That Time I Didn't Win An Award, Maybe. Probably.

Indiegogo sent out an e-mail to the wrong people and, as far as I can tell, I didn't win an award, and it honestly makes me feel really bad.

Today, I went home for a little bit, pretty distraught and

and when I looked in my e-mail, I saw... an e-mail. From Indiegogo.

About an award.

The e-mail looked official.

The e-mail from Indiegogo
How had I won this thing?? To the best of my knowledge, I hadn't done anything that would result in something like this!

But, given that I had done a bunch of good things, and, in the past, Atari seemed to try to include me, I wondered if some strings had been pulled. Maybe something nice would happen?

Strange things had happened in the past with me and Indiegogo. For example: I thought back to the time when I got an e-mail from Atari, where they seemed to mistake me for some sort of video game journalist, and said they were reserving a special version of a console just for me. Based on the wording of the e-mail, and the relative exclusivity of the text (I searched around; if many other people got the e-mail, I couldn't find anyone talking about it), I thought: huh. This seems to be happening. It seems to be happening for a reason, though I'm not sure why.

I thought that this award might be due to my 'coverage' of the Ataribox thing. I did, indeed, have an Indiegogo account that I logged into while I was looking at the Ataribox fundraiser. And, I did link the thing, while I was logged in. So I assumed it was more of this: something Atari did ended up bleeding over to... this! An award! I didn't know what the heck I could've done to deserve it, but, feeling bad, I liked it. It was just what I needed to hear.

I'm not going to pretend that I was all that skeptical. Lots of things have happened to me where I could neither confirm nor deny if they were real, so I would just go with the flow, and check to see if it was real, as best as I could. I would wait, and watch, and see.

The first thing I did was see if the link worked. Later on, I found that every single link in the e-mail was hosted on Indiegogo's servers. Huh, I thought. This seems real. But it seems very weird. And, as I later looked at Twitter, seeing a bunch of other people going, 'I won an award? What?', hours after I had celebrated, I got a bad feeling. But even then, I thought: well, have some hope. Stranger things have happened, and you've done real good. Maybe somebody 'squealed'? I've had celebrities read my stuff, and comment on things I had done. Maybe something nice would happen.

Anyway: I clicked the link to see if the 'Reserve your award' thing worked. And... it did. Hosted on Google Forms, it asked for my information, and gave me information as to where I should be to accept this thing. Given that I've been nominated for and won an award in college before where I had no fucking idea how any of that happened, I figured: these things happen. They told me where to come pick it up; they told me there would be a ceremony. I checked that, too, back then: it was real. There was a real ceremony. I had no idea how I had won, but— it felt good. After getting shit on for a long time, it felt great!

So did it actually 'work', though? Well, I'd have to wait and see. If I put my name in, and they accepted it, and they actually made me an award? Then I'd know it was real.

After they took my information and told me where I should be to go get the award, I thought: This is real. And that made me happy. But, I thought back to two incidents where I got invited to ComicCon, in 2014 and 2015. The e-mails looked official: the headers checked out, as far as I can remember. The e-mails were both worded like I was some sort of guest of honor.

I figured: this is probably just another in a long line of mistakes that management in some corporation has made. They've gone and sent me something that was intended for somebody else. I mean, clearly they thought I was someone important; if they had intended it for me, then I had no idea why they thought so highly of me. They'd made a mistake, but they didn't know it.

Or maybe someone talked, and it was intentional? I wasn't about to belittle myself. After all, it's official communication; why shit on yourself when you're getting an e-mail that treats you nicely?

When it came to Indiegogo, I didn't understand it, but, maybe there was no mistake. Maybe I just didn't understand something about it. I was going to wait and see. After all, I'd raised more than a quarter of a million dollars with my friends through various charity efforts; maybe this was just Atari dragging me along again. Maybe this time would be different.

I had hope.

I honestly needed this. It made me happy, and I wasn't shy about letting any of my friends know. But, when you get an award, you can't be egotistical about it: you have to give the proper credit where it is due, and I did that. I did that because I don't like taking credit for things, and I enjoy making other people feel happy when I get something that is supposedly 'my' achievement, but was really the result of a group effort. I don't like people to feel left out.

