Call of Duty 4’s Moral Issues

Call of Duty 4’s Moral Issues
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nazi2sg0.jpg Call of Duty 4 was a break in the series, something different. While previous entries were set in World War II, the latest one is not. CoD4 takes place in the Iraq war, and players kill Iraqis. Much more real and hard-hitting compared to the Nazi boogeyman. In games and movies, Nazis do make fantastic bad guys. In a black and white world, it’s easy to point to them as pure evil. Over at the For Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, writer Ralph De La Cruz offers this:

I mean, our family is not into any sort of violence. But who could possibly begrudge a man and his boy from killing a few Nazis? …And so we went through three Call of Duty titles. That’s because it sends you, as British trooper Sgt. John “SOAP” MacTavish, into the teeth of the Iraqi war. Yep. The war that’s going on right now. The one I don’t believe we should be fighting. The one I vow my son will never take part in.

…And there he is playing it out on his Xbox 360. Offing Iraqis for entertainment’s sake, as other Americans sacrifice their lives on real-world battlefield…

“Actually, they’re not Iraqis, they’re insurgents,” consoled a friend with whom I shared my dilemma. “Most of them probably aren’t from Iraq.” Well, actually, they’re not insurgents. They’re computer code and graphic animation.

The problem isn’t what they are, or are not, but what they represent. What they say about me and my son. What it says about our perception of this war vs. past wars.

…Somehow I found it morally easier to kill Nazis…

Has anyone else have face similar moral issues?
Virtual History Lesson [Sun-Sentinel via GamePolitics]


  • This has probably been said about eighty times in the US comments, but… The game goes out of its way to not tell you where the things set, even more than David Marsden’s Tomorrow When the War Began series (anyone remember that?). They talk about a small, oil rich country, yes, fine, but last time I checked, there wasn’t… Oh, I don’t know, ANYTHING remotely similar to the present situation, aside from Marines invading an Arabic nation. The situation is profoundly different than real life, and should stay that way. It didn’t even occur to me that this was Iraq (which is isn’t) until I read this story.

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