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Daily Investigation Log

RobinGale Apr 9th, 2015 (edited) 1,665 Never
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  1. Daily Investigation Log.
  2. Schedule: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays I investigate and post my results here.
  3.  
  4. Jun 20, 2016.
  5. While looking through reviews, I found a reference to a review event for Black Ops to that included a statement that the reviewers were given a $280 dollar value limited edition headset. All reviews that I could find that referenced this event, along with all day one reviews of Black Ops 2 have been compiled into a file. http://pastebin.com/YJPtNNgE
  6.  
  7. Jun 17, 2016.
  8. I was looking through some old Polygon opinion pieces by Ben Kuchera from 2014. One of them discussed "GamerGate" and opened with a claim that GamerGate began as a harassment campaign towards a developer. The unnamed developer is obviously Zoe Quinn. Ben Kuchera was a patreon supporter of Quinn's in 2014. No disclosures were found in the piece regarding thi. A file was made. http://pastebin.com/yTPN7hLZ
  9.  
  10. Jun 16, 2016.
  11. I performed an investigation of reviews from Polygon on 2012. The reviews considered were from games published by Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. While I didn't find any reason to believe there is anything questionable about the scores for Microsoft, I did find that Wii, 3DS and Vita titles were curiously absent from reviews even though plenty were released during this period. In conclusion, I can not dismiss the possibility that review coverages weren't biased in some way. http://pastebin.com/dKV9h8n3
  12.  
  13. Jan 02, 2016.
  14. Your typical undisclosed Kickstarter backing and then coverage later between Simone Tagliaferri and Tale of Tales http://pastebin.com/ktHMYgER
  15.  
  16. Dec 31, 2015.
  17. Last update of the year. I decided to finish up my own unfinished COI file on Leigh Alexander and Babycastles coverage. Leigh has commented multiple times that she was friends with the people behind Babycastles, Syed Salahuddin and Kunal Gupta. The friendship with the founders of Babycastles was never disclosed in any article. A file was created. http://pastebin.com/4hQdFmTz
  18.  
  19. Dec 23, 2015.
  20. A minor Patreon COI update regarding Carolyn Petit and Austin Walker. Austin Walker was namedropped within an article Petit had written for VICE, he had been supporting her on patreon for 3 months prior. There is an issue regarding the fact that on the month she wrote on him, he did not support her, but considering how patreon donations are calculated, namely at the beginning of the month, I think this is still a valid financial COI considering the last charge was days before the article was released. http://pastebin.com/0TXF7RhW
  21.  
  22. Oct 13, 2015.
  23. 1. There is evidence that a friendship was maintained by the former IGF chair, Brandon Boyer and the developer Phil Fish. In addition to Fish's participation in the IGF as both a juror and as a participant Boyer also wrote consistently about Fez and Polytron on Venus Patrol, of which Fish is credited with assisting in the kickstarter. http://pastebin.com/qz1hN1JH
  24.  
  25. 2. There is evidence that a friendship was maintained by the journalist, Jenn Frank and the developer Phil Fish. Fish was a patreon supporter up to at least a month before her article on the Guardian which name-dropped him among other individuals being "attacked". Unfortunately, Phil Fish set his patreon to private before the article so no further verification can be made. Jenn Frank is also noted to have provided Fish with a gift, a painting of Andy Kaufman. http://pastebin.com/hwVH9hQZ
  26.  
  27. Aug 27, 2015.
  28. 1. There was evidence floating around that gifts were handed out in the Konami TPP Review Event and made a file listing journalists who may have received gifts and favorable treatment. http://pastebin.com/cwkMK8m3
  29.  
  30. Aug 06-08, 2015.
  31. 1. Simon Parkin reviewed Sunset in Eurogamer and covered Sunset in a paragraph within an article for The New Yorker. There is evidence that he has a personal relationship with both of the consultants for Agency, which played a consulting role within Sunset's development. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/Pe8QRBk3
  32.  
  33. Jul 28, 2015.
  34. 1. Agata Goralczyk was paying into Critical Distance's patreon while an article written in association with Critical Distance was published in Gamasutra. It included a link to an article written by Agata Goralczyk on "Gemeinsam nach der Apokalypse" in VideoGameTourism. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/F6RQnEVW
  35.  