So I wrote this:

December 6th, 2018

Earlier today I received notice from Indiegogo that I have won the "Indiegogo Innovation Award", to honor my "crowdfunding achievements". Though I honestly am not aware of what this could be for— it is assumed by my friends that this must be due to 'my' charity efforts— this has made me really, really happy. I've always wanted to win an award, and to get one out of the blue like this honestly makes me feel accepted in a way that I have never really felt before. It's enough to make me cry.

However! It should be noted that 'my' charity efforts have been 99.95% the effort of other people. I have done a few things, but the efforts of others were much greater. So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who made this award possible: it's our award, together, if not actually solely yours.

I would like to thank David Grantham, "Mint", Annie the Bird, MBot5000, Riverface, Professor Icepick, Zemeckis, Conzo, Alec Machet, Saterion,CFGX, Mabatsekker, Gavizuli, jimbles, nuente, Justin, Eric B., gorf, Moon Metropolis, Licorice Rabbit, The Mystic Mungus, Shelby, TrevGauntlet, SubparScribbles, Isaac LaBrie, guy, dragonmeido (mommer), Jessica, BrosukeH, Daltimus Prime, Kat, Jahn, Sojaro, Daniel Sullenberger, Puddy Pii, Emily Rees, Jay, BolverkGTM, Supranetic, Emi, JeezBrah, Dyse, Noah, Resident Pooky, Matthe2Alex, Boettam, Xamayon of SauceNAO, Kichuwa, Waterthewet, Ano Nym, Ruko, Headpats, TubbieChurch, LythKross, Yaanu, Bootylet, Blade, Spergalerrt, PK Nano, Alfie, AneiDoru, Micromonics, Ayden, Baldere, Villyne, Joe Green, Alexander, Da Poleece, Aimee, Karl the Holy Junkie, Jenn Michelle, triangleDAYS, 100 Percent A Plus, Arcon, lloydDboy, Amarin, Saigyouji-sama, Threya, Rinaxas, Sockpuppet, Momiji, Chuck, djwaglmuffin, Jennifer D'aww, Kitty the Kitty, PulseStarFM, Extra Fabulous Comics, Based Hotpot, Minnie, Skye, The Pink Rathaian, Solairemomo, Starsprout, Matt Butlah, Johnny LaTrique, DownDuckie, beingsplendid, xerbi, synthicyde, Worfwood, Jane, Moon Poff, Miss Taxidermy, Slug, and the many others I worked with while in GamerGate for this achievement. Without the efforts of these people and many others, I would have never received this award.

I do not even know what this award is for, but I'm happy. And I hope you all are, too.

(´•ω•`) (´・ω・ `) (◕ᴗ◕✿) (╹ ◡ ╹ ) ( ´∀`)(´ω`) ʕ •̀ ω •́ ʔ ( ・ᵕ・ ) ٢(•̀ω•́ ) (´・ω・`)◝꒰´꒳`∗꒱◟◝꒰´꒳`꒱◟◝꒰∗´꒳`꒱◟ (੭ˊ꒳ ˋ)੭—-♡ ✧( ु•⌄• )◞◟( •⌄• ू )✧ᶜ⁽´・ω・ᶜ `⁾ ✘˵╹◡╹˶✘ •ᴗ• (´・ω・`)(ʘ‿ʘ✿)(•ᴗ• )ͻ(っ´ω`(´ω`c)(´・ω・`)(´・ω・`)(๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)

It was amazing to figure out everyone who had helped me do good things. How had so many people helped me? That made me feel proud of my friends.

As the high and good feelings wore off, I began to think: hmm. This seems too good to be true. Someone on Twitter called it a scam; that seemed weird to me, since I had checked the e-mail. It seemed legit. But was it? Hmm. The weirdest thing was that the whole "Indiegogo Innovation Award" was a specific quoted query that didn't seem to appear anywhere on the entire fuckin' Internet. That was REALLY weird.

Hmm. If it was a scam, the raw e-mail headers would tell me that. I couldn't check easily on mobile, as I was out and about again, but I figured out a way. Sent by Indiegogo; passed through a few checks, to make sure it was real; sent through "SailThru", the mailing service that Indiegogo seemed to have used in the past; and the e-mail itself was hosted on Indiegogo's servers, on the link subdomain. If it were fake, then was the link domain just something that obfuscated the real URL, and it wasn't actually hosted by Indiegogo? Can't tell you either way if that's how it works, but I can tell you that the e-mail was legit.

