back to article Mafia Wars dons deprived of pit bulls

Aficionados of Facebook punch-up Mafia Wars will no longer be able to deploy pit bulls as part of their arsenal, following intervention by whale-hugging animal rights outfit PETA. PETA expressed "concerns" to Zynga Game Network regarding "the portrayal of a chained, snarling pit bull as a 'weapon'" in the popular online game …


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  1. Llyander

    Mixed Messages?

    So the game promotes pitbulls as weapons, mirroring the idea that these dogs are status symbols and have indeed been trained and used as weapons by some aspects of society and PETA is up in arms and gets it yanked....

    But it's apparently still okay that the game promotes the mindset that criminal acts are a good thing and killing people and stealing things is just day to day business?

    PETA: Totally missing the point since 1980!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If PETA cared about people.

      They wouldn't be trying to take away my bacon sandwiches.

    2. Lionel Baden

      excellent post

      but tbh its not their problem or issue

      They actually make sense from what ive read in this article.

      I also find rotties have a very bad rep but i find them adorable loving animals.

      most people think of scrapyards in conjunction with rottweilers

  2. DavCrav

    Well done

    Now we have ended the suffering of digital animals, if we can just get reality to conform to PETAs demands everything would be great.


  3. Jimmy Floyd


    "Zynga is no longer perpetuating the mindset that it's acceptable to chain, neglect, and abuse real dogs."

    ...but it is acceptable to be a Mafia don.

    PETA, you really are a bunch of sea-kitten-hugging fuckwits. And you're getting worse.

    1. Allan George Dyer

      Of course Mafia Don is acceptable...

      Think about how much good work they do, providing food for the fishes.

      OTOH, there is the horse-head thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not fishes.


  4. Stratman


    I don't know who are the bigger wusses, PETA, or Xynga for giving in to them.

  5. Thomas 4

    Zynga were wise to listen

    Being neglected and being abused are things PETA has a lot of experience with.

  6. Code Monkey

    It's only a game

    It's only a game

  7. max allan

    Please stop the world.

    Please stop the world, I'd like to get off now.

    It's clearly gone completely bonkers and I'd like to go somewhere else.

    Either that, or we load PETA and Zynga onto the B ark and fire them off into space where they can start a new "civilisation".

    1. TimeMaster T

      Wont stop

      But if we can get it to slow down enough we can jump for it.

      Tuck and Roll.

      Mines the one with the reinforced elbow pads.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Its a GAME.. The supposed notion that "people who play violent games go on to be violent" has been discredited in every proper paper written on the subject. Just like cannabis user end up on smack/crack/meth etc etc.

    PETA would have more credibility if they just shut the fuck up and concentrated on real animal welfare issues. Whaling, bear baiting are just a few that spring to mind.

    So in conclusion my learned friends PETA are a Pile of Extremist Total Arses.

    1. Ian Stephenson

      I prefer...





      Yup that's the one, made from the skin of a burger- I mean cow.

  9. Daniel Snowden

    Chained, snarling Pit-Bull bad...

    But chained, snarling mutt is okay? I'm confused.

  10. The Original Ash

    Creating a market?

    Does wishing for your *fictional* Mob boss to have a *fictional* vicious dog for defence against / attacking other *fictional* Mob bosses cause a real life market for real life mob bosses to have real life vicious dogs for defence against / attacking real life Mob bosses?

    Or is this just more "Out of sight, out of mind"-style sweeping-under-the-carpet of a serious issue by people who have no idea of how to properly protect the vulnerable (in this case, animals) from abusers?

    (You're thinking of another issue which has a corollary. That is intentional, and just as absurd.)

  11. lukewarmdog


    I don't see this as a bad thing. Appreciate it doesn't achieve anything per se but it's also not harming anybody, no harm no foul. I'm all for not smoking in films and on tv as well. *shrug*

  12. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I haven't played it, but

    As described online, apart from the dog thing, it seems to be mainly about gang versus gang. Less or not at all about protection racket, drug dealing, prostitution, dog fighting indeed, and donating to politicians' campaign funds? So, relatively clean fun?

    What about the horse's head in the bed?

  13. neverSteady

    Oh class!

    That is just brilliant! I wonder how and who came up with this over at PETA? Did they find some staff playing Mafia Wars during work time?

    PETA Boss: "What is this they are playing? Mafia Wars? And they have attack pitbulls?! This is a disgrace, they should be working! I mean, they shouldn't use animals like that in a game! Yes, this has nothing to do with our workers/volunteers slacking off during working hours."

    Let's hope their computers won't be able to run Read Dead Redemption when it comes out on PC.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Correct response to PETA:

    Fuck off you hypocritical fantasy-world-living zealots. You are worse than Bin-Laden, insofar as you can, unfortunately, be proven to exist, and pose a real threat to civilised society.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Substantial amusement

      Hilarious to see suggested here that Mafia Wars players (or publisher) should criticise PETA for "living in a fantasy world".

      The Daily Show points out that iPad has a super-reflective screen that you can use to take a good look at yourself (I haven't tried this).

  15. Ivan Slavkov

    peta should stick to posters

    Peta should stick to posters. Especially angelic ones. Every time they go beyond that they make complete idiots of themselves (not that they are not...)

  16. LuMan


    Zynga should just use virtual robot-dogs. Job done. Plus it would be well cool if a couple of Goodfella types unleashed a pack of those Doctor Who K9 jobs with Tommy Gun muzzles. Thye could have the smg mags hanging under their chins and their sides could fold open to reveal a violin... or something..

