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Is 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' disturbing or just really cool?

By Cindy Boren

If you watched any fubball at all yesterday, you saw the ad for "Call of Duty: Black Ops," featuring Kobe Bryant, Jimmy Kimmel and lots of stuff exploding.

Sounds like a cool combo, no? But it's not entertaining in the way it should have been (I say this as someone who enjoys watching stuff explode). Maybe it's too "Hurt Locker" realistic, maybe it's the young girl, maybe it's the easy way (as the LA Times notes) in which war/sports/entertainment are so often interchanged.

Maybe I'm just wrong.

By Cindy Boren  | November 8, 2010; 8:12 AM ET
Categories:  Kobe Bryant, NBA  
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Comments

I thought it was great - loved it. Very effective, and not disturbing b/c the ordinary people made it clear it was a fantasy. Great, great ad.

Posted by: fourteenth_and_otis | November 8, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I agree with fourteenth_and_otis!!! 1000%

Posted by: Bigmon411 | November 8, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I like Kobe, I like Kimmel and, as I mentioned, I like to see stuff blowed up real good. This commercial didn't do it for me, although I did laugh at the concierge.

Posted by: Cindy Boren | November 8, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I liked it. I wouldn't worry too much along the video game violence lines. Actually, I think it's a pretty smart ad in that it's essentially a metaphor for what people are doing when they play against each other online anyway. Plus, the timing is ideal for hitting their target demographic.

Also, I ROFL'd at Jimmy Kimmel's "Rocket N00b" RPG.

Posted by: whorton1 | November 8, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

It was hilarious and well done. CoD covered all their demographics (except maybe stay at home mom with new baby - that would be borderline wrong). :P No one actually got shot, so it was less violent than many commercials I've seen. They even alluded to their weapon customization options with the wording on the side of Jimmy Kimmel's weapon. All in good fun.

Posted by: yimmer1 | November 8, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

It's a great commercial...and shows effectively (and humorously) that gamers come from all walks of life...and that it is just that - a game.

I am a 45 year-old white collar worker with a family who has FPS gamed since Doom...and have already pre-ordered this one. While gaming, I have met thousands of other folks from an incredibly diverse array of backgrounds...many of whom I still game with regularly. In some cases, these online gaming relationships have turned into real world friendships. Gaming is not just about 14 year-old boys...and CoD gets it.

BTW, for those who say the commercial shows violence with no consequences...here's a hint: THERE ARE NONE. IT'S A GAME. The commercial depicts online gaming accurately -- folks from all walks of life having a great time online with a little escapism where no one gets hurt. Instead, the opposite is often true - friendships are formed. In 5 years of playing COD (UO, COD2, MW, WaW, MW2), I have never actually been shot or blown up. I'm just fine thanks...although the wife gets concerned when she hears me laughing too loudly. ;)

Posted by: scuba_steve | November 8, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

According to this review made by a professional gamer, this game SUCKS
http://www.onlinestreamingtv.info/blackops.html

Posted by: maximallimit234 | November 8, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

You're just a whimp...the commercial was fan-effing-tastic!!!

Posted by: WildBill1 | November 8, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

yes.. you're just wrong and out of touch with the gaming crowd.

Posted by: SpecTP | November 8, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh please! Little boys have played war since time began. We just have cool graphics to do it with now.

We don't understand why women need 100 pairs of shoes. Don't try to understand why men like to play video games with lots of explosions.

Posted by: InTheMiddle | November 8, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"...disturbing or just really cool?"

Just really cool

Posted by: P-Funk2002 | November 8, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I'll preface this by saying that my father was killed in Vietnam when I was three weeks old, so I probably wasn't the best audience for this commercial when I was watching football yesterday afternoon with my two year old daughter. I'll also add that I played a lot of video games back in the day, plenty of them war-games, and was never really troubled by the genre (though I wasn't confronted by anything as realistic as this one, either).

I think what bothered me the most beside the fact that it showed in the middle of the day (and I'm sure will soon be airing during Scooby Doo or Pokemon in the early mornings) was the tag-line: "There's a soldier in all of us." In a time of multiple wars, where people on all sides are dying or being maimed for real, there is definitely NOT a soldier in all of us. Especially here in America, where all of us are not being asked to go. And to define the meaning of the word "soldier" as having a good ol' time running around the battlezone with some machine guns and rocket launchers in your hands (or in some grinning celebrity's) is beyond offensive. Or as my mother put it in an email after she watched this commercial online...

"Mr. Bryant, Mr. Kimmel and Activision should see what its like to wait for your loved one to arrive in a sealed body bag, then a sealed coffin, so that families do not have to see how their loved ones bodies have been destroyed. I did have to wait for the body of my 23 year old husband to be returned from Vietnam. It is not a game."

Honestly, I'm still struggling to articulate my own feelings about games like Call of Duty, and since I don't play them any more, I don't think I'm in a good position to judge. But as someone who knows very well the cost of real war, I feel on pretty solid ground when I say Activision and everyone involved with this commercial should be ashamed of themselves. Not a frame of it leads me to believe they've truly considered the consequences of the virtual war they're selling.

Posted by: jhulme | November 9, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm a female, first person shooter fanatic, 28 yrs old, and I've been playing video games since the NES. Did soccer, did track, know my history. Hold a BA in International Relations. Still stay in shape. I break the stereotypes...When it comes to gamers. Please! This is for all the older crowd, it's not that we don't KNOW, what we are doing. We know it's a war [game], & LOVE IT-! Simple as THAT. Do not complicate it. Do not assume we're all ignorant desensitized and immature media w***es. I don't even care Kobe is in this. Most of us don't care! We would still buy it. I- got excited to see Kennedy in the other trailer! Cindy as a sports commentator. You of all people should know, that the sports world today is; dirty, violent, corrupt, and full terrible role models. As a former athlete/martial artist, all I can say is there is enough violence and nastiness in sports. Simulated warfare in a virtual setting is not hurting anyone. There's a rating system people... Just like at the cinema-! Thank you, fellow gamers see you tonight... Game on.

Posted by: carolinacamar | November 9, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

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