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call of duty

November 29th

…game’s destabilizing approach to history.

“The aura of semantic instability produced by redaction is what separates the “black op” in Call of Duty from a mere secret mission, or even the structurally and tonally similar “spec ops” of the Modern Warfare games. Black ops in Call of Duty are sites of chaos and collapse, where protagonists undergo various kinds of disintegration before a self-contradictory imperial ideology that raids, kills, or tortures in the name of peace and humanity. In Black Ops Cold War, the phrases stricken out by the censor correspond to a multitude of disavowed, “plausibly…

November 3rd

…purporting to say nothing. Check these two articles out.

  • ‘Modern Warfare,’ The Highway of Death, and Call of Duty’s Exploitation of the Past – VICE Matthew Gault puts Modern Warfare‘s revisionist jingoism on blast.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (PS4) – Review ‘Em All Matt Paprocki reviews a completely apolitical piece of entertainment media.

“As if angels or Jesus returning to Earth, US/British troops crash in through a skylight, backlit as they kill. Restraint is not letting a character shout, “Christian values, bitch!” while they stab/shoot the faceless villains, even if such a line

December 3rd

The latest Call of Duty game has, unsurprisingly, sparked the interest of historians.

  • Watching History Fade Away in ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ – Waypoint Rob Zacny argues that the positioning of soldiers as ambitious heroes does a disservice to the majority of people who served in the second world war.
  • “Call of Duty: WWII Unravels the Meaning of History,” by Reid McCarter – Bullet Points Monthly Reid McCarter explores the perverse feeling of fetishizing combat in our memory of the Second World War

“The nuclear bombings that ended World War II are seen,

June 27th

…Life Nadine Smith shares a tale of how propaganda–in Call of Duty and elsewhere–works on more than just reactionaries.

“So there we were, the capitol police officer and I, understanding each other too well. Playing Call of Duty, I like to tell myself I’m subverting the game, but in the end I have to admit I’m internalizing the same terms of engagement, and the same structural outlook as my ideological opponents. It’s easy to fall prey to the conditioning the game encourages — to feel too good about how precise your aim has become, or how many…

December 2021

  • Final Fantasy XIV’s Break From Narrative Tradition – Games As Literature (14:55)

    The Games Professor outlines how Final Fantasy XIV’s various expansions take a more literal approach to storytelling than other (more allegorical) entries in the series, to engage players in themes of religious nationalism, colonial subjugation, and wealth inequality. (Autocaptions)

  • Replaying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Illustrious Magic (41:33)

    Steven Santana is not impressed with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s problematic approach to appropriating ‘real’ places, environments, and conflicts, in its careless pursuit of pastiche. (Autocaptions) (Transcript included)

 

Surfer Girl Reviews Star Wars

…for how ahead of her time she was, despite the fact that she bowed out of the scene before the 2008 explosion of videogame bloggers, writers and critics. She blazed a strange (and occasionally mixed-message) trail with her posts, which often interleaved tidbits of information about the latest game in X series with comments arguing for journalistic integrity and for increased political and social awareness.

When a once-prominent videogame blogger disappears, I feel it is the duty of us who remember to remind others of those that have gone before.

Surfer Girl primarily used her blog to pass…

Duncan Fyfe & Hit Self-Destruct, Part 1

…in. In the post War Crimes Duncan takes Far Cry 2 and Call of Duty 4 to task for what he perceives as consequence-free violence, thanks to game worlds that lack non-combatants. He lands this haymaker on CoD‘s chin:

In all of Call of Duty’s urban cities, apartment complexes and television stations, there isn’t a single civilian. One mission in Russia takes on a certain urgency when the player is told that rebels are massacring villagers right over the hill. They must have done a really good job.

Notice the gap between the second sentence and…

January 16th

…writes for KillScreen’s newly launched blog, talking about ‘Popping Smoke’ [mirror] in the Call of Duty series. Persuasive stuff:

The rule that defines Call of Duty, and separates it from the single-player campaigns of most other shooters, is the infinite spawn. It’s a bit of scripting built into discrete segments of every level, code that states: “Continue spawning enemies from points a, b, and c until the player crosses invisible line x.” When most people say that the Call of Duty games are realistic, they’re referring primarily to their photorealism and point-of-view effects like distorted vision and tinnitus

November 9th

…Pay Your Respects” and calling it a day, talks about why Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare fails to earn that interaction.

Jake Muncy also condemns the use, but instead goes on to talk about grief and our odd aversion to dealing with death at funerals. Muncy then talks about two games that managed the ritual of dealing with grief far better than CoD:AW.

At Polygon, Charlie Hall puts the spotlight at a different type of war game, with This War of Mine‘s focus shifted a few yards off screen from Call of Duty‘s soldiers and instead focuses on…

November 15th

…at Unwinnable, James Murff finds Black Ops 3’s departure from binary plot constraints of old a welcome change:

This plot setup allows Call of Duty to explore themes of human augmentation, mental breakdown, the nature of sentience and even the afterlife. While it doesn’t approach them as intelligently as a cyberpunk novel such as Neuromancer or Snow Crash, it’s far smarter and more strange than a Call of Duty game has any right being.

Politics as Usual

Not Your Mama’s Gamer details an anonymous reader’s two-part account of sexism while working at a major…