What's next for PETA and video games?
Was Link somehow unkind to Epona? Is it okay to shoot those killer attack dogs in Call of Duty: World at War? Does a Wookie count as an animal?
gamesindustry.biz reports what GamePolitics readers may have already surmised: Advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is finding that video game controversies are a terrific way to stir up publicity for their cause. An unnamed PETA spokesperson told gi.biz:
We use games to highlight the cruelty to animals because they appeal to people who are interested but may be turned off by more direct appeals... We first turned to videogames years ago in an effort to reach out to young guys, but as we dug deeper, we realised that the gaming audience was much bigger and more diverse than we had initially thought. Given the huge success that we've had with Super Chick Sisters and Mama Kills Animals, we will definitely be creating many, many more games.
We plan on continuing to use videogames as a way of engaging the public, both by continuing to create our own games and by engaging with gaming companies, as we did when we approached Sega with the request that it not use apes in its adverts. Gaming, both casual and hardcore, is on the rise, and we recognise that as a medium, gaming is as important as music, movies, and television.
We're not taking aim at Majesco specifically, or the Mama character. We only want to raise awareness that the world - be it real or virtual - is very meaty. We want everyone, including Majesco, to offer more cruelty-free, vegetarian options...
Our game isn't an attack on the videogame industry. It's an attack on the meat industry. We love games (that's why we've created so many), and we love the Cooking Mama series."
GP: Like many other advocacy groups, PETA is using games to deliver its message. What's fascinating, however, is that they have also trained their sites onto games.