Monday May 01, 2017

Tekken 7 Loses Playable Character Roger the Kangaroo to Public Shaming from PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, otherwise known as PETA, has publicly shamed Namco into dropping Roger the kangaroo from their Tekken 7 lineup. Tekken is a fighting game series in which you can choose from a wide assortment of humans, robots, devils, animals, and mystical creatures to battle an opponent in the ring. PETA was outraged at the thought of a poor virtual kangaroo, that can eviscerate a human with it's muscular legs in real life, getting beat up in a video game. They based this outrage on a viral video of a man punching a kangaroo in the face to rescue his dog. Instead of applauding the man for showing restraint by not killing the kangaroo to save his dog, PETA has used the opportunity to make a mockery of the Tekken 7 developers. Personally I would have made kangaroo burgers or kangaroo on the barbie.

What do you think of this censorship? I wouldn't have capitulated if I were the Tekken 7 developers as this seems like more silliness from PETA. They did keep the character Kuma in the game, which is based on a bear, as executive producer Katsuhiro Harada explained that he was "obviously stronger than a human being." I would argue that the kangaroo would have beat the human if he wasn't in a three vs one situation. Also this is a video game; it's supposed to be fantasy! You can watch the controversial kangaroo tragedy here if so inclined. Tekken 7 launches on PC and consoles on June 1, 2017.

Meanwhile Roger Jr, the boxing kangaroo, has sadly been cut. "There was a video of a man’s dog being headlocked by a kangaroo, and he punched it in the face", Harada says. "It turned into a big problem. People were complaining about him punching a kangaroo. It seems that in the last few years there’s a lot more animal activists آ– even though they probably wouldn’t play our game they would still hear about that, about a kangaroo in our game being punched, and would complain about it." Kuma the bear is still in the game, though, because a bear is "obviously stronger than a human being".

"PETA trusts in players' ability to understand that the kangaroo in Tekken 7 wasn't real, so no animal was in dangerآ—but the outcry over even virtual violence toward a kangaroo shows that today's public is opposed to cruelty to animals," says PETA Vice President of Marketing Joel Bartlett. "When real-life kangaroos and bears are still being dragged from town to town and bullied into performing circus tricks, video games can help move us toward a kinder future by celebrating animals instead of depicting harm to them. Just as Jun Kazama and the WWWC [Tekken's in-game wildlife protection organization] fight for animals in the world of Tekken, we ask that people join PETA in standing up for animals in the real world."