Columnist Calls Black Ops Ad "Twisted"

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Columnist Calls Black Ops Ad "Twisted"

The debate over Activision's "Soldier in All of Us" ad continues to swirl as a columnist for The Atlantic calls it a "twisted advertising campaign" that goes way too far toward turning the horrors of real combat into cheap fun and games.

There's been a lot of talk about "There's a Soldier in All of Us," Activision's ad for Call of Duty: Black Ops that puts dozens of normal, average people (and a couple not-so-normal or average) in the middle of a very realistic battlefield, complete with explosions, automatic weapons fire, circling helicopters and more. Pyrotechnically, it's a match for any run-of-the-mill war movie, but the players themselves are clearly having way too much fun. It's a dichotomy that some people find inappropriate.

"This ad equips people with real guns and simulates real-life, no-CGI combat," Sam Machkovech wrote in a column for The Atlantic. "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."

Machkovech argues that videogames, "even at their highest level of action and violence," are inherently cartoonish and silly affairs. But by simulating real-life combat so closely in the ad, Activision has crossed some sort of line. It has, apparently, made things too real.

"A few years ago, Microsoft decided against airing a similar ad, pasted below. Perhaps they pulled the ad to avoid disrespecting the sensitivities of real combat, but at least their take shared the whimsy and coyness that is inherent with video game battling," he continued. "Activision's ad, on the other hand, comes closer to selling real death than any video game possibly could."

At the risk of over-editorializing, I feel obligated to point out that the ad doesn't feature any dead bodies or horrific trauma that inevitably results from real combat, as Machkovech himself noted, precisely because it's not about real combat. It's an advertisement for a videogame, and while war isn't fun, videogames - including videogames about war - most definitely are. The chubby girl with the door-knocker doesn't look exasperated, she looks exhilarated, because she's obviously having a blast. Which from where I sit is the whole point: War is hell, but "proud noob" Jimmy Kimmel getting knocked on his ass by his own RPG? That's just good times.

via: GamePolitics

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It was only a matter of time.

I think the Xbox ad was better 8)

Videogames being fun and games, who would have thunk it?

I saw this one coming the moment I watched that ad. It will probably be mentioned by our press, especially seeing this kind of ad rolling near remembrance day...

Whatever. I'm not buying it.

Well, I thought the ad is well-made. I don't think it's bad taste at all.

Some people should just take the stick out of their ass.

I'm I the only one who laughed at the end? "Rated R for Mature". Yup, pretty mature that was.

I thought it was amusing.

But I guess everyone else didn't think so.

I accidentally read that as "Communist Calls Black Ops Ad Twisted" >_>

OT:Wat, the ad was funny, and all i can think of is that Sam completely missed the point.

I thought it was an ad for the holodeck. STOP CRUSHING MY DREAMS ACTIVISION!

the players themselves are clearly having way too much fun.

Isn't that the point of advertising? If the people didn't look as though they were having fun then it would reflect poorly on the game.

I thought the ad was hilarious. If you don't understand something, you should probably read up about it before you yell preposterous things like this. Just get it.

I can see his point.

Then again, this is what Activision was going for; good, clean shock value.

The ad is actually quite funny tbh.

I saw this ad for the first time last night. My first reaction was "I don't care at all about Black ops"... my second was "egads, who thought this was a good idea?"

Maybe he was running out of ideas for his opinion piece?

I loved, loved, LOVED this commercial. I found it comical, fun to watch, and it also managed to capture some of the fun and hilarity that can be found in games in general.

Also, fear the Chef, he comes for YOU!

I thought the ad was hilarious myself, some people will find a reason to whine about anything these days. Far as I could tell everyone was having a blast in the ad and that's the whole point.

The ad was completely ridiculous and absurd. Anyone offended by this needs a serious reality check. It is just an awful ad and is not twisted in any way.

I think that's a great ad.

Why don't the developers simply say, well there are no bodies because it's a videogame. The message is to show that it's like real life combat, without the risk.

Personally I am starting to get annoyed with the amount of people that get offended over nothing, and did anyone catch the quote where gaming as a whole was attacked? "inherently cartoonish and silly affairs." How can we let people say things like this about our medium?

Both ads are advertising gaming. The idea of gaming is to have fun! See where I'm going with this?

People are idiots for being offended by these adverts IMO. Especially the Xbox one. Which is awesome!

I saw that Ad run last Sunday.
I instantly knew they were going to take flak for it, and for that very reason.

It does seem to cross that line, even though I understood their intended message.
I'm their target demographic, and even *I* was put off a bit by the frankness of their ad.

I don't see where they crossed the line, and this doesn't seem to be a cry for some controversy. It's meant to show that lots of people from many different walks of life play the damn game. Fuckin' news outlets, always over-reacting... Also, that Xbox ad was the funniest thing I've seen in the last 6 hours. XD

That's a sweet ad.

I absolutely love this ad. It reminded me of the first few Xbox 360 ads those "Jump In" commercials.


And this one ^e^

Just with guns...
I love it.
ROCK ON PISTOL WIELDING SHEFF

I actually think it's pretty funny, though there weren't enough angry 14 year old's to make it totally accurate.

Flying-Emu:
I thought it was amusing.

But I guess everyone else didn't think so.

Actually, if you see the thread someone else made it on it it was about 300:3 on those who found nothing wrong with it to those who did.

OT: It's just another excuse to have a go at games, nothing more. If you can't handle anything war-related not being deadly serious then don't send your troops into unnecessary conflicts.

I bet these guys don't have problems with Ahmed the Dead Terrorist.

personal i find that is just a fun comercial

I understand the concern, but my first reaction was amusement, not horror. You don't see anyone getting angry at violent films or television shows. It's nice that they show a diverse group of people coming together to play video games. Which, as a side note is amusing since you see a woman first and they happened to forget those female avatar items. ;) I loved this commercial.

I hope he didn't forget to point out how "twisted" R.E.D, Kill Bill, LOTR in parts (with Gimli) and a lot of other movies are.

Personally I didn't find it offensive, but I can see how some people might. What really strikes me about this is the timing. With the Supreme Court case being decided right now, couldn't EA do a more conventional advertising to this already controversial game? This is just going to add fuel to the "games are murder simulators" arguments and make California's case stronger if they think people are being desensitized to the horrors of war by video games.

I laughed so hard at the end. Absolutely brilliant.

Andy Chalk:

Machkovech argues that videogames, "even at their highest level of action and violence," are inherently cartoonish and silly affairs.

Silly affairs?

What a silly person, move along people, nothing here to see besides ignorant people.

I think he just be troll'in.
Wantin to get his name out there.

All I can say was that ad was

AWESOME!

If he ACTUALLY WATCHED THIS COMMERCIAL he would know that NO ONE ACTUALLY GETS SHOT IN IT!

Twisted? yeah...

SO WHAT?

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