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Animal rights on the Xbox: A video game for vegans

This year marks the 10th anniversary of "Whiplash," perhaps the most explicitly pro-animal video game ever to get a mainstream release. While the progressive themes in the Xbox and Playstation 2 title are undercut by its comic tone and narrow focus, the game's very existence is a win for animal rights activists.

The story follows a weasel and rabbit named Spanx and Redmond who have escaped from confinement within a product testing facility owned by the fictional corporation Genron. Chained together in a manner reminiscent of Stanley Kramer's "The Defiant Ones," the non-human fugitives romp through the facility freeing animals, destroying lab equipment, and attacking researchers, in an effort to ultimately bring Genron to its knees. Their progress is tracked based on the monetary value of the property damage they incur.

The game's loyalties are on clear display in satirical moments, such as when the head of the company responds to animal cruelty allegations with a humorous lack of irony, yelling, "If ripping off their limbs, grinding 'em up and feeding 'em back to themselves is cruel, if shooting their butts so full of poison they got to sit on their face is cruel, if skinning 'em alive until they're dead, and than doing an Italian fandango on their cute, little graves is cruelty to animals, than, yeah, I guess they should just cart me away and lock me up!"

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