The Fine Young Capitalists
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The Fine Young Capitalists (TFYC) is a self-described radical feminist group set up to organize production initiatives for underrepresented labor in the media industry. The group became associated with the Gamergate controversy when their prior argument with indie game developer Zoe Quinn over the group's women-only game jam became widely known. Subsequently, The Fine Young Capitalists began to work with users of the message board 4chan, who provided significant financial backing to the project.
The group's first project is an initiative to increase the involvement of women in the video games industry. Anyone who identified as a woman prior to the start of the contest was eligible to submit a proposal for a video game. Five nominees were selected and the nominee to receive the most crowd-funding would have the game produced and distributed. The winner would receive eight percent of the profits, with another eight percent going towards future contests, ten percent going towards the production company, and the remainder being donated to charity.
Another project being pursued by TFYC, SNless, concerns the representation of minority groups in science fiction and allows those who identify as black to submit a black character with five winning entries being reproduced in a graphic novel.
TFYC attempted to launch the women-only game jam early in 2014. After independent game developer Zoe Quinn learned of the project, she accused it of being exploitative towards women and transphobic, prompting criticism of the group on social media. TFYC stated that the winner would receive a portion of the profits with most of it going to charity, while all rights would remain with the women who submitted proposals, and that their transgender policy only said someone had to have identified as female prior to the contest as a means to prevent men from lying about their gender identity in order to participate. Social media attention remained negative and TFYC found itself losing financial support and struggling to gain media coverage due to the criticism. After some delay to review the inclusiveness of their policies and finding nothing wrong, they opened the project up to submissions on March 28, 2014.
After the Gamergate controversy began, the details of TFYC's dispute with Zoe Quinn earlier in the year also became the subject of discussion. Users of the site 4chan who were critical of Quinn and were being criticized as misogynistic began providing significant financial backing for the women in video games production project on Indiegogo. Members saw a show of support for a feminist cause against Quinn and her supporters as something that could benefit their public image. After some 4chan members told TFYC that they wanted the group's promotional videos to talk about female game developers, TFYC released a video on Roberta Williams and her influential role in the early gaming industry, with a total of five videos on female game developers planned. The group's decision to work with 4chan prompted criticism due to the alleged involvement of 4chan members in harassment of Quinn and feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian. TFYC responded to this criticism by stating social justice movements that would not let 4chan take part in a project were, by definition, oppressing them. Its involvement in the GamerGate controversy also earned it the support of actor Adam Baldwin, who tweeted a link to the project's Indiegogo page.
During the group's fundraising efforts, TFYC's Indiegogo account was hacked and the campaign was briefly shut down. Media suggested the hacking incident could have been retaliation from critics of TFYC for alleged hacking incidents targeting Quinn and her supporters.
After 4chan members donated over Template:USD to the Indiegogo campaign, they were allowed to create a character who would appear in the winning game. The character created by 4chan, named Vivian James (meant to sound similar to "video games") was designed to appear like an ordinary female gamer. Erik Kain of Forbes described Vivian as an “every-girl of sorts, and maybe not what you’d expect from 4chan". Vivian James met some criticism, mainly for the character's association with 4chan. Allegra Ringo of Vice called Vivian James "a character masquerading as a feminist icon for the express purpose of spiting feminists". Allum Bokhari of TechCrunch, in turn, described her as "an entirely ordinary, non-idealized female role model." TFYC responded to criticism of its association with GamerGate and the related harassment of Quinn by offering to sell Vivian James T-shirts with profits going to iFred, a charity Quinn was supporting. Later, the group was reported to have resolved its disagreement with Quinn, though founder Matthew Rappard later told an interviewer at APGNation that their agreement never went through.
- Seraphia, Nicole (9 September 2014). "Truth In Gaming: An Interview with The Fine Young Capitalists". APGNation. http://apgnation.com/archives/2014/09/09/6977/truth-gaming-interview-fine-young-capitalists. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Weber, Rachel (28 March 2014). "New game design contest for women". Gamesindustry.biz. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-03-28-new-game-design-content-for-women. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Fine Young Capitalists Launch Women in Games Initiative". Game Politics. 28 March 2014. http://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/03/28/fine-young-capitalists-launch-women-games-initiative#.VBdprxaJnct. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Profit Break Down". http://www.thefineyoungcapitalists.com/profitBreakDown. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- Erik Kain (2014-09-04). "GamerGate: A Closer Look At The Controversy Sweeping Video Game". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2014/09/04/gamergate-a-closer-look-at-the-controversy-sweeping-video-games/. Retrieved 2014-09-07.
- Usher, William (11 September 2014). "TFYC Discuss #GamerGate, Recovering From Hacks, 4chan Support". Cinema Blend. http://www.cinemablend.com/games/TFYC-Discuss-GamerGate-Recovering-From-Hacks-4chan-Support-67239.html. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Ringo, Allegra (28 August 2014). "Meet the Female Gamer Mascot Born of Anti-Feminist Internet Drama". Vice. http://www.vice.com/read/meet-the-female-gamer-mascot-created-by-anti-feminists-828. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Khan, Imad (23 August 2014). "4chan is actually behind this educational video about women in gaming". The Daily Dot. http://www.dailydot.com/geek/fine-young-capitalists-women-video-games-4chan/. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Daly, Stephen (3 September 2014). "The Fine Young Capitalists' Seemingly Noble Goals Don't Excuse them from Scrutiny". Gameranx. http://www.gameranx.com/features/id/23968/article/the-fine-young-capitalists-seemingly-noble-goals-don-t-excuse-them-from-scrutiny/. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Usher, William (28 August 2014). "The Fine Young Capitalists' IndieGoGo Gets Support From The Last Ship's Adam Baldwin". Cinema Blend. http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Fine-Young-Capitalists-IndieGoGo-Gets-Support-From-Last-Ship-Adam-Baldwin-66987.html. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Perez, Sarah (25 August 2014). "Indiegogo Campaign Hacked This Weekend, But Wasn't Part Of A Widespread Attack". TechCrunch. http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/25/indiegogo-campaign-hacked-this-weekend-but-wasnt-part-of-a-widespread-attack/. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Hurst, Samantha (25 August 2014). "Indiegogo Campaign Hack Due to Compromised Password". Crowdfund Insider. http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2014/08/47715-indiegogo-reports-recent-campaign-hack-considered-widespread-attack/. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Bokhari, Allum (25 September 2014). "#GamerGate – An Issue With Two Sides". TechCrunch. http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/25/gamergate-an-issue-with-2-sides/. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- McNally, Victoria (28 August 2014). "A Disheartening Account Of The Harassment Going On In Gaming Right Now (And How Adam Baldwin Is Involved)". The Mary Sue. http://www.themarysue.com/video-game-harassment-zoe-quinn-anita-sarkeesian/. Retrieved 16 September 2014.