I’m all down for animal rights. Our house pets all have the inalienable right to be “repurposed” into a pair of warm mittens or sporty tennis rackets if their “emissions” are not kept within the prescribed zones and parameters.  Oh, unfurrow your brows! I’m just kidding. I joke mainly to rile the stoic and humorless.

But a few apparent curmudgeons at PETA don’t joke when it comes to animal rights, even if said animals are imagined and positively virtual. It seems PETA has taken issue with yet another video game. This one isn’t even in stores until the Q4 of this year.  It’s Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. It’s the Ubisoft mill churning their annual Assassin simulator, yet this time with pirates… Ok. YES, they showed some whaling scenes. SIGH!

This is PETA’s official statement,

Whaling—that is, shooting whales with harpoons and leaving them to struggle for an hour or more before they die or are hacked apart while they are still alive—may seem like something out of the history books, but this bloody industry still goes on today in the face of international condemnation, and it’s disgraceful for any game to glorify it. PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them.

We all can agree whaling is bad. But you’re really going after a piece of media depicting…pretty accurate historical events? What are we gonna do next…? Burn books? People? Been there! Done that! But you have nothing to say about, you know… ALL THE ASSASSINATING?

Seriously,  PETA. There’s gotta be some questionable school cafeteria “meat” somewhere in the country that’s more deserving of your attention. The ludicrous claims heaped on a game not yet out is undoubtedly why Ubisoft replied in kind.

History is our playground in Assassin’s Creed,” Ubisoft said in a statement to the publication. “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a work of fiction that depicts the real events during the Golden Era of Pirates. We do not condone illegal whaling, just as we don’t condone a pirate lifestyle of poor hygiene, plundering, hijacking ships, and over-the-legal-limit drunken debauchery.

And even if the game does glorify whaling — as it certainly glorifies the life of a pirate — I don’t think it will lead to a generation of gamers who head to the Caribbean to hunt down humpbacks. Just as I don’t think anyone who played the previous Assassin’s Creed games have found employment as a murderer for hire.

Shawn Sanders

Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.