Published on November 16th, 2011 | by Jessica Green, Contributor
PETA Targets Nintendo Front-man, Mario
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has always been known for radical approaches to getting its message across. Now the group has set its sights on the beloved character Mario with his latest video games release, Super Mario 3D Land.
Despite the fact that the suit has been around since being a rare item in Super Mario Brothers 3 back in 1988, PETA decides to start a big raucous now as the suit is prominently featured in commercials and advertisements.
When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy—even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers.
Tanooki may be just a “suit” in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur. Play Super Tanooki Skin 2D and help Tanooki reclaim his fur! – PETA website
PETA is either completely oblivious to the fact that Mario is not just wearing the fur, but becoming a humanized form of the creature in order to gain its power which is flight. The real life tanuki dogs do not fly, obviously. Actually, the folklore surrounding the tanuki Japanese raccoon dog is that he is a jolly shape-shifter.
A flash game, albeit a crappy one, was made on the website so that the Tanooki could avenge itself and get its skin back. The only control is the space bar and an ominous remix of classic game music is played as you race through a bloody wasteland chasing a flying Mario who has your skin. Trust me, I make it sound far more pleasant then it really is.
The game and website are far more disturbing then anything encountered in Mario universe. The fact that the folks at PETA focuses on this and ignores some of the other things in Mario such as curb-stomping turtles makes it seem as if they are just picking a fight. That being said, who can take them seriously if they just want to bully one of the most revered Italian plumbers that exists.
Nintendo issued this statement:
Mario often takes the appearance of certain animals and objects in his games. These have included a frog, a penguin, a balloon and even a metallic version of himself. These lighthearted and whimsical transformations give Mario different abilities and make his games fun to play. The different forms that Mario takes make no statement beyond the games themselves. – via Eurogamer