Not since we were pitted against Nazi attack dogs when we first escaped from Castle Wolfenstein 17 years ago have we seen such barbaric treatment of dogs in video games as we did in Call of Duty, World at War. During the course of the game, you are forced to shoot attack dogs and you can actually unlock a “reward” that allows you to unleash a pack of attack dogs on enemies. In a post–Michael Vick world, you’d think that Activision Blizzard, which publishes the popular game, would take abusing dogs for entertainment purposes more seriously.
Fortunately, some students at a Massachusetts high school are not keeping quiet about their disgust with Activision. Breanna Lucci serves as president of the Animal Rights Club at the Academy of Notre Dame (NDA) in Tyngsborough. The following is from the Lowell Sun’s interview with her (via GamePolitics.com):
“Killing dogs as a form of entertainment … over and over again. That’s one of the objects of the game,” says Lucci, 19, a senior at NDA. “Parents need to know what they are buying their kids. Killing animals should not be a form of entertainment.”
. . .
“My little 12-pound Pomeranian, Winnie the Pooh, is sitting next to [Lucci’s brother as he plays the game], and I’m thinking, ‘This looks horrible!'” Lucci says.
Lucci then adds, “My brother is a sweetheart. He won’t be killing dogs after playing. But some people might.”
To help the folks at Activision Blizzard learn about the ethical treatment of animals (something we’re sorta experts on) we’re offering to let them take PETA’s “Developing Empathy for Animals” seminar free of charge, and we’re sending a package of dog-friendly Nintendogs games to their office.
With a little Nintendogs influence, perhaps the next Call of Duty game will have you unlock achievements for petting the dogs you encounter and going on walks or playing Frisbee with them.
Written by Joel Bartlett