Submitted by MightyNoX 599d ago | opinion piece

EDGE: Call of Duty's disturbing message

Call of Duty might be just a game, but its underlying message is becoming more and more troubling - EDGE (Culture, Industry)

allformats  +   599d ago
It's not only Call of Duty, but Battlefield, Homefront, Medal of Honor and almost all other modern day military shooters...

But that shouldn't be a problem, as movies do it all the game, and parents and teachers should be responsible for teaching children truth and history.

We're now mixing good ole entertainment with real life events like Fox News....
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Septic  +   599d ago
"But that shouldn't be a problem, as movies do it all the game, and parents and teachers should be responsible for teaching children truth and history. "

Huh? Firstly, it doesn't excuse movies doing it. Secondly, who is responsible for teaching the parents of these children? This isn't just about propaganda affecting the mind of young kids, it also includes adults.

"We're now mixing good ole entertainment with real life events like Fox News...."

I would say Fox News itself is 'good ole entertainment' if you treat it as you should, a comedy.

This whole 'its entertainment' argument is ridiculous when considering the context. If the industry is to mature, it needs escape the confines of restrictive narrative and propaganda.

If its just entertainment, then I dare a developer to release a sequel to Freedom Fighters where you play a protagonist from the Middle East who has to kill American soldiers who have invaded his country.
Thehyph  +   599d ago
I'd play that game. It might scare some people and be controversial, but the story would probably be better than almost all modern shooters.

Battlefield 3 comes to mind. I tried playing through that campaign. What a joke. Terrorists, Iran, nuclear threat... the game was almost a lesson in fear mongering. It's like the game tried to give you some idea that the west is danger, that the situation is dire, and that through these means, the game not only tries to take away any meaningful thought on why you're slaughtering guys in turbans, but that you're actually justified in doing so.

That was my take anyway.
Also, that game was awful. Maybe the seventeenth time will be the charm for DICE making a good open world shooter with vehicles.
mydyingparadiselost  +   599d ago
' I dare a developer to release a sequel to Freedom Fighters where you play a protagonist from the Middle East who has to kill American soldiers who have invaded his country.'
That game would have NSA personnel EVERYWHERE.
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TradingWarStories  +   599d ago
I haven't played a story on any FPS game sine Call of Duty 4, this is why I love UNCHARTED AND NAUGHTY DOG! They can develop great stories and Multiplayer.(Last of us MP is one of the most refreshing experience's since I started online gaming.)
SilentNegotiator  +   599d ago
How does a sh***y news program compare to a video game? No one refers to the news as "just entertainment"

At least it wouldn't be banned in the US, as the reverse frequently is in other countries.
#1.1.4 (Edited 599d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
Septic  +   599d ago

"How does a sh***y news program compare to a video game? No one refers to the news as "just entertainment" "

It doesn't; allformats brought up the comparison. I was joking about how comical the so-called news channel is.
SilentNegotiator  +   599d ago
Okay, I see. But then how are two COD games in a row with the US as the underdog "restrictive narrative and propaganda"?
Septic  +   599d ago

"But then how are two COD games in a row with the US as the underdog "restrictive narrative and propaganda"

I didn't single out COD here, I said " If the industry is to mature..."

Also, I'd just like to add, the US not being an underdog but still being portrayed as the saviour of the planet against the Middle East, Russia for years doesn't exactly help. This includes all COD games from the Modern Warfare series too (among possibly others).
MightyNoX  +   599d ago
Maybe you're right, it's still food for thought tho. Remember, unlike movies videogame are an interactive medium.

So, this article reminded me of this one YouTube video: http://youtu.be/UP4_bMhZ4gA
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HammadTheBeast  +   599d ago
Games sell most in the US, so make the US the underdog.

