BasedGamer or BiasedGamerGrill?

This article is written following Jennie Bharaj’s announcement to extend BasedGamer’s indiegogo campaign duration period, visible here http://jenniebharaj.com/basedgamer/special-announcement-basedgamer/

 Initially, we were just going to let BasedGamer’s campaign die since there was no way it would be funded. Since Jennie wants to succeed at all cost, we decided to publish our findings.

What is wrong with BasedGamer and why are there people against it?

Since the very beginning of BasedGamer’s indiegogo campaign, voices raised against it.
Neirdan created a PasteBin to compile a 8chan.co/gg/ thread discussing it: http://pastebin.com/SxjVpC2Y

Some of these questions were answered in the FAQ of their document, outline & details (p. 16 to 19) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw9kyQy9ULdDT1hfWnJSTVhGOHM/view?pli=1

And there was a Reaxxion article visible here: http://www.reaxxion.com/1742/why-does-jennie-bharaj-want-50000-of-your-money

Which was partially answered during Sargon’s stream interview here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDjuDU7NpOM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz1bpZjQnIk

 The first document produced by BasedGamer raised further questions from jMerlin, on reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction: http://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2mv41c/basedgamer_where_is_the_sense/

 Which were answered here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw9kyQy9ULdDekJyamM4akllR1E/view?pli=1

Since then, more critics have been raised but none were answered.

I would also point out that on both the PDF produced by BasedGamer, you can’t highlight the text and you can’t download them. It either proves their technical clumsiness or their bad faith.
I succeeded in downloading them by printing them and using a virtual printer, PDFCreator.

Jennie’s latest annoucement on her blog

As said before, her announcement is visible here http://jenniebharaj.com/basedgamer/special-announcement-basedgamer/
Let’s analyse and critique it.

“I understand a lot of you have concerns regarding the integrity of the project and I want to ensure you that we have been taking note of the criticism that has been circulating online. I want to take this opportunity to ensure all of you that the team and I will be working hard to create a website that gamers truly deserve.”

Listen and believe.

 “We have done everything that has been requested, from a Reddit AMA to fully creating a document outlining the costs to build BasedGamer. We want to let everyone know that we are being transparent with everything.”

So, who are your associates, who is your contractor, who is involved in the project besides you?

Indeed, they did what was requested, but the answers they brought were not very convincing since people kept raising more questions.

 “The biggest criticism we have noticed is why we are asking for so much money on Indiegogo. I want to be clear that this is an honest amount.”

 That’s your opinion, not our.

 “We have contacted many industry experts and they agree with our cost breakdown.”

 Yet, to that point, you didn’t produce any proof.

I, Neirdan, am an industry expert, and I disagree with your cost breakdown.
I am both experienced in building websites and mobile apps using crossplatform html/javascript based frameworks.
Other industry experts involved in GamerGate did disagree with your cost breakdown, that led to them offering their own solutions.

 They include:

 http://twitter.com/drybones5 ‘s team who’s building http://startbutton.net/

 https://twitter.com/DarianNeher who proposed to start from a WordPress CMS and build from there.
A solution that was made by https://twitter.com/MichaelSpaceJam who built http://mukyou.com/

 And my team and myself who are working on a fully open source solution, because we believe in the community.

 “If I asked for less money on Indiegogo, I know I could have avoided all of the criticism.”

 Yes, that is a correct statement.

 “However, I would not have been able to fulfill my promise of delivering a top-tier website.”

 Actually, if you cut down the legal cost and decided to not pursue the mobile app idea, asked for GamerGate’s help, you would have significantly lowered your costs.
Mike Cernovich is experienced in the legal field and could’ve helped you.
As pointed before, there are experienced web developers who would’ve helped you. Instead, they ran their own solutions.

 “I personally feel that this would have been wrong for the community.”

 Your feels ends where our critics begin. You want to start a business, act like a businesswoman.

Jennie’s List

In her blog post, Jennie then proceeds to list a few points.

“BasedGamer’s cost allocation is in the ‘Outline & Details’ document”

This cost allocation has been heavily critiqued, here’s a summary:

-The quote is filled with buzzwords
-You do not take into account running costs
-You ask too much money for the legal costs
-The costs are bloated

During Sargon’s stream, Jennie explained why the legal costs are so high: she went to seminars and people explained that legal is very important. I consider this bullshit. If any of you were part of a garage startup company, you know what matters most is your product and getting it marketed. You have to be the first, and you cut down all the other costs to the minimum. You take a day job, you work without counting hours because you believe in your idea. That’s the real spirit of entrepreneurship. Starting a company by doing extensive legal spending suits more trust funds babies.

