Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Call of Duty: Bullets and Loathing
I've never been an online gamer. I first got online in 2006 on a pathetic dial-up connection, which was the only option at the time. By 2007 I was on a semi highspeed connection with a tremendous amount of lag, and still am to this day. It's because of this that I can take an objective standpoint and muse about the Call of Duty series and all the famboyism and hatred surrounding it, and do so with little bias.
To me it's never been more than a semi-realistic, though admittedly rather short, polished single player FPS. The gaming sites that I frequent often have members spouting such idiotic things like "Well, it can't possibly be worse than Black Ops" or "Iron sites have ruined the FPS scene". Now let's get one thing stright, there's no way on this polluted, used up little planet of ours that iron sites can "ruin" an entire genre of games. Things can always be implemented poorly of course, but that can be said for any feature in any game ever. The CoD series has done it particularly well in fact, and it is always left as an option. As for things being worse then Black Ops, well sure they could. Granted, I wasn't as blown away by Black Ops as I was by Modern Warfare, but at the end of the day it was still much better than most of the disposable shooters of the last ten years.
When you have a popular, highly functional franchise like the CoD series, one must start to wonder why it attracts so much disdain. I mean, why would you hate something that at the best of times could be considered one of the most accessible shooters of this console generation, and at the worst of times an abysmally short single player game where your avatar can soak up more lead than the clay hill behind the local firing range and still continue fighting? Well, if you take a standpoint where you are neither willing to sell the rights to your first born child for a copy of the next iteration, nor march on your local government office demanding that a bylaw be made making it punishable by death to make another entry to the series, you may start to notice that much of the hatred is unexplained and maybe even unwarranted.
As one anon said, "Haters gonna hate", but that still doesn't really answer the question. Were the hater's mothers once violated before their very eyes by a service-man holding a rifle snugly to his shoulder? It's unlikely, though knowing our country's military record, not impossible. I can then only come to the conclusion that perhaps it's not the game, nor the mechanics of the game that draw so much hatred, but the apparently rabid online community, allegedly filled with foul mouthed 12 year olds with absurdly over developed fast twitch muscles and hand eye coordination, or perhaps the hackers and cheaters that plague the game's servers. It's not too far fetched to assume that maybe some people just don't like to be one upped by others, or just can't get into the game.
Perhaps we'll know the answer to these questions for certain some day. Right now, though, my money is on the stupidly vulgar people that infest an otherwise ordinary competitive community of gamers to such an extent that they spill out onto the rest of the internet allowing anyone with a functioning pair of eyes to see their seething hatred for what it is: the knowledge that no matter how hard they try in life, they will never create something as awesome as Nestle Flips.