PETA: We Were Kidding About Mario Spoof Nintendo game proves popular By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Nov 18, 2011 11:07 AM CST 9 comments Comments Mario's been let off the hook. (Getty Images) (Newser) – Some of PETA's stunts seem like jokes, but apparently its rather absurd anti-Mario campaign actually was one. After the group attacked the cartoon plumber for his Tanooki suit, a rep tells Kotaku that Mario fans should “relax.” Its violent game parody, in which players act as a bloody tanuki chasing down Mario, "was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, a fun way to call attention to a serious issue, that raccoon dogs are skinned alive for their fur.” PETA was “a little surprised that the game was taken so literally by some, but we're thrilled that we're able to bring so much attention to raccoon dogs whose suffering is very real," says a spokesperson. "Our spoof is simply making a serious point: that there is a much darker story behind tanuki skins than Mario lets on." Some 250,000 people reportedly played the game within 36 hours, USA Today notes. Click for another somewhat odd PETA stunt from this week.