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]