the artistry and psychology of gaming


Really, PETA?

Really, PETA?

The animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has been known for taking stances for shock value. More often than not, it seems as though their over-the-top stances against somewhat childish matters are being planned out based on the negative press that they may receive, rather than to garner a heavy level of support (publicity is still publicity, if you will). Just last month, for example, they filed a lawsuit against Seaworld, claiming that the whales they employ constitutes a form of slavery (I would bring up the level of expert medical care, or the routine diets that each of their whales… you know what, skip it…it’s crazy, and a little offensive).

Anyway, PETA will find a way to make a fuss over just about anything, and as of yesterday, PETA chose to take on the virtual world in protesting the newly launched Super Mario 3D Land.

This disagreement comes over something that longtime Nintendo fans are very excited about; the return of the Super Mario Bros. 3 Tanooki Suit. PETA writes: “Tanooki may be just a “suit” in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur.”

Now, I do see animal cruelty as a legit crime, and personally can’t condone the wearing of fur so it’s not necessarily the message I disagree with here. But come on… it’s Mario. He’s a character that’s been bringing joy to children of all ages for over a quarter of a century. He’s someone that shows the good in things; not the bad. Frankly, I would suggest that Mario has been doing more for the tanuki than PETA has at this point; as in all honesty, how many of us (outside of Japan) would even know what a tanuki is if not for the lovable plumber?

Of course, that hasn’t stopped PETA from putting together their own smear campaign, in the form of a simple to win browser game. Check out the game by clicking on the image below. I should note in case it wasn’t obvious, that you should prepare for a “not-so-hidden” agenda to be pushed on you.

In it, you play a skinned tanooki, chasing after a bloody pelt-wearing Mario as he flies left to right while bloody and skinned tanooki mountains appear in the background. Catch Mario, and the tanooki will but his pelt back on, and the phrase “#$*! You Mario!” appears on screen… you know… for kids.

I suppose this is beside the point, but why is it that the propaganda games always have floaty jump mechanics?

Not being one to ignore simple claims, Nintendo has already responded, saying that Mario’s many “lighthearted and whimsical transformations give Mario different abilities and make his games fun to play,” and that they “make no statement beyond the games themselves.”As if anyone was in a position to really disagree.



  1. PETA has always known to be retarded.

  2. This is almost as bad as their response to Super Meat Boy: Super Tofu Boy, who was added as a totally incompetent character to Super Meat Boy (he can’t even finish the first stage). Don’t taunt programmers; they have a wicked sense of humor.

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