Michael Parsons, editor of CNET.co.uk writes,
"As a child growing up in the 1970s, the imagery of the Second World War hung around in popular culture in ways that seems extraordinary now. There were Battle comics and war films on the telly, and later on as an adolescent the unbelievably violent novels of Sven Hassell, as well as nasty comics full of the horrors of the Russian Front. It all seems rather sad now, a painful hangover from a dreadful war.
I found my old toy soldiers, howitzers and tanks in the attic. I'd spent hours painting the American jeeps, Japanese officer figures, and German grenadiers. I wondered if a nephew might like them and then I realised that such a gift was a historical embarrassment, and in poor taste. I checked with my brother. He politely declined the gift, quite rightly wrinkling his nose. The toys of war are no longer suitable for small boys.
Yet the long shadow of the Second World War has hit our digital toys in a big way, creating huge video game franchises like Battlefield, Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. These games meet the seemingly inexhaustible demand for ways to experience killing at second hand. I've killed soldiers on the beaches at Normandy, I've killed soldiers in the battle for Stalingrad, and currently I'm killing modern soldiers in Call of Duty 4. This game pushes the boundaries of video game realism, trying to capture the sweaty terror of the modern battlefield, its dubious moral certainties, its incredible noise, confusion and horror. It gives a generation that will probably never fight a chance to see virtual action."