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News / 2007 / May / 02

Sony's goat sacrifice backfires

  • Published at 14:00:41 PT
  • Reported by Jeriaska
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Sony has raised the ire of animal rights advocates for using the corpse of a freshly decapitated goat as a centerpiece for their closed-door God of War II launch party. Among those weighing in against the morbid Sony stunt is PETA activist Jack, who helped organize the non-profit's Zelda: Twilight Princess sweepstakes.

In the past few months, the topic of animal rights has emerged surrounding videogame publicity campaigns. A decapitated goat was on display at Sony's VIP party held in Athens, Greece late last month to celebrate the launch of God of War II. Guests were invited to devour warm offal from the animal's stomach, which Sony now claims was soup prepared from a chef backstage. The corpse served as the main attraction of a soiree hosted by topless women grimly hand-feeding grapes to their guests, along with a guy dressed up like Kratos. Photos of the animal, which Sony maintains was not sacrificed at the party but procured from a butcher, appeared in the official Playstation magazine printed by Future Publishing. The public outcry against the game company has convinced Sony to recall an 80,000 print run of the magazine and start an internal investigation to clear up the murky details behind the goat's death.

Above: A scan from article appearing in the recalled issue of Playstation magazine
Below: Artwork from PETA's Twilight Princess sweepstakes

Since images of the decapitated goat caught the attention of the public, a number of animal rights advocates have expressed their views on the incident, the latest being Jack of PETA. The activist wrote Tuesday in his blog, The PETA Files, "[W]hen a company of Sony's stature goes out of its way to commit an act of senseless violence for a promotion, you have to start questioning whether they have any concern at all about the message they're sending to fans." No stranger to gaming, in January he helped organize the PETA Zelda: Twilight Princess sweepstakes, which sought to publicize Link's animal rights awareness in the latest Zelda title. In the game's prerelease demo, Link helps free monkeys that have been caught by trappers and locked up in cages. The grand prize for assissting Link's animal liberation activism was a Wii console and a copy of the newly released Zelda title.

Whether the topic be the way animals are slaughtered or used as test subjects, the question of what rights they deserve has entered into the ever-widening sphere of videogame culture.

Sources

Games Industry.biz,
http://www.gamesindustry.biz

The Peta Files,
http://blog.peta.org

Kotaku,
http://kotaku.com




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