Child's Play Halts Retake Mass Effect Donation Drive

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Child's Play Halts Retake Mass Effect Donation Drive

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The Retake Mass Effect Child's Play donation drive has come to an unhappily premature but still wildly successful conclusion.

The Retake Mass Effect Child's Play donation drive was a pretty amazing thing, turning a sustained but otherwise relatively conventional outburst of nerd rage to a worthwhile purpose: Raising funds for the Child's Play Charity. And we're not talking about chump change, either; a stunning $80,000 has been brought in so far. Alas, that is where it will end.

In a message posted last night, the man behind the donation drive announced that it would be capped at $80,000 and then brought to a halt. The decision was made at the request of Child's Play, not because the charity was unhappy with the drive but because of mistaken assumptions of a connection between it and Retake Mass Effect, and the potential slippery slope the donation drive creates.

"[Child's Play] pointed out that several sources are incorrectly assuming a link between the charity and the petition, or outright support of the petition by the charity. This has been the source of some difficulty for them, and it has been requested that we wind this effort down," the founder, going by the name Robb, wrote. "Again, I want to stress that the charity is not unhappy with our work, they are exceptionally pleased with what we have accomplished."

A message posted by Jerry "Tycho" Holkins of Penny Arcade, one of the founders of Child's Play, confirmed that the drive had caused confusion among some Mass Effect fans and headaches for the charity itself. "Apparently some of the people giving to the cause seemed to think that they were paying for a new ending to Mass Effect," he wrote. "[Child's Play] has been asked what the goal is, and how much they need to raise in order to get the ending produced. We've also been contacted by PayPal due to a high number of people asking for their donations back. This is in addition to readers who simply couldn't understand how this was connected to Child's Play's mission. We were dealing with a lot of very confused people, more every day, and that told us we had a problem."

Child's Play rep Jamie Dillion tried to clarify the situation on Reddit, where she said "our decision was not about bowing to pressure from anyone," and also on Forbes. "It's true that we received some negative feedback about the RTM fundraiser, but the real issue that it brought to light was our policy surrounding attaching other, unrelated causes to Child's Play. What RTM was doing was very cool and an amazing show what an active community can do, but we were concerned about the slippery slope," she explained. "For instance, if someone were to create a 'support (insert cause X) by donating to Child's Play,' you can see how this could cause issues for us."

Despite the belief among some supporters that the end of the donation drive was somehow engineered by game journalists in support of EA [and I'm disappointed to say that I'm not making that up], Robb declared the effort a victory. "We have shown our sincerity and passion. We have brought positive attention to the Retake Mass Effect movement," her wrote. "Retake Mass Effect is not over by any means; Dr. Myzuka's statement was welcome, but did not directly address our concerns. You have been heard. Now it is time to make sure they get the details right."

I still think that demanding a new and "better" conclusion to Mass Effect 3 is silly but I'm sure not going to take issue with the results, and Robb and everyone else who helped make it happen deserve a big congratulations for their efforts. It's unfortunate that the drive had to be stopped short, but $80,000 for a very worthy charity? That's a big win by any measure.

Thanks to Uszi for the tip.

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I just wish this whole sorry business would come to a conclusion.

It just... isn't worth it anymore.

I've taken a fairly neutral stance this last week, and frankly it's becoming an unstoppable object against an immovable force.

Neither side is ready to cave, and when you bring in that kind of money being thrown around on a whim, plus the recent writing 'revelation' putting people's jobs and integrity on the line, this whole saga is becoming more dangerous than it's worth.

I think the inferred assumption is ridiculous, and it shouldn't assume partisanship simply because someone decided to use your cause to make a statement. But whatever, I thought "Retake Mass Effect" was stupid anyway.

So..some people thought that Childsplay..a CHARITY AIMED TOWARDS CHILDREN...was going to be buying a new ME3 ending, and then demanded their donations back. How thick are some people? Gawd o mighty.

Zachary Amaranth:
I think the inferred assumption is ridiculous, and it shouldn't assume partisanship simply because someone decided to use your cause to make a statement. But whatever, I thought "Retake Mass Effect" was stupid anyway.

Yeah, especially since they apparently didn't have a problem when Bioware used the charity for corporate PR/increasing sales or making people play their Facebook games...

http://blog.bioware.com/2009/12/15/dragon-age-origins-ebay-auction-for-childs-play-charity/
http://greywardens.com/2009/12/bioware-child%E2%80%99s-play-and-the-gift-of-the-yeti/

Today on the BioWare Blog they ask Dragon Age fans to help them raise $10,000 for a charitable donation to "Child's Play", by playing their Facebook application called Gift of the Yeti. You play and BioWare will pay.

I don't really care about the movement as such, but the offered explanation seems off... I know what I won't be clicking on next time I buy an Indie Bundle anyway.

