news\ Mar 6, 2013 at 10:24 am

PETA bites on Assassin's Creed 4 whaling bait


PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has taken the bait and is now coming under fire after sharing comments regarding whaling in the latest round of Assassin's Creed 4 screenshots.Ubisoft officially revealed AC4: Black Flag this week. The game focuses on Edward Kenway, a young British man turned pirate; you'll sail the high seas, plunder cities, and, apparently, harpoon whales. The latter is currently what's under scrutiny.

No doubt looking to fuel a fire, Venturebeat reached out to PETA regarding a screenshot showing Kenway overlooking a whale seemingly struggle. PETA had this to say:

Whaling—that is, shooting whales with harpoons and leaving them to struggle for an hour or more before they die or are hacked apart while they are still alive—may seem like something out of the history books, but this bloody industry still goes on today in the face of international condemnation, and it’s disgraceful for any game to glorify it. PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them.

Normally I'm against PETA's ridiculous claims, but this one doesn't seem too unreasonable. It's one thing when PETA attempts to defend the ethical treatment of Pokemon, but it doesn't look like they went out of their way to attack and slam Assassin's Creed 4 as the title of this article (or many others) suggests.

If anything, it seems Venturebeat was looking for an angle that wasn't necessarily there to begin with; so they tried to create one. Keep in mind, they were the ones to reach out to PETA. PETA didn't blatantly come out and attack AC4. Heck, they didn't even mention the game. Still, PETA took the bait and responded. No doubt due to the company's tumultuous past (especially with video games), I fully expect sites to twist PETA's words into the most misleading headlines.

Maybe I'm just a softy for whales and that's why I agree with PETA on this one -- something I never thought I would do. I'll be the first to admit PETA has been out of line with many of their criticisms of games, but I really don't think any intentional harm was intended with their statement.


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