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As a cynic and a technophobe, I was a bit hesitant to get involved when I heard that a dog fighting app called Dog Wars had been created for Android smart phones. I have a dumb phone and I hate all violent video games and apps but have long since given up trying to say anything in protest because I always feel like an over-the-hill fuddy duddy who just doesn’t understand that “it’s only a game.”

But I’ve been reading around various sites on the pet blogosphere that have taken up the issue — just as we did with the selling pets on E-Bay issue — and realized that I’m just being wussy in claiming fatalism and technobia. And as my pal Kristine at Rescued Insanity reminded me today, it’s important to practice badassery on a regular basis.

  • For background to the issue, including Google’s role, see Stubby Dog, a terrific site that you should check out in any case for its devotion to restoring the pit bull’s good name.
  • For a thoughtful explanation about why this app is particularly bad and important to protest, see Boulder Dog, where Deborah Flick explains how it is promoting dangerous behavior in those who play the game — not to mention promoting a felony and bad dog health. (Give them steroids? Seriously?) I thank her in particular for browsing through other apps that I didn’t have the stomach to look at.
  • For quotations that made me realize that this app is racist — my interpretation, not hers — see This One Wild Life, where Kim Clune explains that Gamer “dejay” gives the app 5 stars and says “great game now I know the rush mike vick use to feel!!!” Do black people really need to be associated with Michael Vick as a hero though a gangsta rap-channeling game? Maybe Richard Pryor’s widow, who slammed Chris Rock for pro-Michael Vick statements, should get on this case too.
So do what you can. Sign the petition, below. Post the widget on your site. Write your own blog post. Share the information on Facebook and Twitter. Practice genuine badassery in a good cause.

*For the record: The Shakespeare quote (from Julius Ceasar) is actually “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” Unleash is a common misquote — and sounded better in this context.

5 thoughts on “Unleash the Dogs of War?* Tell Android/Google No!”

  1. I’ve been debating whether or not to blog about this–did sign the petition. Great post, but I also worry that we’re giving ’em a whole lot of publicity they wouldn’t otherwise get. *sigh* Don’t know the answer. But there will always be jerks ready to make a buck off of crappiocca.

    1. Thanks, Amy. My take: people who read our blogs are not those who would buy the app. So Google and Android need to hear from some other voices, from people who are paying attention and who are upset by this. You know what I love: Using “google” in the title of a post and having google having to google itself (or whatever google does about references to itself)!

  2. Well, I signed the petition. Read something that there are TWO games out there that have this name. This is all so confusing. However, let me just say that I think that anything called Dog Wars is probably not a wholesome thing. Yes, it’s a only a game, but don’t we have enough of these things — I have boys and believe me I’ve seen them all and I’m not a prude. My kids blow stuff up and shoot digitized enemies like all the rest of their crowd, but somehow.. this is more wrong to me. Can’t explain it. So I’ll go with my gut. I signed the petition. On the racism issue — the dejay is an idiot and that’s that.
    Blogging about it. I don’t know. I tend to not want to give this anymore hype than it needs. I’m hoping that the petition and general FB outrage will do the trick. I’d be preaching to the converted anyway. My readership would stone a dog fight impresario and bury the body in the back garden without an ounce of remorse and probably alibi each other all over the place.

    Let’s hope the game dies a quick death!

    1. Thanks for this. I agree with you about preaching to the converted — and I love your description of what your own converted blog readers would do! I’d say this campaign is to let the makers of the app know about the bad publicity. Of course a boycott/pulling of advertising is far more effective and you don’t have that option with phone apps.

      Yes, here’s to a quick death to the game!

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