If you believe violent video games should be censored because they dehumanize people, you’ve got your work cut out for you. For starters, the Supreme Court is decidedly not on your side; see, for example, the decisions in Brown v Entertainment Merchants Assn., which struck down a California law banning the sale of excessively violent games to minors, or in United States v Stevens, which struck down a federal law against the sale of videos depicting cruelty to animals.
Nevertheless, activists have taken to the virtual streets hoping to persuade Google to remove Kage Games’ virtual dogfighting game, KG Dogfighting, from its Android Market for smartphone apps. Change.org is one of the groups supporting the effort; an online petition there has attracted more than 41,000 signatories. According to the site:
This app makes a game out of dog fighting — celebrating cruelty against animals and contributing to the attitude that there’s nothing wrong with using animals in bloodsports. This type of media fuels animal abuse and breed specific legislation, which costs innocent dogs their lives…
Dog fighting is a felony across all 50 states. “KG Dogfighting” promotes violence and creates a virtual community for a very real crime. Like many sites, Android Market’s policies don’t specifically address animal cruelty, but do state: “Android Market should not be used for unlawful purposes or for promotion of dangerous and illegal activities.”
Kage Games’ description of the $4.99 app includes a long and often cheeky response, including such observations as “Perhaps one day we will make gerbil wars or betta fish wars for people who can’t understand fantasy role play games” and “Just because something is illegal in real life in certain countries, does not mean it is illegal to make a song, movie or video game about it.”
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