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Plugged In

PETA goes after both Nintendo and McDonald’s with Pokemon parody

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(Credit: PETA)

It's hard to tell which company PETA is more upset with in its latest PR battle: McDonald's or Nintendo.

The animals rights advocate group has developed a flash game called Pokemon: Red, White and Blue, featuring Pikachu and other Pokemon who revolt against caricatures of Ronald McDonald, the Hamburglar, and maniacal slaughterhouse workers for killing and eating animals.

Yeah. It's creepy.

This latest beef with McDonald's stems from the use of Pokemon characters in Happy Meals. PETA contends the inclusion of the cute, cuddly creatures masks how hamburgers and chicken nuggets are actually made.

"Our parody game is a fun way to tackle a serious issue -- that it's wrong for Nintendo to allow McDonald's to lure kids in using its beloved, cute icons, when the reality that Pokémon have been used to mask would horrify them," says PETA Director of Marketing Innovations Joel Bartlett. "PETA's game offers an empathetic way to look at animals that we hope will inspire players to choose kindness and go vegan -- after all, even humans can evolve."

Pikachu has a few…unusual…moves in his battle against the company, including a loving embrace and staging a protest (which results in the line "Pikachu beat down on [enemy] with some powerful words!")

Of course, you'd expect PETA to butt heads with McDonald's. But the agency has a history of issues with Nintendo as well.

PETA went after Pokemon around this same time last year, chiding Nintendo for creating game in which humans capture and abuse innocent creatures. Two years ago, the group slammed the game maker over the use of the "Tanooki" suit in Super Mario 3D Land.

Nintendo has historically dismissed the criticisms, noting that PETA's games could infringe on the game maker's intellectual property rights, but has yet to comment on the organization’s latest effort.

In what isn’t even remotely a coincidence, Nintendo will be releasing the latest Pokemon games, Pokemon X/Y, this weekend.

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