On a recent road trip across the Midwest headed towards the East Coast, I happened by a jerky outlet selling exotic meats, such as elk, kangaroo, and even gator jerky. Off to the side in the same shop were PETA t-shirts, though upon closer examination, they read People Eating Tasty Animals. I thought, 'Ah, of course.' The real PETA -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- has a sense of humor too, which it most recently used to develop a parody video game called Pokemon Black & Blue where kids can help "Pikachu and his Pokemon pals fight their cruel oppressors and gain their freedom." No joke.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ruffled a few feathers earlier this week when the organization seemingly went on a much delayed rampage against Nintendo and its portrayal of Mario as a guy who will "use any means necessary to defeat his enemy," even if it means skinning raccoon dogs. The complaint against 'Tanooki Mario' was silly, to say the least, and the only thing gamers found despicable was PETA's campaign, which included a 2D platform game that has the player chasing down a blood dripping version of Tanooki Mario. Following the backlash, PETA now claims it was all just a gag.
The People for the Ethical Treament of Animals (PETA) is outraged over Mario's Tanooki suit and the message it sends to gamers. Confused? According to PETA, Mario is guilty of the disgusting act of wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers, but you shouldn't be surprised because "Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy." The way PETA describes it, you'd think Nintendo's popular game character is a pixelated version of Hannibal Lecter.
Battlefield 3 isn’t The Sims; no matter how you decide on approaching the game, a ton of virtual people are going to die gory virtual deaths. That doesn’t faze the German arm of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, though. No, what really grinds PETA’s gears is a scene in the game in which a rat is stabbed and then tossed into a trashcan, and the organization has written a press release to let the world know of its outrage. OUTRAGE!
Everyone knows that sex sells. PETA -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- seems to think the power of sex will also sell the general public on its views for animal rights and giving up meat. The organization is so convinced of its idea that it went and applied for the domain PETA.xxx.
Welcome back, everyone, to another installment of “PETA Says The Darndest Things.” Having already planted its flag in everything from World of Warcraft to Cooking Mama, the animal rights activist group has now taken aim at Super Meat Boy, an indie platformer whose main character – as you might expect – is made entirely of meat. Titled “Super Tofu Boy,” PETA's recipe for hop 'n' bop with a spicy hint of protest – in an utterly shocking twist – casts Meat as the villain. Profound, we know.
So, with a flash game that shamelessly uses its characters staring it in the face, how do you think developer Team Meat responded? Lawsuit, right? Wrong. Turns out, this is exactly what Team Meat wanted.
“Peta is 1000 times more well known than Super Meat Boy and the fact that they went out of their way to make a parody like this is beyond flattering and amazingly helpful. First off I want to thank Peta for helping us turn Super Meat Boy into a household name and of course for making themselves look quite foolish in the process,” said Team Meat’s Edmund McMillen in a statement.
And so, as a show of gratitude, Super Tofu Boy has been granted playable character status in Super Meat Boy. Just type “petaphile” in the protein-packed platformer's character select screen and he's all yours.
“How many Peta members does it take to change a lightbulb?” Team Meat added as a parting shot on Twitter. “None, Peta can't change anything.”
And that, PETA, is why you never pick on the small, seemingly defenseless indie folks; back them into a corner and they have absolutely nothing to lose.