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Luke Crane Resigns From Kickstarter

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Kickstarter's Head of Community (and the creator of The Burning Wheel RPG) has resigned after public criticism with the way he launched a project on the platform last month.

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Kickstarter told Polygon that "After a discussion about what is best for Kickstarter and our team, we came to the mutual decision with Luke Crane for him to leave Kickstarter. We recognize the many years of work Luke has done to help bring creative projects to life at Kickstarter and we are committed to ensure continued support for our team and for our backer and creator community through this moment of change."

Crane used to be involved with the games side of Kickstarter, but more recently has been Head of Community. The current Director of Games Outreach at Kickstarter is Anya Combs, who has been in place for over a year.


The Perfect RPG was an anthology of tabletop RPGs from a variety of creators. Amongst those creators was Dungeon World's Adam Koebel, whose livestream was cancelled in 2020 after including a non-consensual sexual assault scene. Several designers withdrew their support for The Perfect RPG when they only found out after the project was launched that Koebel was involved, and Crane cancelled the project amidst a great deal of criticism, claiming that the creators were harassed into withdrawing their support (a claim which several creators have said is untrue). The list of creators has since been removed and replaced with the words "Redacted to reduce future harassment".

His most recent update on the cancelled project is an apology to those affected.


Hello.

I apologize for such a long silence in the wake of the project launch last month. I’ve been in a lot of conservations, and doing a lot of listening. I waited to post anything because I wanted to be sure to be as thoughtful and considered as possible:

When we began the Perfect RPG project, my only goal was to launch a small collection of micro-games designed by my friends and others whose work I respect in the community. On the day it launched, while the project was falling apart, I did not fully understand what was at stake and what had happened—in the shock of the moment my communications were insensitive and desultory.

So here and now I wish to unequivocally apologize to you, and everyone affected, for the harm I’ve done to the community with this project. I am grateful for your input over the last month, and have done my best to listen with an open heart. I thank you for sharing your opinions and feelings, and know that I have violated the trust you placed in me. I am sincerely, deeply regretful.

In creating the project, I made a series of missteps and miscalculations that added up to a gross oversight on my part and, accordingly, I am fully responsible for the current situation and its effects. So I would like to add some clarification around some of the particular points raised, in the hope that it will help the community as a whole move forward in a productive way: There was no deceit, deception or bad faith in any of my actions around the project. I understand that I should have disclosed the participant list to all contributors beforehand, and I feel terrible that my poor planning placed some creators in a difficult position. Likewise with the unusual order in which contributors were listed—I was seeking to highlight the first creator on the list, who was my primary playtester for this project. In hindsight this was a poor idea that came off as duplicitous, for which I apologize.

The Indie RPG community is close-knit and passionate—it is one of the things I've loved the most about being a member. I have worked for 20 years to build and advocate for this community and expand it past its roots. It is very much my life’s work. To see it hurt through my actions has been devastating. Therefore I am now doing my best to repair the harm I have caused and make restitution to anyone negatively affected by my actions.

I recognize that this statement reflects an as-yet incomplete understanding of the impact of my actions, and only a start to making things right. I am actively looking for other ways to redress the wrong I’ve done. To begin this process, I have reached out to all the contributors of the project and I am in discussions with them, listening to their perspectives and asking them for input. I hope that with their help, and the help of this gaming community, I can demonstrate my continued commitment to building better games for all of us.

Sincerely,

—Luke
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Is it ever going to end..? It's high time to give Koebel a break, it's not like he's a war criminal or something like that and should be pushed to the ground any time he wants to do something RPG-related. He made an error, not something that warrants for an everlasting exclusion.
There’s nothing stopping him doing stuff. I’m sure if he produces something he’ll have an audience. Maybe less than before but he’ll have an audience.

The problem here is that people weren’t given the option of choosing whether to work with him.
 

