Scandals  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Scandals  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Twitter's Response to Lauralania Is More Concerning Than Her Actual Disappearance Fri, 16 Jun 2017 16:15:16 -0400 Auverin Morrow

Almost anyone who’s been paying attention to Twitter or Reddit during E3 has heard about the Lauralania drama by now. Yesterday afternoon, her roommate Undrea posted an inquiry on Twitter as to Lauralania’s whereabouts after she apparently disappeared from the Twitch mixer at E3 and missed several panels/appointments the next day -- and what followed was a 12-hour feeding frenzy of conflicting information, “last seen” reports, conspiracy theories, and all manner of speculation.

Early this morning, after nearly 24 hours without contacting any friends/family or posting on social media, Lauralania (aka Tia Zimmerman) finally tweeted to confirm her safety -- saying that her phone had died and she’d been at a casino playing poker. Though this was first suspected to be some sort of hack, close friends confirmed shortly after that they’d spoken with Lauralania personally, and she was safe and sound.

But rather than celebrating a happy ending and chalking it up to a few poor judgement calls, the internet has exploded all over again with demands for the “truth”, accusations of an affair, and all sorts of theories about where Lauralania really was and what she was actually doing -- or why she was doing it.

Regardless of what you think about the whole debacle, there’s something that needs to be said about the implications that something like this has for other people -- especially for other women (which I’ll elaborate on below) -- who are embedded in this industry. Because hoax or not, intentional or not, the Lauralania saga sets a dangerous precedent for how people respond the next time something like this happens.

What Actually Went Down? Frankly, Nothing.

A minor celebrity went MIA for around 24 hours, and close friends (rightfully) took to the internet to try and track her down out of a legitimate concern for her safety. A small portion of Twitter and reddit did their best to help the cause. But for the most part, the internet simply sunk its teeth into some fresh drama and started spinning up all sorts of crackpot ideas about what really happened.

And once Lauralania popped up and confirmed that she’d simply decided to unplug and shirk some appointments to play poker, those people found it even more suspect and started grilling her about everything from her whereabouts to why she had “sex hair” in a video she posted. Some went so far as to use video stills to map out the actual location in which her video was shot and raise questions about why she was in such a rundown area of L.A. One Twitter user even demanded the receipts or ATM records from her visit to the casino.

It’s worth noting here that this isn’t the first time an industry personality has vanished at an event. A few years back, LoL player Trick2G disappeared for nearly 48 hours and missed a flight before he was found safely sleeping off a hangover in a friend’s hotel room. But when he was found, no one got upset that he was just really messed up and hadn’t actually been victimized in some way. No one demanded answers about what he’d really been doing. They didn’t ask for paper proof of his whereabouts. They sure as hell didn’t put together an entire spreadsheet of every tweet he made and where he made it like they did with Lauralania. So it’s hard to imagine that all the fuss has absolutely nothing to do with her being a pretty girl.

Those watching the drama and getting involved essentially fall into three different camps. One thinks the whole thing was just a legit decision that Lauralania has been honest about and otherwise shouldn’t have to answer for. Another thinks she went on a total bender and probably cheated on her significant other, then tried to do damage control after coming to her senses. The last camp thinks it’s all just a means to drum up drama and attention that will ultimately bring her further into the limelight and increase her following on Twitch -- considering that it’s already earned her about 75,000 new Twitter followers since the search for her began.

It Doesn't Matter What Lauralania Did or Didn't Do. But How This is Shaping Our Perspective Does.

No matter what Lauralania was up to while she was MIA, she doesn’t owe any sort of explanation to her fanbase. She’s an adult woman who can make the choices she wants to make. If she wants to unplug, that’s her prerogative. If she wants to play poker all night while people worry, she can do that, too. What really went down -- and all the panic that ensued -- is really between Lauraliana and the close circle of people who were actually looking for her out of concern for her safety. Everything else is just rabble.

What does matter -- and frankly matters a lot more than the actual events of this whole thing -- is how all this needless drama could adversely affect the safety of others in a legitimately panic-worthy situation in the future.

It’s well-documented that violent and sexual crimes happen with unfortunate frequency at events like E3 and PAX -- and they happen disproportionately to women. From creepshots to full-blown harassment and assault, there are numerous accounts of unwarranted and illegal sexual attention being directed at women in the games industry -- and they’re coming from all sorts of people, from booth girls and streamers to journalists and PR managers. A few years ago, the issue reached such critical condition at E3 that it was referred to as “creepy-rapey-E3” among certain circles.

Most women in this industry have dealt with such behaviors in one form or another. I know I have, and so has nearly every woman in the gaming world with whom I’ve discussed the issue. It’s horrible, it’s inexcusable, and it’s very, very real. (And yes, I’m aware that it happens to men, too. But the ratios of women who are victimized are too high to ignore.)

