The Experience Points Podcast
A weekly video game podcast from the co-writers of
EXP Podcast #18: A Gamer's Best Friend? Animals have a long history in video games, and continue to play important parts in the most recent titles.  This week, we happened upon an article detailing the story of a high school student offended by the treatment of dogs in Call of Duty: World at War.  Her efforts to petition Activision to change its ways got us thinking about how and why games are criticized, as well as the larger role of animals in games.  Although we have a bit of fun at the article's expense, it is a useful tool for examining how people react to violent games, how different forms of violence are interpreted, and how animals fit in to the medium as whole.  As always, we love hearing your responses to both the story and the podcast, so feel free to send us an email or jump in on the comments!

Some discussion starters:

- What memorable animal appearances can you think of?  What role did the animals play in the game?
- While we were not exactly optimistic about Lucci's chances of getting Activision's attention, her efforts raise a good point: how should people display their disagreement with publishers and developers?  Petitions?  Essays?  Response games (like the PETA example)?  Voting with one's wallet?
- To what degree does the incorporation of animals succeed in games, and how would you like to see it improved?

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- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
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Show Notes:

- Run time: 25 min 54 sec
- Mike Fahey's (Kotaku) article and response: "Students Protest Call Of Duty Dog Killing"
- The original article from the Lowell Sun: "NDA students protest video game's depiction of cruelty to animals"
- Cooking Mama and PETA's response
- Music provided by Brad Sucks
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_18.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:12pm PDT