Recently, PETA criticised Ubisoft for including a cockfighting mini-game in their recent franchise title Far Cry 6. And that got me thinking about what is ok or not ok to include in a game.
I completely understand why Far Cry 6, which occurs in a Cuban-esque island country called Yara, includes that aspect. Cuba, a country under heavy sanctions, makes due with whatever they have at hand. And, as far as entertainment goes, while cockfighting is a horrible practice in your regular western-aligned countries, it is not exactly frowned upon in Cuba. So, Far Cry 6 appropriating this symbol for immersion purposes is understandable.
On the other hand, I also completely understand why PETA would criticise this. Far Cry is a very popular franchise. At the time of writing, it has sold poorer than its predecessor but that still puts it above 10 million units moved. That’s a lot of people being exposed to this segment, engaging with cockfighting in a way that might be unhealthy in the future. In the game itself, you do play the cockfighting mini-game in a fighting game style, as a animal encouraged to viciously peck, rip, and tear another animal, both of which were probably forced into this against their will.
So, think about that 13-year-old kid who just got his hands on the new, popular AAA title all their friends are playing and this is the first time they sees something like cockfighting. If that’s the first time they engaged with that sort of thing, they might take it for granted that you can pit animals against each other in a ruthless battle (hopefully not) to the death. And that could lead to animal cruelty in real-life. Not a thing us as a society, hopefully, want to encourage.
I recently saw segments of a Bollywood movie that had a cancer warning at the bottom, but prominently, on screen every time someone on screen even just held a cigarette in their hands. It seems silly but them’s the rules in India. I totally get it. I think it’s totally appropriate, for immersion, to have something like a cock-fighting mini-game in Far Cry 6. But it should be accompanied by an advisory warning, when you engage with it or, at least, every time you start the game.
Posted in Gaming, Humanity, Thinking Out Loud by Eran with .