Hundreds of thousands of US war veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by their experiences on the front lines. According to Stay Strong Nation, games like Call of Duty: Black Ops can bring those experiences rushing back.
Stay Strong Nation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping US war veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, and they believe that realistic combat games like Call of Duty might be a bigger danger to PTS sufferers than most people think, possibly acting as a dangerous and sometimes volatile trigger for PTSD episodes.
Are they saying the games are dangerous? Not so much for veterans that recognise they are suffering from PTSD, who know better than to expose themselves to such stimuli.
“The scariest part of PTS is when a veteran experiences symptoms such as flashbacks, or feelings of panic and depression, yet unknowingly brushes it under a blanket of machismo,” said Gresford Lewishall, vice president of the organisation. “Veterans either play or have exposure to the games and subsequently feel like they’re back in Afghanistan or Iraq in life or death situations. Their heart beat accelerates and they feel a sense of unease come over them.”
Stay Strong Nation’s goal is to make veterans aware of the potential danger of games like Call of Duty as potential PTSD triggers, while educating civilians on the potential problems so that they can avoid unknowingly exposing their soldier friends and family.