November 9, 2010

Call of Duty Brings War To Your Door Once More

Today as it has happened for the past four years, a brand new "Call of Duty" game has been unleashed on the masses with the force of napalm attack. Titled "Call of Duty: Black Ops," the game no doubt already has millions of people of every race, age, creed, gender, and political belief on their video game device at choice shooting, stabbing, and exploding the enemy. I am, reluctantly, one of those people.

Previous games in the Call of Duty franchise have taken place during World War II and the present day. The most recent offering, from mega game publisher Activision Blizzard puts the gamer in the midst of the "Black Ops" of the Cold War.  Once again, the horrors of real life warfare have been digitized for the  enjoyment of the masses. This has disturbed me in the past, but now with the newest advertisement, featuring NBA superstars and young girls smiling as they lock and load, I feel like the game is now ultimately "dishonoring" the soldiers it tries to portray as grizzled badass heros.

The message that "there is a solider in all of us" seems like an army catchphrase it is because it basically is (see right). One generations previous conflict has becomes a means of mega profit for the next generation. The fact that Activision wants us to be soldiers on a fictional battlefield when two wars are still raging in present time is in poor taste. Not to mention that Veterans day is coming up on Thursday.

Yeah I know it's only a video game, but with any portrayal of history, whether it's a book, a film, or a video game, there is a certain element of responsibility. Many people died in conflicts based out of the Cold War, there are monuments to them. Now for many people the imagery of the real life war will be replaced by the digital one. Activision is bold enough to tell us that everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to your concierge has the potential to be a killer on the battlefield, however I can only wish they'll also be able to be bold enough to realize the responsibility they have in portraying America's soldier heroes.

Call Of Duty Life

Real Life

1 comment:

  1. I think you raise a good point, Timbo, but is your objection with the commercial or the game itself? Has anything changed on a programming level from the last COD iteration?

    Plus the most offensive gaming commercial ever produced remains this little gem: That they would do that to such a cherished Turtles song continues to hurt, even ten years later.