How to teach animal cruelty to young people.

We’re happy to see Michael Vick is on the right side of dog fighting, joining Humane Society’s Wayne Pacelle in condemning ‘Dog Wars,’ a video game that glorifies dog fights, as well as providing a primer for would-be dog fighters. Google’s Android and Kage Games is sending entirely the wrong message to young people by communicating that torturing animals is a glamorous, fun, ‘sport’ rather than a grisly and cruel crime, while teaching the fundamentals of training fighting dogs.

The game’s designers saying that they don’t condone violence towards animals or humans and that they will donate some of the proceeds to animal rescue organizations is a risible response. Please. What’s next, creating mountain gorilla hunting games and donating some money toward saving the 750 remaining mountain gorillas? This game is a non-starter and should be pulled. – Global Animal

 

Dawn Falik, WSJ.Com

A new Android video game in which players cybertrain their virtual dogs to fight has some animal lovers in an uproar. Critics, including the Humane Society and NFL star Michael Vick, are calling for Android to pull the game and for Google to forbid similar releases on its platform.

The “Dog Wars” tag line reads “Raise Your Dog to Beat the Best,” and it was originally released on March 8, 2011 according to the Android Market website. Players can buy shock collars to help train their virtual dogs.

“Feed, water, train and FIGHT your virtual dog against other player’s (sic)” reads the website offering the free download, created by Kage Games, LLC.

But Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said this isn’t a game. Instead, he said, it encourages cruelty to dogs and could be a training ground for young people to try pitting dogs against each other in real life.

“We want to inoculate kids against dog fighting,” he said Monday. “It’s horrible.”

Pacelle and Michael Vick have issued a statement against the game. Vick, quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles football team, served 21 months in jail for his role in a dog-fighting ring.

In a statement to the Journal, Vick said the Humane Society brought the app to his attention, and that he’s listened to many at-risk children talk about their experiences with dogfighting in their neighborhoods. “This app just sends the wrong message,” Vick said.

In a statement, Kage Games said that the company did not “condone violence towards animals or humans, and we are confident in humankind’s ability to distinguish between a rudimentary game and the consequences of real life.”

Kage also said that it intended for a portion of the proceeds from the game to go to animal rescue organizations and that the release was in their view “a satire about the ridiculousness of dogfighting.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/04/25/dog-fighting-videogame-draws-fire-from-humane-society-michael-vick/

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