Cara Ellison

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Cara Ellison
Alt text
Aliases: None
Occupation: Writer, games critic
Affiliations: Rock, Paper, Shotgun, The Guardian and VICE

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. [1] 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. [2]

Conflicts of Interest

Anna Anthropy

A collection of tweets from June 2012 to October 2014 show a close personal relationship between Ellison and Antropy. [3]. Ellison has written about Anna Anthropy in a number of articles for IGN, The Guardian, Unwinnable and VICE [4], 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. [5]

Christine Love

In the article "S.EXE: VA-11 HALL-A", Ellison referenced multiple of Christine Love's games, stating: "(which I really should write about, though RPS cover her work enthusiastically)"[6], even going as far as asking 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. [7] [8] It was not disclosed in the article that Love was donating to Ellison's Patreon at the time. [9]

Gone Home

Ellison wrote three articles about Gone Home, dating from 2 August 2013 [10] ,15 September 2013 [11] and 27 December 2013. [12]. On 19 December of the same year she did a humorous interview with Steven Gaynor, one of Gone Home's director,[13] while he was pretending to be a decorative item from the game. [14] None of the three 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, twitted about having no plans for the time being. Ellison replied that she was near him and that Gaynor was with her. [15] 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 [16]). 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. [17] Later that day, Ellison confirmed on twitter that she had been to Smuggler's Cove "with the [Steven Gaynor] fanclub." [18]

On April 2013 Ellison and Gaynor became Facebook friends. [19] On May May 24, 2013, Gaynor announced on twitter that he was going to New York and wished to hang out. Ellison asked him is she can join him, and Gaynor replied positively. [20] On 19 June, 2013, Ellison told Gaynor to come visit her in the UK, saying she will provide him with accommodations. [21] Further affectionate tweets were exchanged between the two on 28 July, 2013. [22] [23]

Sarah Elmaleh, who voiced Katie (Gone Home's playable character),[13] [24] has been friends with Ellison since as early as 26 April 2012, as on that day Ellison herself called Elmaleh a friend of hers. [25] Cara would continue to express affection toward Elmaleh afterwards, [26] and even offered Elmaleh to do voiceover work for her studio on 12 October 2012. [27]

Moreover, Steve Gaynor started donating to Ellison's Patreon on 6 January 2014. [28] Johnnemann Nordhagen, another one of Gone Home's directors,[13] started donating to Ellison's patreon on 28 February 2014. [29] Ellison published two articles about Gone Home in 14 February 2014 [30] and September 2014 [31], both without disclosure.

Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris

Ellison mentioned Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris’s game, Redshirt, in an article titled "S.EXE: VA-11 HALL-A"[6], as well as writing an article dedicated to Redshirt. [32] The aforementioned articles did not disclose the fact that Mitu Khandaker donated to Ellison's Patreon [33]. It should be noted that Mitu Khandaker would eventually make a public blog post, detailing her past interactions and involvements with Cara Ellison. [34]

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. [35] Between 11 April and 4 August 2014, Ellison published three favourable articles about Nina Freeman and her games; two for Rock, Paper, Shotgun [36] [37] and one for Kotaku. [38] She failed to disclose their personal relationship in all three articles.

Porpentine Charity Heartscape

On April 2 2013, Ellison published a favourable article about Porpentine and her twine game "Howling Dogs" on PC Gamer [39]. Numerous tweets, ranging from August 2012 to March 2013 [40] show a personal relationship which was not disclosed in the article. Moreover, an article from July 2012 [41] and a tweet from April hint at an undisclosed professional relationship between the two, at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. [42]

Shortly after the release of this article, Ellison published a tweet stating "So [Porpentine] made and sent me a Howling Dogs tshirt"

[43], which Ellison also failed to disclose. Other articles which lack disclosure are an IGN, a GiantBomb and two Rock, Paper, Shotgun articles.  [44]

See Also





The New York Times

Rock, Paper, Shotgun


  4. (archived version)
  6. 6.0 6.1 S.EXE: VA-11 HALL-A
  9. Patreon of Christine Love
  10. Riot, Girl: Gone Home To Launch On 15th August
  11. [
  12. Cara Ellison's Top 10 Games of 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Gone Home at the Internet Movie Database.
  14. An Exclusive Interview with Gone Home's Christmas Duck
  24. Kaitlin Greenbriar article on the Gone Home wiki
  32. Redshirt preview: a sci-fi "disempowerement fantasy" about social networking on a starship
  33. Patreon of Mitu Khandaker
  34. Actually, It’s About…
  44. (archived version)