When not euthanizing animals and objectifying women, PETA found time to call Mario — a fictional character — a murderer with their Mario Kills Tanooki campaign. (Least objective opening sentence? Probably. And we’re certainly not guilt free when it comes to sexism, but at least we’re not calling ourselves moral crusaders and getting tax-exempt status. We know we’re bastards.) Anyhow, since Tanukis are a real animal and Mario is back in the “Tanooki” suit for Super Mario 3D Land, PETA is attention-whoring again (guess it worked) by calling Mario a murderer and making a flash game about it. You can play the flash game here, but there’s really not much to it. Here’s the screen you see when you get 45 coins and catch Mario:
Just a couple obvious things. First off, Mario isn’t real. “Tanooki” also isn’t a real thing. I didn’t finish a game of Super Mario Bros. 3 as a kid and then go outside looking for Tanukis to skin so I could fly. It didn’t make me want to wear fur or curb stomp a turtle any more than it made me try to flush myself down a toilet in search of coins (only happened once). You guys couldn’t find anything better to nitpick?
Secondly, the Tanooki Suit was a reference to Japanese folklore, where Tanuki is mischievous, jolly, shape-shifting, and a little bit absent-minded. Oh, and he has enormous balls:
I’m sure when Nintendo was developing the game, they weren’t thinking, “How can we indoctrinate kids into wanting to wear fur.” They were probably thinking something more along the lines of, “I can’t believe we’re getting away with putting a giant-nutsacked animal of lore into this game.”
To keep this post from being completely enraging, here’s a funny Mario-related video to cleanse your palette:
Sidenote: Get me a T-shirt with this printed on it, STAT:
Sidenote #2: “Curb Stomping Turtles” is my new Flogging Molly cover band name. DON’T STEAL.