Known for its controversial ads, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has released a parody game based on Pokemon chronicling the horrors of animal cruelty.
The game, Pokemon Black & Blue, follows Pikachu as it decides to break away from Ash and lead a band of Pokemon to free themselves. The game mocks the idea that animals should be treated as objects for entertainment, as well as for food or clothing. It mostly fights the idea of using Pokemon to fight each other, but the game follows PETA’s party line in favoring vegetarian and vegan attitudes.
“Games such as Pokemon send kids the wrong message that exploiting and abusing those who are defenseless is acceptable when it’s not,” said Joel Bartlett, director of marketing innovations for PETA. “But with Pokemon Black and Blue, children can experience the great feeling that comes from saving others from harm.”
In a press release, PETA said, “Much like animals in the real world, Pokemon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments. The way that Pokemon are stuffed into pokeballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bull hooks and electric shock prods.”
Pokemon Black & Blue is a surprisingly similar play to the Pokemon series. The game focuses on several key characters from the Unova region, which coincidentally is based on the United States opposed to the previous versions being based on Japan. It pokes fun at the commercial aspect of Pokemon and its “Gotta Catch ’em All” mantra, while caricaturing the trainers as crazed and rabid.
While undeniably popular, the Pokemon franchise and its basic premise and mechanics are nothing new over an almost 20 year stretch. However, PETA has decided the newest iteration of the series deserved a parody against animals fighting, and compared to previous PETA ads and games, this one is actually quite tame even if Snivy has a syringe stuck in its head..
In an ironic twist, PETA’s parody decides to use Pokemon to beat up on trainers, a sense that begs the mentality that it is ok for Pokemon to beat up on people but not on each other. You can play the game below.