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

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Lol, I love the "maybe it would have been okay before 9/11" part.

All of the soldiers and civilians killed in all prior conflicts? Pshaw. Those don't matter. Make light of those instead. But not his war, that's the one you're not allowed to treat disrespectfully. Bring on those Nazi Zombies, who cares what WWII vets think. That was pre-9/11, when war casualties were hilarious and trivial!

Its weird - you hear these points made frequently, but no one ever talks about the media or even the damn military themselves (in commercials) presenting war as a fun game.

If adverts for computer war games showing live actors aren't okay because it trivialises war, then by the same token neither is Rambo, Top Gun and thousands of other action movies. You also might want to take a second look at many fictional novels about WWII and Vietnam, a large amount of comic books made since the same era, quite a few TV series, many war toys marketed at children, and the list goes on. And on. I think we're just a little bit late on the fucking cultural boat if we're going to raise serious objections about something like this.

Kids have wanted to play "toy soldiers" and dream about being in the Army since forever. It doesn't mean that many of them will actually end up following that path. The toys may look a little more realistic now, and so does the advertising, but other than that, nothing has changed.

The premise of this whole article is not very well thought-out, especially for a gaming magazine. The article is actually what I find offensive, on the other hand the advert is just a little juvenile (which is okay, because it's aimed at a juvenile audience).

The Escapist and it's horribly biased news articles, sheesh! If you're going to be cringingly biased in every article you publish here, at least pick the right side.

"If this were September 10, 2001, maybe it wouldn't be quite so bad... "

Maybe if this was September 12, 2001, then he'd have some ground to stand on. In all honesty, "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'" can be said about almost every game. Let's not forget Halo 3 did the exact samething, but what they did wasn't painfull to watch.
Don't complain about that commercial for because it's "crass"; complain because it's just annoying.

The problem I see here is that this man is arguing against this commercial because it sanitizes and advertises war. Unfortunately, that's wrong. The commercial really shouldn't be interpreted as to have any connection to actual war at all. What is depicted in the commercial is a goofy, stylized depiction of a popular video game that just happens to be about war (though fictional).

I actually really enjoy the trailer as a competitive CoD player because it shows what actually happens as noobs progress to pros. Although the way that noob starts it is unlikely he would ever be better than average.

Sounds like this guy is just having a wah because he saw something he didn't like. It's nothing the industry should take note of.

BonsaiK:

The Escapist and it's horribly biased news articles, sheesh! If you're going to be cringingly biased in every article you publish here, at least pick the right side.

This ^. The escapist prides itself on high quality journalism but in almost every article the author's put in their own opinion or make it blatantly biased to one side. It does get annoying, especially when you disagree with their view point.

I agree partially, but overall, war is completely sanitized for the US audience. It's a trivialized affair at this point. And, it's a game, with marketing the markets a game as fun. I think he is taking it way too seriously, just like everyone who compares violent videogames to reality. They at no point said, "War in Afghanistan rocks! You should try it!"

But, each to their own. He is entitled to his opinion and others are ok to agree or disagree with him.

What this does show is a disappointing trend that certain people opinions are more important than others, which is completely false. It doesn't take the voiced opinion of a soldier to come up with this reasoning. But I guess when he says it, it matters more than my girlfriend saying. Which is also completely false.

buy teh haloz:

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.

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.

Like that would even be brought up when complaining about a game with nazi zombies. And I'm not complaining, that was the only reason I bought black ops.

It's been a while since Activision has tried to make a legitimate statement about war, and even longer since they tried to create a realistic depiction of it. I doubt that anyone other then the 10 year olds that seem to occupy COD multiplayer would take it seriously, and hopefully they become more mature before they enlist thinking that they know what war is like from COD. Any game that even attempts a realistic depiction of war gets shot down before it is halfway done.

You would think he would be more concerned with criticizing why these wars are being started to begin with, and thus why all those soldiers are dieing/being injured.

