05 Jan

Ex-Army Special Operations paratrooper – and Atlantic correspondent – D.B. Grady recently lashed out against a portion of Activision’s  marketing campaign for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, calling it “hideous” and that it “sanitizes war to an extreme”. The campaign, which features actors Sam Worthington (“Avatar”, “Clash of the Titans”) and Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”, “The Sitter”) as the “Vet and the Noob”, respectively. According to Grady, the semi-serious nature of the on-screen action and the flippancy in which the characters operate within it  “is so base and strident that it’s hard to believe that it’s not deliberately offensive.”

The campaign parodies pervasive multiplayer tactics (or lack thereof), under the tagline “There is a Solider in All of Us”. The short was produced in addition to several television spots and full length trailers that used primarily in-game footage.

“The advertisement trivializes combat and sanitizes war.” Grady argues, “If this were September 10, 2001, maybe it wouldn’t be quite so bad. Those who are too young to remember Vietnam might indulge in combat fantasies of resting heart rates while rocket-propelled grenades whiz by, and of flinty glares while emptying a magazine into the enemy. But after ten years of constant war, of thousands of amputees and flag-draped coffins, of hundreds of grief-stricken communities, did nobody involved in this commercial raise a hand and say, ‘You know, this is probably a little crass. Maybe we could just show footage from the game'”

He continues, “This is not an argument against so-called shooter video games or depictions of war in popular culture. However, as Afghanistan intensifies and we assess the mental and physical damage to veterans of Iraq, is now really the time to sell the country on how much fun the whole enterprise is? (Here I point to the giddy howls of one supposed soldier in the commercial as he fires a grenade launcher at some off-screen combatant. War is great, see? It’s like a gritty Disneyland.)”

Think Grady’s got a point, EGs? Or are these commercials coming from a different perspective than the ex-Spec Ops soldier describes? Give us your analysis down below!

3 thoughts on “‘Modern Warfare 3’ Ad Campaign Lambasted by Army Vet”

  1. Another reason to add to my ‘why call of duty is complete crap’ list =P

    Maybe the army will have have a Worldwide ban put on those games in the future?

  2. Eh, I don’t know. I guess he has a point, but then again what did the trailers from The Expendables look like?

    Here in Norway there was a story before the new years with survivors of the 22. July terrorist attacks wanting people to go easy on the fireworks to spare those that might be traumatized from Utøya. And also to show respect, and perhaps not party as much, in Norway’s most traumatic year since the second World War.

    It’s kind of the same thing, but I can’t help but feel like it’s more grandstanding than legitimate concern. The world, and the gaming industry, doesn’t live in a vacuum. It’s not like these kinds of things aren’t going to show up along the way, and sure some may have issues with it. But it’s asking to much of society to avoid it based purely on hurt feelings and being polite. If it posed some real and practical problem then we have a different ballgame, but does anyone truly see those COD commercials as anything other than Harmless, but fun, advertising and an somewhat accurate representation of the entertainment you get from the game?

    1. I quite liked the advert, Sam Worthington is quite a good actor but it’s the games I despise, it’s almlost personal with me though, it’s just annoying how a company can make billions by selling garbage over and over to people(usually the same people) like their sheep.

      I don’t think any game is gonna do any harm to people, it’s all to do with the ones playing them, again with the certificate / rating of ’em.

      The main thing I really don’t like is when, just as a example, someone kills another then blames it on a game(or film) they are just sick, cowards that are going to give games etc a bad name to alot of people.

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