PETA, Seriously, Suck My McNuggets
I was going to leave this story alone, really. It was revealed yesterday that PETA has launched a campaign against Super Mario Brothers for their portrayal of Mario wearing a Tanuki suit. You know, the one from Super Mario Brothers 3. Yeah, that game I got for my birthday in friggin’ 1990. 21 years ago. I didn’t think much of it, thought it might be some sideways remark from PETA that would soon fade into obscurity.
Today, I find that PETA has launched a page featuring full, playable video games that parody Mario, Super Meat Boy, and McDonalds. The games mimic the play style of Super Mario Brothers, and are full of one-liners and plugs at the game franchises. Yes, they’re taking this one all the way.
Okay, PETA, I generally have no problem with you. I know there is a point to your organization. I don’t support wanton cruelty to animals, and I’m all for the conservation of species and eco-systems. A few years ago when you hunted down that guy who recorded himself burning a cat in a bag, I was all for that. I was part of the NEDM wave. But this… THIS!? Is this seriously the best use of your time?
Mario’s suit is magic. Seeing him dressed in a Tanuki costume (I dare you to prove that this leaf-powered transformation is real fur) does not make kids want to kill tanukis, any more than his previous adventures made me or anyone else jump on and kill turtles, or eat flowers to get fire-powers, because people aren’t goddamn retarded.* People don’t play those happy, cartoony games and lose their compassion for animals. Moreover, even if Nintendo were to, for some reason, issue an apology for this, it doesn’t stop fur hunters from trapping and killing tanuki. I can almost personally assure you that the fur industry does not give a single fuck about the Mario Brothers games.
I see what you’re doing, really. You’re trying to use the Mario Brothers to drum up some controversy, aren’t you? You’re hoping to bring attention to your cause by rallying against something popular, and hoping that the Mario Brothers name gets people to look at your cause. But, really, you’re attacking something completely benign, and 21 years old. You can’t change anything with this. You’re wasting time and money, and you look like a bunch of schmucks in the process.
What’s really interesting is that the games on their site are so un-PC. Mario drives his Kart to McDonalds in the Super Chick Sisters game, and the bumper sticker on his kart says ‘Mustache Rides’ on it. They’re also kinda bloody. I have to admit, I was really surprised by the amount of subversive humor in them… pleasantly surprised, for my taste, but it does kind of undermine the whole ‘this is a serious message meant to be taken in that light’ notion.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the US, there is a dog-fighting ring killing off puppies in brutal ways. No one is on this case. PETA, you sure know how to pick your battles.
*I dont’ mean retarded as in mentally handicapped, I mean retarded as in retarded. I don’t need any more advocacy groups on my ass.
EDIT: My complete lack of care about portable gaming kept me from noticing that the Tanuki suit is actually returning in the new Mario 3DS game. So, I suppose the complaint is a bit more current than that.
However, I’ll still never be convinced of the validity of the argument. Its like saying that Super Mario Galaxy and the Bee Suit caused Bees to start mysteriously dying off en masse. Wait… what… Colony Collapse Disorder?! Nintendo, you’ve done it again!