PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) most recent parody campaign has set its sights on StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm.
We really do have to hand it to PETA. Even though the animal rights organisation's campaigns are completely silly, they're perfectly pitched for generating discussion and exposure. It sometimes even seems to know its material — for example, Pokémon Black & Blue was a well-made campaign, even if it was ludicrous.
This time, though, we're not entirely sure what's going on. The latest campaign, "PetaCraft: Heart for the Swarm" is centred around an adorable baby ... Zerg. It bears the tagline, "Zerglings have feelings, too".
PETA's Joel Bartlett said of the campaign, "We always root for the underdogs (and undermice and underpigeons, etc) at PETA. And when playing StarCraft, I had noticed how the Zerg were treated more like animals than like other people."
Just to be clear: this is a Zerg.
We're starting to worry about PETA. As fictional foes, the Zerg only have the feelings and motivations that their writers give them. Which is precisely none — individually, at least — thanks to the race's hive mind.
Bartlett went on to add, "While Zerglings are not real, there are many equally 'strange' and exotic animals we share this planet with who deserve our empathy. Just because crocodiles and snakes look alien to us, that doesn't make it OK to skin them alive for a handbag, shoes or a belt."
While it's an improvement on previous campaigns that indicated that PETA believes violence is the correct response, we remain unconvinced that Bartlett really understands much about the source material at all.
A swing and a miss, PETA. A swing and a miss.