Easy to piece together.
SilentNegotiator  +   599d ago
An entire TWO games in a row with the US as the underdogs?!

brettski  +   599d ago
keep getting your info from msnbc and showing the world how enlightened you are.....
Budobear  +   599d ago
Its an interesting article and one that should spark a good internal debate at developers when writing their stories. Its easy to see why its done....no one likes the idea of being the bully. WWII games were safe ground as for the most part the Allies were the under-dogs, translating that to modern day is very difficult.
caseh  +   599d ago
If you ain't British or American, you're clearly the enemy.

Killzone = British voiced space Nazis, credit where its due. it's a bit different. :)
#3 (Edited 599d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
MightyNoX  +   599d ago
Which is pretty sad because I love the Helghast. Their design is so reminiscent of Mamoru Oshii's works..
Thehyph  +   599d ago
Mercenary had possibly the best story because it wasn't as black and white. The ISA ended up being the greater of two evils in that game because of its leader.

At least that was my take on it.
IanVanCheese  +   599d ago
The British as the bad guys is hardly a new thing, the USA loves to make us the baddies
caseh  +   599d ago
In movies yah, not so much in games. The SAS segments in the COD:MW games are one of the games redeeming qualities, for me at least.
SilentNegotiator  +   599d ago
It balances out with all of the American media where the Brits are all refined geniuses and the Americans are derping idiots. Hipster fools in the US transcend simply being Anglophiles and think that the entirety of Europe is an absolute perfect paradise.
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cyphertech  +   599d ago
As a member of the American military, we have a more realistic view of our mission than COD or Battlefield does. Most of us don't think we should be in Afghanistan and long lost the image of heroism that the mission once had. Call of duty primarily focuses on an unrealistic view of the Special Operations community that even America shares, one of sheer invincibility and moral certainty. This is not the case. The American military's morale is at an all time low and has continued to stay that way because our entire reputation has been turned to shit by illegal wars, unethical drone warfare and hit lists, and decreasing support from the American population. It doesn't help that Call of Duty endorses this Good vs Evil concept of armed conflict as well as full blown torture.
Psychotica  +   599d ago | Interesting
So what is the alternative? You want a game about the elite army of Portugal fighting off terrorists from Ireland? How about a game that has the fierce army of Iceland fighting off an invasion from the army of Fiji?
Thehyph  +   599d ago
There have been many alternatives throughout the years.

Within the shooter genre you can resort to modern fiction, alternate history, written history, science fiction, and anything else that a writer chooses to explore.

Resistance, Half-Life, Halo, Doom, Left 4 Dead, etc.
Maybe even a (slightly) cerebral experience like Spec Ops: The Line.
_FantasmA_  +   599d ago
Why not? They are fictional games anyways.
mydyingparadiselost  +   599d ago
Those ideas sound awesome.
LightofDarkness  +   599d ago
That all makes sense to Americans because they're somewhat national-centric. There seems to be an inability for them to engage in a story unless it affects them directly, which is narrow-minded and somewhat arrogant ("nothing of significance happens to anyone but the US"). The rest of us haven't had much issue playing the same, tired "America wins and everyone foreign is evil" scenarios.

Consider this: in the not-so-distant future, the UK fends off some sort of radical EU assault as a consequence of their complicity with the US in their wars. That's an interesting story and scenario, which has many intriguing themse and plot point, i.e. re-opening scars from old Europe and buried resentments post-WW2, as well as the UK's seeming alienation from the EU of late. You could have a United States, weary and so economically battered from continued wars and globalization that they've finally decided to pursue a non-interventionist foreign policy, leaving their once-allies to their fate. I'm not even British and that sounds like an interesting "modern war" scenario to me, at least more so than your average COD plot line.
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MestreRothN4G  +   599d ago
Those are closer to reality than Murica 'saving the world' through endless wars and invasions economically reasoned.

