A computer game called Dog Wars, available for Google Android mobile devices, allowed players to raise a puppy, give it virtual steroid injections and then fight it against other Dog Wars users on their Google Androids.† Organizations like the Humane Society and PETA protested the game saying it glorified cruelty to animals and animal abuse.
Michael Vick also† expressed his disapproval, “Iíve come to learn the hard way that dogfighting is a dead-end street. I think itís important to send the smart message to kids, and not glorify this form of animal cruelty ó even in an Android app.” (Source: thehill.com)
PETA said this in their petition to remove the game, “Google-owned Android Marketplace currently has an app for sale called “Dog Wars,” which, believe it or not, glamorizes dogfighting and encourages people to participate in a digital version of this blood sport.” (PETA.org) The game was removed after their petition was published, but a spokesperson for Google said it was for copyright infringement not for the offensive nature of the game.
The makers of the game said it doesn’t celebrate violence, it raises awareness about dog fighting, and is a satire. However, the point of satire is to use humor to expose immorality–making virtual dogs look like real ones and fight is hardly comical. Throw in the the fact the company made the game for profit–not mainly for awareness-raising –and you have a very dubious situation that was justly recognized by the animal rights organizations.
In the Google Android Market forums, it appears there were more posters for removing the game, than for keeping it. Dog-fighting is illegal, and for very good reasons. Society does not need media promoting it, especially to young people who might be persuaded by the virtual experience that it is a legitimate sport, and not sadistic, and extremely unhealthy behavior.
Image Credit: Dante Alighieri