  36. Jul 27, 2015.
  37. 1. Joe Koller was paying into Mattie Brice's patreon and he included a link in Gamasutra to an article written by Brice "The DIY of Games Criticism". A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/LVTnMi8X
  38. 2. Dan Golding was paying into Critical Distance's patreon while an article written in association with Critical Distance was published in Gamasutra. It included a link to an article written by Dan Golding on "IKEA, and the logic of videogame design". A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/VyEb53qm
  39. 3. Andrew Dunn was paying into Critical Distance's patreon while an article written in association with Critical Distance was published in Gamasutra. It included a link to an article written on Andrew Dunn's wordpress on Valiant Hearts. A file has been added.
  40. 4. Kris Ligman covered Christine Love and her work in three articles on Gamasutra. Ligman not only recieved a $100 gofundme donation from Love, but also appeared to potentially have distance issues. Love was also a patreon donator to Critical Distance before the last article was published. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/g0rC8HQQ
  41.  
  42. Jul 26, 2015.
  43. Discovered coverage by Joe Koller namedropping Cara Ellison and her work. Joe Koller was also a patreon supporter for Ellison when one article was written and probably a patreon supporter during the publishing of the other. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/qpGcV4qZ
  44.  
  45. Jul 25, 2015.
  46. Discovered coverage by Joe Koller namedropping Cameron Kunzelman and his blog, Joe Koller was also a patreon supporter of Kunzelman. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/z3psnYdt
  47.  
  48. Jul 24, 2015.
  49. Discovered coverage associated with Critical Distance included another patron of Critical Distance. Daniel Parker. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/7Cf2WF63
  50.  
  51. Jun 29, 2015.
  52. Discovered that Leigh Alexander had been supporting Javy Gwaltney's patreon and that Javy Gwaltney had written a very positive review for Sunset in Paste. Leigh Alexander was a consultant for Sunset through Agency. In addition, multiple pieces of evidence suggest that Gwaltney was aware of her patreon support to him as well as her involvement in Sunset. A file was created. http://pastebin.com/Y3sPX7QQ
  53.  
  54. Jun 28, 2015.
  55. Found a tweet from Chris Plante suggesting that Critical Distance might have been supporting him and HardCasual in 2009, I found two articles by them referencing HardCasual in 2009. A file was created on this potential issue. http://pastebin.com/CcRubHY6
  56.  
  57. Jun 23, 2015.
  58. Discovered coverage of Gemma Thomson and LadyCade (of which she is a founder) by Laura Kate on Destructoid and IndieHaven. Patreon relationships have gone both ways between them at different times, and there is evidence of potential distance issues. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/J6fVHtu3
  59.  
  60. Minor update to the Nathan Grayson & Zoe Quinn file adding in a quote from the GamesLoading kickstarter as well as including the mobygames credit page to the file.
  61.  
  62. Jun 21, 2015.
  63. Bonegolem brought it to my attention that my file on the Destructoid potential COIs with Anthony Burch may have a misidentified journalist. Reviewing journalist coverage of Borderlands 2, it was found that Darren Nakamura not only stated directly that he was Burch's long-time friend, but that he had reviewed several DLCs for Borderlands 2. The file has been edited, one journalist was removed and Darren Nakamura was replaced. http://pastebin.com/MQZQHcdX
  64.  
  65. Jun 19, 2015.
  66. Found a potential conflict of interest between IndieHaven and patreon support from Mike Bithell, over the course of ten pieces of coverage Bithell was a patreon supporter without disclosure of that fact in the pieces of coverage regarding Volume and himself. A file has been created. http://pastebin.com/Zaq6MzCF
  67.  
  68. Jun 18, 2015.
  69. Found a potential conflict of interest between Laura Kate Dale of IndieHaven and Louise James in the form of patreon connection from subject to journalist as well as hints at potential distance issues. Furthermore, there is also a patreon connection between IndieHaven itself and Louise James. NOTE: The second podcast listed doesn't feature Laura Kate Dale even though it's listed in her name on the website, it was included in the file because of the patreon support to IndieHaven proper plus the fact that Laura Kate Dale is a founding member of IndieHaven. A file has been created. http://pastebin.com/sAB2wr0Z
  70.  
