In his statement yesterday, BioWare co-founder, Dr. Ray Muzyka made specific mention of individual attacks on BioWare employees. My comments on his arrogant statement are here for those interested, but that’s not what this post is about. It has just come to my attention that the children’s charity, Child’s Play has come under attack because of it’s apparent connection to the ‘Retake Mass Effect’ movement.
Yesterday, UniqueName001 posted a statement from Robb, one of those operating the ‘Retake Mass Effect’ ChipIn website, at the BioWare Social Network. Here’s the statement and a link to the thread it was orginally posted in.
As of today, I have set an end goal for our fundraiser at $80,000.
The very idea that we would even be able to reach that goal was a fever dream only a week ago. I don’t believe anyone can or should consider this effort to have been anything but spectacularly successful. As evidenced by the statement from Dr. Myzuka yesterday, we have made our voices heard. Those of you here have taken special care to be heard in a polite, positive manner, and I believe that this is a major contributor to that success.
We have shown our sincerity and passion. We have brought positive attention to the Retake Mass Effect movement.
Make no mistake. This effort has been victorious.
I have been in contact with a manager at Child’s Play. First, he wanted to stress how grateful they were for our efforts here, and the huge impact it will have in helping the charity. However, he 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 a source of difficulty for them, and it has been requested that we wind this effort down. Again, I want to stress that the charity is not unhappy with our work, they are exceptionally pleased with what we have accomplished.
There will be conspiracy theorys regarding this. Many of the public statements by Penny Arcade have been dismissive or outright derogatory of our effort. I believe this is a failure on their part to understand our issues, but they are entitled to their opinion. Regardless, I want to stress that I do not believe for one second that this is an attempt by anyone at Penny Arcade to silence this movement.
I also want you all to know I am acting unilaterally in this decision. I have been provided many eloquent arguments against winding down the drive and I appreciate them. In the end, however, I believe that now is the time for this phase of the process to come to an close.
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 will be taking a break from BSN for a time. My sincerest thanks to everyone who has supported this effort whether through donations, publicity, or kind words. Special thanks to the core group here who kept this thread polite, positive, and on track.
I hope to soon have an archive of the comments made on the ChipIn page located at http://www.wewillholdtheline.org.
To everyone here – my thanks, and I salute you.
As of now, the ChipIn website has gone dark. I’m hoping this means that they were able to $80,000 Robb mentioned in his statement. In any event, I will be posting a link to Child’s Play’s website so that my readers can continue to donate.
Words cannot describe how disgusted I am at this turn of events. Regardless of what side of the debate you’re on, there is no excuse for attacking a children’s charity, who’s only crime is letting upset Mass Effect fans donate to them. I would like to know was spreading lies about Child’s Play’s connection to ‘Retake Mass Effect’. After the attacks from the Jersey Shore rejects at Destructoid, I would really like to know whether or not they’re involved. I would also like to know whether or not Penny Arcade played a part in this as well since Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, artists for Penny Arcade, are the founders of Child’s Play. Despite what Robb says, knowing their history, it wouldn’t surprise me if they forced the shutdown of ‘Retake Mass Effect’s ChipIn website out of spite. One has to wonder whether Muzyka will now release a statement condemning the actions of BioWare’s supporters for their “destructive commentary.” After yesterday’s “grand gesture,” I doubt he has the courage to do it.
As for my own theories as to why Child’s Play wanted to distance itself from ‘Retake Mass Effect’, I would hope that a charity wouldn’t do something like this over a few angry letters. Could it be corporate pressure, like the promise of a much larger donation, that led to this? Though possible, I’m not sure this is the case. Looking at Child’s Play’s list of corporate sponsors, one will not find Electronic Arts nor BioWare among them. Destructoid, IGN, and Kotaku are also not on the list. It could be that they were promised a donation as long as it remained anonymous, but without any proof to back it up, it’s still just a theory. (UPDATE: This isn’t a conspiracy theory, its harmless speculation. Anonymous donations are common, especially if the person or entity making the donation doesn’t wish to be identified. I wasn’t the only person thinking this when the ChipIn website went dark.) It shoud be noted that Bethesda Softworks, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Online Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment were listed as Child’s Play Platinum Sponsors. Let’s remember that next time we buy a video game.
Whatever the reason, I hope that Child’s Play made this decision because they felt it was in the charity’s best interests, and if that’s the reason, not only do I respect their choice, I support it wholeheartedly. As much as myself and others wish to see BioWare change the endings of Mass Effect 3, the efforts of this charity are far more important. If the Child’s Play’s decision costs ‘Retake Mass Effect’ some support, so be it.
As for those attacking Child’s Play, I have to say that finding out who these people are is a “witch-hunt” I will support. If anyone deserves a public shaming, it is whoever felt it necessary to spread lies concerning Child’s Play’s connection to ‘Retake Mass Effect’. If/when those behind this smear campaign are identified, I will update this post. It’s important that ‘Retake Mass Effect’ and its supporters make an effort to find out who’s responsible as this kind of conduct cannot be tolerated.
HOLD THE LINE!
If you haven’t already liked ‘Demand a better ending to Mass Effect 3’ on Facebook, and you feel as myself and thousands of other Mass Effect fans do about Mass Effect 3’s endings, do it. Also, I recommend supporters of the ‘Retake Mass Effect’ movement go to Child’s Play’s website and make a donation. It’s for a very good cause.
UPDATE: I take it back. Apparently, Child’s Play’s motives weren’t pure. The charity’s founders, Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, didn’t like that ‘Retake Mass Effect’ was getting positive media coverage because it was donating money to the charity they founded. Here’s the link to the post I wrote about this fiasco.