When the media started calling on Tuesday for the League’s comment on a new Android video game app, we took one look at the content and decided to take the gloves off. The game in question was the sickening “Dog Wars,” which lets players raise and train their virtual dogs to fight. “Raise your dog to beat the best,” read the app’s tag line, while the website offering it as a free download invited visitors to “Feed, water, train and FIGHT your virtual dog against other players.”
League President Paul Weber fielded media calls throughout the day, branding the game as “sickening” and calling for its immediate removal from the website and the Android Market. “It’s absolutely the wrong message to send our children,” Weber told the Los Angeles Times, “because it encourages cruelty to dogs and could serve as a virtual training ground for people to try dog fighting in real life.”
Particularly galling to us was the note on the game’s website touting player options including a "gun for police raids” and the ability to “inject the dog with steroids." At a time marked by rising violence against police officers nationwide, this was completely irresponsible and offensive.
Shortly after the League’s widely covered news conference on Tuesday afternoon, the game was removed from the Android Market. We don’t know whether Kage Games, the developer, decided to take it down or whether Google removed it as a terms-of-service violation, but in a letter to Google CEO Larry Page, Weber asked that the game’s removal be made permanent. It’s the right thing to do.