Kage Games, LLC, describes its Dog Wars app as a game that will never be in the iPhone App store.
And for good reason. Dog Wars features the training of virtual dogs to fight to the death and challenge other phone users to dogfights.
Alicia Silverstone was so 'appalled' when she heard about the Android phone app that she wrote a letter to the CEO of Google, maker of the Android, and Kage Games, asking that they pull the game right away:
As a mom-to-be and someone who has adopted and loved rescued pit bulls, I join PETA's millions of members in imploring you to cancel this game immediately. If one dog dies as a result of this game, you will not forgive
The app makers seemed to be anticipating a bit of nutter controversy and said in their game description:
It is just a video game. Perhaps one day we will make gerbil wars or beta fish wars for people who can't understand fantasy role play games ... Just because something is illegal in real life in certain countries, does not
mean it is illegal to make a song, movie, or video game about it.
After a little controversy with Dog Wars , which Google pulled from the Android Market last week, Kage Games has returned with a new name, KG Dogfighting .
We appreciate everyone's thoughts about our app as we are firm believers in the right to free speech and the free exchange of ideas, writes Kage Games.
These freedoms are the building blocks of the Google Android operating system and the very reason so many users choose Google Android over the alternative.
A Google spokesperson talking to the LA Times has said that the original game wasn't removed because of any content issues, but because of copyright infringement , which suggests that this new title is enough to resolve the issues.
The head of the LA Police Department's officers union has spoken out against the app, according to the Los Angeles Times, calling it sick and disgusting, despite its new name. The app may have especially struck the wrong chord with
police officers since it offers game players a gun that they can use in the event of police raids and to inject the virtual dogs with steroids.
In its response, PETA unveiled its own iPhone app last week that highlights stories about animal cruelty, inviting users to share the details on Facebook and Twitter and take action by sending letters of protest to politicians, corporate
executives, and other officials. The app also enables people to donate money to the cause through PETA's mobile Web site.
Animal rights activists have taken to the virtual streets hoping to persuade Google to remove Kage Games' virtual dogfighting game, KG Dogfighting, from its Android Market for smartphone apps.
Change.org is one of the groups supporting the effort; an online petition there has attracted more than 41,000 signatories. According to Change.org:
This app makes a game out of dog fighting -- celebrating cruelty against animals and contributing to the attitude that there's nothing wrong with using animals in bloodsports. This type of media fuels animal abuse and breed
specific legislation, which costs innocent dogs their lives...
Dog fighting is a felony across all 50 states. KG Dogfighting promotes violence and creates a virtual community for a very real crime. Like many sites, Android Market's policies don't specifically address animal
cruelty, but do state: Android Market should not be used for unlawful purposes or for promotion of dangerous and illegal activities.
Kage Games' description of the $4.99 app includes a long and often cheeky response, including such observations as
Perhaps one day we will make gerbil wars or betta fish wars for people who can't understand fantasy role play games and Just because something is illegal in real life in certain countries, does not mean it is illegal to
make a song, movie or video game about it.
There are hundreds of games on the Google Android market as well as any other popular game platform which, if acted out in real life, would be illegal. What makes the Google Android platform special is that it gives the
freedom and responsibility to the individual users to decide what to put on their phones as opposed to the phone carriers and app stores making value judgments on our behalf.