Usually the Crowdfunding Spotlight is for highlighting Kickstarters with a lot of potential behind the project, but this time let us look at this Kickstarter, which is clearly lacking in substance. Apparently some ragamuffin news site that writes about ridiculous things like video games is raising money to make their website not look like it was coded on Angelfire. The project is to design a new look for the site, which to be fair, it desperately needs. To be unfair, not a single one of their raptors has feathers. That does nothing to make me trust the accuracy of their news. But let's look at the content of this Kickstarter. The actual site they say will cost $3,000, but the Kickstarter itself is only for $1,000. By some miracle they've already raised over that amount—though if people still think Mighty No. 9 was a good investment, you can clearly get people to pay for anything. Especially when you set your standards so low.
The founder, Rutledge (what on earth is a Rutledge?), made this video about why people should back TechRaptor, where he looks like he's sitting on a couch from Blue's Clues in front of a green screen. He's very good at coaxing you with his endearing puppy dog eyes, but if you actually pay attention, you'll randomly hear some tangent disparaging clickbait and bias. And the Kickstarter itself references the nefarious ethics. What are these guys, a bunch of Internet nerds? I bet they don't have a single female writer on their entire team.
Moving on, the new site design is admittedly pretty sweet. The redesign is site wide and will make everything more functional and more stylish, in particular game reviews, which will have a whole new widget to include more information. There is also a new forum in the works, for all the talking people inevitably won't do until they've all been banned from Twitter and Reddit. And then the TechRaptor forum will be about tenth on the web migration list.
This is a Kickstarter, so you have to talk about the bribery masquerading as rewards that end up costing 80% of the actual money fundraised. Though maybe not the case for this Kickstarter. Who offers ad free membership as a reward anymore? I can use ad block for free am I right? Then there are the typical t-shirts and the one "Meet the Staff" tier that no one ever buys. The $150 tier to make them read a Visual Novel sounds good though, but if it isn't Katawa Shoujo, then you have wasted your money. Alternatively you can donate $250 and demand they play Big Rigs for twelve hours.
Now for stretch goals. Likely due to a complex money laundering scheme, TechRaptor has already not only met their goal but also their first stretch goal to start a Podcast Network, a nice substitute for people who can't read. The rest seem to get increasingly implausible. A magazine? Who reads magazines? Even the people who get GameInformer every month don't read them; they just prop up broken leg of the desk so we can read our news on the Internet like normal people. Other stretch goals include an apparel shop, a game server, and new sections of the site. Because websites nowadays can't just be about one thing. They also have "social goals," which seems like a given, seeing as if you advertise properly, you'll get more money, but it is nice of them to accommodate for the crowd that still thinks if they "Like" a certain Facebook post, Steve Jobs will donate one million dollars to charity and teach orphans how to fly.
Is any of that worth it though? Clearly this will never work. I know, it's a rational reach out to the site's loyal and dedicated readers in order to help fund something they fully intend to do anyway, but in the hopes that the help will give them the push necessary to function without financial worry and focus on new features as well as a new website roll out. But on the other hand, I'm pretty sure they're a part of the Illuminati.