Animal rights campaigners Peta have launched an attack on Nintendo's Pokemon video games, claiming they desensitise children to animal cruelty.
The campaign claims that the game - in which players catch various mythical animals and have them fight difficult but ultimately light-hearted battles - rewards kids for treating pets as "unfeeling objects".
The group has launched its own game ('Pokemon Black & Blue' - a play on the recently released Pokemon Black And White) in which you have to fight your trainers to escape from their evil clutches.
It features a version of Pikachu with a bitemark in his ear, and a deranged trainer with a bloody bat.
The tagline? 'Gotta Free 'Em All'.
"The amount of time that Pokémon spend stuffed in pokéballs is akin to how elephants are chained up in train carts, waiting to be let out to "perform" in circuses. But the difference between real life and this fictional world full of organized animal fighting is that Pokémon games paint rosy pictures of things that are actually horrible.
The campaigners have previously parodied Nintendo in a campaign against McDonalds as well as the game Battlefield 3 for allowing players to kill rats - despite the fact players are much more likely to kill, you know, humans. Most recently it claimed that Mario's Tanooki racoon suit was pro-fur.
Regardless of what you think of the message, you have to admit they know their way around video games references.
Peta continued in a statement:
"The way that Pokémon are stuffed into Pokéballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods.
"If Peta existed in Unova, our motto would be: 'Pokémon are not ours to use or abuse. They exist for their own reasons.' We believe that this is the message that should be sent to children."
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