I have been debating on which angle I should cover this and we here at Mobility Digest have had a lengthy discussion on Animal Cruelty, Freedom of Speech, and where to draw the line about what should and should not be available on the Android Marketplace. The App in question has only been released on Google’s Android Marketplace and has absolutely no chance of ever being made into an iOS game. The name of the app is Dog Wars by Kage Games. As the name of the app implies, it is a game where you “Feed, water, train and FIGHT your virtual dog against other players”.

Yes, PETA is pretty pissed off and have rallied their supporters together and have petitioned Google and Kage Games to pull it from the Android Marketplace. From PETA:

“…along with thousands of other PETA members and supporters—is calling on Google and Kage Games to pull the violent game from the Android Marketplace on the grounds that it promotes an illegal activity in which dogs are starved, beaten, shot, and forced to rip each other to shreds. Dogfighting is a felony offense in all 50 states.”

Kage Games, developers of Dog Wars have stated that:

If you have a bug up your b*tt about the game concept, remember:
1. It is just A VIDEO GAME
2. Perhaps one day we will make gerbil wars or beta fish wars for people who can’t understand fantasy role play games
3. 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 (looking at you XDA Developer Forums… deleting our beta testing thread and banning our account?!)
4. Just go slingshot some virtual birds to kill some virtual pigs.
5. Go complain to someone who cares about Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Weed Farmer, Smoke a Bowl (these two are listed in the top 15 of casual games on Android Market) and maybe even Sierra’s Leisure Suit Larry from 1987.
6. This is listed as a HIGH MATURITY app, and does NOT violate the Terms of Use with the Google market in any way!!!
Let’s Get it On!

Even Michael Vick, Pro Football player and convicted dog fighting felon Michael Vick had this to say:

“I’ve come to learn the hard way that dogfighting is a dead-end street.  Now, I am on the right side of this issue, and I think it’s important to send the smart message to kids, and not glorify this form of animal cruelty, even in an Android app.”

And lastly from the Humane Society President and CEO Wayne Pacelle:

“Android should drop ‘Dog Wars’ from its online market and join the national movement to save dogs from this violent practice. Because ‘Dog Wars’ actually instructs players on how to condition a dog using methods that are standard in organized dogfighting, this game may be a virtual training ground for would-be dogfighters. Its timing and message are all wrong.”

Even though I personally think Michael Vick and anyone associated with Kage Games and the making of Dog Wars is douche bag, I am a little torn about “forcing” Google to pull it. It would be my hope that Google would pull it on their own accord for decencies sake and that no one would download this game. But how many other games would be pulled? There are tons of FPS games that could be pulled for their content as well. Murder the last time I checked is a Felony and so is Reckless Driving. Dog Wars does not at the end of the day violate any of the T&C for Google’s Android Marketplace so it has lasted this long without being pulled.

I read some comments on Android Central that suggest that this game would have been fine if it was renamed Zombie Dog Wars or  Hooker Dog Wars. Maybe it’s because in it’s current form it’s too close to the disturbing truth of reality that we hate so much. That takes this article way above my pay grade to tackle and better left to Dr. Jim.

At the end of the day, let this have it’s 15 minutes of fame, and this game goes away. When it does and the morons at Kage Games goes away, I hope they take Michael Vick with them.

36 COMMENTS

  1. you do realize michael vick spoke out AGAINST this app regardless of what he may have done in the past (i bleed green, dont f**k with my eagles).

    anyway, i just looked in the marketplace to see if it was still there, i dont see any trace of it so im assuming goog has pulled it.

  2. the only other app by kage games in the market is for points for the dog wars game and it says “we are changing servers and working hard to get the game back up asap!!! please check back soon. follow us on twitter @dogwarsapp if you want the latest news.”

  3. @sm0k3ydaband1t: His statement is complete Bullshit. You don’t engage in that kind of activity and then POOF have an epiphany and decide it was wrong and talk against it. He would still be doing it if he hadn’t gotten busted. He has to make ridicules statements like that to keep on the good side of the NFL which he knows butters his bread. Vick is still douche bag.

