Animal activists, parents, law enforcement officials and game developers are outraged by the new game being offered in the Android Market: Dog Wars. Dog Wars imitates the dogfighting wars and has many asking for Google to remove it from their Android Market.
The goal of Dog Wars is to ‘Raise your dogs to beat the best’. Players pick from variety of characters including The Gangster, who is “nearly a celebrity at the county jail.” After choosing a character, players must visit the store to purchase all of the equipment needed to train a dog for fighting like shock collars, guns, adrenaline pens, steroid shots and raw steak to “Treat your dog like the champion it is, and give it a taste for blood.” After training their dogs, players can begin fighting them against others to earn money and “street cred”.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, along with Michael Vick, spoke out against the Android application today. Michael Vick, who has been working with the HSUS to educate about the horrors of dogfighting since his conviction had this to say about the game,
“I’ve come to learn the hard way that dogfighting is a dead-end street. Now, I am on the right side of this issue, and I think it’s important to send the smart message to kids, and not glorify this form of animal cruelty, even in an Android app.”
Pacelle added that
“Android should drop ‘Dog Wars’ from its online market and join the national movement to save dogs from this violent practice. Because “Dog Wars” actually instructs players on how to condition a dog using methods that are standard in organized dogfighting, this game may be a virtual training ground for would-be dogfighters. Its timing and message are all wrong.”
“We are confident this game will be a net benefit to dogs as it has been in our operating agreement from the start of this project that a portion of the proceeds go to animal rescue organizations. Further, this is a satire about the ridiculousness of dogfighting and we believe in the power of a modern media tool to educate and raise awareness of the real horrors.”
The game became available on March 18, and has gained over 50,000 players since it's launch.