A video game in which players hunt wildlife in the Scottish Highlands has sparked outrage from animal rights activists.
Hunting Simulator allows gamers to stalk “numerous different and realistic looking animals” in well-known hunting regions such as the mountains of Colorado, the oak forests of France, and the Scottish Highlands.
The video game's creators claim it offers a realistic hunting experience – but animal rights campaigners said it “glorifies” violence against animals.
Elisa Allen, director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), told The Scotsman: “PETA opposes hunting video games because they glorify violence against the defenceless, encourage callousness, and desensitise young people to the suffering of others.
“With boundless opportunities for amusement, it's near psychopathic to get a thrill from gunning down other living beings, even in a virtual world – and, just as sexual predators enjoy on-screen pornography, it may lead to real-life enactments.”
Robbie Marsland, the League Against Cruel Sports director in Scotland, said: “It’s mind-boggling that anyone could think this is the best way to use the beautiful Scottish countryside.
“The league has just published a report that reveals that up to a quarter of a million animals are killed each year so that there are more grouse to shoot.
“If online gamers want to virtually shoot each other, that’s OK. But leave off the animals – they already have a bad enough time in reality.”
Nacon, the France-based publishers of Hunting Simulator, have been approached for comment.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.
By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.