  4. I love animals as much as the next guy, especially dogs, and imaging dog fights, along with culinary habits of others in some parts of the world which I’m convinced is fueled at least in part by the taboo and often illegality, really makes me cringe but so does caving to any pressure applied by this particular organization which words like totally nuts and whackjobs just don’t go far enough to accurately characterize. The only good thing that came out of this group is a couple provocative ad campaigns including one featuring Pamela Anderson.

    PETA is in the controversy business. Like most people hearing this news, and because it involves dogs, Google, Vick and PETA it is very incendiary news, I hadn’t heard of this software until today. In spite of its having been pulled from the market in my estimation, while it will help PETA, this will result in wider proliferation of the software.

  5. what would you have him do then? you firmly beleive that people are incapable of changing? yeah if he didnt get caught he may still be doing it, but if i didnt get caught stealing pencils in 3rd grade and reprimanded for it i might still be doing it. i really beleive what you just said is completely sad.

    and even if im wrong, would you do the same if you were him and make sure the NFL stays happy with you? its not like hes a repeat offender, im sure youve made a mistake in your life, even if it wasnt as big im sure you EXPECT forgivness, why shouldnt he be entitled the same?

  6. Yeah it’s just a video game and I am all for freedom of speech but it’s tasteless to make a game like this. I am also not a fan of censorship so if people don’t like the game, don’t play it!

  7. and i am a dog owner and i couldnt fathom doing anything of the sort to any dog, but still people make mistakes man. if everyone thought like you just did the world would be full of unforgiving assholes that are mad at the world because they cant forgive a damn thing.

  8. @yss: Yes I do, but not with him. Read this:
    Background:

    April 24, 2007: Michael Vick’s cousin, Davon Boddie, was arrested in Hampton, Va., on drug charges, leading police to obtain a warrant to search his home (owned by Vick) for other drugs and paraphernalia.
    April 25, 2007: While serving the search warrant, police discovered evidence of an alleged dogfighting operation, including rape stands, pry bars, treadmills modified for dog training, and a blood-stained carpet. Animal-control officers also removed 66 dogs from the property, 55 of which were pit bulls.
    May 8, 2007: AirTran Airways dumped Vick as a spokesman.
    May 23, 2007: Investigators obtained another warrant in order to search the property for buried dog carcasses, but local prosecutor Gerald Poindexter refused to execute it.
    June 4, 2007: Reports surfaced indicating Vick’s house was burglarized in early-to-mid May. Reported among the stolen were three plasma televisions (62″, 42″ and 32″), two floor buffers, a wet/dry vacuum, an upright washer and dryer and a leather sofa.
    June 7, 2007: Representatives of the U.S. attorney’s office in Richmond, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Virginia State Police executed a sealed federal search warrant for the Surry County property.
    July 2, 2007: Court documents were filed alleging a dogfighting operation called Bad Newz Kennels had been headquartered at the Vick property for the past five years.
    July 6, 2007: Federal authorities secured another search warrant for the purpose of recovering the remains of dogs buried on the property.
    July 17, 2007: The U.S. attorney’s office announced that Vick and three others had been indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.
    July 19, 2007: Nike announced they had decided to suspend the release of the latest Michael Vick line of shoes, the Air Zoom Vick V.
    July 23, 2007: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered Vick to stay away from the Falcons’ training camp until the league had the opportunity to look further into the dogfighting allegations.
    July 26, 2007: During his first court appearance in connection with the dogfighting case, Vick pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

    This was not a passing fancy, or a drunken boys night out. This guy was deep in this and had more than liking for it. He had tons of time while watching Dogs tear themselves to bits then torturing the poor bastards to death after they lost to search his soul and make amends. It wasn’t until after the NFL and millions of dollars worth of endorsements lost happened that the Sorry Son of a Bitch changed his mind.