So: had Indiegogo gotten hacked? Sorry to spoil the ending, but, no. They had merely sent the e-mail out to the wrong people, and taken my information, and given me false hope. What a bummer. I'd cry, but I don't really feel like that. I thought I'd feel humiliated, but as I continue to think about it, it just seems like a really cruel trick.

If Indiegogo had gotten hacked, as I feared for a moment, then I'd just given someone my information to make an award for me. What would they use it for, I wondered? Oh, well; I gave them my full name and the e-mail address they had sent the e-mail to. I figured that the most that it could be was someone who had gotten into Indiegogo's systems and was harvesting e-mail addresses; maybe they had access to a command that allowed them to e-mail everyone, but they had no real access to people's e-mails, so they would have to harvest those separately in a Google Form. I figured that, in that case, Google could tell Indiegogo who had hacked them, more than likely. In any case, the fireworks would be delightful

But, again: no. Here's the tweet where they told us what had happened.

Disappointment in tweet form.
And, should you give a shit, here's what the Google Forms link now resolves to:

Ow, my heart.
To say that I'm disappointed does not begin to describe how I feel. It made me so happy to think that I got some form of outside acceptance for the good things I've done. And the day I was having was pretty terrible; to get something like this really lifted my spirits.

Here are my emotions, and feelings, expressed in one succinct YouTube clip:

But I'm not exactly going to let it ruin my mood. Though this was not intentional, this is just another one of those things in my life where something that makes me happy is waved in front of my face, and then taken away. Similar to how asked me to e-mail them to get my account verified, and then replied to me something like 'that won't be necessary', I'm beginning to get used to being shat on.

But this incident is something that really puzzles me. Because, just like the aforementioned ComicCon invites, which mystified me at that point and just plain confuses me right now, there's another incident that has befuddled me absolutely since the day it happened.

Back when I was in college, I was asked if I would join ROTC. Having no love of such a prospect, I declined.

Months passed. Perhaps years. I received a letter stating that I had graduated from the ROTC, and been awarded the title of Second Lieutenant.

Okay. I asked around; I asked every authority figure there at the school, what had happened? They said that they did not know, but they would look into it, and that it was just a letter: no actual title could have been conferred, since I was never in the military. So I forgot about it.

Years later, I learned somehow, though I forget the specifics, that I had apparently been promoted to Captain.

I seem to be a magnet for these sorts of things. Today, it's an e-mail sent out to a bunch of different people, in error. Tomorrow, I'm sure it'll be something different, and less-easily verifiable.

My disappointment is kind-of sort-of immeasurable, but I'll get over it. This isn't the sort of blow that LinkedIn making me remove all mention of my charity work was, but it still hurts.

Fuckin' Indiegogo, man.

JonTron looking lost, and distraught.
What this has brought to mind, though, is the fact that I stopped doing charity work visibly for two reasons:
  1. I was only publicizing it in an attempt to be more accepted. I wanted people to know that I wanted to help people. I figured that if people knew I was trying to help, maybe people would stop being so goddamned mean to me for no fucking reason.
  2. LinkedIn shit on it and I thought, oh fuck it. I don't care anymore.
There's also the danger of saying you run a charity for too long, without registering it. Legally, I was advised that anyone who goes and raises money for a cause is an unregistered, 501(c)(3) public charity. But if you do that for too long, it starts looking suspicious, so you shouldn't go about that for too long. The idea that I would get fucked for helping people? No. Especially not when no money ever passed through my hands, with all the money being collected by other parties through GoFundMe and Crowdrise. So, depressed and dejected, I just stopped trying.

But now, after I thought I got this award, I started to think about what I wanted to do. I definitely want to publicize the good I've done, even if nobody in power gives a shit. Because that's me. That's something I've done.

When I was young, I was taught the supposed 'dignity' or 'modesty' in not bragging about the good things you've done. But I'm really tired of getting shit on by people for no reason. If anything, I'm gonna start speaking publically again about the good I've done, if only so I can hear someone say good things about me.

This honestly really does hurt. But, at some point, I'm going to have to stop looking for external validation of my own self-worth. And now is as good a time as any.

JonTron facepalming.
💔 This article was created December 6th, 2018. It was written by Margaret Gel. It has never been updated.