Concern over this reality is what led fellow streamer Ashleeeean to make several Twitter appeals, as she revealed in series of Tweets released after the Lauralania incident was settled. Being a survivor of sexual assault herself, she wanted to do everything possible to make sure that it wasn’t happening to someone else.

But because of all the drama and controversy that arose around the circumstances of Lauralania’s temporary absence, that legitimate concern has been overshadowed by people who are angry that the streamer “fooled” everyone into worrying about her -- with some going so far as to say that this is why women are a bane to the gaming industry.

Nothing happened to Lauralania, and that’s a good thing (regardless of how disappointed Twitter is that the truth wasn’t more interesting). But something awful could have happened -- and unfortunately will happen to someone else. And sadly, a public hubbub like this is going to jade a lot of people into not taking things like this seriously when they happen further down the line. That’s really bad news for the person who actually does go missing or needs help.

This whole debacle began as a justified investigation into someone’s well-being, where Twitter was in part a valuable tool for gathering information from people who wouldn’t have been accessible otherwise. But as the drama grew -- and even after Lauralania was confirmed safe -- Twitter turned it into a case of the girl who cried wolf, seemingly upset that the streamer wasn’t found in a ditch somewhere. Many have expressed gratitude that she’s alright, but many more have expressed outrage that they ever got worried in the first place, and are demanding justification for their “wasted” concern over a cute girl who didn’t actually get kidnapped, raped, or murdered.

I shudder to think of what that means for the next person who really does encounter a wolf at events like this.

Rather than continually berating the actions of an adult woman or bellyaching about how we got all concerned “for nothing”, maybe those energies are better spent having a conversation about the underlying issues that made this whole situation so worrisome in the first place. Maybe we start thinking about how to help the next person before they vanish, or how we can create a culture in this industry (and especially) at these events where everyone looks out for each other so there isn’t needless cause for concern.

Just because one disappearance saga had a “happy” ending doesn’t mean the next one will. And when that happens, here’s hoping useless rabble like what’s gone down today doesn’t drown out help signals for someone who legitimately needs it.

Does Clash of Clans Update Town Hall 11 Suck? Wed, 16 Dec 2015 05:00:05 -0500 Justin Andress

It’s been a rough couple of days for Supercell’s formerly beloved free-to-play hit Clash of Clans. After weeks and months of hype leading up to the release of one of the biggest updates in the game’s history — Town Hall 11 — the result has been somewhat less than thrilling. Okay, cards on the table, the whole thing has been kind of a disaster. 

Reddit has been flooded with complaints and jokes made at the game’s expense. If user feedback is to be believed, the Town Hall 11 update has resulted in several players simply hanging up their pillaging clubs and moving on down the road to the next big game.

So what happened? How did one of mobile gaming’s most popular titles manage to completely destroy the gameplay experience in a single update? Are gamers being too harsh (after all, we’re an undeniably outspoken and critical bunch), or has Clash of Clans really jumped the shark…and can it reclaim the glory it appears to have lost?

A Golden Age For Clash of Clans, or ‘What We Were Promised’

Clash of Clans Grand Warden

Last week, we — or more accurately, I — wrote this phenomenal piece about the impending update. It had been over a year since I’d messed with the game, but reading the forums and the promotional materials, it was pretty tough not to get pumped about Town Hall 11.

Players would be getting a brand new hero, one who was supposed to be a total game changer on the battlefield. In addition, clan builders would get a new piece of long range artillery, an increased map size, increased storage units, and a few other troop and building improvements.

In addition, though, Clash of Clans attempted to tackle fairness. The developers at Supercell made a whole bunch of under-the-hood changes that were designed to make the whole experience a little more welcoming for newcomers and a little more tolerable for veterans.

Unfortunately, it would seem that the developer’s motivations were way off base.

The Trojan Horse, or ‘What We Got’

Clash of Clans Goblin Wallpaper

The biggest issue that gamers seem to have with the new update is Supercell’s new rules governing shields, farming, and personal breaks. The new troops and buildings seem to be going over fairly well, but Supercell’s attempt at programming fairness into the game has been smashed on an almost brutal level.

The new rules surrounding the game’s shields have received perhaps the most vitriol from fans. Previously, if players put the game down and got attacked, they had damage done to their troop levels and then they got a shield, which protected them from further attack for a limited amount of time. Now, however, things have been made a little more…complicated. 

According to the Clash of Clans wiki, when players are offline:

“Shields are awarded under two criteria: at least 30% destruction must be done [to the victim’s homebase] (the destruction of the Town Hall is irrelevant) and at least one-third of the attacker's troops are deployed. If either one of these criteria are not met, a Shield will not be granted.”

