Animal Rights Group Claims Tetris-like Game is ‘Animal Abuse’

Korean animal rights group CARE suggests that 'Anipang', a Tetris-like puzzle game for mobile phones simulates animal abuse.

Netizens have leaped to defend Anipang, a game for smartphones that combines KakaoTalk, a popular Korean chat application, with a Bejeweled or Tetris-like puzzle.

Picket signs at a protest by Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) seemed to criticise the game’s allegedly controversial puzzle-solving format, whereby players burst the cute faces of rabbits, cats, and other small animals by shifting them into color combinations or by dropping ‘bombs’ on them.

At over 10 million downloads, the hugely popular game can be found at the mercy of many a subway or bus-bound Korean thumb. In response to the protest, eager players of the game have been swift to criticise what they see as the animal rights organization’s overreaction.

A spokesperson for CARE admitted that they did post the signs at a recent protest; but were criticising animal-killing games in general and, not Ani Pang in particular. The spokesperson added that they wished that there were more games where the intent was to be kind to animals, rather than to kill them.

From Herald Biz:

Controversy as ‘The People’s Game’ is Labeled as Animal Abuse

Anipang, a smartphone game so popular that it has been dubbed ‘The People’s Game’, has unexpectedly been engulfed in a controversy surrounding animal abuse.

Recently, images of picket signs stating “Why does it have to be Anipang?” and “When you tap the screen, I disappear” have been uploaded to the forums of various online communities. These signs are obviously aimed at the game “Anipang”, where players aim to eliminate animal tiles from a board by making combinations of the same animal.

The images caused an uproar among netizens, as they debated whether the protest depicted was real or not. It was confirmed that the signs were indeed among those used during a protest by the organization CARE during a September 23rd protest in front of the Sejong Center in central Seoul.

One Twitter user posted the images, asking “These images are going round the web, are they for real?” A CARE spokesperson tweeted back “Yes, Anipang is a smartphone game. The game displays exploding animal characters.”

Anipang protest signs

An example of an Anipang BOMB

To this, one netizen responded “actually, the cute animal game Anipang simulates cruel animal abuse. Every time an animal explodes, it gives out a little scream. The bigger combos you make, the bigger the screams get.”

However, a majority of netizens are expressing negative reactions to CARE’s message. Among the responses were, “Why have you been silent about the method of catching pigs with birds on Angry Birds?”… “With that kind of logic, what games in this world can you even play?”… “Should the Human Rights Commission do something about first-person shooter games where you kill humans with a gun?”

In response to the criticisms, CARE said “the intention of the signs was that, if possible, game companies should develop games that help people to love animals. But now, people are spreading rumors that our organization called Anipang an animal abuse game.”

The intern at CARE who was in charge of the signs added “I have never called Anipang an animal abuse game and I have never described it that way to people during our protests. But now I am deeply hurt by the criticism online, which is based on false information.” The intern explained, “I only made the signs out of a desire to see a game where players peacefully took care of animals become ‘The People’s Game’”.

 Comments from Daum:


WTF, there are already games where you kill people, they say nothing about those games and then start criticizing Ani Pang after it gets popular? If you just go to a PC bang you can see people getting killed by knives or guns, you would start a firestorm if you call that abuse.


“When you tap the screen, I disappear” what does that mean? You should have spent your time instead looking into the morals, and politics of our president. If you choose your president well, then those animals you like will be able to live in a better environment.


  • Bubble Bobble: munching animals that have been encircled in a bubble and made into fruit
  • Galaga: destroy space insects by shooting pointy missiles from your spaceship that blow them into dust
  • Tetris: clearing four rows with a single long piece simulates sexual relations

Just go ahead and ban the games, bitches.


These saekki, all you have to say is “meat” and they go crazy.


If it’s not the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family then it’s some animal protection organization…


You should have written an article instead about the saekki who post suspiciously high scores, I don’t understand them…


The result of people with absolutely nothing better to do.


I guess these people didn’t notice how well KakaoTalk is doing in this country.


I hope these people get a mental exam for delusions of grandeur.


It would have been funnier if they had used mice, chicken, and other birds as game characters…


If the game had featured humans that would have been one thing, but animal abuse?? I am at a loss for words.