“The Indiegogo campaign is fixed, meaning that the money will only be received if it reaches its goal.”

It also means you could borrow $30.000, put them on the indiegogo, and cash out, since indiegogo’s cost would only be $2.000.

“The team and I will keep pushing forward with BasedGamer regardless of the success or failure of our Indiegogo campaign.”

You stated the exact opposite in your first document: “If BasedGamer does not receive gamer interest, the idea will not be pursued further.”

“We have received so much positive support for our efforts.”

And managed to ignore, silence or deflect critics and concerns raised by the community.

“Our designs, quotes, and other miscellaneous artworks have been created for free by the BasedGamer team.”

If you mean the files visible here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Bw9kyQy9ULdDaGozVjhPc3J6dGc&usp=drive_web

Then you’re saying that your advertising/propaganda material was done for free?
Wow! Did you -really- expect to get paid?

Besides, as an “industry expect”, when I hunt for new clients, I do produce quotes for free, and it’s up to them to accept or not these quotes. This is how a real life business works. How is that even an argument?

“I want to clarify that BasedGamer is going to be a top-tier commercial grade website that all gamers would be proud to call their own. This is very important to me.”

One important term is “commercial grade”. Yes, we know you want that cash to create your own business.
On the Outline & Details document, it’s written “Jennie has invested $2000 into the campaign”.
Here’s the difference between Jennie and “all gamers”: Jennie will get a ROI (return on investment).
Regarding you, gamers, whether you did give her your money or not, the website will be there. If you did give her your money, you won’t get any “return”.
Therefor, don’t give her your money, the website will still be there.

 “It worries me that there is still 30k left to go in this campaign. This is why I am beginning to look to more social networks for help.”

You should not be worried that you didn’t succeed, you should acknowledge your mistakes, apologize for them, and try again. There is nothing wrong with failing, it’s a part of a businessman’s life.

“I am making sure BasedGamer is a success. Not for me, but for all of us”

Actually, the person who will mostly benefit from it is you, not us.
We, as gamers, have a choice between existing websites and upcoming ones.

“Combined, we have already endured 1000+ hours of sleepless nights for the development of BasedGamer. We are working very hard.”

I am glad you’re bringing up that point.
If your team consists for what you’ve said in the “Outline & Details” document, it means is 4 people.
It means 250 hours per person. In a month. Are you guys all insomniac, jobless, or are you bloating your hours like you bloated your costs?
For the record, the quote for the website itself states 55 + 28 days of work. Your work day consist of 8 hours. Which means 664 estimated hours for the website.
So, since you’ve worked 1000+ hours, where is the website?

 “If all my Twitter followers donated just $5 to this campaign, it would be over within a day.

I don’t know if you lack imagination by ripping-off Wikipedia’s e-begging strategy, but that doesn’t make you a bright marketing person. You should rather ask yourself why these people didn’t donate yet, with all your shilling.

 “I want to change the industry for the better. I want gamers, like myself, to be respected.”

 Except, you’re not one of us, and I’ll prove that right now.

Who really is Jennie Bharaj?

 You might consider this bit “character assassination”, it isn’t.
Jennie, while hiding her team members’ identity, uses her own identity and newfound fame to push and promote BasedGamer, for example, in her Sun News TV interview visible here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvRcTlKwWq0 approximatively 20% of the time is dedicated to BasedGamer.

 In the “Outline & Details” document, Jennie states she’s a passionate gamer with a background in marketing and electrical engineering, worked primarily in marketing and contributed to websites such as thekoalition.com and playd.it
During Sargon’s stream, audience asked her questions related to these two websites.
It was only skimmed, but thankfully we dug further.

 Jennie was previously known as ElectroJade.
Here’s all the informations we gathered:

 Her facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.bharaj/

 Her steam profile: http://steamcommunity.com/id/electrojade/games/?tab=all

 Her koalition stuff: http://thekoalition.com/category/features/electro-jade/

 Some of her youtube identities:
https://www.youtube.com/user/GetPlayd/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheElectroJade
https://www.youtube.com/user/JennieBharaj
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLm7kBieHtE17V0qUdPXoFRsRbq7dz9_VZ

 Her reddit profile: http://www.reddit.com/user/Electro_Jade

 As you can see on her steam profile, she’s not a hardcore PC gamer.