In other words, if you’ve set up a village that can consistently murder one-third of your attacker’s forces before they can rip apart 30 percent of your home base, then you pretty much can’t get a shield. Another way to say that (and maybe the way most popular with players) is, “Town Hall 11 punishes you for being good at defense.” Unfortunately, this new gameplay element also has the extra drawback of totally depleting some players’ armies overnight (because they’re constantly being attacked), making it impossible for said player to actively participate in the game the next day because they must devote all of their resources to replenishing their spent defenses.

The revisions to the Personal Break system have been fans’ other most harped on topic. To understand these complaints, you have to know that — in order for your village to be attacked by other players — you must be offline. 

In the past, hardcore players would attempt to stay online indefinitely in order to avoid being attacked by rival players. This was handled in earlier updates with the addition of the personal break system, which basically just kicks players offline after a few hours so that they’re forced to open themselves to attack. After a simple 5 minute timeout, these players were allowed to log back in and continue as before.

As of Town Hall 11, though, these rules have become more complicated. Way more complicated, in fact. Players can now play continuously for 3 hours before they’re forced into a 6-minute personal break. From here, depending on whether or not your village is attacked, a variety of odd things can happen. If you don’t get attacked, for example, then your personal break timer is reset, opening up the possibility for protracted wait times for players who aren’t attacked. 

That’s just one of the myriad complaints about the rule changes. Seriously, they’re in-depth and — in total honesty — they didn’t make a whole lot of sense to this writer. Read the specifics here.

It should probably be noted at this point that it’s entirely possible to add more shield time or erase your personal break time, essentially eliminating any problems caused by Town Hall 11. All you need to do is shell out real cash.

Pillaged and Plundered, or ‘How People Felt About That’

Clash of Clans TV Commercial freeze frame

People were pissed. End of section.

No, kidding. It only took a few hours for the game’s most passionate devotees to take to their favorite Internet sounding boards and shout their rage from the rooftops.

Perhaps most upsetting to Supercell’s brass, the game’s rating has plummeted in the App Store. Just to give you an idea of how much: over the course of its life, Clash of Clans has accumulated about 1.7 million reviews, achieving an impressive average review score of 4 and a half stars. In the three days since the game’s update, it’s added another 21 thousand or so reviews and averaged a score of 3 stars. The top posted reviews are mostly in the 1-star neighborhood, and loving phrases like “piece of garbage” and “shameless money grab” are being used to describe the game post-update.

Reddit, though, has been the real star of the abusive show (aren’t they always?). Several new threads have been added to r/ClashofClans devoted to hating the new update. The best one requires users to use ALL CAPS when logging their issues. Fair warning, though, only go there if your parent or guardian gives you permission. People are angry and they’re not pulling any punches.

Pretty much the entire front page of the Clash of Clans subreddit has been plastered with jokes at Supercell’s expense. Like this one poking fun at the impending doom for Supercell’s other big title, Boom Beach. There’s also this guy pointing a finger at Supercell’s possible motivations. And — for the sake of getting three in there — here’s a look at what ClashCon would have looked like had Supercell been a little more transparent.

For you readers, you can chime in on this increasingly lengthy thread of horror stories surrounding the update.

The Future of CoC

Clash of Clans logo

For lots of players, “moving on down the road” isn’t really an option. While its individual bits and bobs can certainly be found in other mobile games, when those disparate gameplay elements are woven together, Clash of Clans is really something special. Or at least it used to be. 

At the moment, the ball is in Supercell’s court to make sure things get fixed, and in a hurry. Some fans are holding out hope that a Christmas update will fix (or at least roll back) the most unpopular of Town Hall 11’s changes. After all, every year, Clash of Clans undergoes a brief makeover to celebrate the Christmas season. As one writer claims, “this was always activated with the December Update – except this time.” Of course, that leads the most hopeful players to speculate that Town Hall 11 may in fact be a two-parter.

Could Supercell fix the mess they’ve made for themselves in time to get a Christmas tree in the middle of your village? Few Clans players could wish for a better present.

At least nine people arrested in StarCraft II match fixing scandal Mon, 19 Oct 2015 12:52:54 -0400 Michael Falero

Authorities in South Korea have uncovered a match-fixing and gambling operation that involved major figures in the StarCraft II eSports world, leading the Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA) to issue several lifetime bans. 

Prosecutors in Changwon have identified at least twelve people involved, with nine of those already arrested, including various people associated with the StarCraft II team PRIME: its head coach Gerrard (Park Wae-Sik) and pro-gamers YoDa (Choi Byeong-Heon) and BBoongBBoong (Choi Jong-Hyuk).

The operation involved at least five particular GSL and Proleague matches played between January andJune 2015. Prosecutors charge that Gerrard connected the two players with various brokers, who transferred money to YoDa and BBoongBBoong in exchange for losing their matches. Payments ranged from $4,450 to approximately $26,000 USD for fixed matches. The report mentions that an eSports journalist named Enough (Seong Jun-mo) and financial backers with links to Korean organized crime have also been arrested.

