Saturday, August 22, 2015

Dear Chessex, Ken Whitman Is a Liar and a Thief

You know that, right? No? Then read on, Dear Chessex, before you agree to take over one of Ken Whitman's dying kickstarter projects.

Ken Whitman has a long history of stealing other people's IP and claiming the ideas for himself. Sometimes he even gets caught, as was the case with his Dice O'Matic kickstarter done under Ken Whitman Games. Ken contacted the Chinese manufacturer who produced these for board games like Trouble and Sorry!, and arranged for them to make him some on the cheap.

There was just one problem. Trouble and Sorry! (originally owned by Parker Bothers and Milton Bradley) are now owned by Hasbro, the same company that owns Wizards of the Coast. And as anyone with three neurons that fire in sequence knows, you don't fuck with Hasbro's IP. Do so, and you're gonna get the horns. One C&D from Hasbro's d100 of lawyers is all it takes, and BOOM. We'll never know what actually happened, but whoever contacted kickstarter, they promptly suspended Ken Whitman's Dice O'Matic campaign on July 15, 2014.

Never one to learn from experience, Ken went right back to stealing other people's IP by creating the now-infamous Pencil Dice and RPG Pencil Dice kickstarter campaigns under his company d20 Entertainment. There was just one problem. HE STOLE THAT IDEA TOO. Of course, that's not how Ken Whitman told the tale.

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That's, right. Ken told everyone he "had a dream last night that woke me up at 4am. In the dream, I was playing with Pencil Dice." The truth is that all Ken probably dreamed was a remembrance of reading this website for British industrial designer Sebastian Bergne.

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It's obvious Ken Whitman stole his "dream" idea from Sebastian. Want proof? Ken Whitman is such an idiot he directly lifted Sebastian's website copy (shown above) and tweeted it.

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While many of us figured this out at the time, most Pencil Dice backers and Sebastian Bergne did not. At least not until now...

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So Dear Chessex, if you really want to plant your legal feet in the middle of another all-too-typical Ken Whitman scam artist clusterfuck, you of course are free to do so. But are you sure you want to do that? (DM rattles dice behind the screen)