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 Change.org 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.