October 10, 2012

Pokémon Black and Blue

PETA has developed a nasty reputation of graphic and excessive acts of protest against all forms animal cruelty. Everyone at one point has forced themselves to awkwardly squirm through a graphic video about underground investigations into factory farming or animal testing. It is no coincidence that their ideals of animal liberation have also been mimicked in latest Pokémon games, where the antagonist gang Team Plasma vows to separate Pokémon from the humans who steal them away from their natural habitats, cramming them into little balls to fight to the death. Shortly following the recent American release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, PETA returned the favor, letting loose a shocking parody called Pokémon Black and Blue: Gotta Free 'Em All! Play as Pikachu as he and his friends escape from their abusive masters to teach their world about animal rights, bringing light to the real life horrors of animals who are maimed, mistreated and killed for the sake of sport. When I first heard about this through my buddy Joe at Fuck Yeah Pokémon, I was shocked and a bit offended. Pokémon and me go way back, with many childhood hours locked away on my Game Boy Color. Doing a little research, this is not nearly the first time PETA took aim at propagandizing to children with Flash games, teaming up with game developer This Is Pop, who seem to make a lot of addictive games with an outlandish sense of humor, including a few hilarious games for Adult Swim. After playing Black and Blue myself, I do not fully criticize Peta for it. It’s a pretty great game that embraced PETA’s original mission that all animals have a right not be exploited for the personal gain of man. I am far from a full supporter of the organization's much more radical agenda, but I would much rather play this over watching another traumatic video. You can check it out for yourself over at PETA's website.

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