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Violence solves all the world’s problems.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to help you release your pent up animal rage. In the group’s new online video game, you play a mixed martial arts fighter running rampant through animal-testing facilities, beating up comically evil researchers and smashing open cages to release fuzzy animals.
“See if you have the moves to foil a secret underground animal testing ring,” the game promises.
“Please keep your assault against animal experimentation legal in real life. Fight for animals by taking action on PETA’s action alerts!”
Real-life MMA stars and apparent PETA supporters Jake Shields, Aaron Simpson, and Georgi Karakhanyan lent their likenesses to the game. And, honestly, it’s not terrible. It’s kind of an homage to old NES beat-em-ups, like Double Dragon. You can play it below.
If you’re wondering what a cheap one-off online game has to do with meaningfully protecting the rights of animals, you’re not alone. Like a lot of what PETA does, the game’s a piece of PR grandstanding.
The people who think beating medical researchers to pulp is fun are probably the same ones who think an XXX website and wrapping saran wrap around naked women covered in fake gore is compelling way to communicate to the masses the horrors of animal cruelty. In other words, PETA’s own donors. It’s an echo chamber of PETA’s own making, and no one on the outside is listening.
Kevin Morris is a veteran web reporter and editor who specializes in longform journalism. He led the Daily Dot’s esports vertical and, following its acquisition by GAMURS in late 2016, launched Dot Esports, where he serves as the site’s editor-in-chief.