U.S. Spec Ops Veteran: Modern Warfare 3 Commercial a "New Low"

Hevva

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U.S. Spec Ops Veteran: Modern Warfare 3 Commercial a "New Low"


A veteran of the war in Afghanistan has criticized how Modern Warfare 3's "Vet and Noob" commercial "trivializes war to an extreme."


The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/9224-Call-of-Duty-Modern-Warfare-3-Review] commercial sitting to the right of this paragraph could be offensive to a wide variety of people for a wide variety of reasons (I know a guy who claims to be physically allergic to Sam Worthington, for instance). While not all of the reasons for these various offenses are valid - see unlikely Worthington allergy - here's one that is: D.B. Grady, a former U.S. Army Special Operations Command paratrooper and veteran of operations in Afghanistan, has described how the commercial is "hideous," "a new low," and "trivializes combat and sanitizes war to an extreme."

Writing in The Atlantic [http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/12/the-hideous-marketing-of-modern-warfare-3/250671/], Grady says that, "If this were September 10, 2001, maybe it wouldn't be quite so bad... 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.""

It's hard to disagree with him. "This is not an argument against so-called shooter video games or depictions of war in popular culture," continues Grady. "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?"

Grady also takes a moment to remind us that soldiers are not into being "professionally aggrieved" and that he expects that many servicemen and women play and enjoy Modern Warfare 3.

His words are food for thought. After telling the story of Sergeant Timothy Gilboe, a soldier with 4th Brigade Combat Team of 10th Mountain Division who received a Silver Star for heroism in combat, Grady draws our attention back to the commercial. "Two smug, A-list clowns strut toward the camera, rifles hanging over their shoulders, explosions consuming the city of New York, and then the words: "THERE'S A SOLDIER IN ALL OF US."," he says. "No, there's not."

Grady's argument speaks to a lot of the current in-industry debate on war games and the blurry lines around how "real" a war game could or even should try to be. The commercial's fun-tastic atmosphere is right for the general experiences you tend to find when playing Modern Warfare 3 online, but Activision's complete failure to recognize in the advertising for the game that hundreds of thousands of people actually do this kind of stuff on a daily basis and suffer for it is a valid criticism. How close to the bone should these games and their commercials land themselves? The comments threads are, as always, all ears.


Source: The Atlantic [http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/12/the-hideous-marketing-of-modern-warfare-3/250671/]

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xyrafhoan

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Uh... why does EA keep coming up in this article? EA has pulled their share of stupid marketing stunts and ran afoul of the US Government with the Medal of Honor/Taliban controversy, but this article seems to attribute Modern Warfare 3 with EA. I think the tags need to be fixed to include Activision, which isn't mentioned here at all despite being Modern Warfare's publisher?
 

Sixties Spidey

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[blockquote]The commercial's fun-tastic atmosphere is right for the general experiences you tend to find when playing Modern Warfare 3 online, but EA's complete failure to recognize in the advertising for the game that hundreds of thousands of people actually do this kind of stuff on a daily basis and suffer for it is a valid criticism. [/blockquote]

Surely you mean Activision.

OT: I find it interesting that no Vietnam or Cold War veterans complaining when Black Ops pulled the same "There's a soldier in all of us." ad campaign. I'd imagine something like that would piss off quite a lot of soldiers. I wonder why that wasn't brought up too.

But I agree with the statement that they're making. A lot of marketing for war games such as Call of Duty or Battlefield bring the impression that war's fun, and that's not the depiction that they should bring out. That's a problem you expect to run into when you market your game the same way you would an action film. And besides, it's Call of Duty, and at this point, the series is about as artistically bankrupt as a vending machine.
 

Hevva

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xyrafhoan said:
I think the tags need to be fixed to include Activision, which isn't mentioned here at all despite being Modern Warfare's publisher?
buy teh haloz said:
Surely you mean Activision.

Yes, yes I do. It should be fixed now. Sorry about that.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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RoseArch said:
He has a point. But overall, his point doesn't matter in the slightest.
True and too damn true.