Reports say players won between $4,450 and $26,000 for fixed matches.

KeSPA has banned Gerrard, YoDa, and BBoongBBoong for life, and has stated that any other players found to have done the same will also receive lifetime bans.

The eSports association uncovered a similar scandal back in 2010, when it found that 11 StarCraft II pro-gamers had taken similar kickbacks for fixing the results of their matches. Those players received fines totaling between $2,000 and $10,000, mandated community service, and between one and three years probation.

Team Liquid has a detailed breakdown of the prosecutor's report on its website.

Bunnay and MVG scandal continues with leaked nude photos, raises questions about changing ethics in eSports Sun, 06 Sep 2015 04:55:28 -0400 Destini Islands

[Note: This article refers to and deals with pornographic content. GameSkinny is a 13+ website and strictly prohibits any comments that contain adult images or language.]

Previously, Major Value Gaming (MVG) let go of their social media manager Cynthia Bunnay over privacy and behavioral concerns. In a spiraling fallout, Bunnay was ostracized by her ex-boyfriend, MVG affiliates, and a large part of the Smash Bros. community. Bunnay has since made statements in her defense, but after an overwhelming backlash, she deactivated her Facebook account. The entire debacle will surely be lost in the depths of internet space by next week, but it still brings forth questions about ethics in eSports and how times have changed with gaming as a business.

The backlash against Cynthia Bunnay has gotten explicit

Most of the hate Bunnay has received has come from supporters of MVG's Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman, who was the first to go public with Bunnay's behavior. Before her Facebook deactivation, she still denied most of the allegations, claiming that Zimmerman never wanted a real relationship in the first place and that he had lewd pictures of other women:

While rumors that Zimmerman would leak nude photos of Bunnay were circulating, another unnamed player entered the game. While irrelevant to the MVG predicament, someone confirmed to be Bunnay's ex-lover leaked pornographic images and videos of her across social media.

In spite of their personal issues with Bunnay, Zimmerman and Ryan Kidd, who is also closely involved in the scandal, stood by their claims that they would never engage in revenge porn and do not support it.

Revenge pornography is a serious offense that has increasingly become outlawed across the United States. In Bunnay’s home state Florida, their “Revenge Porn Bill” will not become state law until this October, so it's unclear how this will be handled legally as the issue moves forward.

Bunnay retracted any inkling of blame towards Zimmerman and Kidd herself when she took to Instagram to write an open letter to the hacker. While previously reacting to accusations with defensive statements, she opted to take a route of forgiveness, despite the severity of the person’s actions, whom she decided not to name.


Dear _____, I never took you seriously when you told me no one should ever cross you. That you knew hackers and that you could ruin someone's life if you wanted to. That your fans would do anything for you. But no matter how things ended between us, I didn't deserve this witch hunt. I'll admit that I wasn't always the best person in general as the Internet is "finding out now" with very old hand picked conversations and emails from a time when I was stupid, heartbroken and in need of attention. I have awful obnoxious humor when I think I'm among friends and I've done reckless things after getting dumped. Sometimes I'm shitty, egotistical, childish and insecure as a person (and definitely still can be) but that doesn't make it okay for you to hack into my boyfriends Dropbox and have people harass me. Or to have a big name company and various news outlets blatantly lie about me. I hate that I broke your heart... But I have every right to take the time to get to know people and decide later that I don't want to be with them. Please respect that. I hope everything else goes well for you and that you find some peace. I've found mine. I'm happy.

A photo posted by @chibi_cynthia on Sep 4, 2015 at 4:57pm PDT

MVG’s reputation remains (somewhat) clean

There are still many unresolved discrepancies between Bunnay and MVG’s accounts of her hiring situation. But, management has already addressed that they will have a more stringent hiring process in the future. Previously, there was speculation over whether or not Bunnay could possibly be welcomed back into the Smash community and “forgiven.” But that question has turned around to ask whether Bunnay would ever want to come back into a FGC that supported revenge porn. Unfortunately for both of them, the whole debacle will be attached to their names for quite some time.

But don’t worry, eSports are very professional.

The true aftermath and the role of "virtual" drama

Electronic Sports have come a long way in the past few years. It's a national pasttime in The Republic of Korea and worthy enough that professional gamers are considered international atheletes. eSports events have curated big-name sponsorships, held dedicated conventions, and appeared on national television. There are even plans to have dedicated news sections on big-name sports websites like ESPN.


As eSports and competitive gaming become more and more mainstream, articles pop up dealing with "less fun" but necessary topics like contracts, money management, lawyers, translators, and sponorship affiliation. In a way, eSports have left the "safe space" of just having fun and many players are experiencing the difficulty of having a "job" in games.

The success of international, multimillion dollar franchises means they have entered the real world of business, and so they must maintain their image and accrue a loyal following.

