EA calls “2 Save Pet Society” Group Leader!

EA calls Active Members 2 Save Pet Society Group Leader!

2 days ago, an EA representative called Selena, leader of the Active Members 2 Save Pet Society Facebook Group, to tell her that all the noise we have been making on Facebook and Twitter has been noticed by the board.

A few weeks ago, he had told us:

“I will keep my ears open and, in the event a possibility opens up down the road, I will let you know.”

Now, thanks to Selena’s hard work in motivating the members of the 2 Save Pet Society Group to keep fighting even after the close of the game, it looks like the possibility is opening up. The fact that our EA rep called Selena (not the other way around) is a very positive sign that things are headed in the right direction.

If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you sign the new petition to as EA to grant us the Limited Use License. This will help to show EA how many people are still interested in Pet Society after all this time.

Then share, Tweet, and tell all your old Pet Society neighbors to do the same!

For more info on what this is about see Save Pet Society 2.0.

Addressing Concerns on Signing Online Petitions

Many people have not signed the Save Pet Society petitions on Change.org because they are hesitant to give their personal information. I have signed close to a hundred petitions on Change.org in recent years and not had any problems, so I encourage you to reconsider.

Keep reading for a couple of suggestions if you are concerned about your privacy.

Your home or mailing address

Your home or mailing address is not displayed to the public, but even if it is divulged to the petition recipients it wouldn’t be any different than sending them a letter. It will also be among so many thousands of others that it is unlikely that the company will bother to do anything with it.

If you really don’t want to give your home address, consider using your work address.

I do not, however, recommend using a fake address as it would hurt the validity of our cause if it came to light that anyone used false information to sign the petition. They may also question whether people used fake identities to pad the number of signatures.

Remember that if you were to write a letter, you would also be giving your mailing address and possibly email address which has been common letterhead practice for over a decade.

Opting out of petition status updates

A few petition authors may send a thank you email after you sign a petition, but most don’t go further than that. A few may send an email update to let you know if the petition you signed succeeded, but you can opt out of these emails here.

You could also create a new email account especially for signing online petitions. If you use Hotmail/Live.com/Outlook.com, you can also create an email alias without having to set up a new account.

Just too lazy to create a Change.org account?

Simply login with one click using Facebook connect. This is the method I use because I have so many online accounts I often forget my password for sites I don’t use on a daily basis.

You will have to authorize the app on your first use, but you can always revoke Change.org’s access at any time via your Facebook app settings.

Using your Facebook login makes it easy to sign petitions and share them on Facebook with one click.

How Online Petitions Help Causes to Succeed

Online petitions have become a common method of instituting change and promoting causes in the 21st century. Signing an online petition is an easy way to get involved in a cause you support without having to write and send a letter snail mail, which is what one had to do in the old days.

Take a look at the home page of Change.org to see the causes that have succeeded because of their online petitions.

Online Petition vs. Letter Writing

Yes, it is also a good idea to write a letter when you can, especially when it’s an issue that you feel particularly passionate about because letters — thanks to the convenience of email and online petitions — have become special.

These days, when someone takes the time to sit down and write a letter — especially by hand — it means something. It means that they feel so strongly about an issue that they are willing to spend time (something greatly lacking in the 21st century) to write a personal letter.

But do you live outside the country where the targeted petitionee is located? Is air mail from your country slow or unreliable? Are you too busy to sit down and write a letter? Then, signing a petition is the next best thing.

Numbers Count

Big companies these days only care about numbers. The number of customers, products sold, sales figures, stock values, years in business, etc.

Numbers are the easiest way to gauge the success or failure of a company, product, service, campaign, etc. when it comes to large, impersonal corporations run by a great “number” of people.

With a petition, the company can easily see the number of people they risk alienating by denying or ignoring them. The higher the number of signatures, the higher the rate of negative publicity they risk generating. So, the higher the number of signatures, the more likely a company is to listen.

If a company sees that only a few people out of millions care about a particular issue, they won’t bother to do anything because what can a few people do to hurt their company?