OT: While I completely agree with him that the commercial was a little bit much when it comes to that, but I feel that point was not even considered or even cared about since that game makes Activision money.

I think at this point it's more of an observation rather than a point of concern that will most likely be ignored seeing as they already did this with Black Ops.
 

SteakHeart

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I totally agree with the guy, war isn't something to be trivialized. But the commercial isn't about real war, it's talking about the virtual soldier in all of us, the ability to go online and kick ass in all of us, not about real war. Sure, the imagery is of real-life soldiers, but it's like the Black Ops commercial, it's not meant to be serious.
 

sniddy_v1legacy

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WTF

The advert is fine, the punch line - Ok that, that I can see the offense in, I do not have the inclination nor quite frankly the balls for the real job, and just not the inclination for the pretend game....

Reduce it to plastic miniatures rolling D6's on a 4" x 4" table and suddenly I'm firckin' Ceaser, pixels and n00bs online, nah....
 

Ddgafd

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The only thing I payed any attention to was the fact that the Vet was using Akimbo Skorpions at one point. It reminded me of xcalizorz, who is coincidentally a CoD commentator among other things.

What? Something relevant to the thread? Ok, hold on a second...OH, oh, this will do.

I don't really see the problem. Not like MW3 is all that realistic in the first place. Besides, I have to admit I kinda liked the video. The music was pretty cool and the dialogue amusing.
 

Soviet Heavy

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buy teh haloz said:
[blockquote]The commercial's fun-tastic atmosphere is right for the general experiences you tend to find when playing Modern Warfare 3 online, but EA's complete failure to recognize in the advertising for the game that hundreds of thousands of people actually do this kind of stuff on a daily basis and suffer for it is a valid criticism. [/blockquote]

Surely you mean Activision.

OT: I find it interesting that no Vietnam or Cold War veterans complaining when Black Ops pulled the same "There's a soldier in all of us." ad campaign. I'd imagine something like that would piss off quite a lot of soldiers. I wonder why that wasn't brought up too.
I did have to agree with the one 'Nam vet you was upset about Black Ops being released on Nov. 11th last year.
 

fix-the-spade

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Slightly tangental this, but I find these adverts nicely representative of Acti-bliz's hostile take over of Infinity Ward.

In three games it's gone from a pretty un-subtle anti war message running through Modern Warfare to A-Grade douchebags proclaiming war to be great fun with plenty of Bay-splosions in the background for punctuation.

Kind of sad.
 

DustyDrB

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I get his point, and that's a good discussion to have. But another good discussion could be about commercials for the armed forces. They portray it more as a stepping stone to your future career, but then we hear so much about soldiers struggling to find jobs once they are back. And then there's the fact that you might actually have to go out and fight in a war. Wasn't there a commercial that made it out like being in the army is just as awesome as playing a war video game?


Not that my point dismisses his, but I see those commercials as being worse than the Modern Warfare one (and I've never even played a Call of Duty game).
 

Voltano

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I'm not sure I agree with Grady in this scenario since the commercial seems to emphasize the growth of skill in the game--not the 'glory of war'. Okay I know that is a thin argument, but I'd point out that Hollywood or authors that write stories related to war may be no different from glorifying it--fictional or not.

Activision's actions does seem odd to use real actors portrayed in the commercial than in-game footage (what, does Machinima have copyright on using in-game footage for movies?). I cannot fathom what kind of horrors Grady and other soldiers might encounter in real war, but how is this reaction different from a PETA member's reaction to a Mcdonalds commercial?
 

Terminate421

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I found it funny. Of course there is shit that is offensive and I do understand this from the veteran's perspective. But from my point of view, I just found it funny, it was intended to be "set" in a video game. The noob gets killed at the beginning right?

Besides, at the end of the day, its just what you make of it. I found it relatively funny. Though, I do find masterpieces like this awesome:


Speaking of which I met THE Glenn Beck at a starbucks, when I brought up what he thought about games he said he saw this commercial and said it looked really cool. No joke.