Surprise! Someone Is Angry At The Black Ops Television Commercial


If you haven’t seen the live action commercial for Call of Duty: Black Ops yet, you should probably go watch it before you continue reading.

Now that you’re up to speed, you’ll probably agree that it’s a fairly well-made commercial–even including celebrities such as Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel.

But this is an advertisement for a video game, so while you were watching the trailer–in the back of your mind–you knew that it was only a matter of time before someone got all up in arms about the violence that it portrays.

Unfortunately, you’re correct in your assumption. Sam Machkovech, a columnist for the Atlantic, has a few choice words for his readers concerning the video after viewing it for himself (hint: it isn’t positive encouragement).

Straight from the title–“Call of Duty’s Twisted Advertising Campaign”–it’s quite apparent which side of the argument Mr. Machkovech is on. He believes that the advertisement for the game is “disappointing”, even referring to video games in general as “silly”. Here’s a short excerpt from his writeup:

“I couldn’t have asked for a more disappointing game-related ad. These aren’t the video games I play. Even at their highest levels of action and violence, video games play like sophisticated games of Cops & Robbers. They’re silly; they require colorful, funny-shaped controllers; they stay decidedly in the domain of detached fiction.

This ad equips people with real guns and simulates real-life, no-CGI combat. The thud of recoil, the screams of rockets, the dust of explosions… and the look of exasperation on that little, shotgun-wielding girl. The only things missing are the dead bodies on the receiving ends of each bullet and blast.”

Personally, I don’t believe that the advertisement was created with the underlying goal of simulating real-life combat, I believe it was created as another way to sell copies of the game.

Call of Duty’s Twisted Advertising Campaign [The Atlantic]

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23 Comments on "Surprise! Someone Is Angry At The Black Ops Television Commercial"

  1. Mistadadio November 10, 2010 at 16:30 - Reply

    Well I have seen the commercial and in my opinion the game makes it known that everyone plays the games and the you never know who you will come up against. I see nothing wrong with this but obviously everyone has their own opinion.

  2. Ianoy November 10, 2010 at 16:07 - Reply

    I guess you just can’t make everyone happy.

  3. Redeye Jedi November 10, 2010 at 14:48 - Reply

    About video games he says “They’re silly; they require colorful, funny-shaped controllers;”

    Try telling that to all the PC video game players out there, ha ha.

  4. Sam M. November 10, 2010 at 01:50 - Reply

    @Nolan: Compared to actual guns, wouldn’t YOU call a two-pronged Xbox pad or DualShock funny-lookin’?

    • Nolan0wnsyou822 November 10, 2010 at 20:08 - Reply

      Well, I never plan on bringing a 360 controller out on the battlefield, because it’s not a gun.

  5. sneaky_ninja31 November 10, 2010 at 01:50 - Reply

    “This is what video games teach our children.”

    Kids should not be playing Call of Duty: BO to begin with as it is rating M. Your blaming the commecial ha you should be blaming the parents as they are the ones buying the game for their children.

  6. Nolan0wnsyou822 November 10, 2010 at 01:16 - Reply

    There are obviously not any dead bodies because they disappear after 5 seconds. There’s your CGI, Mr. Machkovech. Take it and redeem it at your closest 7-11.

  7. Sam M. November 10, 2010 at 01:00 - Reply

    Hi all,

    Sad to see this article being picked apart as such by game fans. My intention was to speak to the mainstream folks who DON’T play games, look at the commercial, and say, “This is what video games teach our children.” It’s not. The ad does a disservice to us, the hardcore, the virtual gun-toters; and it also does a disservice to real soldiers by doing away with that divisive line between play and real. Games can be “silly” without being childish or wasteful; the word is just a distinction. I invite you all to re-read the piece and see who I’m speaking to.

    I find it a bit funny to be accused of that anti-games racket, but the article was short and I may not have made myself clear enough. Hopeful this response helps a bit.

    • Nolan0wnsyou822 November 10, 2010 at 01:18 - Reply

      I guess you only like playing the Wii, y’know, with those funny shaped controllers and all…..

      Eh, if this is the real you, I personally have to give you positive credit for actually seeing reactions to your column, and discussing it with “the people”. Job well done.

    • moethirteen November 10, 2010 at 17:03 - Reply

      After rereading the article you posted with the *new* knowledge that you where addressing the non-gamer public it does take on a new, better, light. Although nowhere in the piece did I see you taking readers aside and clarifying the intended audience so it came off as a ‘tsk tsk gamers’ type of article.

  8. Br0k3nL1m1ts November 10, 2010 at 00:09 - Reply

    Man, writers sure enjoy tearing apart video games.

  9. JesusHMacy November 9, 2010 at 20:20 - Reply

    I’m pretty sure all it’s saying is ANYONE can play cod. It’s just good advertising. This guys just wants some publicity.

  10. Zackfan November 9, 2010 at 20:08 - Reply

    Best commercial ever in my opinion and while yes those are most likely real guns theres speacial things called small scale Stage explosives and blanks of course i may totally be wrong and those guns just made the motions not really do anything and were just CGI’d into doing that but either way it’s not like this is saying HEY KIDDOS go grab a gun and start shooting amiright?

  11. stigg November 9, 2010 at 18:42 - Reply

    im the mexican pizza guy

  12. dancinginfernal November 9, 2010 at 18:21 - Reply

    At least he’s not pulling a Jack Thompson.

  13. iAreMarty November 9, 2010 at 17:53 - Reply

    Someone is mad they don’t get paid as much as these silly actors.

  14. turinx November 9, 2010 at 17:35 - Reply

    Someone call Hustler or Penthouse ASAP, I think we just found the world’s biggest pussy.

    Seriously? This is what this guy wrote and some editor allowed it to go up on the website? Seriously? Hey Sam Machkovech, why don’t you go down to the drug store and pick up a case of disposable douches so you can wash out that sandy vagina of yours…you F’n pussy!!!

    I could understand if there was outrage over the commercial if it was full of people being blown up or shot all to hell, but you don’t even see anyone get hit…aside from the chopper.

  15. Cloud November 9, 2010 at 17:24 - Reply

    What the fuck dont people get its a game it’s SUPPOSED to be fun it’s SUPPOSED to be colorful and as far as realism goes its not called fucking “REAL LIFE SHOOTER SUPER REAL MOST REALISTIC SHOOTER OF 2010″ are people actually sain when they say some of this bullshit and who the fuck do these idiots write for? sorry for all the vulgar language but im just tired of seeing people shitting on games for fucking stupid reasons.

  16. Tyler November 9, 2010 at 17:17 - Reply

    Funny shaped controllers? What the hell is this guy smoking? Controller shapes have not changed in YEARS. Well Sony and Microsoft hasn’t, yeah they got smaller and added a few buttons.

    That right there is all I need to know not to listen to this guy, if you have no clue about gaming, or even PLAY them. I cannot take your opinion seriously.

    Also how is this commercial any different from movie trailers? They show things worse in action movie trailers. Once again video games getting a negative thing thrown on them by someone who has no clue what they are talking about.

    • Cloud November 9, 2010 at 17:28 - Reply

      the only controller that i think looks weird is the wii controller who’s ass did that come out of?

      • UltimateSin November 9, 2010 at 20:04 - Reply

        If someone craps a controller, kudos to them no matter what it looks like and for it being intact.

  17. ZangeTSM November 9, 2010 at 17:16 - Reply

    I knew it…I just knew someone was gonna say something about it.