Video games can be much more realistic than they used to be ("they're not just Pac-Man anymore," as the cliched reaction goes), but most of them still use fantasy to their advantage. Nintendo, in particular, thrives on cartoonish aesthetics and over-the-top gameplay. There's no threat of somebody looking at the next Super Mario game and thinking, "That's just too real."
1-2 Switch, a launch title for Nintendo's newest console, the Switch, is no exception. It's a collection of mini-games, ideal for party environments, that have you and a friend performing actions like cracking a safe, sword fighting and playing table tennis -- you know, in video game form.
One of those games is called simply "Milk" and involves you and an opponent making a vague cow milking motion to see who can get more milk in a short amount of time. Like the other games in the collection (including "Quick Draw," which simulates a gun duel but involves no actual death), the game bears little resemblance to the real act of milking a cow.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has something to say about that. As one might expect from the controversial activist group, they're taking the opportunity to lash out at the video game developer, asking "Can we have some realism here, please?"
In a letter to Nintendo written by PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk and shared via an image on Facebook, PETA's complaint is that the "cruelty of milking" is not properly shown in the game. One suggestion they make is that Nintendo add sounds of a mother cow bellowing for her calf "in order to remind players that by drinking milk, people support an industry that separates mothers from their babies."
We are not yet aware of any complaints that 1-2 Switch's safe cracking mini-game supports bank theft, or that its "Plate Spin" game promotes being a clown.
PETA's letter asks if the team at Nintendo is "brave enough to face the truth" and make games about subjects in which no animals suffer.
Nobody should tell them about Animal Crossing, in which entire villages of animals suffer the realities of real estate loans and bad home decor.