Friday, 23 March 2012

Penny Arcade, Mass Effect: "Pandora's Box"

Some people started a donation drive thingy to "Take Back Mass Effect 3" after the childishly stupid ending was discovered, mostly by people who had paid hundreds of dollars for the special edition of the game that promised the ending wouldn't be childishly stupid.

They figured the best way to send a message to Bioware that they ought to do something about this would be to show it with their money. But in a misguided attempt at kindness, they decided all funds would go to Child's Play.

Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, two people who -liked- the Mass Effect 3 ending, have decided to reject all funds directed to Child's Play from this movement. Their reasons?

"Child’s Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause.  Child’s Play must be the Cause."

And you know what? As much as I hate the idea of needy kids being deprived of joy that such money could buy... I agree.

This isn't like when PayPal froze and then refunded donations given by Something Awful, to help against the damage of Hurricane Katrina. It was obvious that the people who donated didn't care about Child's Play. They just wanted the ending to their game to stop being the worst thing anyone has ever written. They didn't care about kids in hospitals with a lot of downtime, who just need something to take their minds off the pain or discomfort(or just the sheer boredom). That is why, even though technically that money could have helped those kids, I don't think it was a donation made for the right reasons.

Child's Play is too important to abused for the sake of correcting a fictional mistake. And if Child's Play didn't rake in millions of generous donations every year, I'd be more worried. But those kids'll get by. And it looks like Bioware is conjuring something up, DLC-wise, specifically to correct their biggest failure. Either they've heard our anger, or they always knew their ending was "blatherskite" and prepared accordingly. I wouldn't call this a victory, but it's looking less and less like defeat, and I'm certainly not going to stop reading Penny Arcade because of it.



1 comment:

  1. I read the entire "blatherskite" page in order to better understand. I expected the ending to be overhyped, but little did I know that the errors made in executing the finale were so fundamental.

    Its like I saw that this was brewing, somehow, and just disowned Mass Effect while I was playing #2.

    In regards to your post in general, I find that in Western society today, everything is viewed as a tool. The way the person at Childs Play stated his reasons to not accept the funds are fully understandable, respectable, but would be in contrast really shocking to the public at large. In Western society, there is no "ends", because so much importance is placed on the "means".

    Even the United States Supreme Court exemplifies that notion in their recent change to the definition of a corporation. In the U.S., a corporation is now legally considered a person, recieving all the rights entitled to anyone else. Right now, people are only concentrating on the fact that now corporations can pour limitless amounts of money into any politicians campaign. In the future however, there will be more serious consequences to that move.

    Moving on. I think that there is a large disparity in awareness regarding the seriousness/frivolousness conflicts that happen every day now. We have become so used to being inundated with nonsense that we are now starting to BREATHE nonsense.

    In other words, Mass Effect 3's ending is the icing on the cake for media at large these days. The reason, IMO, is that many games, and more frequently, very high production value games are reaping the benefits of our consumer based society. If you make a steaming pile of crap, and put it in nice packaging, along with a series of commericals and T.V. endorsements, it will sell very well.

    BTW. This is Military Afficiando Greg, in case you haven't noticed, mon frere.