  71. Jun 14, 2015.
  72. Found that Javy Gwaltney had covered Austin Walker in Paste while also supporting him on patreon. A file has been created. http://pastebin.com/rh9diEit
  73.  
  74. Jun 12th, 2015.
  75. Another five patreon supporters covered by someone representing Critical Distance on Gamasutra were found. The file has been amended. http://pastebin.com/4kXGyGFq. In addition, another article was discovered with coverage of Vlambeer without disclosure that he is a patreon supporter of Critical Distance. http://pastebin.com/jefE2wB2
  76.  
  77. Jun 08th, 2015.
  78. Found that Carolyn Jong, a graduate student for Concordia University, had written a paper on #GamerGate in academia.edu citing "harassment" towards several individuals, including Mattie Brice. She failed to disclose that she had started supporting Brice's patreon a month prior. A file has been created. http://pastebin.com/hwwaBh2m
  79.  
  80. May 30th, 2015.
  81. Back in the groove. Found a potential conflict of interest regarding an article in Gamasutra by Lana Polansky. In the article she covered Jenn Frank and an article on her website "Infinite Lives". Jenn Frank had been a patron of Polansky's for almost a month earlier. Furthermore, Frank was also a patron of Critical Distance, with whom Polansky was representing "in our partnership with Critical Distance". A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/fR24Jg1c
  82.  
  83. May 21st, 2015.
  84. Found more patreon COIs regarding two journalists that write for Rock Paper Shotgun.
  85. Richard Cobbett & WadJet Eye Games http://pastebin.com/nnr9jBQZ
  86. Konstantinos Dimopoulos & Talha Kaya http://pastebin.com/8FYfJjgN
  87.  
  88. May 19th, 2015.
  89. Stumbled onto a message about paid reviews regarding IndieGameMagazine and made a file regarding the policy as well as all reviews that may have fallen within policy's existence. They offered reviews for $50 or "labor exchanges". http://pastebin.com/3WKCjc4f
  90. Also, found that IndieGameReviews magazine also sells cover coverage, as well as featured content coverage to devs. The magazine itself apparently does not disclose this content as paid from what I saw on the magazine, also I only found one public statement on this. archive.is/MI5Ho
  91. Finally, Chris Priestman and OnlySlightly potential conflict of interest regarding patreon support and coverage added.
  92.  
  93. May 17th, 2015.
  94. Richard Cobbett did not disclose in his interview with Agustin Cordes that Cordes was financially supporting him through Patreon. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/aFD7gkUs
  95. Chris Priestman did not disclose in his coverage of Agustin Cordes and his work in KillScreen Daily that Cordes was financially supporting him through Patreon. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/4KLCi1Tm
  96.  
  97. May 16th, 2015.
  98. Yet another undisclosed kickstarter and then coverage, this time from Brian Crecente and discussing Wasteland 2 by inXile Entertainment. http://pastebin.com/rpWDVq01
  99.  
  100. May 14th, 2015. Night.
  101. Added some more undisclosed kickstarter backing and coverage from Samit Sarkar of Polygon. He backed and covered Broken Age, Sissyfight 2000, and Pulse. Files have been added for each. Also, I recognize that kickstarters don't seem substantial - however I feel that since this is a questionable area of whether kickstarter is a means of pre-ordering or a means of funding projects - that they should be listed.
  102. Samit Sarkar & Double Fine http://pastebin.com/9e0ueB21
  103. Samit Sarkar & Team Pixel Pi http://pastebin.com/tnbGbT0b
  104. Samit Sarkar & Team Sissyfight http://pastebin.com/rXMCdn2T
  105.  
  106.  
  107. May 14th, 2015.
  108. Recalled an old scandal and decided to see what "I" could dig up that wasn't already known. Found the scrubbed journalisted page in an archive that listed Lauren Wainwright having consulted for Square Enix, as well as the linkedin confirming that and stating she wrote two mock reviews for Square Enix. Also found three pieces of coverage around that time period regarding Square Enix' Tomb Raider and Hitman Absolution. A file has been created. http://pastebin.com/n4tgZQTT
  109.  
