Those delightfully deluded people from PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have attacked videogames on numerous occasion, for what they say is the glorifying of violence against animals in video games. Hell, they’ve even attacked Mario, for all that turtle stomping. the latest game to get their faux-fur lined panties in a twist is Assassin’s Creed 4, which allows you to plunder the sea’s bounty – and do a spot of whaling.
“Whaling,” says PETA “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.
PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them.”
Yes, there’s nothing cool about actual whaling; it’s cruel – and no longer used for essential things like lighting lamps. Modern whaling exists primarily to provide food, and frankly, there are better sources of protein (isn’t that right, Darryn?).
I think it’s patently ridiculous, to be honest – though I’m sure all this noise is just pure publicity, keeping the PETA name in people’s minds. Killing digital animals is not real, and does nothing to glorify or encourage real-life animal violence. Besides, it’s not like you’re going go whaling in Assassin’s Creed 4, then decide to jump in the whaling vessel you keep in your back yard and hunt you some whales.
It also detracts from the real life cruelty and inhumane treatment of animals that aren’t a collection of pixels. If PETA’s moaning about killing virtual animals in a game that’s not even out yet, is it safe to just go ahead and assume all the real ones are doing just fine?
Ubisoft, tongue firmly in cheek, has responded to PETA’s statement.
“History is our playground in Assassin’s Creed. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is a work of fiction that depicts the real events during the golden era of pirates. We do not condone illegal whaling, just as we don’t condone a pirate lifestyle of poor hygiene, plundering, hijacking ships, and over-the legal-limit drunken debauchery.”