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Politicians can learn a lot from video game marketing, including the art of “brainwashing” the public.

That’s according to Dave Anthony, writer and director of first-person shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops, in addressing a future wars forum organized by Washington-based think-tank the Atlantic Council earlier this week. Anthony warned the forum of an invasion “from within” and said that plainclothes U.S. soldiers should operate within schools, with the government using brainwashing tactics to sell the idea to the public, reports Businessweek.

It’s another blurring of the line between video games and reality, as exemplified by the British fighter for extremist group ISIL who recently told the BBC that his life in Syria is “better than that game, Call of Duty.”

“The public won’t like it,” said Anthony, referring to the idea of placing soldiers in schools. “They’ll think it’s a police state.”

He told the forum that effective marketing, like that used in the video game industry, could brainwash the public into accepting such a controversial policy.

“When we have a new product that has elements that we’re not sure how people will respond to, what do we do as a corporation?” he asked. “We market it, and we market it as much as we can — so that whether people like it or not, we do all the things we can to essentially brainwash people into liking it before it actually comes out.”

“I look at the U.S. military and government, ironically, as having some of the very same problems as what the Call of Duty franchise has,” said Anthony. “We are both on top of our game. We are both the best in the world at what we do. We both have enemies who are trying to take us down at any possible opportunity. But the difference is, we know how to react to that.”

The relationship between Call of Duty and the military isn’t new, but it usually works the other way. Controversial military figure Lt. Col. Oliver North — who helped the U.S. military secretly sell weapons to Iran, diverting the funds to anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua (the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s) —  acted as an adviser on Anthony’s title Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and he even appeared in the game.

Now, though, it seems that video games experts are starting to advise the military.


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