    Source: http://football.about.com/od/teamsfalcons/i/Michael-Vick.htm

  9. @sm0k3ydaband1t: So I am an unforgiving asshole? First, you don’t know me and to make a comment like that speaks volumes about your aptitude. Second, as I have made myself quite clear, read what he was involved with genius before you make comments. The list of shit he was involved with goes WAY deeper than a night out with the boys. The amount of investment that he had into this CLEARLY indicates his “Passion” for the crime.

  10. you cant possibly think that people turn over a new leaf in life all the time without something drastic forcing that change? some people can and thats great but sometimes it takes something like this to make someone change and thats why our legal system is the way it is. thats why we send people to jail for periods of time instead of just sentencing everyone to life…you dont like him being able to play football again write your fucking congressman

  11. Did anything happen in August Smith? Stopping short of August? Or does that not count because he plead not guilty initially?

    Think he might have been a little distracted especially as this began to unfold to identify whether or not contrition is more appropriate than the legal tact your lawyer is an expert at pressuring you to take? Know much about our adversarial legal system? If you were arrested for something, or possibly about to be arrested, would you keep your mouth shut or would you be as cooperative and vocal as the cops wanted?

  12. .. or write the judge who didn’t have to accept his plea.

    But I guess you’re better at judging people than some federal judge, lots of practice every day.

  13. i didnt say he only dogfighted one time, he only got caught one time which was all it took for him to see what he was doing is was and forever will be dead wrong, but you dont know me or him either and to make judgements like that based on what youve read on football.about.com is unneccessary, you dont know how he was raised or the methodology of thinking that got him to that point, people are huge influences in life and you cant always choose your friends and you definately cant choose your family

  14. Man this game is really fucked up by the way, no way Google could have done the free speech stance with this. And it was pulled pretty quick, before I saw this article so over an hour ago.

    I caution even the thicker skinned against downloading this out of curiosity of how bad it is — it’s pretty flagrant and I didn’t even get to the fighting.

  15. Simmons, that was an incredibly weak attempt to go after me, maybe your weakest yet. First, our conversation had nothing to do with his, plea, his prison term, or the NFL reinstating him. MY comment has been and always will be that I do not think he is sorry for his actions, just sorry for getting caught. I never said that the NFL should not have reinstated him, or that the judge was too lenient to him, the man served his time. Page two was not necessary to prove my point which was this guy did not have a passing fancy with Dog fighting, he was actively involved with it and financed it. I find it hard to believe that you guys take his comment about Dog Wars at face value and think he has repented in any way? He served his time and cleared his name from legal issues yes, but did he check into counseling? Has he made sizable donations to the Humane Society? NO!!!

    The charges stem from what 2007 and he was cleared in 2009 and this is the first thing he has done? Wow, you attack my character with a lot more ferocity than you do his and last time I checked I have not done time for a Felony for Animal Cruelty.

  16. this is not the first thing he has done and for him to start making huge contributions to the humane society right after it had happened wouldve had a thousand people screaming he only did it to make himself look good, so instead he spends time going around to schools and communities and tells them by word of mouth and not by releasing a press release along with a donation saying that he royally fucked up and noone should do what he did. how much research have you done on michael vick? like i said, i bleed green and ive heard about the stuff he does for the community and the league and im sure the he shys away from doing animal related charity events because of the criticism he would receive instead of the praise.

  17. Wait does this count?:

    Funds to care for dogs
    At the request of federal authorities before sentencing, Vick agreed to deposit nearly $1 million in an escrow account with attorneys for use to reimburse costs of caring for the confiscated dogs, most of which were being offered for adoption on a selective basis under supervision of a court-appointed specialist. Experts said some of the animals will require individual care for the rest of their lives.[61] During his bankruptcy trial, the U.S. Department of Labor complained that these funds were paid at least partially with unlawfully withdrawn monies which Vick held in trust for himself and eight other employees of MV7, a celebrity marketing company he owns.

