An open response to Bob “Moviebob” Chipman…again.

…and today we see another Moviebob rant, this time directed towards Call of Duty, conservatism in gaming, jingoism, and an apparent imminent death of artistry and political statements in gaming.

Have you even played the latest Call of Duty games, or are you basing these statements exclusively upon something someone else said about Modern Warfare 3 in combination with having watched promo footage?

Yes, Modern Warfare 3 and Ghosts are rightfully panned, having lost the message of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, nationalism, and how soldiers are regarded as disposable, but renewable, resources by governments that informed the Modern Warfare series, and its sequels and offshoots. Those happen to be not the only Call of Duty games released in the last decade.

World at War directly and bluntly addressed the elephant in the room when it comes to any discussion of the Eastern and Pacific fronts: the utter inhumanity of them, and the atrocities committed by both sides in the course of the war. And, Treyarch did it right in the heyday of the jingoism and topical nature of “modern military” shooters. Granted, they toned it down and didn’t even touch the worst of it (mass rapes by Soviet soldiers, Japanese war crimes against the Chinese, the treatment of POW’s), and I would bet dollars-to-donuts a good chunk of that was to avoid an adults-only rating, but it remained an honest look into two fronts of World War II that are oft-forgotten and grossly misunderstood (even misrepresented) when remembered.

Black Ops, however implausible its plot, dealt with the dark side of the VIetnam war, the emotional toll on veterans, and the horror and paranoia of the Cold War. You, quite contrary to your stated belief, are not the only gamer who remembers it. In fact, I would say Treyarch was quite clever and subversive in how they translated that atmosphere and revulsion to a younger audience who would not remember it, had they been born prior to the downfall of the Soviet Union at all.

Advanced Warfare is about the danger posed by the confluence of globalization, corporate personhood, and the military-industrial complex, as reflected through military privatization. Full stop. It’s not as if this is some DaVinci Code-esque secret discernible with the decoder ring only found in the collector’s edition:

By the way, the second logo there is a real PMC. You’d probably know them by their old logo and name:

These are games that are far from the “post-9/11 revenge-sim” as you characterize them, and really only can be construed as such by the most topical and out-of-context interpretation thereof, and are vastly more nuanced than for which you give them credit. It strikes me someone of your political leanings should be singing Advanced Warfare’s praises, not condemning it.

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