Animal rights group, PETA, has gone off the deep end and attacked the video game, Pokémon, for promoting animal cruelty. To counter what PETA claims is the negative influence of Pokémon on children, the organization created a mocking parody version of the game called “Pokémon Black And Blue.”
The PETA version of Pokémon features an image of a bruised, bandaged and chained Pikachu, and his equally battered friends, snarling at the world while demanding their freedom. Above the image is a tag-line that reads “Gotta Free Them All.”
PETA featured the following comments on the website promoting the parody game:
“Much like animals in the real world, Pokémon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments. The way that Pokémon are stuffed into pokéballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods …if PETA existed in Unova, our motto would be: Pokémon are not ours to use or abuse. They exist for their own reasons. We believe that this is the message that should be sent to children.”
The reaction to the PETA parody has ranged from hilarious laughter to scathing criticism. David Ewalt from Forbes had this to say about Pokémon Black And Blue:
“Aside from the fact that this is clearly a lame attempt to attract publicity on the back of a major video game release PETA seems to have missed the single biggest theme of the Pokémon series: That Pokémon should be treated humanely and live as our equals. The games are loaded with an endless stream of characters who go on and on about true friendship between man and Pokémon. It’s so saccharine and so completely the opposite of what PETA suggests that it boggles the mind.”
The Tweets have not been much kinder. Here is a selection of user comments posted on Twitter:
“@HaplassMoran I knew those darned Pokémon were up to no good! Leave it to PETA to set us all straight on their true intent.”
“@Craigums As a long time vegan, I always feel the need to apologize when PETA acts stupid so on behalf of normal vegans “Sorry for PETA’s Pokémon BS.”"
“@DepressedDarth PETA says Pokémon promotes animal abuse. They added that Star Wars was also to blame for most cases of ewok abuse.”
“@JesuOtaku PETA is eager to prove that they DO TOO have a sense of humor by making a joke *fifteen years too late.”
“@Jojabber PETA attacks Nintendo’s Pokémon because it’s deemed as animal cruelty? Talk about the epitome of first world problems.”
Perhaps the folks at PETA belong to the school of thought that teaches “there is no such thing as bad publicity” and they just flung this garbage at the wall to see what would stick. We do wonder which genius chose to totally misrepresent Pokémon by adding an image to the parody game that shows a crazed female doctor with blood splattered all over her clothing, holding a huge hypodermic needle in one hand and a over-sized scalpel in the other.
Pokémon promotes kindness to animals and responsible behavior. The game tries to instill in children a concept of teamwork and fair play. There is nothing in Pokémon that involves the bloody massacre of animals. The real risk to children is from PETA’s atrocious parody of Pokémon, with its frightening bloody images and dishonest presentation.