    More on Michael Vick, the stand up guy:

    Failed drug test
    While free on bail, Vick tested positive for marijuana in a random drug test. This was a violation of the conditions of his release while awaiting sentencing in federal court for his felony conviction. Vick’s positive urine sample was submitted September 13, 2007, according to a document by a federal probation officer that was filed in U.S. District Court on September 26.

    One more:

    Steroid allegations
    On January 23, 2010, the Dallas Morning News reported that steroid trafficker David Jacobs told the paper he supplied steroids to Vick while Vick played for the Falcons. When questioned by federal agents and prosecutors, Vick denied the allegations

    But who doesn’t take steroids right? I’ll withdraw that from the records your honor.

  18. I’m just not understanding what you mean when you acknowledge that “the man served his time” (in a penitentiary, at one point intended to make people penitent I think is where the word comes from) but then go on to say he’s only sorry he got caught and he has to send a truck full of cash to a charity as if this were the AA and he’s got twelve steps to regain your blessing, on top of what our laws prescribe, to resume his life. I just can’t imagine how you know enough about his life to arrive at these conclusions from your trip to Wikipedia.

    Being suspended from football for a long time, losing endorsements, legal fees, prison, maybe child support or whatever else he pays for, that all takes its toll on even a professional athlete’s assets (one with a gambling problem no less), filing for bankruptcy… are you sure he had a “sizable” amount of money to give to this charity? Think they’d even want his money, to try to buy himself a cleaner image which would be seen as transparent by people like you?

    Counseling, including whether or not you’re getting counseling from legal counsel, a priest, a therapist or a doctor is considered sacredly confidential in our country. Meaning there’s a chance when you get a new patient you don’t add an entry to his wikipedia page.

  19. I just can’t imagine how you know enough about his life to arrive at these conclusions from your trip to Wikipedia.

    Sort of like you and WP7?

  20. hey hey, you wont be able to say that about simmons after too long… and simmons, excellent argument

  21. Dog fighting aside, he’s one bad ass quarterback.

    Glad they pulled the game but now it’ll give other anti-game activists ammo for more widely accepted genres and popular games…

    It’s a catch 22 for sure. It’s a sick a degenerated thing to release, but at the same time, where do you draw the line?

  22. @Doug Smith: Dude was brought up in that lifestyle. That what he did and payed the price for it. Now, he has different people showing him a different lifestyle and you shitting on him. You have some deity powers that you can judge people? What makes you so sure he doesn’t have remorse? Oh, don’t post something dated 2007. It’s 2011.

  23. It’s just a game involving virtual animals fighting. No different than millions of other games out there. Once Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt hit the streets, the floodgates were opened.

  24. That’s not true. You just described Angry Birds, not Dog Wars. Did you play this game?

  25. Wow so many comments, such little time.

    Let’s get into this properly:

    – Just because there are rules and guidelines posted for apps, creating something in poor taste warrants an individual review of the app. The rules and regs can’t be something that is always cut and dry because of situations like this.

    – Going to jail for 23 months gives a man a lot time to think. Maybe Vick wasn’t remorseful going in. Maybe he was. Being practical about it, he still fucked up good money. That something that speaks volumes. If you lived a lifestyle where you admittedly never tried to hone your craft, yet you were $100M+ good at it and you managed to fuck up your earning potential, you would be remorseful too.

    – PETA is a social terrorist group made up of people who have an unhealthy “attraction” to animals and/or celebrities that are oft-high-out-of-there-minds and the 15 minutes of fame are over. In short, I loathe PETA.

    That’s all folks.

    -The Fight aka The Rookie

  26. PETA, and other people like them, are hypocrites. They’re so worried about animals and how they are treated. Whether it’s virtual or in the real world.
    What about human beings? What about all the innocent victims in all the other games. Games where innocent human bystanders can be killed, beaten, robbed, or just about anything else.
    Sorry, but I have no respect whatsoever for PETA and other animal worshiping morons. Humans are more important in the grand scheme of things. I’ll care more about animals when you idiots care more about people than you do animals.

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