Why PETA is Wrong About Dogs Getting Shot
So PETA finds animal cruelty in a video game. Yes, there are parts in Call of Duty: World at War where you have to shoot dogs to progress. Yet PETA’s complaint is a good example of the misunderstanding plaguing video games: the lack of understanding that video games are all about context. PETA sees dogs dying and immediately attacks Activision for animal cruelty.
From 0s and 1 s to the latest hardware-powered affairs, video games have always been about progressing, fulfilling a certain set of conditions to achieve objectives and ultimate victory. The best games turn this formula into a memorable and entertaining affair, while sucky ones make it feel like a chore.
Naturally, to keep players interested, video game producers must be creative to come up with new and engaging concepts. Grand Theft Auto may be a violent psychopath’s dream simulator, but for well-adjusted people—which I like to think are the majority of the human race—it’s just a game.
Yes, you kill people, rob their vehicles and run over prostitutes, but to a rational, game-playing mind, that’s just eliminating the competition, acquiring transportation, and cash attainment.
Personally, I know that I shouldn’t do those things in real life, and not just because the police will be all over me. I know that what happens in the game is perfectly virtual, while what happens in real life has real consequences—practical, moral, and perhaps even spiritual.
The people who attack video games for corrupting the youth and causing violent behavior seem unaware that games are ultimately problem-solving vehicles. You are presented with a goal, the tools to achieve it, and the system in which to work in. Being able to comprehend an objective, making full use of what’s at your disposal, and finding ways to work within your limitations are all very important life skills. Especially if you can understand the context within which you’re working in.
As for the dogs in Call of Duty: World at War, the situation is quite simple: either you kill the dogs, or they kill you. The game doesn’t make the dog’s death optional. These dogs are cute and innocent things lined up for your minigun. They are attack dogs out for your blood.