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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why PETA Shouldn't Make Games

Anyone who knows me in real life knows I'm a great supporter of animals. I recently adopted a stray cat not too long ago and fit my life around him because I felt he needed a proper home and stable food. In my twenty years I personally have had around thirty animals that I've taken care of and no I'm not an animal hoarder I just feel a compulsive feeling to help animals. Second to liking animals I like video games a lot. To put it into terms, if I didn't have a pet, the majority of my paycheck would be going to purchasing more video games. Another one of my loves that takes both my love of animals and video games and wraps it all into a really neat package is Pokemon. I grew up watching the t.v. show almost religiously, playing the games whenever I get my hands on them and could be labeled as a Pokemon master (should the title ever occur). Like many others, I was totally excited for the new Pokemon Black and White 2 to come out. Around this time, PETA ("People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals") made yet another game that came out around the same time the new Pokemon game was released in America. Their game was called Pokemon Black and Blue and features Pokemon battling some of the anime's and video game's characters such as Ash from the anime as well as Cheren and Ghetsis from the games Black and White as well as Black and White 2. In it, you are a Pokemon who battles humans, specifically those three other people I just mentioned. PETA took the characters and Pokemon and turned them into what can be described as Frankenstein's Monster. In it, they took four different Pokemon and morphed them into a horrible nightmare. Pickachu, the games and anime's main mascot, was given a partially bitten ear, scars and bandages with blood all over him. Another Pokemon, Snivy, has a metal piercing it it's tail and a syringe in it's forehead. If that wasn't enough, a seal like Pokemon named Oshawott is literally skinned from it's neck down. By this logic you would assume that Pokemon is something for teenagers and adults. Except it's not, it's actually totally for kids.

Years ago when PETA first started and I was a kid, I was totally gun ho for them, however, I never actually looked into what they were doing and instead liked the idea. Eventually I wised up and found out how suck PETA was, but I'm not going to go into that portion of their organization I think we're all a bit wise to their game about now. No this post is about why PETA shouldn't make games. You might be surprised to know this isn't the first time this organization has made a knock off game. The first time I found out about PETA's game making was when the New Super Mario Bros game was announced. What Mario Bros does best are power ups. When you touch a power up, you gain new powers basically. One of these powers caught PETA's eye which was the tanooki suit which gives Mario a fur suit and allows him to fly and turn to stone. PETA protested this saying it teaches a positive method for children to wear fur. The only problem is you can get this suit without killing any monster in the game. In fact it actually comes from a leaf (don't ask the series is crazy if you haven't grown up with it). In response to this, PETA made a game called "Mario Kills Tanooki". I personally haven't played this game but I challenge you to look at a picture of this game. I, however, will not post it because the picture is too graphic but here's a description: Mario covered in a bloody fur suit, holding a dead raccoon's head with a piece of spine protruding from Mario's fur suit. This is a perfect reason why PETA should not make games. They first said it was a negative message to children about animals to Nintendo and then turned around and made something worse. If this game they made is for children, then PETA is one sick organization. Another game they made was Super Tofu Boy, a remake of Super Meat Boy. Now, Super Meat Boy is not made of beef or any other kind of meat from an animal. In fact one of the creators of the game said in the recent documentary Indie Game: The Movie, that Meat Boy (the protagonist of the game) is not made of anything and is simply just a boy without his skin. That may sound gruesome but the game shows no graphic detail of the boy and, despite the minor violence, the game is pretty tame. And here I'm scratching my head wondering why PETA took the resources to remake this game that has nothing to do with their organization whatsoever?

Back to Pokemon, the horrific thing about PETA's remake is that it totally screws up the story. In the previous game, Black and White, you are a simple kid going on a Pokemon adventure. You've just left home and in the next town a rally is taking place. Team Plasma introduces their leader Ghetsis who talks about how Pokemon are being used improperly. Forced to battle their fellow Pokemon at the hands of their evil masters and calls for everyone to release their Pokemon in order to make the world a better place. This is the first time Game Freak (the makers of Pokemon) have ever actually introduced this question to the player (ie. you). The first time I read this message I thought to myself, "Am I really hurting Pokemon?" It may seem insane of me to say that about a few numbers, lines and dashes of code being referred to as real beings but it does offer up a valid point. All this time I've been playing Pokemon and never once thought of their feelings. True, if Pokemon were real not only would I have to ask myself that question but I would have to ask whether or not do I want to make this thing fight? Using it in real terms, would I make my cat fight another cat? Of course I wouldn't, I personally thing dog fighting and cock fighting is wrong and immoral. Pushing through this feeling I eventually reached the second town to find that Team Plasma was actually being physically abusive to a Pokemon. Soon their view was completely tarnished and I had the drive to finish the game. Further in you meet a child simply known as N. He has the same view about Pokemon and wishes for a world where Pokemon are free and in fact does his best to preach this to the player without being overbearing. Eventually at the end, we find out that N's uncle Ghetsis was actually a terrorist who wanted everyone to give up their Pokemon so he could enslave the world. N still remains with his ideals despite knowing this and goes off to face all evils that beset this world and the Pokemon who inhabit it. Why did I bring this portion up? Well you see in PETA's remake of the game, Pickachu is holding up a sign that says "I believe in Team Plasma!" Let that sink it. In any way you slice it, PETA is supporting a terrorist or at least a terrorist's false ideals. My personal thought is that PETA is simply ignorant to the end game's message but even then that's pretty idiotic of them. I mean they should have at least asked what happened at the end to find out if that ideal was actually true. I have never played PETA's version and I urge you not to as well. It's one thing to profess something and then totally blow it out of proportion but to then make anyone who even slightly believes in your ideals to then be seen as insane as you are is another thing entirely.

My final message is directly to PETA: You are horrible. You profess something that you do not fully believe in and do your best to make people like me, people who genuinely love animals, seem insane. Never make a game again. First focus on your ideals, no matter how twisted they may be and make sure you don't betray your cause. If you can't do this one simple thing, demolish your industry because it isn't worth it. Second, make sure you know what you're talking about. Never assume anything and always find the truth hidden inside. The anime professes loving your friends and teaching that animals aren't slaves or pets but that they are our partners, our equals. And lastly I say be careful with your words and actions. I didn't even have to twist the facts about you and you still seem pretty far out there. I can't believe an organization like you exists.

I'm BlackHood4. I love animals, I love games, I love Pokemon and I'm against PETA.

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