How Call Of Duty Is Making Anonymous "the Enemy"

Blink and you'll miss it. The Guy Fawkes mask flashes on the screen only for a brief instant, but it's there. Twice.

The iconic mug first entered pop culture in the graphic novel V for Vendetta, but has since been re-appropriated by hacker collective Anonymous as well as Occupy Wall Street protesters.

That iconic mask, however, is now shorthand for hacker — and the enemy.

Anonymous has gained attention in the past few years for its protests and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against big business and Scientology. For many, the group has tinges of political activism, using their computer skills and savvy for "good".

The way that Anonymous stands for causes seems to impressed V for Vendetta's creators. After the mask appeared at last year's Occupy Wall Street protest, V for Vendetta's writer Alan Moore said, "When you've got a sea of V masks, I suppose it makes the protesters appear to be almost a single organism — this "99%" we hear so much about. That in itself is formidable. I can see why the protesters have taken to it."

The irony of ironies is that the rights to the mask are actually owned by Warner Bros. So for every mask legally sold, Warner Bros. gets a kickback.

However, the mask is being recast in a different light in Call of Duty: Black Ops II's promotional campaign. A series of documentary style clips tackle different elements of technology and warfare; in two of them, the Guy Fawkes mask appears on screen.

In a clip titled "Synopsis", Oliver North talks about his nightmare scenario, and when he says, "The enemy could be anywhere, and it could be anyone," an individual wearing a Guy Fawkes appears on screen. I don't worry about the guy who wants to hijack a plane," North continues. "I worry about the guy who wants to hijack all the planes."

In another clip, titled "When the Enemy Steals the Keys," the Guy Fawkes mask pops up again. The footage is slightly different — it's tighter, more of a close-up.

"You know, if there are guys out there who are smart enough to hack into our banks and people's personal information, then certainly, eventually, there's gonna be someone who's smart enough to hack into our aircraft," drone pilot Major Hercules Christopher says in the clip. "If you can hack a bank, you can hack a drone."

The moment the pilot says "gonna be someone who's smart enough", the Guy Fawkes mask once again appears on screen, seeming to insinuate indirectly that Anonymous members are going to be smart enough to hack drones — or even want to. Once again, the Guy Fawkes mask is cast as the enemy.

With in the past few years, the Guy Fawkes mask has become inseparable from Anonymous, and, in turn, from hackers. Not all hackers are good. Not all are bad. And for a group like Anonymous, free flowing and ill defined, it's difficult to pin down who is a member and who isn't. Anonymous is more of a concept than a card-carrying group per se.

Yet, that group — that idea — is now being dragged through the mud via comments directly and indirectly aimed at the Guy Fawkes mask. Those who wear the mask are the enemy. Those who wear the mask are hackers.

Oliver North is right: the enemy could be anyone. It could be me. It could be you. It could even be the folks on TV, trying to sell you a video game.


    Good luck keeping your services up and running Activision

      LOL, I reckon, talk about poking the bear. As far as I'm concerned I hope they do screw Activision over, it will make good news story.

        if they do, Activision will be laughing. It'll be a great publicity stunt.

      Ba-bow! Glad I don't rely on Activision to play any of MY online games.

    Meh. go hackers. they keep thebalance

    It could be me. It could be you. It could even .... *blows your head off with a shotgun* It was obvious that you are the red spy :P

      I knew I wasn't the only one thinking t(hat).

        See. Red
        Oh that's just blood.

      Thank you for making me laugh out loud.

    Wait a minute. Waaaaaaaaait just a cotton pickin minute.
    More than two paragraphs.
    No cosplay.
    Articlulate, intelligent piece.

    Ok, who's the smart arse who put Ashcrafts name on their article. Obvious troll is obvious.

      well i wonder who that could be... [insert guy fawkes mask] yes. we have hacked kotaku.

      If only this troll could keep trolling us with fake Ashcraft articles *crosses fingers*

    Does this mean that Warner Brothers have the rights to the Call of Duty movie?

    maybe the next call of duty will make a mini game out of hacking the game's code or something :P

    would teach many millions of young people how to code.. maybe it's for the best!

    Wow, thats... actually an interesting setting for Black Ops 2 now. I always thought it was simply going to be China vs US with Chinese hackers involved, but this is different. The idea that a collective 'organisation' takes control of a drone based army and wrecks stuff is quite an awesome setting.

    Oliver north? How are the contras going

      I know. I just love hearing a convicted felon telling us this. A convicted felon who sold weapons to Islamic radicals in order to fund a violent terrorist group in South America telling us that non-violent activists are the lurking enemy and a bunch of terrorists, yeah that's just classic.

    So Activison have their copyright lawyers writing game scripts now?

    And having Ollie North spquik their appalling wares just reeks...maybe marketing is being run by the local tea party branch?

    Was this the same Oliver North who sold guns to Iran to finance the actions of the Contra rebels in Nicaragua? The ones who regularly killed and tortured civilians?

    The enemy could be anywhere, and he could be anyone, he says...

      It is indeed the same man.

      The most amazing thing is how all the oldmedia outlets are reporting this, including this gem from ibtimes
      "The "Black Ops 2" trailer goes on to quote Oliver North, a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer and political commentator"
      That'd be like saying "Colonel Gaddafi, former politician and retired army officer".

      This is why I've got just about zero respect for most media outlets these days, who're either owned or incredibly stupid. They're absolutely not doing their job of informing the public as JFK asked. This is seriously as bad as listening to Russian media talk about Putin, and the worst thing is actually hearing North saying all these tall words and absolutely no one is pointing out who the man is or what he did to become so well known in the first place.

    This just in: Battlefield: Bad Company 3 will have the boys receiving behind-the-scenes help from a character briefly portrayed in a Guy Fawkes mask.

      This made me happy face.

    Call of Duty. Yawn.

    More like Call of Doody DO HO HO HO

    This article reads perfect for a Southpark episode. Call of Duty (insert #) another trail by scenery on turkey shoot.

    "The irony of ironies is that the rights to the mask are actually owned by Warner Bros. So for every mask legally sold, Warner Bros. gets a kickback."

    First. This isn't irony, learn what irony is before using it in a sentence.
    Second, Anonymous knows Warner Brothers gets kickback off the mask sales that is why they have made pirated masks out of china available.

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