Pokemon versus PETA

Last week, PETA went live with a Pokemon parody “game” called Pokemon Black and Blue: Gotta Free ‘Em All! The game follows the plight of a group of Pokemon fighting against trainers, professors and other perpetrators of Poke-cruelty. It’s actually a fairly lengthy “game” – and very very wordy.

Now, I am not going to critique PETA’s politics – that’s not the purpose of this blog. I just think it’s interesting that they have begun an anti-animal cruelty campaign geared towards gamers. I am slightly confused with who the target audience is for this particular PETA protest. PETA Director of Marketing Innovations, Joel Bartlett explains. ‘Games like Pokémon send kids the wrong message that exploiting and abusing those who are defenseless is acceptable when it is not. But with Pokémon Black and Blue, children can experience the great feeling that comes with saving others from harm.’ If this game really is targeted towards children, I think PETA missed the boat because it’s far too wordy to maintain a child’s interest for very a long. Also, it’s so incredibly violent, most parents would be opposed to having children of any age play this game.

Pokemon Black and Blue is actually the fifth installment in a game oriented campaign series. Other games include Super Tofu Boy (Super Meat Boy), Super Tanooki Skin 2D (Super Mario), New Super Chick Sisters (New Super Mario Bros) and Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals (Cooking Mama). They are all very graphic and disturbing games, especially the Cooking Mama parody. I am also really surprised there hasn’t been any copyright infringement lawsuits…

I’ve been fascinated by each of these games because none of them struck me as particularly cruel to animals – but PETA certainly thinks so.

– E.B.

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