Child’s Play Confirms Only ‘Handfull’ Of ME3-Related Refunds
A terrible tragedy has befallen America’s straw community as several straw men were murdered last week by confirmation that the majority of donations made to the Child’s Play Charity on behalf of the Retake Mass Effect Movement were not withdrawn.
You’ll recall how the Retake Mass Effect movement decided to channel their frustration with BioWare into something good, encouraging followers to donate to the Child’s Play Charity as a means of showing that they weren’t simply a bunch of entitled whiners, as their critics put it. They managed to raise an astonishing 80K in a very short period of time, a great achievement despite the fact that a sizable number of people continued to mock them (and mischaracterize their arguments).
Unfortunately, it was right about that time that Child’s Play decided to put a stop to the fundraiser. The reason was, as Child’s Play co-founder Jerry Holkins put it in a post to the Penny Arcade Forums, because they were concerned about the possibility that in the future, less scrupulous actors might try using Child’s Play as a kind of whitewash. “This is a passionate community that formed around one thing, and some of that passion was expressed in charitable giving,” Holkins wrote. “I actually support this cause, but I am a pessimist, and I’m thinking about the next time something like this happens – when someone attaches Child’s Play to something we can’t get behind, or leverages your history of generosity and fellow feeling for their own weird bull—-. So, we need to have something like a policy on this.”
He continued: “This is the best way I can think to say it: Child’s Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause. Child’s Play must be the Cause.”
It’s difficult to argue with that point. However, Holkins kind of muddied the water a bit with comments made earlier in that blog post. Referring to Child’s Play Manager Jamie Dillion, he said “Jamie has been buried under mail about this situation. Apparently some of the people giving to the cause seemed to think that they were paying for a new ending to Mass Effect. She’s 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.” (Emphasis mine).
That’s a rather serious accusation, and this characterization of the Retake movement managed to get a bit of traction, with some commenters (whom I won’t link to) taking it as a sign that they would heartlessly withdraw their donations. As it turns out, that isn’t the case. Jamie Dillion spoke to Joystiq about this issue last week, and confirmed that there hasn’t been a rash of Scrooges. “Essentially,” she said “there were a handful of people who requested their donation returned, which we did. The large majority of the funds were not returned and will be distributed to the hospitals as normal.”
No doubt Child’s Play really was inundated with email about the movement, but I must admit I’m curious about why Holkins stated that there was “a high number of people asking for their donations back”, when that clearly hasn’t been the case. It’s probably there was a miscommunication between PayPal and Child’s Play/Penny Arcade, and we’ll be following up with Child’s Play to find out everything we can. In the meantime, I think it’s appropriate that we bow our heads to commemorate this tragic murder of so many straw men, cut down in their prime.