But imagine if they see that 50,000 sign a petition. If they choose to ignore these 50,000 people who tell just 3 people about what their company has done, that number becomes 150,000 who hear bad things about their company. If just 1 of those 3 people tells another 3 people, that’s 450,000 people. It won’t be long before the negative publicity spreads to millions because most people will be spreading the word to hundreds of people at a time (instead of 3) thanks to social networking and media.

* * *

So, if you’ve been hesitant to sign the petition, I again encourage you to reconsider and use the above suggestions for using your work address or an alternate email.

Click here to sign the petition to ask EA to give Pet Society a second chance with a Limited Use Licnese now

EA Boycott Begins Now!

Boycott EA Waving SignEA’s shutdown of Pet Society was one of the greediest, most selfish and heartless decisions this company has ever made. They thought only of their bottom line and didn’t give one iota of thought to the substantial player base, not to mention the developers of the game whom they fired around the same time they announced the shutdown.

I am personally boycotting all EA games and products from this day forward and will do my research before ever accepting a game request on Facebook, playing any online game, or buying anything that can remotely benefit EA.

EA cannot use its gamers and customers to milk as much money out of them as possible, then shut down the games that people have poured their hearts, years of dedication, and thousands of dollars into and leave them with nothing.

A gaming company that treats its players, customers and employees so abysmally does not deserve to stay in business regardless of how fun some of its games may be.

What We Want from EA

We will, of course, reconsider if EA starts listening to us and gives us a satisfactory resolution —

  1. Giving us a downloadable offline version of our Pet Society games: pets, homes, and belongings; or
  2. Keeping Pet Society alive by granting a Limited Use License to another social gaming company that is interested in taking over the running of the game.

Join the Pet Society Shutdown Protest

Feel free to use these graphics on your own blog, website and as your Facebook profile photo to help spread the word. (Use the still image for your Facebook profile.)

Save Pet Society Signs

Please link these signs to SavePetSociety.wordpress.com so people can come to learn about our mission

Save Pet Society Waving Sign
Save Pet Society Sign

Pet Society Limited Use License Signs

Link these signs to the Limited Use License Petition

Pet Society Limited Use License Waving SignPet Society Limited Use License Sign

Pet Society Offline Version Signs

If you, like me, want EA to at least give us an offline version of our pets so we can still visit them and use the items we worked over the years to collect, use this sign.

Pet Society Offline Version Sign

Boycott EA Signs

Boycott EA Waving SignBoycott EA Sign

Lists of EA Games and Companies

Here are links to lists showing EA’s games and acquisitions. Familiarize yourself with the titles so you know what to avoid.

Popular Games Belonging to EA

This is not a complete list, just a few of the more prominent game titles. Check the links above for more complete lists.

  • Bejeweled
  • Alchemy
  • Bookworm
  • Chuzzle
  • Scrabble
  • Solitaire Blitz
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Zuma
  • Sims

Some Gaming Sites Belonging to EA

  • PopCap.com
  • Pogo.com
  • Origin.com
  • Rockyou.com
  • Firemonkeys.com.au

Virtual Pets May Not Have Feelings, But We Do

Call us suckers. Call us nutcases. We are, after all, making a big stink over the loss of some virtual pets. Those who have never played Pet Society may never understand why we are working so hard to save what is really just some pixels on a computer screen. But that’s like asking why you should love a person or animal. After all, they’re just a bunch of cells, right?

How Can We Have Feelings for Virtual Pets?

Have you ever watched a TV show or cartoon where you came to care about a fictional character so that you felt anxious when he/she was in danger, were relieved when they were safe, or felt sad if he/she died?

Well, loving a virtual pet is like that. But perhaps even more so. When you’ve visited your virtual pet every day for 4-5 years, fed, groomed, and dressed them, and decorated their house and played with them, you form an attachment.

Love knows no boundaries and that includes virtual pets.

Counting Down the Days

When the Pet Society shutdown was first announced, I played Pet Society like crazy. Despite the announcement, I visited my friends and sent mystery boxes, gifts and stickers. I did my crafting and completed my quests — all in the hopes that EA would somehow change its mind.

As the dreaded day drew nearer with no reprieve from EA, I got depressed. I played less and eventually stopped visiting my pet because it was torture seeing him and knowing our days were limited.

