Geek Trivia

PETA Launched A Campaign Against Which Video Game Franchise?

Pokémon
Animal Crossing
Crash Bandicoot
Sonic the Hedgehog
What Iconic Children's Show Character Got His Start In An IBM Training Film?

Answer: Pokémon

In 2012, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) released a flash-based version of the popular Pokémon game Pokémon: Black and White, called Pokémon: Black & Blue. In this satirical look at the franchise, Pikachu escapes his trainers and fights to free other Pokémon from their respective trainers. The game, still available on the PETA website, is described as such:

The amount of time that Pokémon spend stuffed in pokéballs is akin to how elephants are chained up in train carts, waiting to be let out to “perform” in circuses. But the difference between real life and this fictional world full of organized animal fighting is that Pokémon games paint rosy pictures of things that are actually horrible.

While the point of the satirical game was to draw attention to the forced confinement performing animals endure and the cruelty of animal fighting, drawing a parallel between a popular video game focused on collecting fantastical animals like those found in the game and actual animal abuse was (and is) a bit of a stretch. We’re confident that the millions of children that have played Pokémon over the last twenty-odd years did not grow up to endorse dog fighting and the like.

Lest you think PETA unfair for picking on Pokémon, you should know the game is one of many games they’ve parodied including Super Mario Bros., Super Meat Boy, and Cooking Mama. Their parody of Super Meat Boy, Super Tofu Boy, even caught the attention of the game’s development team and they added Tofu Boy as a playable character in a game update.