Normally, when someone objects to video games, it's because of extreme violence or sexual content - you know, worthwhile ventures. PETA, on the other hand, must have been pretty bored in the office yesterday, because they've gone and targeted a fat plumber whose only real crime is to enjoy dressing up in onesies.
Apparently, according to PETA, the Tanooki Suit promotes the notion that wearing fur is worthy of a thumbs up. No, I'm not kidding. They're denouncing Mario on the grounds that he might prove to be a fashion trend-setter.
PETA do some good work, but it's hard to defend them when they come out with such tripe as this:
When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy — even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers.
Tanooki may be just a “suit” in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur.
Now, I didn't even realise what 'tanuki' were until I read this, let alone their plight...ah, wait...that's probably the point.
There's a game on the PETA website that's essentially an on-rails Mario rip-off that's sees you playing as a Tanooki, chasing a bloodstained, fur-clad Mario to get your skin back. But that's absolutely rubbish.
The video below it that shows disturbing scenes of real-life tanuki getting beaten, bludgeoned and ripped apart is probably a bit closer to the mark.
So does playing Mario promote the endless slaughter of cute little raccoon dogs for profit? No. Is castigating the world's most famous video game character a good way to spread awareness of an issue? Well, we'll leave that for you to decide. [via BitterWallet]