Why The Internet Is Freaking Out Over A Nine-Year-Old’s Kickstarter

Senior Contributor
03.27.13 23 Comments

Kickstarter controversies come in two forms: A Kickstarter that crashes and burns with no rewards given, and a Kickstarter that ticks somebody off for some reason, so they throw a screaming hissy fit about it.

This week, the Internet is breaking out the torches and pitchforks because a nine-year-old’s mom is “too rich,” and also has the nerve to be a woman.

What is this Kickstarter?

This. Basically, a mom and entrepreneur, Susan Wilson, decided to use Kickstarter to teach her daughter a lesson about business and also to send her to a camp where she builds a role-playing game. She wanted $829.

So, in other words, kinda cutesy but fairly innocuous.

You got it.

And the Internet cares because…?

Because it raised a lot more than intended. It’s fairly clear Wilson expected to raise a few bucks from friends and family, pay for the rest herself, have the kid make the game at camp, and send it to the family members and friends who kicked in. Instead it went viral and she’s got $22,000 and rising on her hands.

I’m still not seeing why the Internet cares.

Depending on who you ask, it’s because Susan Wilson either violated the rules of Kickstarter, or is worth nine figures and shouldn’t be hitting the Internet up for $800, and therefore has to be a scammy scam scammer. If you kinda want to hate people, here’s an Imgur link that sums up the criticism.

In response, Wilson is paying the tuition herself, and trying to figure out what else to do with the money.

This sounds familiar.

It should: These are pretty much exactly the same accusations leveled at every single Kickstarter some part of the Internet decides it doesn’t like. Like, say, Penny Arcade’s.

What’s Kickstarter’s stance?

Kickstarter has said that the rules are not being violated.

Please tell me this isn’t because Susan Wilson and her daughter have vaginas, then.

I’d love to! No, really, I would. But that might be a blatant lie.

But, really, all of this is moot.


Because even leaving out the sexism, the moral outrage this “controversy” is based on is pretty much unmitigated crap.

People can spend their money however they want. That’s kind of the fundamental idea behind capitalism. Furthermore, people give their money in exchange for a product to rich people all the time; Nobody’s sulking that Stephen King isn’t giving his books away for free or Brad Pitt isn’t handing out free tickets to his next movie. You can find people of considerable affluence on Kickstarter pretty much everywhere. Susan Wilson’s income isn’t even in play as a factor here.

So really what this boils down to is random people throwing a hissy fit because somebody on the Internet is spending money on something they don’t like. And, really, angry Internet people: Leave that to us. We’re the professionals.

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