9-Year-Old Raises $21K (And Counting) to Build Video Game

by Jeana Lee Tahnk

9-Year-Old Raises $21K (And Counting) to Build Video Game

Mackenzie Wilson turned to Kickstarter to build a cool game for girls and “prove her brothers wrong”

Mackenzie Wilson, an enterprising and video game-loving 9-year-old from Stevensville, MD, was sick and tired of her “mean brothers” not playing video games with her and decided she’d just as soon build them herself.

As she states in her pledge, “Right now, I know for sure that my game will be more age appropriate than the games I’m stuck playing. Sadly there just aren’t many cool RPGs out there for kids my age that aren’t stupid or silly.” While she loves playing on computers, she doesn’t know how to build video games, so she turned to Kickstarter to help her raise funds ($829) to send her to a camp where she can learn the basics of RPG Maker, a video game development tool.

Mackenzie Wilson's Kickstarter campaign

Because kids under 18 can’t start Kickstarter campaigns, she partnered with her mom to create a pledge to raise the money to attend this camp. Much to her astonishment, she not only raised the money for camp, but raked in a whopping $21,360 (at time of writing). In the first day alone she pulled in $10,000.

Whether it was Wilson’s plea to help her “prove her brothers wrong” or the sheer moxie behind her campaign, she has clearly struck a chord.

The money she has raised will fund her camp fees and much more than that. Wilson’s ultimate goal is to “create an RPG that isn’t too violent and isn’t filled with bad words, still has a good story line and cool graphics, but has shorter cut scenes, less menus & fewer controls.  And most importantly, I want a game that allows team members to face danger together and get hurt but doesn’t kill team mates off and eliminate them from battle.”

This awesome third grader not only wants to create the game for herself, but also acknowledges the lack of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and wants to be a “role model” for girls to pursue their dreams in these areas.

“I’m having fun playing with the software now and learning how it works,” says Wilson. “It’s given me lots more ideas about how to make the game I’m going to build at RPG Camp even AWESOMER!”

Readers interested in being part of this campaign, can visit Wilson’s Kickstarter campaign page to learn more about her project and the levels of funding available. 


UPDATE: After this post was published, Parenting editors learned of controversy around this Kickstarter campaign calling out Susan Wilson, Mackenzie’s mom, (who happens to be a very successful entrepreneur) as a “fraud” and “scammer” for this supposed project. To answer the naysayers, Wilson issued a comment in the Kickstarter page defending her actions and her daughter’s true intent, to learn RPG and build video games. 




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