PETA has criticized The Red Lantern dog deaths setting which prevents dogs from dying in a game set in the harsh Alaskan bush, criticizing dogsledding as a "blood sport."
The Red Lantern is a survival and resource management game where players take on the role of The Musher, a woman who finds herself lost in the wilderness of the Alaskan bush. With no real chance of rescue, she assembles a team of dogs and tries to find her way back home together with her team. Now, PETA is criticizing the dog deaths in the game — and not for the reason you might think.
You can get a feel for what The Red Lantern is all about by watching its recent Nintendo Switch trailer:
Why is PETA Criticizing The Red Lantern Dog Deaths Setting?
PETA has released a letter criticizing The Red Lantern dog deaths setting — not because the dogs in the game die, but because players can enable a "Dogs Always Live" option which prevents the dogs from dying at all.
"In the real Iditarod race, after which the game is named, you can't simply turn off dog deaths, and there's never an option in which 'Dogs Always Live,'" read a portion of the letter from PETA. "If Timberline Studio is determined to promote the extremely cruel dogsledding industry, we urge you to make it realistic by not allowing users to turn off what dogs actually endure in these races.
"To date, more than 150 dogs have died in the Iditarod," the letter continued. "It's well documented that they are subjected to biting winds, blinding snowstorms, and subzero temperatures. They also often sustain stress fractures and become afflicted with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, pneumonia, bleeding ulcers, and other health issues."
Players can experience hundreds of events as they make their journey across Alaska with their team of dogs. This won't be a leisurely trip, mind — players will have to hunt, fish, and avoid various hazards. Your dogs can die, but the developers have provided an option to disable this feature and that's one of the issues PETA takes with the game.
We've reached out to the developer on this matter and will update this article when we receive a reply. For now, you can buy The Red Lantern for PC via the Epic Games Store or for the Nintendo Switch at the price of $19.99 or your regional equivalent, a 20% discount off of its regular price.
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What do you think of The Red Lantern dog deaths setting? Do you think Timberline Studio should remove this feature to make the game more realistic as demanded by PETA? Let us know in the comments below!