Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and perhaps not so coincidentally, Majesco is getting gamers in the mood for good eats with the latest installment in its best-selling Cooking Mama franchise, Cooking Mama World Kitchen. In it, Wii gamers are dropped into a pressure-cooker kitchen environment in which they race against the clock to perfect 51 different recipes, ranging from pancakes to octopus dumplings.
Seemingly innocuous enough, but Majesco's World Kitchen has drawn the ire of activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In response to the Wii game, PETA published a Flash version of Cooking Mama on its Web site in which Majesco's iconic character prepares a turkey dinner in advance of the US's revered feasting day. Titled Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals, the Flash game features gameplay that's akin to what is found in the official version of the game.
Of course, it also exhibits a decidedly macabre bent, replete with Happy Tree Friends-style viscera as well as copious amounts of blood. Between levels, gamers are treated to such fun facts as, "In the US, almost all birds have their throats slit while they're still conscious, and according to the US Department of Agriculture, millions are scalded to death in tanks of hot water."
Following the Flash game, the culmination of which involves gamers concocting a tofu turkey dinner, PETA urges gamers to "politely ask" Majesco to add more vegan recipes to the Cooking Mama line of games, or create a vegetarian edition. "I love the Cooking Mama series and PETA's new parody of it, but I would love to see Mama make more vegetarian recipes or even a game with just vegetarian recipes," reads the prepared note that players can sign. "There is no doubt that I would play it!"
Majesco is apparently not of the opinion that PETA's Flash game is better than Mama's. In a press release issued today, the publisher assumed the tone of a willful grandmother, chiding PETA for failing to mention that "World Kitchen includes more than 25 vegetarian-friendly recipes including delicious breakfast, dinner, dessert, and snack options."
"I would never put rat in my Ratatouille," reads Majesco's release, channeling their inner Mama. "Like any accomplished cook, I create my recipes to appeal to a broad range of tastes and preferences. My only goal is to ensure you leave the table well fed." Majesco also notes that while Mama is not herself a vegan, "She fully supports the humane treatment of animals."