Versuvius:
So..some people thought that Childsplay..a CHARITY AIMED TOWARDS CHILDREN...was going to be buying a new ME3 ending, and then demanded their donations back. How thick are some people? Gawd o mighty.

Nothing but the best intentions from ME fans.
Truly, they are the champions of consumer rights.

OT: This whole thing has gotten out of hand. Well, $80,000 for charity is good, even if the intentions were dumb. At least some of the participants decided to do something productive.

I was in support of the movement. Largely because, for whatever the reason they still raised a hell of a lot of money.
80 Grand is no small amount. Though hearing that some people were confused and wanted their charitable donations back, that kinda puts a damper on it a little bit.

But still, a movement that raised that much money for charity, I'd say it's a good thing overall.

Dexter111:

Zachary Amaranth:
I think the inferred assumption is ridiculous, and it shouldn't assume partisanship simply because someone decided to use your cause to make a statement. But whatever, I thought "Retake Mass Effect" was stupid anyway.

Yeah, especially since they apparently didn't have a problem when Bioware used the charity for corporate PR/increasing sales or making people play their Facebook games...

http://blog.bioware.com/2009/12/15/dragon-age-origins-ebay-auction-for-childs-play-charity/
http://greywardens.com/2009/12/bioware-child%E2%80%99s-play-and-the-gift-of-the-yeti/

Today on the BioWare Blog they ask Dragon Age fans to help them raise $10,000 for a charitable donation to "Child's Play", by playing their Facebook application called Gift of the Yeti. You play and BioWare will pay.

I don't really care about the movement as such, but the offered explanation seems off... I know what I won't be clicking on next time I buy an Indie Bundle anyway.

Pretty much this. I wonder what PA will reap due to this. Still its a good thing to see a Charity was able to benefit from this.I wonder if people will be more hesitant to give in the future given PA dictate its policy.

So people actually thought they were donating money specifically to undermine the work of a creative entity, and then asked for it back when they found out it was going to help kids?

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

So you gave money to a charity...thinking they had anything to do with actually changing the ending...and then you take your money back?

Bravo video game community, brav-fucking-o.

Idiots.

So PA is prematurely ending a charity drive... and they're doing so under the pretense that it's causing confusion (for whom, 3 or 4 people?), and because they don't like the cause. Disgusting.

Dexter111:

I don't really care about the movement as such, but the offered explanation seems off... I know what I won't be clicking on next time I buy an Indie Bundle anyway.

Kinda like the Superbowl "advocacy" nonsense. They don't want to be seen as advocates as long as it's one side and not the other.

Like you, I'm not too concerned about "the cause," one way or another.

I just think this whole "Non-involvement" thing seems hollow. ESPECIALLY since you pointed out Child Play's prior efforts.

mronoc:
So people actually thought they were donating money specifically to undermine the work of a creative entity, and then asked for it back when they found out it was going to help kids?

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

Forget the kids, I WANT MY ENDING FIXED!

I'm just baffled that "a high number of people [asked] for their donations back." and that they thought this would actually buy them an ending. I mean what the? It's just, guh.

-V

While it's funny to think that some people are so enraged by the ME3 ending that they will blindly throw money at anything they assume will get it changed. I think it was despicable of the guy running the RTM to tie his retarded rage machine to the charity knowing full well (and I don't see how there's anyway he couldn't have seen people would construe it as such...unless he's just as stupid as the morons he's attracted) that people would throw money at it in some insane attempt to get the ending changed.

It's fine for people to get upset the ending wasn't what they wanted, but this bullshit has gone way too far.

Usual Disclaimers: I am not a Bioware fan, I haven't played any of the ME games, I didn't like DA:O, and I didn't buy DA2. In short, I am in no way a Bioware fanboy nor am I a fan of Bioware in any substantial capacity.

shadowmagus:
So you gave money to a charity...thinking they had anything to do with actually changing the ending...and then you take your money back?

Bravo video game community, brav-fucking-o.

Idiots.

Way to generalize everyone by actions of few idiots.

Apparently there are people who play Mass Effect and don't know what Child's Play is.

Andy Chalk:
I still think that demanding a new and "better" conclusion to Mass Effect 3 is silly but I'm sure not going to take issue with the results, and Robb and everyone else who helped make it happen deserve a big congratulations for their efforts.

Indeed! Why would fans demand a more satisfactory ending to a beloved series?

It's unfortunate that the drive had to be stopped short, but $80,000 for a very worthy charity? That's a big win by any measure.

I would like a better ending, but I'd give money to Child's Play anyway.

shadowmagus:
So you gave money to a charity...thinking they had anything to do with actually changing the ending...and then you take your money back?

Bravo video game community, brav-fucking-o.

Idiots.

