Child’s Play Doesn’t Appreciate Being Used To ‘Retake Mass Effect’

Child’s Play Doesn’t Appreciate Being Used To ‘Retake Mass Effect’

Citing a large number of refunded donations and confusion over the goal of the /”Retake Mass Effect Child’s Play charity drive, Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins draws the line: “Child’s Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause. Child’s Play must be the cause.”

While the fan-lead effort to show BioWare a more positive side of the Mass Effect 3 ending argument generated more than $US80,000 for the Child’s Play charity, it has also managed to generate much confusion for charity organisers. They’ve fielded questions from folks that believed the event officially sponsored by the charity, as well as those that believed there was a tangible monetary goal that would cause BioWare to flip the switch on a new ending.


The “Retake Mass Effect” webpage now features a post by one Robb, calling the charity drive a success and announcing that it would be “winding down” following conversations with Child’s Play representatives.

Meanwhile the effort’s Facebook page is essentially saying that Robb is speaking out of his arse.

While Robb was one of the individuals who set up the Child’s Play fundraiser he is NOT a spokesperson for the Retake movement as a whole, and never asked to become one.

The charity campaign did NOT “wind down” it reached its preset goal of $US80,000, ended and the directors of Child’s Play asked us to end the charity because they were getting bad publicity from it.

Either way, the charitable donation portion of the “Retake Mass Effect” movement has come to a close.

Child’s Play And “Retake Mass Effect” [Penny Arcade]


  • Say what you will about the movement but I can’t believe a charity is essentially turning down money. If I were in their shoes I wouldn’t care how we get the money, so long as it’s going towards sick kids.

    • Well how would you feel if you were in their shoes. The cause is almost being used in a hostage like situation.
      And to be honest I don’t think people should have to have this whole Mass Effect ending fiasco as a reason to donate to charity. I don’t approve of this way at all. Just donate the money in a regular fashion like everyone else..

    • Well do us all a favour, and don’t start a charity.
      There are people who were asking for their money back from the charity, who donated somehow under the impression their money wasn’t going to sick kids but straight to paying for a new ending for Mass Effect 3. This is a fact, and it’s stated in Tycho’s blog post on the matter.
      They aren’t refusing money, they’re simply putting a cap on this particular drive from this particular collective. They can’t afford to be associated with a cause that’l have any sort of polarising effect in the long run.
      They’re thinking big game, instead of shooting themselves in the foot and risking anything.

    • Plenty of charities and campaigns will return money if they don’t think it shares their ideals. This prevents what are ostensibly neutral third parties from being used by special interest groups.

    • It would set a precedent for others to use Child’s Play to push their own agenda. They should be telling Retake Mass Effect to get f***ed on principle.

  • I think as ways to voice displeasure at a company go, this has to be the best right? I mean 80 grand is a lot of money and it will be helping people.

  • Wow, come on, regardless of the somewhat childish nature of the whole ordeal, 80000 is 80000… That’s really awesome!

  • Lol this is bullshit. No one is stupid enough to donate to charity and then ask for their money back… RIGHT?!?!?!

  • Can’t have been a lot of people who thought that this whole thing was being sponsored by Child’s Play, surely. It seemed pretty clear to me the movement to change the ending was an entirely seperate entity. I don’t think this was a big enough thing to start turning money down over. I think it was great that they raised 80k. It’s not like they were asking for money to kill puppies or anything (bad example I know). I know Holkins means well but but there worse things in life to turn down charity money for.

    • I don’t think people read his actual statement. He isn’t refusing the money because he disagrees with the movement, he’s instituting a new rule because Child’s Play’s authenticity and integrity was being called into question, as well as a large number of people requesting money back. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but it was also a fiasco for CP management.

  • Should refuse the refund. I donated and I was well aware that the donation had nothing to actually do with the retake mass effect movement. I think the donation was more towards getting attention and venting our hate and anger to a good cause. I am sad that the money is going to be refunded.

    • If you chose to donate on the proviso that the donation had nothing to do with the Retake Mass Effect movement, why not just re-donate it to Child’s Play? That way it’ll still go where you intended it to go.

  • I’m glad someone saw sense and put an end to it. It was just really bizarre and damaging on a lot of levels.
    1) If people are donating to a charity to try and change an ending, what incentive is there to change the ending? People are donating to a charity.
    2) People are donating to a charity not because they want to help the charity’s cause, but because they want something. This is different to the type of donation that is “$x of your purchase goes to this charity” where the donation is a side benefit, it’s “You are donating the full amount because you want something”. That isn’t charity, it’s selfish motivation, or at the worst, coercion.
    3) As was mentioned as one of the reasons, if you use charity donations to further your cause, you are also associating the charity with your cause. If you are donating because you want the story’s end changed, donate to the “Change ME 3’s ending” cause, not the “Help sick kids have a better time of it in hospital” cause.

    As much as people try to sugar coat it with “I’m donating to charity so it’s ok”, there’s nothing charitable about it.

  • This all debacle was a an awful misfire relating to non-profit charity. My hope is that it doesn’t give people a feeling of hesitance in regards to donating to an extremely worthwhile cause. I’m surprised more hospitals haven’t picked up the initiative.

  • Child’s Play didn’t do anything wrong, it was simply being hijacked by a well-meaning – though totally wrong – initiative, and they were right to draw that line in the sand. Jerry’s words said it all. Child’s Play IS the cause, not a tool to draw attention to a cause.

    I understand the logic at use by the people participating – it’s a stronger message than a petition, essentially ‘putting their money where their mouth is’, but using charity money as a method of coercion isn’t cool in any situation. They should explore other options.

  • One thing that makes me sick is this sudden attempt to vilify what some people were doing. Which was a positive way to protest. They made no bones about what they were doing and in no way tried to mislead people. While I have not doubt some people got confused, because many don’t bother to understand what they are told, things like this make it sound like everyone was mislead which wasn’t the case in the least.

    They could have chosen to give to PITA or Greenpeace, but Child’s Play(a charity that give things such a video games to kids in the hospital when they are sick) was the perfect charity to give to in such a situation. People have been creating fundraisers with similar intent for years. All I see is a bunch of people trying to redirect the hate towards what was otherwise a vary positive thing.

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