The video game characters known as Pokémon aren't generally at much risk of being eaten (unless you turn Pikachu into a delicious bento, of course), but that hasn't stopped PETA from campaigning against the treatment of these characters as the latest Pokémon games are about to hit store shelves.
Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 were released in North America on Sunday, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have come out with their own parody game: 'Pokemon: Black and Blue.' The game aims to illustrate that trapping animals is not ethical, and that making it acceptable in a game somehow justifies it in real life:
"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," said a statement on PETA's website. "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."
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'Pokémon: Black and Blue' follows many of the same mechanics as the real Pokémon games, complete with turn-based battles and encountering strangers as Pikachu and his band of liberated pocket monsters travel Unova, the setting for the new Pokémon games. Players can unlock "treasure" along the way in the form of PETA videos on animal treatment, which the group of Pokémon seeks to share with the world.
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While the game is a pretty straightforward publicity stunt, it's evident that lots of effort has actually gone into the execution of this game. This Flash game is the latest in a growing collection of games produced by PETA that aims to combat anti-animal messages in popular video games. Titles like Mario Kills Tanooki and Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals paint a pretty accurate and graphic picture of the message PETA is trying to get across.
(Screengrab from Pokemon: Black and Blue)