Yeah so what If they managed to keep $80,000? THE ENTIRE gaming community (including you) is responsible for it being shut down.

Thank you for acknowledging they raised 80k, too bad a few chumpheads ruined it for everybody else by demanding their money back.

Hold the Line.

KeyMaster45:
While it's funny to think that some people are so enraged by the ME3 ending that they will blindly throw money at anything they assume will get it changed. I think it was despicable of the guy running the RTM to tie his retarded rage machine to the charity knowing full well (and I don't see how there's anyway he couldn't have seen people would construe it as such...unless he's just as stupid as the morons he's attracted) that people would throw money at it in some insane attempt to get the ending changed.

It's fine for people to get upset the ending wasn't what they wanted, but this bullshit has gone way too far.

Usual Disclaimers: I am not a Bioware fan, I haven't played any of the ME games, I didn't like DA:O, and I didn't buy DA2. In short, I am in no way a Bioware fanboy nor am I a fan of Bioware in any substantial capacity.

I think the exact opposite. More internet protests/whine-fests need to have a positive aspect to them, like a charity drive.

You think that sick children shouldn't reap the benefits of non-altruistic donations just because you don't like the cause? With all due respect, I think that says just as much about you as it does about the people donating.

I think they are within their rights to reevaluate their policies if this particular drive has become an issue for them. Sure, they may have allowed this to happen before(Bioware/Dragon Age thing), but if this particular drive caused them problems, they should be allowed to modify their policies for future projects.

The logic is sound: Whatever you think, there are certain segments of the population who will notice 'Child's Play' associated with the group raising money, but not be informed on the details. If the name of a large organization is used in any way by an outside entity, there are people who will assume the large organization is at the very least aware and okay with the groups purpose. The thinking being: "Wouldn't they stop it if it was a problem for them?". Sure it's all roses when the groups cause is inoffensive, but if the group raising money is controversial, many people will be upset with the charity. Like it or not, the Retake Mass Effect thing has been a very controversial issue in the community and I'm sure Child's Play has had to deal with issues.

What if the next group is raising money for Child's Play to raise awareness of the benefits of child-porn? Regardless of your view on child-porn, people would be forced to agree that the charity part was good, thereby manipulating people who are vehemently against the group to say something nice about it. I think we can all agree that is just silly and cannot be allowed, but that group could argue the same disassociation with Child's Play as the Retake Mass Effect folks*.

I feel like they have decided this issue has become enough of a problem that they will revisit their own policies on it and probably will be more vigilant in the future. Unfortunately, I think this is one of those scenarios where no can have the nice thing, because a few people misuse it if we let everyone have it.

*Of course Retake Mass Effect and the fictional child-porn advocacy group I refer to are not on the same level, it's intended as an extreme example. If I have to tell you that, then you have picked out the major words in my argument and not the details and then gotten angry about the association you perceive them to have, thereby proving my argument.

Dexter111:

Zachary Amaranth:
I think the inferred assumption is ridiculous, and it shouldn't assume partisanship simply because someone decided to use your cause to make a statement. But whatever, I thought "Retake Mass Effect" was stupid anyway.

Yeah, especially since they apparently didn't have a problem when Bioware used the charity for corporate PR/increasing sales or making people play their Facebook games...

http://blog.bioware.com/2009/12/15/dragon-age-origins-ebay-auction-for-childs-play-charity/
http://greywardens.com/2009/12/bioware-child%E2%80%99s-play-and-the-gift-of-the-yeti/

Today on the BioWare Blog they ask Dragon Age fans to help them raise $10,000 for a charitable donation to "Child's Play", by playing their Facebook application called Gift of the Yeti. You play and BioWare will pay.

I don't really care about the movement as such, but the offered explanation seems off... I know what I won't be clicking on next time I buy an Indie Bundle anyway.

Whilst I can't really talk about the 'Gift of the Yeti thing, as this is the first time I've actually heard of such thing existing, I don't think it's fair to lump the example in your first link in there, no matter how valid your point may be.

It's not unusual for companies such as EA and BioWare to donate exclusive items to charity auctions, hell Marvel Studios have just held one for their film props. The difference between BioWare auctioning off some DA:O memorabilia and this 'Retake Mass Effect' nonsense really just boils down to the unambiguous nature of the message.

With BioWare the good PR really does come second to supporting a charity they've had a good relationship with in the past. Retake Mass Effect, however, is actively using Child's Play as an attention-seeking ploy.

There really is a difference between saying "Support Child's Play by bidding on memorabilia for a game that you like and is incredibly popular at the moment" and saying "support our cause by donating to Child's Play". That's what Tycho was getting at when he said "Child's Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause. Child's Play must be the Cause."

and anybody who didn't get why this was a bad idea to start with, well here ya go -.-

"What? You mean all I'm doing is helping children and not buying justification for my entitled attitudes? I demand a refund!"

