Posted on May 29, 2012 AT 11:55am
It seems ever since Call of Duty: World at War, any time that the Call of Duty franchise is starting to look like it is doing something different or changing for the better; I am reminded by it’s horribly homophobic racist online fan base or something in the news that drags the franchise back into the gutter along with the public perception of gaming and gamers. Because it is it the biggest franchise around right now, in the public eye, all gamers must be Call of Duty fans.
When Black Ops 2 was finally revealed a few weeks ago, the concept looked actually kind of interesting. With a somewhat futuristic version of Call of Duty featuring future tech, it seemed like Treyarch was actually trying to move the series forward. Granted it’s not my wish of a Vietnam game or science fiction, but at least it is not in the present in Russia or the Middle East. After seeing the trailers for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, I learned Activision’s new ad campaign features Oliver North. Now at the time, I only knew Oliver North as an ex-soldier and some whack job that talked politics on Fox News (I am forced to listen to the station at work I would never willingly watch that channel or listen to that radio station). Then I watched the most recent Game Over Thinker on ScrewAttack, which caused me to go into a fit of depression followed by rage.
For those of you who are too young, like myself, or just old and ignorant, you probably don’t know who Oliver North is, so let me tell you the whole story. Oliver North was a Colonel in the U.S. Military during the Reagan administration. At the time, the U.S. was funding a lot of smaller proxy wars and revolutionaries to stop the spread of communism and influence of the Soviet Union. One of such groups was the Contras (the video game is in no way related to the group) in there fight against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Because the Sandinistas were a communist government, we opposed the Sandinistas and the Contras were trying to bring them down. The problem is the Contras were basically war criminals. The Contras killed civilians, smuggled drugs, burnt down towns, raped women, and just were just horrible people in general. When the public found out that we were funding the Contras along with giving them weapons, they got upset causing congress to immediately stop the flow of cash and weapons. Now at the same time, this is going on while Iraq and Iran are in the middle of the Iran-Iraq War. During this time period, the United States was an enemy of Iran due to a hostage situation that took place in 1979. Well that does not stop Oliver North and several members from the Reagan administration from selling weapons to Iran to help fund the Contras. Well kids, this is what is known as treason and you can bet the public found out, trails were held, and North and his conspirators were found guilty. Sadly the dirt bags got off the hook because Bush Sr. pardoned them. North went on to go write a book and now has a show on Fox News. He also believes that selling firearms to an enemy country to fund drug-running terrorists was the correct thing to do even to this very day.
Now you are probably saying to yourself “Well all of that is awful, but other then having to put up with the ads featuring North how does this affect me, the gamer?” Well public perception is everything. Gaming as an art form and the public perception of video games and gamers has gone a long way in the past 10 years. We just got past the Supreme Court and got the law to recognize games as an art form. Not only that, there was an exhibit in the Smithsonian featuring games as art. More people are involved in games and have a positive opinion of games largely thanks to the Wii, iOS games, and Facebook games.
Well, thanks to Activision we are going to hear all about how games are evil, gamers are the immature, games are not art, etc. Not only that, the bad sides of the gaming community, the sexist, racist, homophobic bros on Xbox LIVE, etc. are going to be featured more and more. You know the same people who think Oliver North is some patriotic hero for fighting the communists. Thanks for setting us back a few more years Activision.
Now as a gamer reading this you probably don’t support Oliver North and don’t want gamers pulled into a culture war especially on the side Oliver North is on. Well then I recommend you should probably do what I did, email Activision and say you are appalled at there actions and don’t want gamers, or gaming, and what is sadly the biggest franchise in gaming currently, to be associated with a war criminal like Oliver North.
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