Yesterday, Hal posted an article regarding PETA's Super Tanooki Skin, a flash game that was part platformer, part screaming acid nightmare, and part fur-awareness campaign. The game has inspired strong derision, outrage, and as commenter Rosa noted, attention to the organization. Thus, playing into PETA's hands are those who raise objections to the game - you know, like me. That being said, while the old saying "all press is good press" sometimes stands, the tone of one's message has an impact on audience perception. Thus, PETA has sought elaborate on its rationale behind the game.
"Mario fans: Relax! PETA's game was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, a fun way to call attention to a serious issue, that raccoon dogs are skinned alive for their fur," Shakira Croce, PETA's media coordinator said. "We wish real-life tanukis could fly or swat enemies away with their tails and escape from those who profit from their skins. You can help them by never buying real fur."
Additional thoughts await after the jump!
I can see the Super Tanooki Skin game as a sort of cutesy (in a very macabre way) call to awareness about an issue near and dear to their hearts, but as far as being a "fun, tongue-in-cheek" affair - thus serving as a "you just didn't get it" explanation - I call BS. Compared to the "Your Mommy Kills Animals" leaflet - not to mention it's thrilling sequel, "Your Daddy Kills Animals" - Super Tanooki Skin is almost vanilla. Moreover, everything about the game, its inception, and its distribution - smacks of an echo chamber, in which not one dissenting voice says "You know, this might make us look like d*cks." If I were a bit more conspiracy-minded, I might venture a guess that PETA was little more than a front group for the fur industry, deliberately aiming to undermine the animal rights movement. Instead, the comically graphic imagery in Super Tanooki Skin and "Your Mommy/Daddy Kills Animals" reeks of adolescent angst - like a teenage boy leaving sketches of severed head and disemboweled torsos strewn about his room, in the hope that it will grant the attention he so clearly desires - and it has just as much intellectual and artistic merit.
Granted, it's just a miniscule footnote in the daily news, but speaking purely for myself, it's annoying. For those of us who have sympathy for some of PETA's aims - the whole fur industry does strike me as fundamentally distasteful - it makes all of us look like clowns. During my anti-war protesting days, most of us assembled peacefully, held together by a cause we all shared - and while we did so with all the fervor one might expect,, there was a collective understanding that image was important. Still, like clockwork, there was the one dingbat who held high his sign, reading "Stop The J*w Media." PETA, you don't want to be that guy.
There's a debate to be had about animal testing, fur production, and the like, but until PETA either rejects ridiculous tactics - at the very least, they could offer some sort of acknowledgment that they may have tread into the realm of silliness - they will simply have to sit at the kids' table.
Stop playing with your mashed potatoes, Billy.