Internet mockery is not enough.

I guess some people don't read what they buy, I want my donation back, that makes you so much worse than anyone just bitching about the ending, I mean you wouldn't donate a bag of clothes to the salvation army and then go back the next week and ask for them back...

Dumb people are dumb.

I'd still like to know exactly what a 'high' amount is, but that's still 80 grand give or take for charity. The reasons don't matter, if they got 80 grand and the only downside was they had to field some calls from a few dozen douchebags who thought it was going to 'buy' them a new ending, you know what? Worth it. All damn day.

TsunamiWombat:
Thank you for acknowledging they raised 80k, too bad a few chumpheads ruined it for everybody else by demanding their money back.

Hold the Line.

To me, I see this as a Paragon/Renegade move.

The people who donated that want their money back despite that it's going towards the children, those are the Renegade fans (not saying they have Renegade Shepards but I see it as a bad move on their part). Yet the fans who are Paragon feel happy with helping children out even if they just did it in hopes the ending 'could' change in ME3.

Only reason I see it like this is because you'd really have to be brutal to withdraw money from such a worthy cause. Yeah I know it was a nerdy example but I couldn't withdraw money from a charity despite if I found out it wasn't for changing the ending. No one should withdraw money from a chairty because.. that's deeply messed up.

Somepunctuation:
So PA is prematurely ending a charity drive... and they're doing so under the pretense that it's causing confusion (for whom, 3 or 4 people?), and because they don't like the cause. Disgusting.

How is being omniscience working out for you?

Mr. Omega:

Nothing but the best intentions from ME fans.
Truly, they are the champions of consumer rights.

OT: This whole thing has gotten out of hand. Well, $80,000 for charity is good, even if the intentions were dumb. At least some of the participants decided to do something productive.

Wait.... So there are a few dumb shits in a batch of over 30,000 people and so obviously ALL Mass Effect fans donated to this charity to pay for a new ending.

Truly, you are the champion of critical thinking.

RatRace123:
I was in support of the movement. Largely because, for whatever the reason they still raised a hell of a lot of money.
80 Grand is no small amount. Though hearing that some people were confused and wanted their charitable donations back, that kinda puts a damper on it a little bit.

But still, a movement that raised that much money for charity, I'd say it's a good thing overall.

a movement that used a childrens charity because they were pissed at a videogames' ending, using said charity to demand a different ending.

no, those people are assholes and should lose their bank accounts.

Kalezian:

a movement that used a childrens charity because they were pissed at a videogames' ending, using said charity to demand a different ending.

no, those people are assholes and should lose their bank accounts.

So I'm assuming then based on this assumption of what kind of people they are that you regularly give to charity?

I'm glad I donated $20. BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT EA, THATS $20 YOUR ASSES WILL NOT BE GETTING FOR ANY ME3 DLC. I WILL NOT PAY for a complete ME3 ending unless that DLC is as complete and massive as the FO3 "Broken Steel" DLC. Anything less is a disservice to BioWare and your customers.

Hitchmeister:
"What? You mean all I'm doing is helping children and not buying justification for my entitled attitudes? I demand a refund!"

Internet mockery is not enough.

There is not enough mockery in the world for these folks.

Tycho:
[Child's Play] has been asked what the goal is, and how much they need to raise in order to get the ending produced. We've also been contacted by PayPal due to a high number of people asking for their donations back. This is in addition to readers who simply couldn't understand how this was connected to Child's Play's mission. We were dealing with a lot of very confused people, more every day, and that told us we had a problem.

That alone is fucking disgusting. I cannot believe I'm a part of a community full of whiny, entitled, and egotistical assholes. For years, we've been struggling with the stigma that gamers, as a whole, are hopeless losers who are prone to violence and childish behavior, and here we are proving them right.

Penny Arcade's Child's Play (and by extension, Desert Bus) has been one of the greatest and most wholesome thing to come out of the gaming community, and has really helped quell the image that we're mindless slaves to "murder simulators", and just because a single AAA game had a sub-par ending, the gaming community managed to turn this into a fucking circus. Donate because you want to help Child's Play, not because your unwarranted self-importance demands that you somehow deserve a better ending simply because you may or may not have actually purchased the product.

I'm sick of this attitude. It needs to fucking stop. No other medium of entertainment stoops so low as to make petitions and campaigns over such trivial bullshit.

You don't see people sending death threats to Michael Bay's personal phones in response to Transformers.

You don't see people making massive online petitions to boycott Eoin Colfer's And Another Thing... or Brian Herbert's Sisterhood of Dune.

You don't see people withdrawing their donations from a food drive because they wanted a different ending to The Sopranos.

We're supposed to show the world that we're much more mature than this, and instead we're turning into another self-indulgent internet mob.

Go fuck yourselves

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