With this in mind, times are still rapidly changing, and eSports remain in an awkward growth phase. In Bunnay's case, she was offered a temporary job position because she was a gamer who had a relationship with someone within the organization. On one hand it's networking, on the other it's a red flag that "established" businesses attempt to stay far away from. For many in the workforce, it is common knowledge that romantic relationships with coworkers are strictly forbidden (and rarely end well).

As more scandals, rumors, and drama break out, the more stringent eSports organizations become, and the more rules they have to enforce. Five years from now, we could see the idea of "being yourself" as a gamer on social media come second to the necessity of conducting yourself professionally. In 2014 alone, there were several large-scale scandals across game organizations that required legal actions or policy changes.

For sports, scandal and drama are just a part of the game. Like all celebrities, athletes have to maintain their image and their personal affairs are rarely personal. When athletes do something that the public does not approve of, the sports networks that sponsor them are forced to publicly denounce or punish them to appear "good" in the public's eye. Of course, this is nearly impossible, as any big business will tell you. When drama breaks out in eSports, it's not much different.

In a way, virtual "drama" in eSports is just a sign that its big enough to be cared about or noticed.

Earlier this year, Jermaine Cunningham, a NFL free agent and former Jets linebacker, pleaded guilty for engaging in revenge porn. Like Bunnay's ex, he posted sexually explicit photos of his ex-girlfriend across social media. He currently faces probation, which is a light sentence in comparison to the possibility of five years in prison.

Whether Bunnay presses charges is up to her discretion, but one takeway of it all is the need for professionalism and accountability in eSports.

MVG has done a decent job protecting its name, but only after it was attacked in the first place. If eSports are big enough to warrant household names, sponsorships, scholarships, and even degrees and certificates, it's about time that gamers everywhere realize they are not longer in a kids' club — welcome to the real world.

Everything we know about the MVG and Cynthia Bunnay Super Smash Bros. scandal Thu, 03 Sep 2015 06:21:36 -0400 Destini Islands

This topic has been continued in a follow-up article here.

Most Valuable Gaming (MVG) is a professional eSports team that sponsors some of the biggest names in the Super Smash Bros. series such as Mew2King, Ryo, and Sol. As a budding organization in the eSports scene, MVG conducts itself professionally and takes steps to protect its players and image. 

Correction [9/3/2015 3:12PM EDT]: MVG does not officially sponsor Inui, but has an affiliation with him on their channel. Inui is officially sponsored by MVG.

Recently, MVG has been under attack because of a possible scandal with an employee. MVG has released an official statement on Reddit regarding the rumors that exploded overnight regarding their relationship with Cynthia Bunnay, whom the organization parted with as of July 28th.

The official statement has since been deleted by moderation on grounds of slander and witch hunting, but has been archived here. Bunnay has been let go as a result of privacy breaches, false employment promises, poor work performance, and general misconduct.

Through a series of text messages, emails, Tweets, and Facebook posts, a scandalous drama erupted among the Smash Bros. community. While there are various statements and quotes throughout this post, it should be noted that all of these are based on rumor, speculation, and angry individuals who feel attacked and wronged; take these quotes for what they are.

The purpose of this article is to get you up to speed and explain how we got to this point.

How it all began

Bunnay was temporarily hired to provide public relations and social media management for MVG. But, as a result of public and private reveals, drew a reaction across the gaming community. Money fraud, relationship manipulation, and borderline illegal practices are at the forefront of the allegations.

"She was granted the position within MVG based on her qualifications, all of which were later found to be completely false. As with all new hires, it takes time to verify all information provided."
-MVG Management, Reddit

According to Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman, a professional Smash Bros. player sponsored by MVG, Bunnay was hired as a result of their relationship.

Publically posted on Facebook, the details of their encounter reads like something out of a Smash Bros. high school fanfiction. In reality, the allegations and rumors are dangerous, possibly slanderous, and the beginning is eerily similar to the Zoe Quinn scandal from last year.

In a he-said, she-said situation, there's only one spoiler alert: It doesn't end well.

Zimmerman and Bunnay met at a Florida tournament and later became friends over social media. Zimmerman admitted to wanting to pursue a romantic relationship and after learning that she went to college for event management, thought he could "kill 2 birds with one stone" by convincing his boss, Gregg Mondesir, to hire her.

According to MVG, he was far off base on her abilities to help the organization:

"The list of skills she claimed to possess, as well as her claims of having previous experience in the industry, are untrue. She provided misinformation regarding her overall expertise in those categories. During her employment, she performed poorly, with no willingness to improve and her continued employment with MVG would have proved fruitless."
-MVG Management, Reddit

Personal relationship confusion plagues MVG

In Zimmerman's long statement, he describes fraud and relationship confusion regarding Cynthia:

  • After buying her a $400 plane ticket whose return trip she didn't use, she never paid him back.
  • Before moving to Arizona for the job, she began a less-than-casual relationship with Ryan "Rages" Kidd and suggested an open relationship, which Zimmerman didn't want.
  • After being warned about her from other members of the Smash community, he confronted her on suspicions that he was being used for social status gain. As a result, their relationship temporarily soured.

