Games at Work: Participation, Procedure and Play
BARD COLLEGE — IDEA 135
I used to play/watch my brothers play COD when I was younger and I have to say I feel like I was a lot more engaged with it then than I was now, playing it for myself. I was thinking a lot about some of the articles we had read for class, and I think it made it hard for me to play this without thinking about some of the implications. I’m really interested and a little bit disconcerted by the role games like this (and I would say this game franchise specifically) have normalized and glamorized war and violence through gamification and right now that’s a really uncomfortable thing for me to engage with.
I was super surprised at how much detail went into this game. Despite the low polygon count/weird animations, the level of detail was quite high. The game really captured the horrific part of war, and it feels more like a horror game than a modern FPS. I think that FPS games are the most successful when they try to highlight that war is a bad thing and is scary, rather than celebrating for getting a head shot or a double kill. The “kill or be killed” mentality adds a certain weight to the fact that you are killing people, and makes it more of a reluctant truth rather than a thing to be pursued and glorified. In this way, this game captures war in a realistic, emotional way.
George, I think you make some valid points about the glorification/exploitation of war in contemporary games. I would argue that the commodification of “kills” and “headshots” seen in games like Modern Warfare 2 is a product of live gaming, which mandates a different kind of point system.
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