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Brandon Boyer involved in 5 more conflicts of interest

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Mar 6th, 2015
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  1. IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer was recently discovered to have engaged in a conflict of interest with Steph Thirion, writing a series of articles for Boing Boing promoting him without disclosing that they are personal friends. This conflict was noticed after an interview with Allistair Pinsof in which he claimed to have had a conversation with Thirion's girlfriend Tiff Chow in 2011 in which she bragged that Thirion would win Fantastic Arcade's Best Game Award because of his friendship with Boyer. In a statement to Kotaku she denied that this conversation had ever occured. However both the Boing Boing articles and the social media records demonstrating that they were friends over the same period as the articles are public record, so unlike the alleged Fantastic Arcade conversation there is no need to rely on anyone's testimony.
  2.  
  3. http://pastebin.com/8mmz88Zz
  4. http://techraptor.net/content/allegations-improper-relationships-igf-chairman-brandon-boyer-indie-dev-steph-thirion
  5.  
  6. I have now compiled evidence indicating that he has also engaged in a conflict of interest with Douglas Wilson (Die Gute Fabrik), Ricky Haggett (Honeyslug), Kyle Reimergartin, Ben Esposito, and Nina Freeman. A sampling of tweets is linked for each person, however note that one aspect of the evidence they don't convey is sheer activity. In particular Wilson and Haggett have chatted with Boyer via twitter on a regular basis for many years and Reimergartin has talked with him on a near-daily basis since around December 2013.
  7.  
  8. I believe this list to be far from comprehensive. All five conflicts of interest were found by systematically checking each small developer listed in a single Boing Boing article, "20 Games You Shouldn't Miss in 2014", which I used as a starting point after learning of a second COI besides Thirion. Given the brazenness and number of articles promoting Thirion and the pattern of behavior shown by the other COIs, his hundreds of other Boing Boing articles likely contain more, not to mention any of his developer friends who don't broadcast details of their personal relationships on the internet.
  9.  
  10. Boyer could have chosen to disclose these relationships. Instead in the opening he claims that "Over the past year I played hundreds of amazing games across a wide spectrum of team sizes, budgets and ambitions. Below are 20 games that exemplify the best that 2014 had to offer". Yet of the 13 games developed by a single person or group of less than 10 people, 5 were made by people from his personal circle of friends. Four of those five have also been IGF finalists at least once and two have been featured by Fantastic Arcade.
  11.  
  12. For all 5:
  13. 20 Games You Shouldn't Miss in 2014
  14. https://archive.today/b2TGj
  15.  
  16. Douglas Wilson:
  17.  
  18. Used as a promotional quote on the company website:
  19. https://archive.today/17iqN#selection-265.0-262.1
  20.  
  21. On J.S. Joust and Venus Patrol
  22. https://archive.today/b34F0
  23. "Our friend Brandon Boyer recently ran a Kickstarter drive for his new website, Venus Patrol. To help support the drive, we agreed to contribute a special pre-release demo build of Johann Sebastian Joust, for donors at the $25 level or above."
  24.  
  25. 2012 IGF Finalist (Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Nuovo Award) for JS Joust
  26. https://archive.today/r5jtA
  27.  
  28. 2012 Fantastic Arcade Selection (Where is my Heart?)
  29. https://archive.today/0CNZT
  30.  
  31. Venus Patrol:
  32. KICK IN: HELP BRING JOHANN SEBASTIAN JOUST, HOKRA, BARABARIBALL, SUPER POLE RIDERS TO PC/MAC & PS3
  33. https://archive.today/sP8La
  34. (Mentions financial involvement in Venus Patrol kickstarter but not personal relationship.)
  35.  
  36. ONE SHOT: DOMINIQUE FERLAND’S TRIBUTE TO SPORTSFRIENDS
  37. https://archive.today/hOw0F
  38.  
  39. ONE SHOT: MARé ODOMO’S TRIBUTE TO SPORTSFRIENDS
  40. https://archive.today/o695w
  41.  
