Why Call of Duty is Bad for Gaming
by Joel Fernandez
Anyone who keeps up with current events in the video game industry will know that the Call of Duty game franchise is usually sells the most every single year. Even if first person shooters are not your favorite kind of game, pretty much everyone has played a call of duty game at some point at least once for five minutes. Today’s conversation will be about why the COD games in some way represent everything that is wrong with gaming as we know it today.
First and foremost, there is nothing inherently wrong with liking COD games. But there is something wrong about a major publisher thinking that they can put out the same game every year and hoping that the consumer simply does not know when they are being had. They could easily publish a COD game and support it with DLC (down-loadable content) for years until the next new release. It is especially easy to do that with games like COD where PvP is the main focus of the experience rather than the main story.
As was previously stated in the opening paragraph, COD is usually the best selling game every year. It is a distinction that their publisher should be proud of. However, COD also has the dubious distinction of having arguably the most toxic community on the internet. Why does some try-hard idiot matter if you don’t play the same game? Because every time there is a mass shooting and it happens to involve a gamer, we all take the fall for someone else’s bad behavior.
At any given time, you can probably count the number of currently popular first person shooters that feature “realistic” physics. Most gamers are into killing monsters/aliens/robots and solving puzzles. The kind of game that involves as much suspension of disbelief as any Hollywood blockbuster. It stands to reason that anyone who enjoys the kind of first person shooter that involves implausibly grotesque monstrosities knows that killing that kind of creature is impossible in real life because they do not exist.
Even games where the protagonist is supposed to be a criminal or a cop have to be sorted out of the causality game because the players in question would have to be engaged in the activity that the protagonist is involved in. The point is that the premise of that kind of game is to be someone other than yourself for a few hours. In a “realistic” first person shooter, the point is to feel like physics are as close to “real” life as humanly possible. That is not to say that COD makes people into killers. But every time the “mainstream” American media tries to point the finger at globally consumed video games for a distinctly American problem, they try to make a correlation to games like COD.
In case you haven’t noticed, the “mainstream” American media is a platform for politicians, pseudo-intellectuals and genuine intellectuals. As they are observationally equivalent, it is very easy to mistake one category for the other. At any rate, the correlation that they always try to make is that of video game violence to “real” violence. The fact that games like COD games involve shooting human beings and involve probably the most toxic community in all of gaming is a correlation that the pseudo-intellectuals seem all to eager to throw into the mix during serious discussion.
That is how all of us get blamed for the actions of some random try-hard idiot who might be into games. Not all COD players are trolls, but it is a well known fact that many of them are. That game probably has nothing to do with making people violent. If anything, games like COD give people an outlet for their violent fantasies so that the pressure in their mind does not manifest itself into bursts of real blood that is sprayed all over the evening news. But the fact is that most of us would rather not get lumped in with players from an altogether different category of games.
In conclusion, the fact that games are sold all over the world means that the correlation between violence and games has to apply to all markets where the games are sold. The idea that video games are to blame in one country and not the other simply defies plausibility. Moreover, the fact that the “mainstream” American media wants to paint their society as a utopia where entitled assholes with access to guns do not exist should not serve as the pretense necessary to throw an entire demographic under the bus in the name of politics. Next they will say that all of the gun violence that happens in America is imported from countries where violent video games are sold.
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