Ubisoft has only just announced Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, but the game is already raising ire. No, not from gamers — Assassin's Creed 3 is still drawing that out all by its lonesome, thank you very much. No, animal rights group PETA is upset about Assassin's Creed 4 because in it, the series' new protagonist, Edward Kenway, is going to go a-whaling.
Get it gurl.
After Ubisoft stated that whaling, the practice of hunting whales that still goes on today, PETA's Matt Bruce voiced his distaste, speaking to Polygon, saying "PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals, not games that promote hurting and killing them". He went on to say that "It doesn't take anything away from having [whaling] not be a part of the game, but they insisted on putting it in."
So I guess I'm wondering how Matt Bruce knows that it wouldn't take anything away from the game to cut the whales? Assassin's Creed 4 is still almost a year away and absolutely no one has played it yet. What if the only thing to do in the game is to fight whales?
Here's a screenshot from Shadow of Colossus if Matt Bruce had been a Colossus advocate.
I'm going to be incredibly brave here, not care what ANYONE thinks, and state my opinion that yes, it is cruel to kill whales. But look, in the context of the Assassin's Creed series, it's no more cruel than anything the assassins do. In fact, taking on a whale head-on with a harpoon is ostensibly the kindest thing Kenway will do in Assassin's Creed 4. At least the whale knows he's in a fight and can steel himself up. He's not going to be snuck up on and assassinated.
The same cannot be said for the mayor of Pirate Country over here.
It sure seems to me like PETA is actively hurting their cause. The only people who have even heard of Assassin's Creed are video gamers, and they're a group who, for whatever reason, take games incredibly seriously. I mean, we're talking about a group who still argue whether the Genesis or Super Nintendo was the better system. Attacking Assassin's Creed just for doin' it's thang just makes me immediately react defensively.
And I don't want to, either. I know that's irrational. But hearing PETA contacted the press because of digital whaling makes me less inclined to listen to them when there's a legitimate cause that I could get involved in. And the worst part of it is, I'm a perfect candidate to volunteer with PETA to end animal cruelty because I a) hate cruelty and b) love animals.
Some, including lions, are an inspiration to me for their toughness.
Is a digital depiction of killing whales as bad as actually killing whales? More to the point, are you even interested in Assassin's Creed anymore? Let me know on twitter @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!
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