So this is my first post to Bitmob and I wanted to make a good first impression. I want to share some views, start some discussion and make a point. This is all well and good until I sat down and realised that I couldn't think of a topic. The Christmas Games rush is starting but I've been too busy working and ocassionaly talking to my lady friend to get very much involved. This whole growing up thing is overrated if you ask me.
So I thought back to my recent forays onto forums. I very rarely post due to time constraints but enjoy sifting through various threads, digesting the views and opinions and trying to understand the game buying public. One common theme that has hit me recently is one of Call of Duty hate. I'm not talking your standard internet trolling that any subject can expect. Hell, I've even seen a story of a minor celebrity rescuing a stranger from a car crash recieve sarcastic and negative comments.
No this is a special kind of hate that is reserved for Call of Duty and those who buy it. This series has come to represent a new mainstream of gaming. A gamer who buys one, maybe two games a year- Call of Duty and maybe a sports game. You're traditional "hardcore" gamer, they don't don't like this. You see a kind of unreasonable vitriol reserved for Call of Duty comments threads. Claims that only idiotic poor people (Chavs as they are known in the UK) buy Call of Duty and if you (the assumed hardcore) buy it you're only feeding Activision's growing evil behemoth of almost self aware tyranny (I swear that Bobby Kotick must have a bet on about being the most successful yet outwardly antagonistic person on earth).
So what has Call of Duty done to deserve this? Well first it became stupidly popular. Each iteration selling in increasing number and with bigger fanfare over its release…. I say fanfare, this usually just involves a bigger launch party with more paid for celebrities who have next to no idea whats going on. they've never even played hardcore search and destroy, whats with that.
This popularity brought with it more people to the multiplayer, and with an increase of people comes the incresed chance of people being incredible morons over the internet. So strap in and log into Call of Duty online and you will no doubt encounter a twelve year old boy singing the latest Rhianna song to you, in breaky scratchy teen sing-o – sound, copious use of the F word among others, claims of you being a cheater if you do well or pointing out how bad you are (in no unceartain terms) if you do badly.
This is all excerbated by online teething problems on every sequels launch, a hiked up price, the lack of creativty shown inbetween each cycle and the loss of nearly all the original creative talent from the game. Nearly all these things barely matter to your average Joe, who wants to just shoot his friends of an evening but to someone in the know, these problems have created a little village of hate inisde them and extended their conservertary of antagonism without planning permission. Even listing all the problems has made me sympathise with many people. Greater than this though, many long in the tooth gamers see this popularity as polluting thier gene pool, taking their once closeted hobby and letting everyone in. On top of that the games have arguably hit a stagnant plateau and change little but due to their success drag all of Activision's money away from other original franchises.
To make sure you understand though, I'm not having a go at the Call of Duty series, all of these problems could arguably be attributed to poor management rather than poor game design.
This is not my point though, I have played all the games in the series from three onwards and have a view on their qulaity and value for money and the way Activision has treated it as a one of a few major tentpole fracnhises. That argument is for another day and person who is grumpy in a different way to me. My focus for this article is to try and get people to think before they post. If you have ever felt the need to insult someone for their choice of game, perhaps its time to step back and think- after all its only a game.
I suppose I feel that the kind of post I'm seeing against Call of Duty and its players are an attempt by some to create an us and them culture. There are the idiots who buy Call of Duty, Wii Fit, Carnival Games etc and there are those of us who know the truth. the enlightned, the chosen, the few. An elitist and silly attitude I hope you agree. All forms of comsumer entertainment have a "lowest common denominater"- mainstream- blockcuster films, mass produced pop music, Call of duty, trashy crime novels. These make all the money and attract most of the attention, why? Most people don't have enough time or inclination to get truly "into" a particular genre. It takes time and money to find the best of a niche market. Many want to pick something up and enjoy it and why shouldn't they. Should we produce an exam to make sure you've done enough research before reading your first comic. Before your Xbox opens perhaps you should have to whisper into it Mario's original name? Maybe the orignal Driver had it right, before you get to play a game you should have to play an incredibly hard and obstructive test of your skills? It would keep the riff- raff out eh?
To boil it down and maybe even get to a point, lets not judge people for enjoying what we don't. Let's all celebrate the games we love and spend less time arguing about the games we don't. Call of Duty will sell well no matter what any of us here say but for the record I still enjoy them, I cant get enough of being shot.