Ubisoft’s Response to PETA: We Don’t Support Whaling or the Pirate Lifestyle

In response to a statement from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) earlier in the week about whaling in Assassin’s Creed. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Ubisoft tells GamesBeat today that it doesn't condone the practice of whaling just as it doesn't condone the unhealthy lifestyle of the pirates of yesteryear:

"History is our playground in Assassin’s Creed," Ubisoft said in a statement to the publication. "Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a work of fiction that depicts the real events during the Golden Era of Pirates. We do not condone illegal whaling, just as we don’t condone a pirate lifestyle of poor hygiene, plundering, hijacking ships, and over-the-legal-limit drunken debauchery."

"And even if the game does glorify whaling — as it certainly glorifies the life of a pirate — I don’t think it will lead to a generation of gamers who head to the Caribbean to hunt down humpbacks. Just as I don’t think anyone who played the previous Assassin’s Creed games have found employment as a murderer for hire."

The Ubisoft response is to the following statement made by PETA:

"Whaling—that is, shooting whales with harpoons and leaving them to struggle for an hour or more before they die or are hacked apart while they are still alive—may seem like something out of the history books, but this bloody industry still goes on today in the face of international condemnation, and it’s disgraceful for any game to glorify it. PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them."

We're filing this one under "games are not reality and they do not lead to real-world acts of violence" — including whaling or murder-for-hire.

Source: GamesBeat


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  1. 0
    Technogeek says:

    The problem there is that people aren't necessarily good at separating the "this is television and therefore fake unless explicitly stated otherwise, and probably even then" from "this is how these things actually work". CSI is, fittingly enough, one of the most cited examples of this phenomenon, but not the only one by far — for example, a 2002 study in the journal Judicature found that fans of shows like Judge Judy were more likely to misunderstand the role of a judge in real courtrooms, believing that such judges were far more active in the proceedings than was actually the case.

    I can honestly kind of see why PETA would, for all its other faults (which would probably fill a shelf of Blu-Rays), would make a statement about this. If people begin to percive whaling as not as bad as in reality, it would not be impossible for there to be an impact on international efforts to eliminate it. It would probably be best for them to wait and see how it's actually portrayed in game, of course, but that's where the above-mentioned faults come into play.

  2. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    How unneccesary. 

    Dear PETA,

    Even if there was a game out there that deals with the glorification of the unethical slaughter of animals, you need to remember that there are a lot of REAL life animals out in this REAL world of ours that need protecting. 

     – W

  3. 0
    Conster says:

    I watched that episode before I became aware there was this whole "gamers are potential serial killers / mass shooters" thing, and thought it was quite funny and as over the top as "let's have an episode with a super machine gun that turns people into red mist" CSI:Miami usually was. Of course, I didn't really get why they didn't just search for a walkthrough online.

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    When I think about it, I guess I can not blame PETA for being upset about this any more then I can blame gamer outrage when CSI had that episode where deranged gamers were handed weapons by some developer in order to carry video game fantasies.

    People get upset when works of fiction tie in to real life things they care about and seem to reinforce the triviality of something you do not feel is.

    Hating on PETA is fun since, well, they do tend to be jerks and can behave very poorly… but it is important to remember to criticize them when they go out of bounds for the actions they take, not actions similar to our own simply because they are PETA.

  5. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    So wait, I can't be hired as a button man for a shadowy ideology driven organization bent on making the world a better place once corpse at a time? You lied to me video games!

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