THE BUZZ: PETA— People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—today released their latest Flash-based “parody” game, Super Tanooki Skin 2D. Here our hero is not Mario, but the poor tanooki, who has be skinned so that Mario can wear his fur as a “suit” and gain its special powers. Players must help our skin-deficient hero traverse a number of trademark Super Mario Bros. obstacles—except, this time covered in blood—while collecting coins to help lower your final completion time.
EGM’s TAKE: Being an animal lover / advocate, the “ethical treatment” of animals is something that I’m all for. Unfortunately, PETA is an organization that has just too many questions surrounding it for me to feel comfortable supporting. (Do some research regarding accusations of the organization and their very own practices of killing animals.)
As well, of everything to possibly connect a Mario game to in regards to causes, why the tanooki angle? Dinosaur abuse? Sure. Curb-stomping turtles? Absolutely. Setting fish on fire? Why not. Mario’s tanooki suit though? He isn’t wearing an animal’s skin, or even fur—it’s a magical suit granted to him by some mystical power. Saying that Mario wearing a tanooki suit encourages children to want to skin animals and wear them is like saying that somebody wearing a Mickey Mouse costume at Disneyland is encouraging children to do the same to mice.
At the same time, the topic of discussion being brought up here—the abuse and murder of raccoon dogs—is an absolutely worthwhile one. Unfortunately, as much as PETA’s shocking tactics help get these kinds of topics noticed, they also cause a lot of people to completely tune out the utterly valid points being made.
As for the Super Tanooki Skin 2D game—it actually isn’t all that bad for the 5-10 minutes you may spend with it. If you want to see it (and learn more about the connection PETA is making with it), hit the link below.