A lot more points could be made that show whats wrong with the wars/military actions then a commercial for a video game.

"hideous," "a new low," and "trivializes combat and sanitizes war to an extreme."

Honestly to me this reads like a guy that plans on running for public office at some point. That is just such a ridiculous, over the top way to explain a video game commercial.

Interesting Fact: Did you know that you can sometimes find army recruiters hanging around outside of bars late at night waiting for men to stumble out so they can get them to sign contracts?

Does that sound:
A. More "hideous" and "low" then a game commercial
B. Less "hideous" and "low" then a game commercial

It was a terrible commercial anyway.

Not because of the subject matter that Grady is discussing, but because it emphasizes the all the terrible gameplay aspects. I wish that whole airplane-flying through the air shooting in slow motion bit was made up just for the advertisement. I really do.

I miss MW1....

Ariseishirou:
Lol, I love the "maybe it would have been okay before 9/11" part.

All of the soldiers and civilians killed in all prior conflicts? Pshaw. Those don't matter. Make light of those instead. But not his war, that's the one you're not allowed to treat disrespectfully. Bring on those Nazi Zombies, who cares what WWII vets think. That was pre-9/11, when war casualties were hilarious and trivial!

Thought that was hilarious too. Not to mention there are probably dozens, if not hundreds of films that glorify war as some kind of American adventure...at least the CoD commercial does it in a joking way.

Though, I'm more disappointed in the Escapist for reporting (and openly agreeing with) this drivel than in the war vet for complaining about trivial matters.

I dunno. I thought the ad was a bit of fun, and holds as much weight as any Hollywood war movie, yet no complaints about them.

Allergic to Sam Worthington? How can you not like Jake Sully from Avatar? Yeah, that's what I got out of this whole article. One good point was made though; they really should show footage from the game instead of pulling "A Square Enix".

I would have loved that to have been a 2 person interview. Him and someone with basic video game industry knowledge.

Me!

And to when he said "Did no one in the market department raise a hand to-" cut him off and said, "These people are paid to be rude, offensive, controversy grabbing bastards (or nicer word). There are many sides to the industry and the Marketing / PR Department are by far the most damaging to the Video Games external viewers. Prime Example and main offers are EA, followed second by Activision."

The guys who made the ad managed to offended my ex-Sas dad in one simple way.

"They're making war look like a good, fun thing. Bloody Cunts. Last time people though that was in 1914".

And he's an alcoholic... (think insane to the point of genius but mostly insane).

---------------------------

My solution. Force everyone to play Red Orchestra 2 and then walk through a room of dying people crying and screaming on yours and the enemies side. Then instead of respawning at the begining of the level... your dead... thats it, take another soul here... its their turn next...

Just to make a point over Black Ops, you do realize the vets are much older than a lot of the current armed forces returning from conflict correct? Most those vets are grandfathers and probably don't give a rats ass about games in general. I bet if you asked them what CoD is they wouldn't know. Most current service members are in their twenties and no doubt younger. I bet they played the first Modern Warefare game before they even signed up to the Army. MW is a Mainstream game that every one who is 30 and under has no doubt heard of. The reason why no Vietnam vet brought our attention to Black Ops is because they probably didn't know, or even if they did I doubt they played it or even understood what the commercial was about. These are two different age groups we are talking about. One is more in tune with current tech. Giving the argument "Oh well no Vietnam vet complained about Black Ops" isn't valid what so ever. Two different age groups with two different views and understanding on technology.

Technicka:
Why just single out this one commercial? What about GI Joe? Or RED? Or Battlefield 3? Was he pissed at Battle L.A.? Mission Impossible? What about the live action Black Ops commercials?

CoD never claimed to be a honest depiction of war - it's always been a power fantasy for people to run around like they were on a Michael Bay set. .

