A profile of Cara Ellison.
is a writer for The Guardian and VICE. Her work has appeared in Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Eurogamer, Kotaku, The New York Times, Wired and the New Statesman. She has also worked as a production co-ordinator at the BBC and as a co-writer on Charlie Brooker’s How Videogames Changed The World for the British television broadcaster Channel 4. On 24 April 2015, she announced that she would take a break from writing about video games to focus on writing for Dishonored 2.
Conflicts of Interest
1. Anna Anthropy - A collection of tweets from June 2012 to October 2014 show a close personal relationship between Ellison and Antropy. Ellison has written about Anna Anthropy in a total of 6 articles for IGN, The Guardian, Unwinnable and VICE, all lacking disclosure about her personal relationship with Anthropy. She also failed to disclose a financial conflict of interest, regarding a donation of $250 to Anthropy’s fundraiser.
2. Christine Love - In the article S.EXE: VA-11 HALL-A, which was published on 10 October 2014, Ellison referenced multiple of Christine Love’s games, while also linking to her website. In April 2012, Ellison went as far as ask love “Can you hire me to be your PR? I would be so good at it” and “I pimp this shit for FREE’’ on Twitter. Ellison failed to disclose this personal relationship, while the article also lacked disclosure about Love’s ongoing donations to Ellison’s Patreon at the time the article was written.
3. Fullbright/Gone Home - Ellison wrote a total of 5 articles about Gone Home, while she she did a humorous interview with Steven Gaynor, Gone Home’s director, in late December of 2013, while he was pretending to be a decorative item from the game. None of the 5 articles nor the interview contained disclosure regarding Ellisons’s personal relationships with people involved in the making of the game.
Ellison appears to have been friends with Gaynor for some time before writing about Gone Home. On 28 March 2013, game writer Nick Breckon, who was at GDC at the time, tweeted about having no plans for the time being. Ellison replied that she was near him and that Gaynor was with her.When Ellison asked Breckon what he did he planned to do, he said he wanted to go Smuggler’s Cove (a bar in San Francisco). Alice Liang, another participant in the conversation, told Breckon and Ellison to meet her at Smuggler’s Cove that night and asked Ellison to bring Gaynor along with her, a request to which Ellison complied. Later that day, Ellison confirmed on twitter that she had been to Smuggler’s Cove “with the [Steven Gaynor] fanclub.” Ellison and Gaynor became Facebook friends in April 2013. On 19 June 2013, Ellison told Gaynor to come visit her in the UK, saying that she would provide him with accommodations. Further affectionate tweets were exchanged between the two on 28 July 2013.
Sarah Elmaleh, who voiced Katie (Gone Home’s playable character), has been friends with Ellison since as early as 26 April 2012, as on that day Ellison herself called Elmaleh a friend of hers. Cara would continue to express affection toward Elmaleh afterwards, and even offered Elmaleh to do voiceover work for her studio on 12 October 2012.
4. Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris - Ellison mentioned Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris’s game, Redshirt, in an article titled S.EXE: VA-11 HALL-A, which was published on 10 October 2014, as well as writing an article dedicated to Redshirt, which was published on 29 May 2013. The aforementioned articles did not disclose the fact that Khandaker donated to Ellison’s Patreon, although It should be noted that Khandaker would eventually make a public blog post, detailing her past interactions and involvements with Cara Ellison.
5. Nina Freeman - From 4 April 2013 to 28 July 2014, numerous tweets between Ellison and Freeman show close personal conversations and references to meeting up with each other. Ellison published three favourable articles about Nina Freeman and her games; one for Rock, Paper, Shotgun on 11April 2014 and one for Kotaku on 4 August 2014. She failed to provide any disclosure of their personal relationship in both articles.
6. Porpentine Charity Heartscape - On 2 April 2013, Ellison published a favourable article about Porpentine and her twine game Howling Dogs on PC Gamer. Numerous tweets, ranging from August 2012 to March 2013 show a personal relationship which was not disclosed in the article. Moreover, an article from July 2012 and a tweet from March 2013 hint at an undisclosed professional relationship between the two, at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Shortly after the release of this article, Ellison published a tweet stating “So [Porpentine] made and sent me a Howling Dogs tshirt” , which Ellison also failed to disclose. Other articles which lack disclosure are an IGN, a GiantBomb and two Rock, Paper, Shotgun articles.