Vietnam veteran and East Kildonan, Winnipeg resident Ron Parkes is angry, and Activision is to blame. The Vietnam veteran accuses the company of purposefully releasing Call of Duty: Black Ops to coincide with Remembrance Day.
For those of you in the United States, Remembrance Day is a holiday observed in Commonwealth countries that remembers the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces during times of war. It's observed every year on November 11, which coincides with the German signing of the Armistice, ending World War II.
In the United States we call it Veteran's Day.
Parkes said that while he would be OK with the game releasing a few weeks before or after the day of remembrance, releasing it during the same week is wrong.
"I think it is very tacky to include the distribution of a graphic war-based game like this during a week that we are supposed to be honouring those who have fallen to the conflicts this game depicts," Parkes said.
"Remembrance Day is not a consumer advocate's day and this company is clearly using the date as a marketing strategy."
The Call of Duty: Black Ops release comes only a day and a year after the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which came out on November 10, 2009.
Parkes spent three months in Vietnam in 1965, and says no video game or movie can hope to depict the experience properly.
"War is always a miserable experience and the movies or video games depicting these wars never really do catch how bad it really is," Parkes said.
"War is a whole different scenario then regular life. You live and breath it everyday you are there, and sometimes those memories, good and bad, still catch up to you."
I can understand where Parkes would be upset, but I've not seen any evidence that Activision is using the holiday to promote the game.
We've reached out to the publisher for comment on this story and will update should we receive a response.
Vietnam vet questions timing of game release [Winnepeg Free Press]