It’s not too often that an Android app receives the scorn of activists, celebrities, and public officials alike, but that is exactly the sort of controversy Dog Wars has sparked. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who served time for his involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring, is speaking out along with the Humane Society of the United States, calling for the immediate removal of the app from the Android Market. Vick believes the game “[glorifies] this form of animal cruelty” and moves “a step backward” in creating public awareness about the evils of the underground dogfighting industry.
Paul M. Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, called the game “absolutely sickening.” Players raise a pit bull to be a violent fighter and enter into fights to win money, street cred, and the ability to move up the dogfighting ranks. Responding anonymously out of fear that activists might seek out and attack those behind the game, an official from Kage Games, makers of Dog Wars, said, “We are in fact animal lovers ourselves,” and “this is our groundbreaking way to raise money/awareness to aid REAL dogs in need.” While the company is, in fact, donating a portion of proceeds from the game to animal rescue organizations, does the negative message delivered outweigh any good that could arise from such donations?
The developers also reference Apple’s strict app policies, saying the Dog Wars makes a statement against limiting developer freedoms.Though the company seems ripe to justify the bad press their game is getting, Kage Games is promising a “more socially conscious” version of their app in the future. Maybe that version won’t arm players with a gun to protect from police raids or will do away with injecting your dog with steroids.
[via LA Times]