It seems like I struck a few nerves with my last two posts. Some thought I had crossed over into the realm of conspiracy theories for speculating about why ‘Retake Mass Effect’s ChipIn website had gone dark, while others weren’t happy that I criticized Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins for putting an end to the movement’s contributions to their charity. To address the former, many had been wondering whether or not BioWare or Electronic Arts was forcing Child’s Play to distance itself from ‘Retake Mass Effect’. Forbes’ Erik Kain had wrote an article about a point raised by Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett recent post concerning the firing of Jeff Gerstmann from GameSpot in 2007. If a game developer could force a website like GameSpot to fire an employee for writing a negative review, what else are they capable of? A number of commenters at the BioWare Social Network had been discussing whether or not this was why the ‘Retake Mass Effect’ website had gone dark, but without any real proof, I could only speculate. I didn’t, however, endorse conspiracy theories. As for the latter, that’s a different mess entirely.
Forbes’s Dave Thier has an article up about the official statement from Jamie Dillion, a representation of Child’s Play. Though Dillion’s statement is polite, the statements made by Krahulik and Holkins were far from. They both accused ‘Retake Mass Effect’ of using Child’s Play as a shield to deflect criticism, but Holkins went much further and lied about why the movement’s ChipIn had gone dark. In a statement he as posted on Penny Arcade under his online moniker, “Tycho Brahe”, Holkins’ said, “They have stopped taking donations now partly because they basically won and partly because we don’t know how to feel about this use of the charity.” I guess he’s going to have a hard time explaining why ‘Retake Mass Effect’ is continuing its fundraising efforts with ‘Full Paragon’ after BioWare’s co-founder, Ray Muzyka released a statement Wednesday. This, aside from the fact that Robb, someone speaking on behalf of the ‘Retake Mass Effect’ ChipIn website had made it clear that he was told by Child’s Play to bring the fundraising to an end. Suffice to say, I feel that myself and others are justified in our criticism of Krahuliks and Holkins’ attempts to smear ‘Retake Mass Effect’.
In any event, it’s important that ‘Retake Mass Effect’ not get discouraged by this fiasco. Raising money for charity is a worthwhile endeavor, and I’m proud to support this movement as it has channeled its frustrations at Mass Effect 3’s endings into something constructive. Nearly $80,000 was raised, don’t forget that. This, however, isn’t the end of ‘Retake Mass Effect’s fund raising efforts. There are other charities which would welcome the movement’s help in raising funds.
As stated above, ‘Retake Mass Effect’ has started up a new charity drive, ‘Full Paragon’. One of my commenters, Jon ‘Geeksquared’ Thurtell, informed me of this effort and I have to say I’m impressed with how quickly the movement has shifted gears and found another worthwhile charity to support. ‘Full Paragon’ is raising money for Kids Need to Read, a charity that “works to create a culture of reading for children by providing inspiring books to underfunded schools, libraries, and literacy programs across the United States, especially those serving disadvantaged children.” A little interesting factoid for science fiction fans, Nathan Fillion, the star of Firefly, co-founded this charity. Do we need any other reason to donate? I think not.
Along with Kids Need to Read, I’m also going to support Fisher House. For those who have never heard of it, Fisher House is a charity which “recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.” While I realize that ‘Retake Mass Effect’ is focusing now on ‘Full Paragon’, I would still hope that my readership at least could donate to this important charity.
Regardless of whether or not Mass Effect 3’s endings are changed, both of these charities are worthwhile causes. ‘Retake Mass Effect’ might have started out as a collection of upset Mass Effect fans, but it’s become so much more. If, in the end, all BioWare will give Mass Effect fans is a “clarification,” at least something truly good will have come from this movement.
Be confident, stay positive and HOLD THE LINE!
For those who still haven’t already liked ‘Demand a better ending to Mass Effect 3′ on Facebook, if you feel as myself and thousands of other Mass Effect fans do about Mass Effect 3′s endings, do it. I would also recommend that my readership think about making a charitable donation to ‘Full Paragon’, which is supporting Kids Need to Read, and/or Fisher House. Both are worthwhile causes that could use our support.