March 26, 2012 at 6:35 PM ET
The previously reported grassroots campaign to change the ending of "Mass Effect 3" accomplished its goals, but not without incident. The group's intentions and even its attitude was the subject of criticism from various corners of the Web. This may have been the impetus to start a fundraiser, to put some of the attention they have received into good works. But that too in the end has resulted in controversy.
Almost $80,000 was raised at one point, in an initiative that many felt was largely motivated to demonstrate a more "positive" side of the outspoken group. The money was to go to Child's Play, the largest and most well-known charity organization dedicated to supplying sick and needy children with toys and video games.
The problem was, donors believed that by donating money, they were somehow pushing the publishers of "Mass Effect 3" to release a new ending.
Late last week, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, creators of the game oriented web comic Penny Arcade and the founders of Child's Play, were flooded by emails asking what the goal amount was, the financial target necessary to get an alternate ending produced. There were also a large number of people asking for their donations to be refunded, once they realized that the drive was not for an alternate ending after all.
Krahulik and Holkins issued a statement that made it clear that they are not part of the group's goals. They asked the fundraiser be halted and stated:
Child’s Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause. Child’s Play must be the Cause.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.