Zimmerman reports that she repeatedly asked for pictures of them together and requested retweets, while simultaneously not being clear on their relationship status. If only it ended there.


A photo posted by @chibi_cynthia on May 27, 2015 at 1:08pm PDT 

Scandalous activity and false employment propositions

After moving to Arizona, Bunnay was given many privileges while Mondesir was traveling out-of-country for business. While working for MVG, she was granted a free month of stay in his otherwise $2500/month apartment with access to his Mercedes-Benz for transportation. Apparently unknown to Mondesir, Bunnay flew out her then-boyfriend Kidd to live with her in the apartment. While unsolicited, Zimmerman and Mondesir agreed to "let it slide" to be nice and not "screw anyone over."

According to Kidd, he was unaware that the position was temporary, and the apartment was occupied.

"I was told by Cynthia, key note, by Cynthia that we would be getting an apartment there soon and she was employeed full time, when in fact she was not fully employeed but merely for a allotted amount of time."
-Ryan "Rages" Kidd, Reddit

"This is not how our organization operates. This is not how any organization operates."
-MVG Management, Reddit

But good things can't last forever. According to MVG, Bunnay "took it upon herself to establish unsanctioned employment opportunities with some individuals to work with MVG." The official Reddit statement apologized to those who had falsely believed they would be given employment and denied any involvement in illegal activities.

Jon "Solreth" Lackey, another MVG member who had prior association with Bunnay, also confirmed his dissatisfaction. He detailed how she provided false contracts, dodged attempts to discuss business, refused to talk to the streaming manager, gave late stream notices, and "bragged about coercing Mew2King into thinking she would date him."

"She reallocated funds intended for the Florida MVG team and pocketed them for her own misuse (Namely a fine trip to Vegas). I have always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt, but Cynthia is a toxic individual solely out for her own personal gain. I would not be surprised if she has not black mailed her way through the majority of the fighting game industry by now."
-Jon "Solreth" Lackey, Reddit

As part of his rant, Solreth also notes that because of her tardiness and lack of communication, he blames Bunnay for indirectly almost killing him:

"In one such instance, I was 45 minutes from the target location and sick to boot. I got on my motorcycle to try and meet the demands put before me. This was a mistake. As I accelerated onto route 441 my motorcycle entered speed wobbles. Forgive my further lack of detail, I was diagnosed with retrograde amnesia in the ambulance there. This motorcycle crash nearly took my life, shattered my spina bifida, and has presented me with a persistent back pain to this day."
-Jon "Solreth" Lackey, Reddit

Privacy breaches via Facebook messages

Zimmerman was horrified upon learning from Bunnay that she had gone through his entire Skype and Facebook logs, despite a week prior confronting her about her own privacy.

"She accidentally left her facebook logged in, and instead of me going through her Facebook privacy, I closed it down and told her that 'Hey you left your Facebook log in saved and for future reference you shouldn't do that because a less good person would have went through everything given the chance.' I assumed she would do the same for me that I did for her (just close it down if I made the mistake of leaving it open). I was wrong."
-Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman, Facebook

The privacy breach was the last straw for Zimmerman and Greg.

"It completely destroyed any liking/love I had towards her, and at that moment it ALL changed for me emotionally. A 180 degree spin. I hated her at this point. I felt betrayed completely. At this point I talked to Gregg and told her she needed to go."
-Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman, Facebook

Bunnay had henceforth been terminated. While the official statement regards it as a mutual transaction that ended amicably, Lackey has previously contested these statements on Reddit.

"Cynthia didnt jump ship, she was fired. The ideals expressed by Gregg have always been pure. The first and foremost consideration has been the Smash community. Maybe this means I will be seen in a negative light, or biased or worse, but all I can do is attempt to express the truth."
-Jon "Solreth" Lackey, Reddit

The other side: Bunnay's responses are far from graceful

Ryan responded to the statements and allegations of Bunnay with unexpected negativity and confirmation.

"I am very sorry for all the negative actions Cynthia has done and how many negative repercussion came from them. She has hurt and taken advantage of not only many people, but many companies as well."
-Ryan "Rages" Kidd, Facebook

His words echo Zimmerman's and confirm suspicion about relationship manipulation.

"Multiple times during our relationship she would tell me how 'the negative attention from Melee Hell[*] and everyone would only help me get more famous.' I was blind to the fact that she was also using me just as she was everyone else. Not only did she use me to get a personal 'gain' from the community, but she also manipulated me and Jason into having issues, and screwed me over on more than one account."
-Ryan "Rages" Kidd, Facebook

*Melee Hell is the name of a popular Facebook group used within the Smash community.

