Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.
Does a designer's personal life influence you to try their games, either positively or negatively?
Negatively: I don't usually have a problem separating the artist from the art, and unless it's something egregious, it doesn't affect my habits. If I already have items and have been enjoying them, then I don't feel any need to divest myself of them even in those cases.
Positively: Absolutely! If someone is doing positive things, especially in the hobby, but also otherwise, I might give something that they've done a try even if I might not have been inclined to do so. If there is a happy confluence of good design and good designer, so much the better.
It has. I've pretty much written off whole game systems and publishers because of their defense of questionable and horrible people. I've even sold off or given away things that I don't care to own because of this.Fortunately my FLGS is pretty liberal about what they'll accept.
(I don't tend to make a big deal about my divestiture, though. That usually ends poorly.)
I've also supported things that I have little or no interest in because I think the person working on it was nifty or was going through a rough patch.
It does. In most cases, that's a negative impact: I don't generally find myself trying things based purely on what I know about the designer beyond their design work, but I do mark people off my list if they're abusers (Zak S.) or abusive (RPG Pundit) or liars (Gareth-Michael Skarka) or even just if they strike me as assholes (John Wick).
I don't always dump their work: that varies by exactly how much I dislike the designer. I don't think I own any works by Zak S. or RPG Pundit; if I did, I'd throw them out. By comparison, GMS was one of many authors on the 5th-edition Legend of the Five Rings RPG core book (based on Wick's original game!), and I'm not tossing that book, though I won't buy or even consider anything on which he's the primary author.
There are sometimes people I decide I want nothing more to do with, and that I refuse to give money to. Usually they're people who have personally pissed me off, if I'm honest, and less often someone who is just generally shitty that hasn't affected me at all. Frankly, I usually don't care enough to learn about the creators to learn these things.
On the other hand, I'm fairly likely to buy something I don't need if it means giving an otherwise decent person a hand, or if it means supporting someone I know and think is pretty cool, regardless of actual expressed need. I've bought a fair few things simply because I have spoken with -- even if only virtually, via G+ or the like -- and I want to encourage them in their endeavors.
It does up to a point. But their professional behaviour and the behaviour of the inner circle of supporters has far more influence. If you are unpleasant to deal with on the official support forums for your games then I am not going to give you repeat business. If you don't keep order on your official support forums it reflects badly on your professional stance. LotFP left me feeling a bit unclean when I visited the support forums so I never got into it at all. I went to the Broken Wheel forums and asked about what I thought was an error in the rule book (a skill that was written up but not obtainable) and I got beaten up.
One game I bought partly due to the designer being local. I ended up really liking the game. I posted a bunch of session reports on BGG about the game. Then last year, he contacted me and wanted to meet with me. He wanted my opinion on some game ideas he had.