Babycastles Nepotism

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On September 17, 2012. Leigh Alexander wrote an article for gaming and development website Gamasutra entitled, "Why indie games make meaningful sports".[1] This article was primarily advertorial content and a promotional profile for Ramiro Corbetta and affiliated NYC art and gaming collective/venue Babycastles. Within the article Corbetta's game "Hokra" (part of the Sportsfriends collection) is promoted with direct links to a purchasing portal.

Subsequently, dilligent readers have brought to light that Alexander had a pre-existing personal relationship extending back over a year with both Mr. Corbetta as well as Babycastles. While this demonstrates a clear conflict of interest, no such disclosure was included in print alongside the article.

Establishing Relationship with Ramiro Corbetta

Based on information extracted from Alexander's Facebook account, she has been friends with Ramiro Corbetta since as early as May 2010.[2] Also during that month, Alexander and Corbetta started to communicate through Twitter[3] and socialize in person with each other.[4] On August 5, 2010, a status update[5] from Alexander's Google+ account shows her in the presence of various indie gaming figures such as Phil Fish, Corbetta and Indiefund member Simon Ferrari, threatening to "drunk dial" former Gamasutra Editor, and Independent Games Festival Chairman Brandon Boyer from Babycastles.

On November 4, 2011, a tweet[6] demonstrates that Alexander and Ramiro were again being social with a group of indie developers at Babycastles.

Furthermore, this Twitter search[7] demonstrates not only additional conversation, but also Mr. Corbetta referencing the article that Ms. Alexander wrote to promote his game.

Establishing Relationship with Babycastles

Leigh Alexander became a facebook friend of Kunal Gupta and Syed Salahuddin[8][9] on April 2010. On August 15, 2010, Alexander wrote an article for the Los Angeles Times entitled "In a Queens neighborhood, the birth of indie video games"[10] which profiled Babycastles and it's co-founders, Gupta, Salahuddin and Arthur Ward. The article included no disclosure regarding Alexander's friendship with the founders of Babycastles, depsite the fact that Alexander explicitly referred to them as her friends in both a blog post published a month before the LA Times article[11] and likewise in another blog post that was published a couple of days after said article.[12]

On July 15, 2011, Leigh Alexander curated an admission-only event entitled "Bad Bitches"[13] at Babycastles that featured two games from close friend Anna Anthropy.

This event was profiled and promoted by Mike Fahey in an article at Kotaku entitled "To-Do in New York: Explore Alt-Sexuality Gaming at Future Babycastles"[14]

Allegations of Conflict of Interest and Bias

It is a documented fact that Leigh Alexander had a non-professional pre-existing relationship with Ramiro Corbetta. In addition to this, several readers have leveled charges against Ms. Alexander that she may have had a preexisting business relationship or had otherwise been compensated by Babycastles for curating their event as well as organizing publicity for it through her relationship with Kotaku journalist Mike Fahey.

In response to the allegations that Ms. Alexander may had been compensated by Babycastles, the following comment was made by Syed Salahuddin, co-founder of Babycastles:

Objection! No she was not. We are an entirely volunteer based group.
— Syed Salahuddin [15]

No such mention of relationship between Ms. Alexander and Mr. Corbetta were disclosed by either Ms. Alexander or Gamasutra at the time her article went to press.


See Also

Leigh Alexander

Facebook

Gamasutra

References