A profile of Patricia Hernandez.

Patricia Hernandez

is a writer for Kotaku who is infamous for her consistently low-quality clickbait articles, which are usually only tangentially related to video games and are often used as a vehicle to discuss and promote her political beliefs. She is also known to have repeatedly engaged in cronyism, giving favourable and disproportionate coverage to her roommate, Anna Anthropy and her friend, Christine Love without disclosing their relationship in any of the articles she wrotehttps://archive.is/iqeOL.

Controveries

On 30 May 2012, Hernandez wrote an article in which she raised huge controversy over the use of the word “rape” as a euphemism for a “one-sided victory” in online gaming. On 9 July 2013, she claimed that “Fake Geek Girl” stickers were being used to sexually harass women. However, she offered no proof besides an anecdotal report of one incident.

On 16 July 2014, Patricia Hernandez wrote an article about Max Temkin and his response to a fake rape accusation, entitled A Different Way To Respond To A Rape Accusation. In the article, she didn’t talk about the false accusations Temkin was subjected to, but rather how his response “focused too much into defending himself instead of discussing the importance of taking about rape culture and consent.” She also mentioned how he didn’t “completely apologize”. On 17 July 2014 she had to update her article, to say she didn’t think Temkin shouldn’t have defended himself, but that he should have focused more on rape culture and the definitions of consent.

Conflicts of Interest

1. Anna Anthropy - In June 2012 Hernandez wrote a blog post detailing her plans to move in with Anna Antrophy. It is assumed she was financially beholden to Anna Antrophy for a few months at the very least. During the span of a year, Hernandez wrote about her landlord and friend Anna Antrophy and her games a total of 6 times. These went undisclosed as of 25 August 2014, as evidenced by the archive links that date back to then. Needless to say the then-, and current editor-in-chief at Kotaku, Stephen Totilo, has always held that reporters “who are in any way close to people they might report on should recuse themselves” unless it is absolutely a necessity to report on them, in which case full disclosure is required. The necessity of reporting on Anna Anthropy is never touched up on, nor is the relationship fully disclosed until nearly a full two years after the fact.

2. Christine Love - Hernandez wrote two favourable articles about Christine Love’s game Hate Plus, on 22 August 2013 and on 28 July 2014. She provides links directing to the Steam Store page of both the game and the prequel in both articles. A number of tweets show Patricia Hernandez being in a romantic relationship with Christine Love, which was not disclosed in either of the two articles. A disclosure about her relationship with Christine love was added to both articles in early September of 2014, after public attention was raised about the lack of disclosure. Neither Patricia Hernandez nor Stephen Totilo have talked about this discreet update while addressing the conflict of interests found at Kotaku.

3. GaymerX - On 19 February 2012, Hernandez published an article on Kotaku about GaymerX’s Kickstarter funding for its second convention. Numerous tweets show Hernandez to have a close personal relationship with the President of GaymerX, Toni Rocca. No disclosure was included about this conflict of interest until late August of 2014, well after the convention was funded.

4. Mattie Brice - Hernandez first wrote an article about Brice on 8 January 2013, in which she discloses that she is a personal friend of hers. Another article about Brice was published on 11 February 2013. This time, however, she fails to provide any disclosure of their friendship.

5. Read Only Memories - On 3 December 2013, Hernandez wrote a favourable article about a GaymerX Kickstarter project for the game Read Only Memories. Around this time, she can be seen having several friendly conversations on Twitter with JJ Signal, the animator for the project and Matt Conn, the creator of GaymerX. She did not include a disclosure until late March 2015.

The project had only gained about $2,300 in the previous three days from roughly 73 new backers at the time this piece was published. Within a day it had gained an additional $1,300 from 81 new backers and another $1,500 from 38 backers in the following day, when her piece was republished by Kotaku Australia. By the end of the week the project had 155 more new backers, contributing another $2,500. In those five days from the first piece in Kotaku to the end of the week, the Kickstarter project gained over 270 new backers contributing roughly $5,400. By the time the Kickstarter concluded, even with a last-minute push and last-minute coverage, it only got $2,300 over its funding goal. It seems reasonable to suggest that Hernandez’s piece may have been a decisive factor in getting the project funded.

6. Tale of Tales/Sunset - Hernandez published two favourable articles for Kotaku about the game Sunset, which was developed by the company Tale of Tales, on 17 June 2014 and 23 February 2015. Leigh Alexander, a friend and co-worker of Hernandez, was involved in the game through her consulting company Agency for Games, which she failed to disclose in both articles.

7. Zoe Quinn - Patricia Hernandez appears to have been friends with Zoe Quinn since March 2013, as tweets from that month reveal that they were planning to meet up with each other. Despite this, Hernandez gave Quinn positive coverage in two articles on 4 December 2013 and 7 May 2014, without initially disclosing her friendship with Quinn in said articles.

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