PETA Using Video Game Themes as an Attention-Getter

November 24, 2008 -

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.

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PETA Responds to Majesco Responding to PETA on Cooking Mama Game

November 21, 2008 -

 

That was quick.

 

On Monday, Animal Rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took a bite out of Majesco's new Cooking Mama title for featuring too many meat-eating recipes.

 

By Wednesday, Majesco had issued a rather mild response, pointing out that roughly half of the recipes in Cooking Mama: World Kitchen are meatless.

 

Eager for the last word, PETA closed out the week by petitioning Cooking Mama to commit to an all-veggie edition of the popular game franchise:

 

Dearest Mama,
 

It’s great to hear that you want to “make the world a happier place,” because that’s pretty much what we want to do too (though it seems that we might have different tactics …). I do hope that you seriously consider making a vegetarian diet a part of your strategy for world happiness.

 

By adopting a vegetarian diet, you can save more than 100 animals per year. Plus, vegetarians live longer and have a considerably lower carbon footprint. I know that—as you are a digital being—these benefits don’t exactly apply to you, but I still urge you to take the pledge to be veg for 30 days.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics correspondent Andrew Eisen...

UPDATE: Popzara has an interview with a PETA spokesperson on the Cooking Mama saga...

137 comments

Majesco Bites Back at PETA Attack on Cooking Mama

November 20, 2008 -

Earlier this week, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took a bite out of Majesco’s Cooking Mama: World Kitchen. 

To make its point, PETA offered Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals, a parody which features a blood-thirsty Mama coaching the player through slicing and dicing a Thanksgiving turkey (already dead, despite the title).

PETA apparently took issue with the new Wii title's meat-heavy menu, calling the game "so heavy on dishes that are made from dead animals that the only things missing are the blood and gore...

Not surprisingly, Majesco disagrees with that view. Yesterday the game publisher issued a response to PETA:

[Of 51 total recipes] Cooking Mama World Kitchen includes more than 25 vegetarian-friendly recipes including delicious breakfast, dinner, dessert and snack options.  And, while Mama is not a vegetarian, she fully supports the humane treatment of animals, particularly for her canine protégé Max who makes his doggie debut in World Kitchen.

While a press release is not as awesome as responding with a parody flash game of its own, Majesco still had a bit of fun by including a quote from Mama herself:

I would never put rat in my Ratatouille. Like any accomplished cook, I create my recipes to appeal to a broad range of tastes and preferences. My only goal is to ensure you leave the table well fed.

-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen is an omnivore…

 

110 comments

PETA Roasts Cooking Mama with Parody Game

November 17, 2008 -

Video games seem to be increasingly showing up on the radar of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

GamePolitics readers will recall that earlier this month PETA gave props to Sega for ditching a Samba de Amigo commercial which featured a trained chimp.

The animal rights group has once again strayed into the video game habitat with Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals, an unlikely parody of Majesco's Cooking Mama: World Kitchen. The new Wii title launches tomorrow. A PETA press release explains why the group is howling mad about the new game:

Majesco's game is so heavy on dishes that are made from dead animals that the only things missing are the blood and gore...

In the original version, players score points for assembling a meal. That also applies in PETA's parody, but with this Thanksgiving dinner, players also must go through the motions of plucking the turkey's feathers, pulling out the bird's intestines, and cutting off the animal's head. All the while, a demonic cleaver-wielding Mama takes delight in the agony. When the player beats the game, Mama has a change of heart and replaces her bloodlust with a craving for tofu-turkey.

Does that qualify as a spoiler? In any case, unlockable content in the parody game include vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes as well as hidden camera footage from a turkey slaughterhouse.

PETA spokesman Joel Bartlett dismisses claims that the parody game is making a mountain out of a mole hill:

We're having a bit of fun at Mama's expense, but there's nothing funny about the suffering endured by turkeys and other animals who are killed for food. With all the delicious vegan alternatives available, there's no need to make the carcass of a tormented bird the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table.

148 comments

PETA Tosses Sega a Bone After Samba de Amigo Ad is Yanked

November 4, 2008 -

People for the Ethical Treament of Animals (PETA) has said "good boy!" to Sega after the publisher pulled a Samba de Amigo ad which featured a live chimp.

Why is that a big deal? PETA explains:

After learning that SEGA used a real chimpanzee in an online video promoting Samba De Amigo... we contacted the company.

We explained how involuntary chimpanzee "actors" are taken away from their mothers when they are just a year or so old and forced to perform confusing and repetitious tricks. We also explained some of the horrible methods that chimpanzee "trainers" use, such as electric shocks with shock collars and prods, isolation, beatings with sawed-off pool cues and slapjacks, and food deprivation. Then, at the ripe old age of just 8, the chimpanzees reach puberty and their showbiz careers are over—and they end up being dumped at dismal roadside zoos or sold to laboratories for experimentation.

Faster than you can mangle a Metallica song on Guitar Hero, SEGA pulled the video from its site and promised to keep all great apes out of its ads!

 

36 comments

PETA Targets Lobster Game

June 30, 2008 -

Uh, hold the surf  & turf...

Animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has protested a Colorado sports bar's arcade-like claw game in which diners attempt to snag a live lobster. As reported by Denver Daily:

[PETA] says it is cruel and unusual to keep the lobsters in the Lobster Zone tank only to be boiled alive.

 

“JD’s Lobster Zone machine turns torture and death into a game, pure and simple,” said PETA Vice President Tracy Reiman.

 

In case you’re wondering, Lobster Zone works just like any other claw game. For $2, patrons have a chance to move the remote-controlled metal claw inside the tank, place it over a live lobster, and as the machine says, “You catch ‘em, we cook ‘em.”

Bar owner Dennis McCann told the newspaper that he will remove the game, but didn't understand the uproar:

I don’t know what the difference is between my place and a King Soopers that has a lobster tank other than the way the lobsters are harvested out of the tank... Life’s too short to put my energy toward this. On the one side, I hate that someone is doing this to me. But on the other side, I’ll take the high road to make sure my customers are happy.

Meanwhile, Cosmo's Weird, Wacky, Wonderful World reports that Lobster Zone machines, made by Florida-based Apopka, are in more than 300 locations in the United States.

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Andrew EisenSleaker - Who the heck are you reading that is claiming "all gamers are bad," we "need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers," that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem," or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"?09/20/2014 - 9:44pm
erthwjimhe swatted more than just krebs, I think he swatted 30 people http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/09/20/2014 - 9:31pm
Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
Craig R.Such things are not done in a vacuum... hence why the 4chan and other logs show what fools you've all been, tricked into doing the trolls' work09/20/2014 - 8:49pm
Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
SleakerAnd furthermore just because someone doesn't 'crusade against the evil' that doesn't make them the problem. You can have discussion with those around you. There's a thing called sphere of influence.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
Sleaker@Conster - one person getting harassed is a 'problem' only so far as the harassee's are doing it. Just because a select few people choose to act like this doesn't make it widespread. Nor does it immediately make everyone responsible to put an end to it.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
Andrew EisenNo one's crossed a line but I just want to remind you all to keep discussions civil.09/20/2014 - 1:54pm
Craig R.tldr: I'm a gamer, and imo those who support GamerGate should feel free to take a flying leap off a cliff.09/20/2014 - 1:27pm
Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
 

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