Activision doesn't help with your arguement though.

http://www.callofdutyendowment.org/

I particularly thought I could do something with Call of Duty since the game in many respects is something we use to honor many of our veterans

From the mouth of Bobby Kotick

samsonguy920:
It makes me sick that cheap games like MW3 and BF3 are accepted by the Republican loudmouths, but games like 'Six Days in Fallujah' are tore down by those same people; "We love war games, but God forbid we should let it actually be portrayed as it really is."

Of course, it should have been 3 Months in Fallujah, where the first 84 days are comprised of loudspeaker messages broadcast from outside the city warning all civilians to get out of town with the "insurgents" stealing all the food and keeping families from running at gunpoint.

Magnicon:
Interesting Fact: Did you know that you can sometimes find army recruiters hanging around outside of bars late at night waiting for men to stumble out so they can get them to sign contracts?

Well, considering US army contracts are non-binding until after you are processed which takes at least 2 months, I'm not sure what it matters. The ONLY penalty for reneging at that point is that you are never allowed to serve in the military.

Don't most military shooters (and action movies) trivialize war? Yeah, some try to portray it realistically, but most fail. Even the more serious games like ARMA don't really show what real war is like. It's hard to showcase the horrors of war in a video game, or really any other medium without video taping the actual war. And that would be a boring, and depressing game.

Call me an asshole, but I don't see what the big deal is. It's just a silly commercial. It's not saying "THIS IS HOW WAR IS!" I'm pretty sure it's just meant to be a riff on the mulitplayer element.

SirBryghtside:
Ugh. It's not depicting real-life events, it's depicting made-up events that are made-up in the made-up portion (multiplayer) of an already made-up videogame.

^This^

No one in their right mind should ever think that real combat is anything like Modern Warfare, or any other shooter for that matter, and anyone who does gets a real wake up call in basic.

As per usual, tact is dead.

There's a difference between advertising your product and just not giving care about the implications of your ad. See: EA.

Comando96:
My solution. Force everyone to play Red Orchestra 2 and then walk through a room of dying people crying and screaming on yours and the enemies side. Then instead of respawning at the begining of the level... your dead... thats it, take another soul here... its their turn next...

Alternately, make them play DEFCON. It's a war game that's the exact opposite of Call of Duty.

And the weeping will haunt you. FOREVER.

Hevva:
"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."

Seriously? This guy may be a real soldier, but he acts like my mom when it comes to war games.
People who are not well versed in the tone of Modern Warfare games (or even FPS's) grossly overestimate what it is like. Modern Warfare 3 isn't a war simulator, it's a VIDEO GAME. I don't think everyone who plays MW3 or would buy it would actually want to be a real solider. It's about playing online, not about the blood-and guts of real war. This guy may say that he thinks IRL military personnel will enjoy the game (and even says that he'd like to see the gameplay), but he obviously misses the tone of the game.

TL;DR: Mr. Grady has obviously not played MW3, and therefore does not understand that while we honor people who defend our country and understand how terrible real war is, we still like to trivialize and make silly games out of it.

I think the real issue here is less about the depiction of casual war and "not showing the game you're advertising" and more about watching Jonah Hill flap his big stupid jowls yet again.

Personally, though, I'm under the impression that this commercial was Activision's way of saying "Yeah, we're not showing the game. We don't have to, because you'll still buy it. We can even pay a ridiculous amount to have two of the most popular stars in our trailer, and STILL break the bank, bitches." This amounted to nothing more than a dare. A challenge from a game publisher who feels untouchable because they're sitting on what's "in" for this generation.

Saying "Think about 9/11" is like saying "Think about the children". It serves no purpose and does not belong here. Videogames are an escapist hobby (pun intended). We use them to get away from reality. For reality, we have the news. Is dodging a rocket by leaning to the side realistic? Not in the least. Is it fun? You bet! This ad wasn't accurately depicting troops - it was depicting gamers, just like the ads for the last CoD game that featured about 20 B-list celebs. I'll file this under "He just doesn't get it" and move on.

