A peaceful anti-North Korea protest turned into an environmental panic after the video game company, THQ, released 10,000 balloons in the air today near Moscone Center. The balloon launch was supposed to draw attention to Homefront, it's new video game that simulates American guerrilla fighters
challenging North Korean forces.
And attention is what they got.
The rally started today at the Golden Gate Bridge, where hundreds of
people marched to Yerba Buena Gardens and held a protest to draw attention
to North Korea's human right violations -- and promote the new game. The event was capped off with the launch of 10,000 red balloons, which drifted into the Bay.
Apparently, people in San Francisco were truly unhappy about the balloon launch; THQ's corporate office in Los Angeles has received a flood of calls from the press and the community, asking why the company would wreak such havoc on the local environment.
But the balloons -- which were filled with promotional fliers and pre-order slips for the game -- are 100 percent organic and biodegradable, said Julie MacMedan, spokeswoman for THQ.
So then animals can eat them and not die?
"We researched it first and there is no history of these balloons causing environmental pollution on land or water," she said. "We are very confident there will be no harm."
Perhaps the soy-based balloons are safe(r), but the stunt certainly sent the wrong message to residents in an environmentally-aware city like San Francisco.
"They were supposed to be eye-catching -- we didn't mean to create an environmental scare," MacMedan said.
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