You see the image to the left? that’s actually a soldier killing a virtual rat with his battle knife right before he picks up the rat by the tail and throws it away. Guess who is extremely interested in that image? You guessed it, PETA, they issued a press release in Germany criticizing Battlefield 3 over “animal cruelty.” After reading the News Release and watching the video I posted above from Pen and Teller, I start to lose faith in PETA every day.
PETA stated that the killing of any animal, even virtual animals, insipre young people to do similar acts. According to them, recent animal cruelty cases in Germany were caused by youngsters who were inspired by video games and movies. I don’t know about you, but when I stab the rats coming at me in my video games, I’ve never had the sudden urge to stab a rat. It’s to messy, I’d much rather put out a trap or call the exterminator… cleaner and it’s supper effective!
The following is what PETA had to say in their press release:
The realistic computer game “Battlefield 3″ treats animals in a sadistic manner. The game gives players the option to kill a rat with a combat knife in the back in order to then lift it by its tail, then toss it away. Killing virtual animals can have a brutalizing effect on the young male target audience. There have been repeated cases of animal cruelty in Germany, where young people kill animals. Inspiration behind these acts often came from movies and computer games.
Another thing that you need to really think about is that even if these people were getting the “ideas” and their “inspiration” to hurt the animals from movies and video games, it doesnt mean that the videos are the ones that are causing them to go and do it. The only way I can put this is, if I see people using drugs, I’m not going to have the urge and go and try it… I don’t care how videos of drug users I see, drug use is not something I’m interested in. A person who is a little “curious” might see it and go and do it, but they already had it in their head… videos or not, they already wanted to do it – Hope you can see where I’m coming from.
The news about PETA attacking BF3 reached several blogs and even social sites like Reddit. One of the users, DrGonzo1203, had this to say about the whole release, and I’m going to have to agree with him:
“they think you have the “option” to kill the rat? If you don’t, it gets you killed every fucking time. Not a lot of optional behind that.
Of course they have no problems with you brutally stabbing and shooting hundreds of PEOPLE throughout the game, but when you defend yourself from an attacking sewer rat, thats when shit gets real. It should be noted if you haven’t played the game (Like PETA), that the player character makes several attempts to shoo the animal away before it bites him a few times, and finally gets stabbed.
They seem to focus on the “tossing away” aspect…would they rather the PC eat it? Take a break from killing people to give it a little funeral? Keep it as a trophy?”
You can find the full PETA statement, in German, here You may have to translate it, but it’s worth the time.