That advert doesn't just trivialise War to the extreme, which I agree with, it trivialises the whole human race to the extreme whilst making us gamers look like immature plebs. We all casually chuck around "Noob" but we don't refer to each other as "verterans" in any way. Pro would be a better choice but only the really immature take noob/pro without a cup full of salt.

What's most shocking of all is that this advert sold the game well, which means we have a large proportion of representative consumers giving a less-than appealing image of us gamers to the rest of the world. In my opinion the advert was lame, only appealed to the most immature gamer and represented our favoured industry in one of the worst ways possible.

I'm not going to berate what is the better game, but Battlefield, Uncharted 3 & Halo 3/Reach did their TV spots in exactly the way you would expect. Maturely with live action.

Thus another reason why I severely dislike CoD.

Glorifying war has been going on for quite awhile now. I'll just leave this lovely little song here for all the kids who've never heard it, and for everyone else to reminisce about when punk was good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IavyqrEI6SY

and super mario trivializes lives of poor hardworking plumbers.
get over with it, its a game! besides, what is the difference between "modern" wars and say, ww2? "its fine to depict ww2 games, but not this, because I still remember this war?"

imho people have become big oversensitive babies in past few years......

besides, how does military promotes themselves? exactly the same? no sh!t!

First off, the commercial was terrible. It highlighted the worst aspects of the game, and somehow pulled this off without showing any of the game.

But there's another thing. It also shows just how out of touch Activision's publicity guys are with their customers. Who seriously calls themselves "veterans" of gaming? or Pro or l33t or any of that bullshit? I'm just a gamer.

Throw in cameo from some paid off actor while playing music from a group that most of their customer base doesn't even know the bloody name of (can't blame em. The 80's was 30 years ago. Thirty. Years. Let that sink in.) and that gives you a dogshit commercial. Even EA's prior transgressions, while in extremely poor taste, were at the very least innovative. Activision just threw money at it and put forth no effort. And made us all look bad in the process.

I found the commercial more stupid than offensive. While I do understand the view of the war veteran, I don't think the commercial degrades the military or war any more than war videogames do in general.

So the commercial that embodies the very mentality of the game is offensive but the game is not? I love it in real war when you run headlong into the infina-spawns to shut them down. You know? I think the commercial is all in good fun and I snickered at it (mainly because the "noob" uses a "noobtube", hehehe) because it really does show what the game is about.

As someone who's lost loved ones in the recent conflict I understand why they're not happy about the commercial and I agree that it doesn't exactly take the content seriously at all. This is one subject in particular that we should be taking seriously.

Guess what marketing companies dont care about your feelings unless those feeling smake you want to buy the shit they are hawking, true story.

school ideryi

buy teh haloz:
OT: I find it interesting that no Vietnam or Cold War veterans complaining when Black Ops pulled the same

The difference in the commercials is quite large if you go back and review. In the BlOps commercial, no one is wearing uniforms and the setting is completely fabricated. It is effectively disconnected from real warfare. (saying you can come shoot other normal people here and it won't matter) In the modern warfare commercial, they wear military uniform, go to real places, and they treat the combat as if it's a game WHEN IT'S MADE TO SEEM REALISTIC. The reason for all caps is separation and not emphasis. They say things like "getting the hang of it" like killing people is a hobby or sport.

OT: Yea it is, but nothing will change. The game was offensive before this commercial though. I know an active serviceman who won't Battlefield 3 or MW3 because they use the deaths of soldiers in standing armies as points. (it goes for both Russia and the U.S.)

First of all I really liked that ad. :P
Secondly its about a game. If this was about joining a real war then it would be bad but right now its just a funny ad.

SirBryghtside:
Ugh. It's not depicting real-life events, it's depicting made-up events that are made-up in the made-up portion (multiplayer) of an already made-up videogame.

Those aren't game characters and that isn't gameplay. Those two things are the basis of the man's arguement. This commercial promotes the idea that if you can play CoD, you can be a warfighter.

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