Seriously. I mean, I love when a person has an opinion on something. I also like when that person shares their opinion, even if I don’t agree, because it makes for good discussion. But when you’re in a position of authority, I think it’s entirely irresponsible to pick a target and just needle it incessantly. And this needling is exactly what Ben Kuchera has done over Ouya.
For those not familiar, Ouya is a Kickstarter-funded (still in funding as of now) gaming console that runs on Android. Ouya is aiming to create their own marketplace while creating a console that is easy to customize (hack), easy to set up, and cheap to purchase. Several developers have shown interest, and the team involved in the project includes some impressive names. For $99 you can get in on the Kickstarter and get a console with a wireless controller. It sounds nice if it all pans out, but nobody is sure quite yet how it’s all going to come together. What is clear, however, is that there’s a large group of interested people who are willing to put their money down and gamble on the device. Right now, the project has over 40,000 backers and has raised over $5.1 million dollars. Seems like there’s some good excitement out there.
But don’t look towards Ben Kuchera if you are seeking nods of approval.
Over the past week, Ben has gone on a personal crusade against the little upstart. He seems to have a daily tweet quota where he whines about the number of people backing it, how much money is going into the project, what questions are left unanswered, and even goes as far as to whine about “what if” scenarios the he creates himself. It’s crazy.
Now, Ben is fine to be cautious. Anybody who puts money into Kickstarter should always be cautious to some degree, but he’s crossed a line with his fervor. Ben has used his standing at the PA Report to write up reasons why you should pull your money or keep from pitching in. He’s tweeted out all kinds of reasons why you’re foolish to hope for anything good to come from Ouya. And the worst part of it all, it seems to be rooted in his disdain for Android. For evidence of that, look at his earliest criticisms where he basically asks, “who would want an Android device?”
Ben, nobody is asking you to support Ouya, but I am asking you to find a lower horse to sit on with this one. It’s not your place to single out a Kickstarter project and rain all over it. There are literally hundreds of destined to fail projects on Kickstarter right now, so why pick just this one? Why choose the fastest growing Kickstarter of all time? Sure, Ouya may fail, but people who are pitching in aren’t too concerned about that. They’re backing the concept. People are proclaiming that they want an open console and they want something affordable and customized. While Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and Apple release devices that are extremely locked down (or even lose features over time), people are ready to embrace something affordable and open.
Ben is a smart guy. Ben is a great reporter. But in this case, Ben needs to chill out and stop acting like he’s exposed the Illuminati and it’s his mission in life to warn everybody else away. Ouya may fail, and Ben might be right, but for many backers, they won’t care. Ouya might be a huge success, and that would be a great thing, so why can’t we just let them keep climbing the ladder without stomping on their fingers?
If you’re interested in Ouya, you can find the Kickstarter project page here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console