May 5th, 2009

I’m a vegetarian. I should say that right off the bat. Soy is my friend. I haven’t eaten meat for thirteen years, and I don’t intend to in the future. I once worked on a small-scale, organic farm during the week they were slaughtering their turkeys. To say I was disgusted doesn’t explain it. Actual, real-world, visceral violence of that or any kind puts me in a state of shock. Strange for a BDSMer, I know. Or maybe not.

So I should be the last person to enjoy PETA’s unofficial Cooking Mama game, Mama Kills Animals — a flash creation that’s supposed to show players the horrors of Thanksgiving dinner by making them act out, Cooking Mama-style, the gruesome steps to preparing a bird. The thing is, I do enjoy it. I enjoy cutting off the turkey’s head. I enjoy scooping out its organs. I especially enjoy packing it full of stuffing (but not too full, lest it explode!). PETA’s goal, to inspire sympathy through gameplay, has backfired. In its place they’ve created yet another example of adorable sadism.

What is it about cute animals in video games that make us want to kick them, poke them, attack them with a baster? PETA doubly backed itself in a corner with this project by releasing a game that’s not only cute but fun. For their normal scare tactics to work (ever picked up one of their flyers with the photos of skinned and bleeding rabbits?), we consumers have to be grossed out, repelled. Instead Mama Kills Animals has the same appeal as any Cooking Mama game, and with minimal (comical) gore.

Sorry, PETA. I may never harm a real turkey, but if I were a meat-eater I’d be thoroughly unconvinced of your cause. Hell, I might even be more excited for Thanksgiving to roll around next year. Now to chop the head off some tofu.

Tags: cuteness, good causes, new games, sadomasochism, violence

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