Friday, March 23, 2012

Video Game Rant: Puppy World

This blog was originally supposed to be a video game blog. I had sworn to myself that I wouldn't let life get in the way of gaming. And yet... The last time I played a non-Facebook computer game was last week. I don't even remember the last time I played the PS3 - we just use it for Netflix now. I play plenty of games on our iPad, though. I have become the dreaded "casual gamer".

We received the iPad as a present from my parents. The first game I downloaded was Puppy World by OMGPOP. It sounds ridiculous, but I had spent months wanting to play that game. It was not all that complicated. You raise puppies, which grow after a certain amount of time, clean them, feed them, pet them, and give them away to kids. Then you start the process over. At first, I thought the puppies were adorable. Then, I grew annoyed at having to check the iPad regularly to see if the puppies were ready. After that, I started to have ideological qualms about the game.


First, why are you giving puppies to children? Puppies are pointy. Puppies require lots of hard work. The parents of the children are nowhere to be seen. Then, one of the children has the nerve to say "You can never have too many puppies!" Um, yeah you can. It's called animal hoarding, and it's terrible for both the person and the animals.

Next, where are you getting all these puppies from? You're basically running a puppy mill. Somewhere in the back, on the other side of that door, you're hiding cages full of dogs that are forced to have litter after litter. And for what? Some technicolor kid that hoards puppies? Why all the focus on purebred dogs, and puppies in particular? The plot is something about needing to save the world from an evil cat overlord. Okay... Assuming that needed to be done at all, why won't older dogs suffice? Why won't mixed breeds suffice?

Finally, not only are you running a puppy mill and marketing your puppies to children, the conditions are deplorable. The puppies get poop on their heads, and you have to bathe them. So you rub a sponge on a poop-smeared puppy and then plop it into the hands of another puppy-hoarding kid. Good luck with that giardia and those hookworms!

I know it's just a game, and it's not even a game that most people play for more than a few days. But, as a game marketed primarily to children, it is really irresponsible in that it glorifies and "cute-ifies" animal cruelty.

Who needs video games when you can gnaw on an antler?


  1. Ha, I always wondered about the video game component of the blog. :) I don't know much about them myself, but my brother-in-law is a video game artist and designer and he's always telling me awesome things/sharing new ideas. :) And growing up with three little brothers, they were always around me!

    1. Your brother-in-law has my dream job! Well, other than "dog trainer" or "astronaut", neither of which is my actual job.

    2. Ok...this was so funny. The hoarding! The Puppy Mills! Oh, the irresponsibility. Is Part II when all those puppies grow up and you have to figure out what to do with all those dogs?

    3. "Shelter World" is a much less fun game. =(