You don't even need an alternate history to get some background. You could play as a resistant to the yankees' recurring slaughters for oil and influence. Oh, but that would hurt some strong and constantly fed lies, so it's easier to rehash CoD no mind stories...
Tetsujin  +   599d ago

Really thought I'm at a current burnout of Military shooters. They can film, "be there," and "talk" to soldiers all they want; unless they are actively there in the middle of a conflict they will never know.
tommygunzII  +   599d ago
In SOCOM you went after kingpin drug dealers and arms dealers.
The_KELRaTH  +   599d ago
I thought they were just copying the stories from Command & Conquer Red Alert 2(2000)
_FantasmA_   599d ago | Offensive
ger2396  +   599d ago
Ironically, it's the biggest video game franchise in the world. So popular that its played by millions of People that despise America.
MestreRothN4G  +   599d ago
If you don't have the ability to simply put aside the obvious propaganda in anything done in USA, you'll miss a lot of good content, despite the cowardly rehashed archetype. But they will still pay the price for making their citizens so dumb.

Damn, you wouldn't be able to enjoy even World War Z.
BadlyPackedKeebab   599d ago | Bad language | show
InMyOpinion  +   599d ago
How about a fictional setting where an allied Europe gets fed up with the US and their world surveillance, and take up arms?
mixelon  +   599d ago
I'd play that.

I'd also like to play a game where the US goes so far right that it kicks off another civil war, and Europe (and co) intervenes to help out the less facist side. Lol.

That game would cause so many people to get upset, but as speculative fiction it'd be a hell of a lot more interesting than. "Omg the Russians and muslims are going to get us! (And Mexicans?)"
tommygunzII  +   599d ago
It would be harder than Dark Souls x100. Get your cheat codes ready.
kwyjibo  +   599d ago
Of course the story line to Call of Duty is ridiculous and disturbing, it's built to appeal to lowest common denominator meat head frat fucks.

I'd say Clancy games are more worrying, in that the tone is more serious, and people confuse that with being realistic.
DeadSpaced  +   599d ago
A more complex storyline is something I've always wanted out of COD. However, I know that's too much to ask for. Gotta keep the propaganda simple.
Phoenix76  +   599d ago
My biggest issue with recent cod game, besides the same game engine, rehashed graphics and lame short sp modes, has been the fact that they are no longer what I personally feel is what cod is/was all about. They are no longer games based on actual conflicts I.e. WW2 or have belivible stories based around conflicts I.e the Cold War. Instead what we have now is a series which is straying into the realm of sci-fi! What was in game dates of BO2 and Ghost??? 2040-2050 or something???
Now I'm not knocking sci-fi, in fact it's one of my fave things. Like Star Trek, Star Wars, BSG, Farscape etc etc. But CoD should never of gone that way IMO.
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MestreRothN4G   599d ago | Offensive
-Gespenst-  +   599d ago
Finally people are starting to call this shit out.
Dirtnapstor  +   599d ago
I think most of the retorting commentators, and possibly the author, have missed the point of the military shooter concept.
No one cries foul about the bazillion movies, books, etc. out there that fancy the very same topic. Anyway you slice it, war/warmongering and the threat thereof has been a part of society since the dawn of man. This premise (unfortunately) is what helps the world spin on its axis.
I don't think the writers of the war-gaming genre make things personal. The theater of war is general, not individualized. It's the age old adage "good guys vs bad guys". For good to triumph over evil, we need heroes and villains, and current events influence this very ideal.
People need to quit taking things so personally just because somebody personally rants.
As far as developers and their ideas go, I'm sure it's related to something called national pride...I think societies tend to forget who they are.
sAVAge_bEaST  +   599d ago
Predictive Programing, by the Military Industrial Complex?? naw, never./s
310dodo  +   599d ago
uh...United States does have many enemies
some out in the open, some are our "friends" who want to see us fail.

Nothing wrong with showing what could happen, its only a game btw
InMyOpinion  +   599d ago
United States treats everyone as an enemy, even its own citizens.

That's something that could also be a setting for a game. People turn against the state etc. Achievement unlocked for liberating Guantanamo Bay and blowing up Fox News lol.
310dodo  +   599d ago

Guantanamo is a good thing.
and Fox news is a good balance to the PC Police of other news.
#18.1.1 (Edited 599d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report

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