More important than protecting the animals is getting the kids who live on either side of my apartment to stop playing bloody Anipang, why don’t you stop? Every night the noise from the game drives me crazy.


If you go all the way to make picket signs then of course there’s going to be a backlash. Did you lose your mind?


They’ve got some creativity, I’ll give them that ke ke ke It would have been admirable if the situation had been different. How about you try using your brain on some other problems?

jeong giun shin:

Please get rid of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family


Looks like they’re working hard to get people pissed off at them ke ke ke


The real animal abuse happens when you put clothes on an animal, cut its hair, train it, and carry it around with you. The massacre happens when you claim that animal instincts fit into human emotions.


So then eating gummy bears is wholesale animal slaughter? Buying whale crackers should be dealt legally as a violation of endangered species protections.


Talk about loving animals… I’m flabbergasted by the people who feed samgyeopsal to their dogs at home…


Hey you, stop playing Anipang! Come on, where is the animal abuse in this? So if the tiles were little human faces it would have been murder? What, do these people have nothing to do now that Bok has passed? [Note: the days of “Bok” in the summer are traditionally when Koreans would eat dog meat]

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  • Ruaraidh

    Wow, on so many different planes of reasoning this is ridiculous. If I went back in time to 500CE and showed those pictures to the first random person I met, they probably wouldn’t even recognise them as stylised animals. If it was a hyper realistic game of a dude with a knife running around slashing horses and other domestic animals they might have a point, but it’s just so abstract I can’t believe it upsets people.

    I suppose PETA and tumblr social justice have already set the bar pretty low for this sort of idiocy in America, and to a lesser extent the whole Anglosphere.

  • k

    ………..=^.^= ………+-‘~`———————————/\–
    ||”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” \\\\\\ \/~)
    || \\\\\\ \/_
    |~~~~~~~~-________________-_________________\ ~–_
    !———|_________ ——~~~~~(– )–~~
    \ /~~~~\~~\ )— \_ /(
    || | | \ () \\
    \\____/_ / ()\ \\
    `~~~~~~~~~-. \ \\
    \ \ \\
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    Sushi or the cat gets it……

    • k

      That looked better before submitt *_*

    • Looks like the cat already got the sushi and went absolutely mental with it.

      • Paul

        Not sushi, “butchered sea kitten on rice”. ;)

  • Shawna

    The explosions in the screenshots look so cute! All those sparkly stars. It only looks like a cutesy colorful game to me. I don’t think it makes people think of real animals much, or at least not to harm them. I think by being too sensitive, it will just put thoughts into people’s heads.

  • mr. wiener

    If you had to skin alive dog I’d say they had a point. This just looks like someone at PETA had a brain fart.

  • Paul M

    Whac-a-hole! heh, heh. A friend of mine from Uni had that as a part time job one summer. He said that on his first go the cow had a reflex action and tightened up. It took him about 5 minutes to get his arm out by which time it had gone completely numb.

  • Markus

    i think they have bigger fish to fry in Korea than games…

    they need to get thier priorities in order. they shouldnt waste time on this…

  • vetomon

    Netizens are F-bombs with small gummy bears for brains.

    May be they are living with mother too too long and they have gone back to the bottle.

    Poor evil netizens, let’s just ship them out to war and let them die over there.

  • Stories of butts

    Its cool to see that theres a foreign animal rights group like PETA, bitching about the little harmless things.

    • ami

      misery loves company

  • Paul

    Reminiscent of some recent campaigns in America. PETA at least (nowadays) pulls these typs of insane stunts knowingly to gain publicity. Prime example being the Mario 3 Tanooki Suit and Super Tofu Boy campaigns, although the latter probably raised more publicity for the game it lampooned (the dev intentionally issued a “complaint” to gain this effect) than PETA itself.

    I can’t get a clear reading between the lines on the article nor the comments. Any clue whether this claim was done with any hint of irony?

  • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

    By failing to distinguish what is crucial from what is marginal in protecting animals, those animal rights advocates are provoking a mixture of laughter and irritation from the public.

    One might say the group’s folly rivals the claim violent murderous gangster films can breed violence among viewers and should be outlawed from being produced.

    Plus, if they are to believe in what they are saying, why do they not hold a rally against a myriad of online games featuring shooting, and killing? Is this because they are animal rights crudaders, not human rights activists? What a farce!!

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