Today, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals decried the possible inclusion of whale hunting in the new Assassin’s Creed game:
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. PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them.
(They did not comment on Melville.)
Now, this isn’t the first time PETA has protested cruelty or implied cruelty to animals in games. Last year they denounced the stuffing of Pokemon into Pokeballs, as well as Mario’s furry Tanooki suit. But they’ve been far from comprehensive in their attempts to scrub violence against animals from the world of games.
Here are eleven beloved titles that encourage or outright require cruelty to animals. PETA: take notes.
1. The Oregon Trail (1981)
Pulling the Canestoga from Independence to the Willamette Valley required the rampant slaughter of bison.
2. Duck Hunt (1984)
One of the first games played by most Millennials encouraged the wholesale massacre of waterfowl, at levels far beyond most state bag limits.
It also featured a sadistic game hound, who snickered with delight as you murdered Donald and Daffy and all of their brightly-colored cousins.
3. Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
Sega’s masterpiece…of animal cruelty asked you to move a poor marsupial as fast as it could go through a dizzying series of loops and tunnels. Don’t you think he ever wanted some rest or a water bottle? (CORRECTION: hedgehogs are NOT marsupials).
Pushed to out of control speeds by his human masters, Sonic frequently impaled himself, drowned, or plunged into bottomless chasms. Sure, Sonic is a tough guy, but deep down he’s just a hedgehog, like these guys:
4. Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Fewer than 60,000 gorillas are left in the world, but it was Rare’s idea of a good time to take one of the best and send him on a dangerous, perhaps suicidal mission which included being shot out of a canon and hurtled through mine shafts. Yep, that’s how you got your kicks in the 90s, you Republican.
5. Tomb Raider (1996)
Everyone has always lauded Lara Croft for her bravery, but how brave is it to murder with two giant handguns dozens of beautiful animals, including wolves, lions, bears, centaurs, and a lost-to-time clan of Tyrannosaurus Rexes? With her attitude towards defenseless animals, Lara is the real dinosaur.
6. Star Fox 64 (1997)
Nintendo managed to create a brilliant, daring and charismatic fox that COULD TALK. Their next impulse? To put him in a screamingly fast steel coffin and bombard him with lasers and missiles. Sick bastards.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
Greatest game of all time? Try greatest threat to our oceans. From Overfishing.org:
“Over 25% of all the world’s fish stocks are either overexploited or depleted. Another 52% is fully exploited, these are in imminent danger of overexploitation (maximum sustainable production level) and collapse.”
But, yeah, really cool dead organism you’ve got there, Link. Where are your parents?
8. Tekken Tag Tournament (2000)
Michael Vick spent a year and a half in prison for fighting pit bulls. In this game, you get rewarded for fighting a kangaroo against kung fu masters, ancient Japanese demons, and a guy named Gun Jack. Seems right.
9. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)
You probably get the idea from the title, but this charming exercise in wildlife reduction rewards the wholesale execution and consumption of a variety of nature’s treasures, from the Indian Gharial crocodile to the Japanese Flying Squirrel. Lovely.
10. Fallout 3 (2008)
So, the nuclear apocalypse has created entire new, fascinating animal species, including giant insects and something called a Deathclaw that is pretty much happy to leave you alone. So what do you do? Kill them for food and money. Nice.
11. Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Sure is mighty decent of yourn to bring civilization and culture to these here Western parts, John Marston. Why, go right ahead and shoot up a storm of critters that never done had to learn to be afeard of humans. Seems might right’a you!