises Eyebrows via IGN

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