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call of duty

November 12th

…out towards the past

This week, there were two pieces that compared the latest iteration in a series to its first title, finding in the original some design strategies that ought not to have been abandoned.

  • Reaching out towards the past in Assassins Creed Origins | Gareth Damian Martin compares the vistas of both the first and the most recent Assassin’s Creed games to the work of 19th century “orientalist” painter David Roberts.
  • The New Call Of Duty Could Learn A Thing From The First Call Of Duty | Kotaku Heather Alexandra argues that the

June 27th

…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 kills you’ve racked up. I don’t…

June 2nd

…are used by weightlifters, climbers, and pole dancers — but those are all activities where a sweaty hand could mean a serious injury. Is it necessary for playing Call of Duty? Well, maybe not. But ask yourself this: is it necessary to play Call of Duty at all?”


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December 2019

…in touch with any and all videos you’d like to recommend (hashtag TMIVGV), and that goes double for creators that fall outside the over-represented ciswhitedude norm.


  • Does Call of Duty Believe in Anything? – Jacob Geller (25:29)

    Jacob Geller explores the discrepancies between Call of Duty’s stated apoliticism, its marketing campaigns, and its renditions of military “controversy” which nevertheless continue to validate status quo narratives of the US military. (Manual captions)

This, in microcosm, is what Call of Duty believes: War is hard, and often brutal, but there are a Few Good

October 31st


  • Call of Duty’s latest marketing campaign misses the point of Call of Duty | Polygon Kazuma Hashimoto meditates on Call of Duty’s relentless, fetishistic pursuit of authenticity, as mediated by its parallel function as a propaganda machine.
  • “Activision treats this history as something to be exploited in pursuit of “realism” for a franchise that is already entangled with the American military industrial complex in its use as a recruitment tool. It is a tasteless attempt at appealing to its most devoted player base (who are indeed more fixated on the historical inaccuracy of the weapons…

    Kill Screen archive

    …fantasy xv and real world

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  • November 15th

    …is. Being only the fourth mission in Modern Warfare 2, though, “No Russian” does not have the luxury of my trust or belief in its world.

    Matthew Kaplan had a vastly different take on the level, arguing that it ‘succeeded beautifully’. Meanwhile, Charlie Brooker writing for The UK’s Guardian newspaper asserts that, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the Citizen Kane of repeatedly shooting people in the face.” Those memes – they sure do get around.

    Decidedly in the negative camp when it comes to reactions to the “No Russian” level is Tom Chick, and his…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    October 24th

    …slap in the face.

    Also at Kotaku, the new Australian editor Mark Serrels talks with games writer and academic James O’Connor about games stories, discussing Gears of War and Call of Duty’s meta-narratives.

    Margaret Robertson spends Five minutes with Minecraft and comes up with the best, most succinct description of the game I’ve yet read:

    Minecraft is a game where you mine stuff and make it into other stuff. In Survival mode, which is mostly what the people who are talking about it are talking about, it’s a single player game set in a vast…

    November 14th

    It’s that time of the week where we bring you the best of everything we could find from around the blogosphere. This is TWIGB.

    Gunthera1 on The Border House blog applauds Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops commercial for its diversity [mirror] in regards to race, gender, profession age and body type. However, Sam Machkovech writing for The Atlantic calls it a “Twisted Advertising Campaign“, while Gus Mastrapa at Joystick Division takes a step back and decides that tacky is a better term [mirror].

    And, as usual, the marketers were right. This commercial for Call of

    May 13th

    …Further on the subject of first-person shooters, Dan Nosowitz expresses his concerns for Sniper Elite V2‘s hyperrealistic “KillCam”. Thirdly, and a chief contender for article of the week, is Paolo Pedercini’s editorial for Kotaku on how franchises such as Call of Duty: Black Ops valorize a particularly frightening kind of warfare:

    In the Ramboesque universe of Call of Duty, black ops are presented as an elite force type of operations, carried out in secrecy by modern ninjas. But in reality, what makes certain operations “black” is not that they go undetected by enemy forces—after all, most of military