Few organisations are as accomplished as PETA in using the games press to spread its message.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has in the past successfully ridden on the back of hype for titles such as Cooking Mama, Mario and Pokemon to increase awareness of animal rights.
And true to form, PETA has now latched on to the inclusion of whaling in Ubisoft’s recently announced Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
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,” a statement provided to VentureBeat read.
PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals – not games that promote hurting and killing them.”
It’s easy to be agitated about PETA’s piggybacking, but step back and perhaps it’s no bad thing.
While the notion that the inclusion of whaling in ACIV is a celebration” and likely to provoke an increased uptake of the practise in the real world is pretty daft, if the campaign increases awareness of what is a brutal trade then the organisation’s move should be welcomed.