It all seemed to begin with a couple of people who wanted to give back to the community. While it’s difficult to trace the exact starting point, one of the earliest giveaways seems to be a user with a Nintendo Switch Online code. Having been given the code as a secret Santa gift but already having a subscription, he took to the Nintendo Switch subreddit to give it away.
Around the same time, another user decided to give away a free Switch game, while yet another gave away two copies of Wargroove.
This spate of generosity seemed to spark something in the community and things got crazy, fast.
Just a few hours later, there were giveaways galore. It started off simply with giveaways, like a copy of Stardew Valley, and then it became somewhat of a competition in itself.
Users began to one-up each other with giveaways titled, “I saw a few people are doing a free giveaway so I started one too” and “I will get in on the fun as well”. Others were more elaborate, and an unofficial race to give away the most games appeared to emerge.
It started with three games, then four. Another user topped this with five, and it finally culminated with someone giving away $500 worth of games, someone else giving away six rare games, and another user (whose post has since been deleted) giving away a Switch.
It got so crazy that one user compiled all the competitions into one thread. In total, there were sixteen. This was the point when moderators stepped in and temporarily banned giveaways.
The announcement said, “Due to the extreme number of Giveaway posts that are currently flooding the subreddit, the mod team is implementing a temporary ban on any new Giveaway posts until further notice.”
The post went on to state “While we appreciate the generosity of our community, it has very rapidly spiraled out of control via copycats, troll posts, and more to the point where it is impacting the actual usability of the subreddit.”
The mod team also promised to look at their giveaway rules and enforce the current requirements.
Ensuring all of the giveaways were legitimate wasn't an easy task. However, since some have since been removed, we can assume the team is, as always, working hard to ensure posts are appropriate. They also make sure to remind users not to give away any personal information.
It’s good to see the mod team maintain their sense of humor during the chaos with mod u/flapsnapple making a thread in which he offers to giveaway free comment removals to those who missed out on the giveaway fun. Though, I have a feeling he may come to regret that move.