  110. May 12th, 2015.
  111. Found two new potential kickstarter backing conflicts of interest between Michael McWhertor & Camoflaj (Republique) as well as Uber Entertainment (Planetary Annhilation). Both files have been added. (Camoflaj - http://pastebin.com/Ni8xX3k3) (Uber Entertainment - http://pastebin.com/mKpnMSM5)
  112.  
  113. May 10th, 2015.
  114. Found potential conflicts of interest with Chris Grant & Ouya, as well as Griffin McElroy & Zojoi and Obsidian. Files have been added.
  115. Chris Grant & Ouya: http://pastebin.com/ARwamLdd
  116. Griffin McElroy & Obsidian: http://pastebin.com/EkuzLq3V
  117. Griffin McElroy & Zojoi: http://pastebin.com/peuGgktk
  118.  
  119. May 08th, 2015.
  120. A journalist's boast alerted me to the possibility of a conflict of interest. I quickly found that Kevin Vanord was a kickstarter backer for Shadowrun Returns which he later reviewed. A file had been added. http://pastebin.com/ejBJHSNw
  121.  
  122. May 07th, 2015. Night.
  123. Found several potential conflicts of interest between Cameron Kunzelman and two individuals.
  124. - Javy Gwaltney http://pastebin.com/Q423Uadj
  125. - Kent Sheely http://pastebin.com/SP2XiSWU
  126. Files have been added for each.
  127.  
  128. May 07th, 2015.
  129. Found several potential conflicts of interest regarding a review of "Escape To Na Pali" in Paste Magazine between Cameron Kunzelman and Alan Williamson. A file has been created on this issue. http://pastebin.com/Ej5pA1wi
  130.  
  131. May 05th, 2015.
  132. Found another potential COI with financial donations to Critical Distance by Katie Chironis and afterwards coverage of her by Critical Distance in The NewStatesman. A file with various financial COIs with Critical Distance has been edited with this new information. http://pastebin.com/4kXGyGFq
  133.  
  134. May 03rd, 2015.
  135. I was alerted to evidence showcasing two particular instances of potential conflicts of interest regarding Kill Screen coverage of Vlambeer and Naughty Dog. Files have been created. http://pastebin.com/mYw9MFKu  http://pastebin.com/KEa1rQh3 (EDIT: THESE ARE COMPILATIONS AND NOT MY WORK)
  136.  
  137. May 02nd, 2015. Night.
  138. Found a potential COI with some articles by Critical Distance and Kris Ligman covering Vlambeer. Vlambeer has been donating to Critical Distance's patreon before the articles were wrote. A file has been added. http://pastebin.com/jefE2wB2
  139.  
  140. May 02nd, 2015.
  141. 1. Began a relevant project that will take time to complete. Individual COIs will be much slower because of this.
  142. 2. Minor COI found between Tyler Colp namedropping Cara Ellison & Sacrilege without disclosing that he donates to her patreon. File was added. http://pastebin.com/Xxnjqss7
  143.  
  144. April 28th, 2015.
  145. 1. Found another article presenting a potential conflict of interest with Brendan Keogh and coverage of Mattie Brice. A file was created.
  146. 2. Found an article by Critical Distance on the Escapist promoting three of the patreon backers. An article has been created.
  147.  
  148. April 27th, 2015.
  149. Found multiple potential conflicts of interest with Brendan Keogh and people he was covering in an article for Overland magazine. A file has been created. http://pastebin.com/S7L1dU9q
  150.  
  151. April 26th, 2015.
  152. 1. Major expansion of the Dale North & Harmonix file to include many quotes as well as much more articles. http://pastebin.com/VphX8XQ6
  153. 2. Expanded the Cara Ellison & Gaynor file to include another member of Fullbright who also contributed to her Patreon and might have a friendship. http://pastebin.com/VhG4yPWp
  154.  
  155. April 24th-25th.
  156. 1. Found a possible conflict between Patrick Klepek's coverage that included Jenn Frank.
  157. 2. Found a possible conflict between Dale North's coverage of Harmonix.
  158. 3. Found a possible conflict between Chris Suellentrop and a mention of Sacrilege by Cara Ellison.