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Retreater

Legend
Is it ever going to end..? It's high time to give Koebel a break, it's not like he's a war criminal or something like that and should be pushed to the ground any time he wants to do something RPG-related. He made an error, not something that warrants for an everlasting exclusion.
I don't know. I mean I think creators should be able to work with people they want to work with. And customers should be able to support writers they want.
If he wants to make his own stuff, there will be an audience. But no one should be forced to support him.
 

ibenny

Explorer
There’s nothing stopping him doing stuff. I’m sure if he produces something he’ll have an audience. Maybe less than before but he’ll have an audience.

The problem here is that people weren’t given the option of choosing whether to work with him.
I really don't think an option like that should necessarily be provided, given how he got 'cancelled', I'd reckon basically no one would want to work with him, leading to further exclusion, to no end. Completely pointless.
 




Von Ether

Adventurer
I wonder about what is going to happen the day when players of the Call of the Culhthu discover Lovecraft had got serious racial predjudices.
They make a game like Harlem Unbound? And then give it a few ENnies after it garners some great reviews? And the second edition is printed by Chaosium.

It's also one of the reasons the name of the genre has been slowly changing from "Lovecraftian" to "Cosmic Horror" and other public works related to the genre (or even inspired genre) are coming to the fore. i.e., the increased fascination with the Yellow King, and of course the fantastic fiction, like the Ballad of Black Tom and Lovecraft Country - (Which is now a HBO show) that have tackled this very issue.

So asked and answered?
 

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
They make a game like Harlem Unbound? And then give it a few ENnies after it garners some great reviews? And the second edition is printed by Chaosium.

It's also one of the reasons the name of the genre has been slowly changing from "Lovecraftian" to "Cosmic Horror" and other public works related to the genre (or even inspired genre) are coming to the fore. i.e., the increased fascination with the Yellow King, and of course the fantastic fiction, like the Ballad of Black Tom and Lovecraft Country - (Which is now a HBO show) that have tackled this very issue.

So asked and answered?


Still not seeing the correlation to Luke Crane and his Kickstarter? Or were you answering another question?

EDIT: Ah noticed you first quoted me intending to quote another poster.
 

Von Ether

Adventurer
They make a game like Harlem Unbound? And then give it a few ENnies after it garners some great reviews? And the second edition is printed by Chaosium.

It's also one of the reasons the name of the genre has been slowly changing from "Lovecraftian" to "Cosmic Horror" and other public works related to the genre (or even inspired genre) are coming to the fore. i.e., the increased fascination with the Yellow King, and of course the fantastic fiction, like the Ballad of Black Tom and Lovecraft Country - (Which is now a HBO show) that have tackled this very issue.

So asked and answered? (I assume the question would have come up faster on a CoC board, though)
 





ibenny

Explorer
I don't know what that means. You don't think people should be allowed to choose who they work with?
All I meant is a reply to this: 'I suggest you just let..' - no, don't suggest me anything, I'm allowed to have an opinion. This fuss about Koebel is really way more excessive than it ever should have been and everybody should have forgotten about it a long time ago, not holding on to it like was unforgivable offense.
 

ShinHakkaider

Adventurer
Koebel is free to produce something in the RPG sphere if he wants to.
No one is stopping him from doing so.

However being linked with him on a project is toxic. Creators/writers SHOULD KNOW if they are working on a project with someone who is perceived as toxic.

If you're going to give him the benefit of the doubt on one side, those creators deserve to know who they are working with on the other so that THEY can have agency to decide IF they want to work with him or not.

Arguing for and defending an abuser to be let off the hook while at the same time arguing that people who might be working with said abuser SHOULDNT be told that they are working with said abuser is problematic.
 



ibenny

Explorer
Did you literally just order me not to say something while defending your own right to say what you want? Is somebody going jump out from behind a plant pot and reveal I'm being Punked or something?
Did you literally told me what to do and let other people decide..? If that's the case, call it even. And if you're wondering, that was my problem in the first place, don't tell me what to do, and I won't tell you, either, it's only fair.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Did you literally told me what to do and let other people decide..? If that's the case, call it even. And if you're wondering, that was my problem in the first place, don't tell me what to do, and I won't tell you, either, it's only fair.
Er, just a heads-up here...the problem you might be unwittingly sailing into is that the person you're arguing with is this site's owner; and as such - like it or not - he to some extent can tell you what to do.
 

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