I spent a whole weekend learning how to use Virtual Box and setting up an Ubuntu virtual machine. I know it’s a gray area since EA owns Pet Society, but my pet is more than just graphics to me and I have to be able to see him again.

On June 13th, while my sister did my work for me, I took the whole day off from our business to save our pets to our virtual machine. I also stayed up all night making videos of our pets visiting each other, walking around town, going shopping, fishing, and running races. I made videos for my friends so they could have a token to remember their pets by. My bedtime was 9 pm but I was up till 5 am PST — the time that EA had told us they would begin the shutdown process.

I closed Pet Society for what I thought was the last time, feeling incredibly depressed. I went to bed but couldn’t sleep for an hour. I distracted myself with TV until I fell asleep.

The Dreaded Day

I got up 4 hours later with a heavy feeling thinking that EA had begun the shutdown process. I wondered whether my pet was still there, but didn’t dare check. The thought of trying and failing to load Pet Society was too much.

I didn’t want to visit the Please Save Pet Society group because I didn’t want to see thousands of depressing posts by members about not being able to get into Pet Society anymore.

What? Pet Society is Still Online?!

Late in the day, I received a message from Selena (admin at Please Save Pet Society) telling me the game was still online. I still didn’t want to play because it was hard enough saying goodbye the night before.

EA, do you have any idea what you have put us through? Just check the Please Save Pet Society Facebook group to see how many people were in agony over this. Maybe someone at EA thought they were doing us a favor by giving us another weekend with our pets, but it was torture for us not knowing what is going on.

Some members were elated thinking that you’d changed your minds and that our pets were saved.

But many believe you were purposely torturing us by prolonging the process.

The pragmatist and pessimist in me is inclined to think it’s was technical because it takes time for changes to propagate to all servers.

But a small and irrational part of me was optimistic that we’d somehow gotten through to the executive committee and that you’d changed your minds.

Yet, I wouldn’t allow myself visit my pet, not knowing his fate.

Over the weekend I gave in and popped back in to make yet more videos. I have hours of footage of my pet visiting my sister’s pet doing the same things over and over because I wanted backups in case something happened to some of them.

Word is now coming in from around the world that Pet Society is indeed offline.

EA, if you don’t listen to us, we will never support your business again. We will tell our friends and family to stay away from your products because you do not value your customers.

And we will never forget.

Save Pet Society Phase 2 (or 2.0) is Here!

Save Pet Society 2.0

What is Save Pet Society 2.0?

Save Pet Society 2.0 is phase 2 of our Save Pet Society movement. We now have a new goal which is to persuade EA to grant a Limited Use License to let a new social gaming company take over the running of Pet Society.

But didn’t we fail to save Pet Society?

No. At least two members of the Save Pet Society movement have been in contact with EA liasons to the Executive Committee which appears to be considering this proposal. EA has assured one of our spokespersons that if/when they shut down Pet Society on Facebook, they will not wipe our game and player data but keep it in a safe place.

What would a Limited Use License mean?

A Limited Use License in this case would mean that EA would retain intellectual property rights to the game, but they would grant the new company a license (permission) to keep the game online for us.

Why should EA grant us the Limited Use License?

This proposal makes business and financial sense for EA as they could continue to make money off Pet Society without having to do the work and players/customers would be happy. It’s a definite win-win.

Is this just another desperate attempt to save Pet Society?

No. Those who have been talking to EA are very optimistic about this due to the fact that EA is willing and continuing to communicate.

What if they just try to take Pet Society away again later?

Well, let’s hope all the hullabaloo we’re creating now will teach EA or whoever takes over Pet Society that we will not go quietly if they decide to take our pets away from us. Let’s hope they they will come up with a better and more considerate exit strategy either now or later.

OK, how do I get involved?

Here are just a few ways you can help Pet Society:

  1. Sign the new petition to EA for a Limited Use License.
  2. Keep telling EA what Pet Society means to you.
  3. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter @EA #SavePetSociety, via email, and your own blog if you have one.
  4. Check out this page for more ideas.
  5. Join the 2 Save Pet Society Facebook group to learn about other ways you can get involved.