After learning about the messages and posts, Bunnay reportedly "panicked" and spoke out on her Twitter to defend herself, which garnered her even more negative attention from her overly defensive tone and damning statements about MVG.

She also began posting private conversations between her and Mondesir, highlighting discrepancies between what she was told and rumors. These discrepancies include her job description, money allocation, and how she would receive her belongings on her return home.

That's a lot of popcorn. 

Bunnay has since apologized for her Tweets attacking Zimmerman's mental disability and chalked up the situation to misunderstandings blown out of proportion. She has stated that she will privately answer MVG-specific questions, but no longer wishes to discuss personal business.

The Smash community has, overall, not been very supportive of Bunnay. While many of the statements have contradicted themselves and are hard to prove, the one piece of incriminating evidence has come from ex-boyfriend himself, Kidd.

Whether Bunnay will be ostracized or not from the FGC remains up to debate, but she has since tweeted positive messages and recognizes that she has "relationship issues" she'll "work on."

The animosity towards Bunnay can easily be chalked up to sexism and a popularity contest, especially since commenters on Facebook and Twitter have expressed their dismay through gendered slurs and insults.

Some find Zimmerman hard to empathize with

There have even been rumors circulating about Zimmerman threatening to leak private photos of Bunnay out of revenge.

Others have sided with Bunnay on the premise that Zimmerman's initial anger with her is from a distorted romantic conflict and that it's hard to side with someone who uses terms like "friend zoned."

However, the evidence against her is hard to ignore. The only thing gamers can hope now is that the Smash community doesn't fall into the pattern of women-targeted harassment all too common on the internet. Cynthia Bunnay only highlights the latest in what is notoriously known as "Smash drama" within the community.

Broadcasting private information and threatening to send nude photos and engage in revenge porn is not something anyone should support as a justified punishment, and MVG certainly doesn't need their image tainted as a result of the very community they're supporting.

Correction [9/6/2015 11:41AM EDT]: Retracted a previous correction stating Inui is not officially sponsored by MVG. According to many community members, Inui is sponsored. MVG's official Facebook and website do not have any dedicated About pages stating who they sponsor, so please take any direct inquiries to MVG.
Note [9/6/2015 8:09PM EST]: Cynthia Bunnay is Cynthia Chang's pseudonym.

Ouya Involved in Kickstarter Crowdfunding Scandal Sun, 01 Sep 2013 20:14:06 -0400 Stephanie Tang

"Consumer trust above all."

Kickstarter, the biggest crowdfunding platform on the internet, has in a very short amount of time managed to become indelibly linked with game development and gaming culture. When the Ouya took its chances with the people on the internet, it was met with an overwhelming response. From a "modest" $950,000 goal, it raised over $8.5 million and became an instant Kickstarter darling. 

Not, of course, that the cute little Android console has managed to make it without more than its fair share of bad press. From bad controllers to late unit shipping, a pitifully small collection of titles, and a terrible lack of price transparency, the Ouya has had to fight an uphill battle to be recognized within the gaming industry. 

In an attempt to ensure continued Ouya interest, and to get their hands on some big buzz titles as Ouya exclusives, the company launched its Free the Games fund earlier this summer - a promise to double the funding for all successfully Kickstarted game titles (up to $250,000) in return for six months Ouya exclusivity. 

Now the first Free The Games Kickstarters are starting to wrap up... and people are starting to ask questions. 

Suspicious Backer Activity

For both crowfunded titles Elementary, My Dear Holmes and Gridiron Thunder, an unusually high number of backers with no prior funding experience set up accounts within the month to support them. Add in the fact that many of these accounts contributed unusually high amounts ($10,000+) during periods of lagging activity, looked like bot accounts (celebrity photos, suspected computer-generated mashups of names, etc.), and quickly reorganized while several disappeared in the wake of community suspicion, led many people to question the legitimacy of these games.

In one case, one backer (now gone) was a proven fake account using a fake name and picture of a woman who has been missing since 2005.

As suspicions continued to pile up, the game developers themselves were beginning to question the identities of some of their backers.


Sam Chandola, head of Victory Square Games who are making the recently-funded point-and-click adventure Elementary, My Dear Holmes spoke to Polygon a few days ago, saying that he contacted Kickstarter himself to verify whether the backer accounts were real, providing this exchange:

Sam Chandola:

Dear Kickstarter,

I am currently running a crowdfunding campaign for a point-and-click adventure game, Elementary, My Dear Holmes.

A good number of our backer profiles have no previous Kickstarter history. These profiles joined in July/August 2013, and have profile pictures of famous celebrities instead of real people. I previously reached out to Amazon Payments for clarification and they suggested I get in touch with you.