 Her reddit posts are mostly related to:
-Girl stuff (ladyboner, animatedladyboner, makeupaddict)
-Games (gamergirl, games)
-Irrelevant stuff (india and sikhism, cooking, reddit-tier memes)

Some bits are interesting:

http://www.reddit.com/r/GirlGamers/comments/1mnnav/petition_rockstar_games_include_a_playable_woman/
She made a petition to include playable women in GTA6

 http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/pl4nz/im_a_redditor_that_was_selected_as_a_frag_doll/
She tried to become a fragdoll (girl-only progamer team mostly for eye-candy).

 The most interesting bit is in one of her replies:
“I’m trying to say “HEY! Fucking hire me and let me into the gaming industry – because gaming is seriously what I love and want to do.”

 She said she wants in the game industry. But she has a marketing degree.
And what does a woman do when she has a pretty face and a marketing degree and wants in the gaming industry?
She camwhores herself. Either on twitch by showing cleavage, either on youtube. Jennie chose the latter with her ElectroJade identity. That’s when she joined Playd.it and TheKoalition.

 It didn’t work for her.
She had a pattern of creating a channel, putting attention-whore tier videos (for example, this one [trigger warning: it’s cringe worthy] : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcNM1ad4xKg ), post on reddit and create another channel if the previous didn’t take off.

 Then she completly changed her “brand identity” as she said herself on Sargon’s stream, she cites lighting as an example.
Nothing personal, but her nose looks much better with her new lightings.
Still, that’s a huge personality, voice, clothes and format change.

 This girl wants so bad into the gaming industry, she tried so many times with different approaches, and now, with GamerGate, she might succeed.
Notice that she doesn’t want to do it for GamerGate but for gamers, as a whole.

 It’s time to meet her mentor.

Anthony Frasier, Jennie’s own Jonathan McIntosh?

 As said before, after trying and failing to become a frag doll, she started making videos for playd.it. Then she did videos for thekoalition.com.

 Playd.it and TheKoalition.com are both run by Anthony Frasier.
Here is his twitter: https://twitter.com/anthonyfrasier
And his personal website: http://anthonyfrasier.com/about/

 That dude has an impressive profile: tech entrepreneur, made websites and mobile apps,  consultant, coach, advisor and mentor for other tech entrepreneurs.
Could he be the man who advised Jennie to change her “brand identity” to fit Anita’s?

Could he be the man behind BasedGamer?
He did a mobile app and few websites for gamers.
It might explain why BasedGamer’s team wants to do a mobile app from the start.
The guy has knowledge, network and experience. Jennie has none of that.

If you were impressed by her HuffingtonPost performance, Oliver Campbell took credit for training and preparing the girls.

 You know that I outed Steve Tom Sawyer, he was our own Zoe Quinn.
I will leave you guys with a question.

Is Jennie Bharaj our own Anita Sarkeesian?

 Verify then Trust.

Written by:
Neirdan http://twitter.com/Neirdan

 Co-signed & verified by:
Brooke https://twitter.com/br00ke27
Ebola-Chan https://twitter.com/EbolaChan_

  • Brian Hall

    ‘Her greatest cause this year was #GamerGate, and she became a hero in the movement to prevent feminist ideas from being censored by the gaming community.’

    False and spin: she became a hero in the movement to prevent the voices of gamers being censored by the feminist community who she sees as non misogynist and extremely inclusive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xys6BAwXQaE

  • CardboardWaifu

    Honestly, I don’t donate to things like this because of the very real possibility that it is either a scam, or misleading. I know that sounds bad from a support standpoint, especially towards people with real ideas that just need help. I think a replacement for Metacritic is a great idea, but you’re absolutely right that she can lay down the framework for it in a cheaper CMS like WordPress and get help from the community to build it out. If she champion’s GG’s community-driven ideals, she’ll allow the community to help frame it out open-source like into the site it needs to be. 50K is a joke. As for her personal credibility, that’s not for me to decide, but people should most certainly decide if she is trustworthy or not before giving her money.

  • Immanuel Kant

    I was wondering why BasedGamer hadn’t taken off. This explains a good bit. I also donated an above average sum. I have no regrets. Is Bharaj going to get a paycheck out of it all? Maybe, and I’m fine with that. The project is very ambitious and $50k is a big amount upfront. A lot of people are trying different things to fix the state of gaming. Some will work better than others but we won’t know until we try.

    The main criticisms against Sarkeesian are that she outright lies and cherrypicks data. So far Bharaj has reworked her image, but not withheld or lied about anything at all. It’d be better if she were less marketing and more technical, but she’s got to work with what she has. This here doesn’t look like a hit piece. She’s got a poor plan, maybe, but that’s a risk I’m happy to take. I hope she’ll take what’s here and reconsider her plan. The IndieGoGo fund has around $20k, which should be enough based on what’s written here to actually put her goals on the map to success.

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