We can argue till the world ends about Mass Effect 3’s ending. We can debate whether critics understood that Resident Evil 6 is supposed to be viewed as an action game and not a horror game. We can bitch about Japanese games failing to make a big dent in the gaming market. But one thing all gamers can unite and agree upon is this: PETA sucks.
Never has an organization – whose main goal is to inform the public about animal abuse and advocate for animal rights – received such negative attention from the public as PETA has. Well, maybe the Westboro Church, but that would be an unfair comparison. There’s a clear difference between crazy people and highly intelligent individuals who choose to act offensively for free press. Oh god, I can’t even tell who is who in that sentence.
Before getting into PETA’s gaming propaganda, let’s at least shine some light on what they have done right. Yeah, it’s hard to believe they even do that based on the way they choose to portray themselves in the media. However, when it comes to what they call the “cold-hard truth,” they exceed tremendously in demonstrating how animals are abused, killed, and/or tortured for human consumption. They have helped raised such awareness to political leaders and introduce policies against animal abuse. That’s… pretty much it.
I don’t think I have to get into their flaws, do I? Throwing red paint on people wearing fur, complaining about Obama killing a fly, or how about a well-known PETA figure telling MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) to “lighten up” after advertising beer was a better choice of beverage than milk. Yeah, I don’t think I need to get into their flaws. Yet when it comes to gaming, I can’t but help scoff at their attempt to whore more time in the media with their highly faulty games.
So when did PETA start to set their gazes in the gaming world? Cooking Mama, the popular Nintendo DS title that used basic cooking techniques as gameplay mechanic, became the first of the parody on-slaughter games from the infamous group. Since the original game “promoted” cooking with meat, PETA became completely offended and decided to make a mock game of the same title with a twist: Mama was crazy turkey killer. In their game, Mama slaughters her own turkey by plucking its feathers by hand and then removing its internal organs in messy detail. I’d go on, but the game got boring after it tried to make me learn through random insertions of animal abuse facts. The point of the game was to promote veganism, though I doubt it even did just that. This, however, was not the end of PETA’s intervention into the gaming space.
Super Meat Boy, which started out as a flash game and then became playable on the Xbox 360 and Steam, was next on PETA’s list. PETA’s Super Tofu Boy played like SMB, but with hideous artwork and under the ultimate campaign for veganism. Tofu Boy is tasked with saving Bandage Girl from Meat Boy after she dumped him for Tofu Boy’s ugly ass. Well tasked isn’t really the right word. She is considered “sexy” as is he, so it’s only appropriate for two uglies to stick together forever. Funny enough, Super Meat Boy co-creator Edmund McMillen posted a blog entry about how he created multiple PETA accounts hoping some of the organization’s attention whoring would rub off of SMB. Well, it worked.
The latest victim of terrible PETA parodies seems to be Nintendo. First it was Mario’s Tanooki suit and the whole “it promotes wearing fur” argument. Now PETA is on the attack against Pokémon. Even though I would like to point out they missed that boat a decade ago, they have made a new installment in their gaming series called Pokémon Black and Blue. Why? Here’s an official statement:
“The way that Pokemon are stuffed into pokeballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods.”
Pokémon gamers, even those who have only watched the animated series, know this is total bullshit. And if we’re going to interject realism into a fictional game, at least use a better comparison.
See here is the difference between Pikachu and a mouse. Pikachu is not a defenseless “animal.” Pikachu knows Thundershock, Thunderbolt, and Thunder, all high ass voltage attacks that could kill real humans. A mouse is a timid creature that can’t do any of that shit. Oh, and a mouse is real. But propaganda will be just that, and PETA shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. A pity too. Their goal is a worthy cause to fight for, but not if it means slandering entertainment with false information.