This could be a really random coincidence (our ad-campaign reached out to over 20,000 Sherlock-Holmes fans, some of whom could have become first-time KS users), or not. If it would be possible, we would like to know if there is a correlation between the payment method registered to a number of profiles from our backers list.

Kind regards,


Hi Sam,

Thanks for writing in, and congratulations on the success of your project!

If you'd like to know more about backers who have found your project, you can always take a look at their profile to get a better feel for them. It's very possible that these first-time backers have found your project through your outreach, or just by browsing Kickstarter - I wouldn't be surprised if Sherlock Holmes fans had a way of sleuthing these things out! And of course, if needed, you're also welcome to message any backers who you'd like to know better, if you really have hesitations about their pledge.

That said, I'd just suggest continuing to promote your project, so that if for some reason these pledges don't go through or there are otherwise issues (as can occasionally happen with first-time backers) then you're still above your goal. When it comes to getting new backers, we see time and time again that getting the word out through your own existing networks is the most effective. Many people browsing Kickstarter do look around for new projects to back, but the majority of the people who find and back your project will be friends, friends of friends, or fans of the work you do.

I recommend considering what type of people might be interested in your project, and thinking about how to reach them. Consider reaching out through blogs, other websites, or even events. For more tips on how to promote your project, check out our Kickstarter School linked below.

Best of luck,

From this exchange we can assume that it doesn't look like any help from Kickstarter is forthcoming to look any deeper into this one yet.

Gridiron Thunder

As for Gridiron Thunder, the Kickstarter reached $78,466 with only 142 backers, with an average of $533 per backer. The game received under $100 every day during its first week, then spiked with new backer offerings a little over $10,000 for a couple days, slumped, then made over $25,000 on two separate days again before slumping. 

Fake accounts continued to pop up, confusing the legitimately suspicious accounts with more troll activity. This one screen capped below is an example of an account that was made solely for the purpose of making this comment: 


Because of all of this activity, many users have suggested that the staff may be backing the games themselves in order to reach Ouya's Free the Games requirements which is, of course, against Kickstarter rules. 

Andy Wong, CEO of MogoTXT, makers of Gridiron Thunder, responded to these accusations when asked by Polygon: 

"Some of the first accusations made against us was that we were scam artists who would take the money and run and not build the game that we promised. They made this accusation despite the fact that the developers on my team previously worked at companies like EA, Kixeye, Glu and so forth. Did they really think that all 10 of us would run off to Bermuda or the Bahamas with $78,000. It's almost comical.

"The current accusations are in the same vein. While we can't stop people from making baseless accusations, we will prove them all wrong again."

Now the only voice left in the "wasn't me" party is Ouya's... which has been noticeably silent in all of this. There has been no comment yet from that quarter to respond to the accusations. 

What do you think?

I don't enjoy pointing fingers needlessly on baseless suspicions, but there is a great deal of interesting activity going on with these Kickstarters, and the biggest link between them is their involvement in the Ouya's Free the Games Fund. However, it does make one consider... what exactly would Ouya get out of it? A game that is proven that people don't actually really want that much?

End result? I don't know. All I know is that from the first I have not been a big fan of the Free the Games fund. As I pointed out about a month ago when the fund was announced, the developers are tying themselves down for half a year to a platform that relies more so on them for exposure than they are on it. But add in the fact that the company seems to be involved in every new piece of internet drama that pops up, I'm doubly glad that my favorite Kickstarters have given them a pass. 

How about you?

Greatness Truly Does Await in Sony's Bid For Greatness... But So Do Scandals Thu, 18 Jul 2013 12:00:02 -0400 GabrielKross

Sony has finally released several items in its Bid For Greatness line. Bid For Greatness is an auction using your gaming trophies as currency. Sony has confirmed that you will not lose these trophies if you win. The first item, the Black Hand outfit from Killzone: Shadow Fall, has already been sold.

There are several items straight from the Greatness Awaits trailer in the auction. There's an Assassin's Creed IV outfit, a Diablo 3 Witch Doctor outfit and accessories, and Skyrim accessories. I think this will give people more incentive to go replay games for the trophies. Especially cosplayers who want to save a little money on their next costume.

For this set of items trophy hoarders will have the advantage, as they've been collecting trophies even before it had a purpose. Don't let this discourage you though. Go earn your trophies and get your cool swag.

Already a scandal

Doing a little digging into the first auction, it seems there is already a scandal involved. There is reportedly a way to cheat on trophies by unlocking trophies for games you have never played. Apparently, the first auction winner is being accused of this, since according to his profile he jumped from around 6k trophies to 14k trophies all at once. Going up a couple hundred due to being offline for a few months is reasonable, but close to a 7k increase? I found out from

Morgan Haro, Community Manager of PlayStation Digital Platforms, has tweeted that he will "look in to this with the teams and we'll examine."

Hopefully this will be sorted out and the auctions be made fair for people who legitimately earn trophies.