  159. All have files made and are added to the Conflicts file.
  160.  
  161. April 22nd-April 24th.
  162. 1. I found evidence of possible conflicts regarding Grayson's coverage of Riot. I've listed those in a file. http://pastebin.com/WJfh2X25
  163. 2. Chris Priestman wrote an article regarding Terry Cavanagh without disclosing that Cavanagh is supporting him on Patreon. http://pastebin.com/VvJPWRfn
  164.  
  165. April 21st, 2015.
  166. I investigated coverage Nathan Grayson gave of Harmonix, PR for Harmonix, Nick Chester was a member of GJP before the articles were released, as was Grayson. There was also a particularly questionable conversation that was included in the file to question the relationship between PR and Journalists on the list. A file has been created. http://pastebin.com/CsJkxkfN
  167.  
  168. April 19th, 2015.
  169. Was tipped off that there might be a COI with Cara Ellison's coverage of Nina Freeman. I found multiple references that could constitute a conflict of interest. A file has been created. http://pastebin.com/38siyjje
  170.  
  171. April 18th, 2015.
  172. Various digs at connections. Lack of coverage of those developers so no further investigation warranted.
  173.  
  174. April 17th, 2015.
  175. 1. Investigated Cara Ellison & Steve Gaynor (Gone Home) and found many pieces of evidence to suggest a conflict of interest. A file has been created. Afterwards I learned that gamergate.me already had information on this subject, so you should all go there as well and read up on this.
  176. 2. Investigated Philippa Warr and Terry Cavanagh. The interactions are light in documentation, but there are several references to going out to eat and other meet-ups. It's enough to at least document, I suppose. http://pastebin.com/3RkXLAGk
  177.  
  178. April 14th, 2015.
  179. I did a more thorough sweep of any coverage of Quinn from Holmes of Destructoid. I found more evidence to suggest that conflicts may be present, as well as a few more articles that I had missed. Both have been added to the updated file.
  180.  
  181. April 12-13th, 2015.
  182. Crosschecked Cara Ellison and Porpentine. I found numerous references to suggest a conflict of interest file should be created. That file is now added. http://pastebin.com/u2334JcG
  183.  
  184. April 11th, 2015.
  185. Crosschecked Cara Ellison and any coverage of Anna Anthropy. I found numerous references that suggest a personal relationship, as well as one reference to a financial exchange. A file will be created.  http://pastebin.com/bpmWpYz7
  186.  
  187. April 10th, 2015. Evening.
  188. I decided to try and piece together who the two reviewers for destructoid were that Burch referred to in a tweet about being friends with them. I was able to narrow down the DLCs to Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep and Captain Scarlett, reviewed by Chris Carter and Joseph Leray. These two had very high scores. A search of tweets to or mentioning Burch quickly showed numerous pieces of information which would suggest friendships. There is also the issue that both reviews do not mention that Burch used to write for Destructoid. A file has been created on these findings.
  189.  
  190. April 10th, 2015. Morning.
  191. On a hunch, I went snooping through Destructoid. I visited the staff page and noticed that Patrick Lindsey was a guest contributor, on another hunch, I looked for Depression Quest and found one in particular that stood out by the Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Holmes. Another search and I was able to find several tweets highly suggesting a friendly relationship. A file has been created on these findings.
  192.  
  193.  
  194. April 9th, 2015.
  195. 1. Found several articles from 2013 echoing the "On Gamers" sentiment including Simon Parkin, Brendan Keogh, Mattie Brice and Mary Hamilton. Parkin, Keogh and Brice's articles were less tolerant than Hamiltons. They'll be added to the "Moving Beyond Gamers" file.
  196. 2. There was a tweet by Peter Cohen of iMore tweeting to Brianna Wu about purchasing a shirt "I died because of ethics in gaming journalism.". It's worth noting, but I am unsure if it should be added as evidence at this time in the iMore Rev60 file.
  197. 3. Grayson allegedly paid Quinn $800 on August 1st, 2014. This conflicts with his article "The GDC I Saw After One of Gaming's Roughest Years" written on March 13th, 2015 as disclosure of this financial tie is not present. Unfortunately, outside of a screencap, there is no first-hand evidence and can't add it to my files at the moment.
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