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Bankruptcy, Interstellar Commerce, and Kitties.

KabukiIt’s been a helluva week—one of those weeks that are just full of ups and downs on all sorts of different scales.  In keeping with that theme, this post is about the highs and lows that we Caffeineforgers noticed in the world of crowd funding this past week.

Peek below the fold to learn about the stories we’ve been following this week.

First, for a bit of schadenfreude (thanks in no small part to the shutdown of the U.S. Government, which you may have heard something about recently…), we’re going to mosey on over to the bankrupt city of Central Falls, Rhode Island, where the city government has turned to civic crowd funding site Citizenvestor to try and fund five new trashcans for the small city’s Jenks Park.  They want to fund their project to the tune of ten thousand bucks…

Now, to be fair, that $10K is going to buy combination trashcan and recycling bins, which should hold at least twice as much as an ordinary trashcan, and they will be designed by an “artist team,” which should totally justify the purchase and installation of each can costing on the order of two grand a piece… Yarp.

<snark>Central Falls, I think I maybe on to the source of your financial problems.</snark>

Lets put aside the obvious jibes about government and $200 toilet seats for a few and consider the ramifications.  It’s one thing to crowd source civic projects that go beyond the typical scope of a government’s responsibilities (for instance, an indoor dog park in Framingham, Mass.  When I was a kid, dogs shat outside…), but here is an example of a failing city government leveraging the crowd to try and fund something that seems, well, pretty damn essential.  Shouldn’t that be, you know, accounted for?  Now, I don’t want to pick on Central Falls.  It’s tiny, it’s broke, and so are it’s citizens, but isn’t it a strange place we find ourselves?  Here, I’ve been thinking that the whole damn government is crowd funded, what with those taxes we pay and all, but here I stand corrected.  We live in a world where civic trashcans need to be freaking kickstarted.

Please, for the love of all that is good in the world, don’t let this crap become the new normal.  For more on this theme, check out the article at Zerohedge.

And in other news, Star Citizen, the massively crowd funded mega game deluxe-o supreme, continues to rocket to unprecendentedly high heights, topping $20 million bucks in backer dollars.  At this point, the game is only two million shy of its end goal of $22 million, and will certainly represent the first fully crowd funded AAA title.  No bones about it, that is damn cool.  I will say, I’ve only been following Star Citizen on and off, since it’s not exactly my cuppa, but I’m perplexed by some decisions.  For instance, at $19 million RSI promised “full FPS planets”…  That’s like, a different genre, man.  I’m always hesitant to call fragmentation of design goals a good thing, and it rarely works out well in video games (and I’m not alone in thinking that all this stretch goal nonsense might stymie development), but with the megabucks the Star Citizen campaign has pulled in who knows what they’ll be able to pull off. I’m a backer, so when it finally drops, you can count on some review action from the ‘forge.

If I’ve come across a touch crabby today, there is a reason.  That cutie at the top of the page is Kabuki, my wife’s cat of 15 years, whom she has lovingly shared with me for the past seven or so.  Kabuki hasn’t been feeling great, but she recently took a turn for the worst.  Last night, we followed through on our decision to put our pretty kitty to sleep.  She’ll be missed!

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This entry was posted by Chris Avery.

2 thoughts on “Bankruptcy, Interstellar Commerce, and Kitties.

  1. People have put up $20 million for an untested title that’s now squashing FPS into a space sim? Wow…crowdfunders are nuts. I wonder if we’re going to see crowdfunded projects that are so expensive and loaded with expectations that they’re “too big to fail”.

    Sorry for your loss, Chris.

  2. Sorry to hear about Kabuki. 😦

    And my reaction to Star Citizen was a lot like yours to Clang. Hopefully I’ll be proven very, very wrong.

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