A German branch of PETA, the worldwide animal rights organization that apparently uses Minority Report-esque technology to predict and fight future animal crimes, is taking Battlefield 3 to task over its murderous treatment of virtual rats; a treatment, it says, that will motivate young men to practice their rat-killing impulses on real life victims.
“The realistic computer game 'Battlefield 3' treats animals in a sadistic manner,” reads part of PETA translated statement. “The game gives players the option to kill a rat with a combat knife in the back in order to then lift it by its tail, then toss it away. Killing virtual animals can have a brutalizing effect on the young male target audience. There have been repeated cases of animal cruelty in Germany, where young people kill animals. Inspiration behind these acts often came from movies and computer games.”
There is some merit to the argument that fictitious violence—be it in TV, movies, video games, or 1940s radio plays--begets real life violence in a tiny sub-section of unbalanced players. Still, to say BF3 should be called out for its rat killing is like saying Grand Theft Auto IV should be flogged for its depiction of crimes against mail boxes; that is, there are bigger fish to fry--er...sorry...to be let free to swim forever in blissful harmony with nature.
The last time PETA took aim at video games was with the launch of its Super Meat Boy mock game, Super Tofu Boy. Perhaps this means we'll soon be playing Rattlefield 3?
Source: Battlefield 3 Blog