  42. The following articles were published in 2009. As Wilson joined twitter in 2011 (at which time he seems to have already been friends with Boyer) and I haven't been able to find evidence indicating the nature of their relationship in 2009, it is uncertain whether they are also a conflict of interest:
  43.  
  44. Red 7: the first prototype screenshot of Die Gute Fabrik’s swamp-opera Mutatione
  45. https://archive.today/pijYG
  46.  
  47. One shot: Die Gute Fabrik’s swamp-opera concept, Mutatione
  48. https://archive.today/g0dht
  49.  
  50. One shot: headbanging for love in Spirit Horse of the Cherokee!
  51. https://archive.today/Y6IOX
  52.  
  53. Recently on Offworld: a more social Nintendo, more DS blood diamonds, time ufck'd pathos puzzling
  54. https://archive.today/Gpzi9
  55.  
  56. Recently on Offworld: rapid prototyping time lapse, Experimental Gameplay Wii-bound, headbanging for love
  57. https://archive.today/xT1WS
  58.  
  59. Sample of tweets demonstrating relationship:
  60. http://pastebin.com/cuK1sRj4
  61.  
  62. Aided in testing JS Joust in 2011:
  63. https://archive.today/4NKMR#selection-2749.17-2749.53
  64.  
  65. Ricky Haggett:
  66.  
  67. VENUS PATROL PRESENTS: THE ART OF HONEYSLUG’S FROBISHER SAYS
  68. https://archive.today/f7Eap
  69.  
  70. LOOKING BACK: A SLIDESHOW OF VENUS PATROL & MOCATV’S HORIZON CONFERENCE
  71. https://archive.today/nI0jC
  72.  
  73. STUPIDNESS COMES STATESIDE: HONEYSLUG’S FROBISHER SAYS GETTING U.S. RELEASE
  74. https://archive.today/uiAIB
  75.  
  76. 2011 IGF Finalist (Excellence in Visual Arts) for Hohokum
  77. https://archive.today/4gztI
  78.  
  79. Sample of tweets demonstrating relationship:
  80. http://pastebin.com/TXFKkhZT
  81.  
  82. Kyle Reimergartin:
  83.  
  84. Fantastic Arcade 2014 spotlight game (Banana Chalice)
  85. https://archive.today/JxtvC
  86.  
  87. GANG BEASTS, MOUNTAIN, DONUT COUNTY ARCADE CABINETS COMING TO FANTASTIC ARCADE
  88. https://archive.today/vPZxt
  89. "Once again, the games have been selected by the operators of Austin indie collective JUEGOS RANCHEROS (aka Adam Saltsman, Jo Lammert, Rachel Weil, Wiley Wiggins & yours truly)"
  90.  
  91. Showcase game for Fantastic Arcade 2013 (Fjords), however based on twitter activity they do not seem to have been close friends yet at that time:
  92. https://archive.today/AT97p
  93.  
  94. Sample of tweets demonstrating relationship:
  95. http://pastebin.com/cUcsNUMD
  96.  
  97. Ben Esposito:
  98.  
  99. A HOLE NEW WORLD: BEN ESPOSITO’S KACHINA BECOMES DONUT COUNTY
  100. https://archive.today/DYW5a
  101.  
  102. GANG BEASTS, MOUNTAIN, DONUT COUNTY ARCADE CABINETS COMING TO FANTASTIC ARCADE
  103. https://archive.today/vPZxt
  104.  
  105. 2015 IGF Finalist (Excellence in Visual Arts) and Honorable Mention (Seumas McNally Grand Prize) for Donut COunty
  106. https://archive.today/ZkU7d
  107.  
  108. 2014 IGF Finalist (Excellence in Visual Arts) for Perfect Stride
  109. https://archive.today/nbi1G
  110.  
  111. Sample of tweets demonstrating relationship:
  112. http://pastebin.com/P8NAVGVC
  113.  
  114. Nina Freeman:
  115.  
  116. IGF 2015 Finalist (Nuovo Award)
  117. https://archive.today/ZkU7d
  118.  
  119. Sample of tweets demonstrating relationship:
  120. http://pastebin.com/Z4bNcz2L
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