  17. Bad Beaver

    So you play a game about being a nasty gangster

    ... but deep inside, you want to know that your evil digital mobster is a good guy, all PC about animal rights, kind with the hookers, never cutting the coke etc.


  18. DrXym

    Time for a new social game

    I propose a social game whose main point of existence should be to enrage idiots like PETA. The idea should be to kill as many virtual animals as possible with rewards for doing so in needlessly painful and inventive ways. What to name it though? Factory Farmville has a nice ring about it.

  19. HFoster
    Thumb Up

    Meanwhile, in Africa...

    A human child dies every 36 seconds from malnutrition, disease, etc.

    Thumb up in irony.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    PETA, PETA, PETA... Oh yeah, that extremist organization coupled to so-called "animal rights activists" or, more accurately, terrorists - people using violence to achieve political goals. That PETA. Indeed. And they complain about... violence. Interesting, to say the least.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peta and Rome Total War

    ... so what's their line on fire pigs then?

    1. Simon Neill

      People Eating Tasty Animals

      they all love a good bit of crackling.

  22. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Paris Hilton

    Not had your coffee yet Lester?

    Thought you would have gone for “Zynga pulls pit bulls” or something like that

    Paris, not sure if she’s ever “pulled” a pit bull……. But she knows how to handle the beef bayonet!

  23. Eddy Ito

    Ok, I'll bite

    So you got me curious enough to do a little search on Mafia wars and Zynga will have a bit of explaining once they get any serious Peta players. It seems that you can buy businesses like fish and cock fighting arenas as well as traffic in "undocumented workers". I'm certain Peta will be on them like soy sauce on sushi and the feathers will fly over the fish and fowl fighting. The human cargo? meh, not so much.

    1. Ian Stephenson

      The correct term is...

      .. Self Loading Freight not human cargo.

  24. OffBeatMammal

    Brand awareness

    love or hate PETA (doesn't seem to be a middle ground there) as a Pit Bull owner I'm very glad to see that Zygna has done this.

    Sure, it's just a game and any right-minded soul isn't going to assume that just because there is a terrier in the game that all Bully breeds behave in that way - but for a breed that has been as unfairly maligned as this over the years that sort of representation doesn't help.

    If the game featured iPads being used to beat people to death I'm sure Apple would complain

    1. Pete 48

      Analogy Fail

      "If the game featured iPads being used to beat people to death I'm sure Apple would complain"

      Uh, PETA dont own the COPYRIGHT TO ANIMALS.

  25. Tom 13

    Huh, not a word about the pitbulls being raised in a toxic dump either.

    Oh, that's right Zynga stopped with the rackets and went back to properties so I guess that isn't so obvious any more.

    A better response to PETA's complaint would have been a new job where you get to torch their hideout.

  26. Tim Jenkins
    Jobs Horns

    @ OffBeatMammal

    "If the game featured iPads being used to beat people to death I'm sure Apple would complain"

    Only if it ran on Flash...

  27. Joshua P

    Mafia Wars in General is annoying so who cares

    I just wish I did not have to see the Mafiawars crap day in and day out from that one facebook friend of mine

    1. Doogs

      You do

      The hide button is your friend - click it and choose to hide Mafia Wars posts: <meerkat annoyingness="high" />

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Why just pitbulls

    If Zynga in any way meant what they said they would have removed ALL 'animals as weapons' from the game.

    Obviously more scared of bad press than in anyway agreeing with PETA's views.

    ...Not surprisingly.

  29. Danington the Third

    oh fuck off...

    you paint throwing arse holes. It infuriates me so much that i share an even remotely similar mindset to these hopeless twats. Anyone ever see what the they did to cooking mama? I MEAN FUCKING COOKING MAMA?! El Reg, you must have some contacts somewhere, can we get them taken out? like all swiftly and quietly?

    1. Pete 48

      fuck quietly

      for the purpose of irony, have them set upon by vicious pit-bull's

  30. Andrew 19

    Coming soon - virtual PETA

    Feel smug about all the virtual animals you are saving as you withhold virtual insulin from a virtual diabetic 5 year old.

    Rack up massive Hypocrisy Points as you harras Kelis for wearing fur while illegally ditching the animals you yourself have killed in local dumpsters.

  31. Goat Jam

    Easy solution

    Replace the chained, snarling pitbulls with chained, snarling PETA activists.

  32. Rattus Rattus

    Just replace the pit bulls

    with chained, slavering animal rights activists. As a bonus, they'll be a lot scarier than the pit bulls.

  33. John Tserkezis
    Thumb Up

    Ahh, the Streisand Effect.

    Works every time.

    Didn't know the game even existed till they mentioned it.

    Thank you People Eating Tasty Animals.

    Hmmm, yummy. (slurp)

    Now, excuse me while I 'release the hounds'.

  34. Steve Roper

    The greatest exception

    to freedom of speech is speech denying that freedom to others. PETA is a prime example of this in my book. To paraphrase Voltaire: I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it. Unless what you say takes away my right to speak. Then I will oppose you to the death.

    These fucking fools need to be silenced, by any means necessary. They have abrogated their right of free speech by constantly taking it away from others.

  35. Marco Alfarrobinha

    Why only Pitbulls?

    I was playing MW on the iPhone and Fifi (a rabid Poodle).is still there. So, it is ok to have a rabid poodle but not a rabid pitbull?

  36. Woof

    PETA bring no value to any discussion

    and nothing I have heard uttered by PETA can be considered seriously. Ignore them.

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