$400 million on day one of the latest Call of Duty video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops“… but you will never see the game in my home.
After seeing it played and noticing how realistic it is (I swear the AK-47 rounds even sound different from higher-velocity, lower-weight rounds) it’s obvious that combat veterans supplied the necessary knowledge to make this game what it is. And it is a good game, but given the nature of the “action” and images, it’s time to let those who actually paid the price experience some benefit.
Now it’s time for some payback, but first let me tell you what happened when one of my sons asked if he could play the game and if it was “just like combat.” I sat him down and said, “I’ll think about letting you play that one under three conditions:
- You never say it’s like real war (because it is not);
- Get injured in the game, get punched hard where the on-screen injury occurred… twice;
- If you die in the game, you lose all video game privileges for the rest of your life;
- Let your buddy die, or worse, accidently put a round through him, and you’ll never be allowed to see him again.
Now, you may be thinking I was being harsh, but my son is intelligent enough to know that I was simply trying to make a point and drive it home and would not hold him to it. But you should have seen the look on his face. It was there because he got the point in language he could understand.
Now that you know a little background with a personal anecdote, it’s time to call for some payback, the real reason for this. All the paintballers and arm-chair warriors who think they’ve got what it takes need to give honor to those who cannot play the game because they’re true heroes who are no longer with us, don’t have hands or have been hit so hard by PTSD that this game would set them off.
So, Activision, I know you donate some… but the latest $250,000 it doesn’t hold a candle to those heroes who’ve given their life, limbs, freedom and, yes, even mental capacity, so we can sit back with a game controller and play couch general.
Don’t get me wrong, I like video games and always have.
My point here is that this one over-capitalizes and takes advantage of a generation looking for a rite of passage because life is too soft. Parents – do you watch your kids play and wonder why it’s so addicting? Try giving them some real challenges and opportunities to serve.
What will it be?
Chris Moline, LEED AP