Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 benefitted from an aggressive marketing campaign, with Activision pulling out all the stops and even releasing two special videos with Hollywood actors Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill acting in some real life Modern Warfare 3 matches. Now, those two videos have been criticized by former Army serviceman and acclaimed novelist D.B. Grady.Modern Warfare 3 was the biggest game of the last year, with millions upon millions of people spending money on the title, which quickly reached $1 billion in sales in just 16 days. While this means that its marketing efforts resonated with fans, one former member of the Army disapproved of the ads with the aforementioned Hollywood celebrities.
D.B. Weiss, a novelist and essayist that’s “a former paratrooper with U.S. Army Special Operations Command and a veteran of Afghanistan,” penned an editorial for The Atlantic, in which he criticized the Modern Warfare 3 ads. In it, he says that the portrayal of real-life warfare from the ads, which makes war seem fun, is a bit crass, especially since lots of servicemen and women are just returning from various military operations from all around the world.
“There is a television advertisement for a video game called Modern Warfare 3 that is so base and strident that it's hard to believe that it's not deliberately offensive,” Weiss said in his piece. “The advertisement trivializes combat and sanitizes war. If this were September 10, 2001, maybe it wouldn't be quite so bad.”
“Those who are too young to remember Vietnam might indulge in combat fantasies of resting heart rates while rocket-propelled grenades whiz by, and of flinty glares while emptying a magazine into the enemy. But after ten years of constant war, of thousands of amputees and flag-draped coffins, of hundreds of grief-stricken communities, did nobody involved in this commercial raise a hand and say, "You know, this is probably a little crass. Maybe we could just show footage from the game."”
Weiss emphasizes that he isn’t against shooters and other such games, but doesn’t like the Worthington’s or Hill’s portrayal of soldiers as gun-happy adrenaline junkies, especially since warfare is serious business, not “a gritty Disneyland.”
What did you think of the Modern Warfare 3 ads? Did you enjoy the acting or did you find it offensive? Check out the original video below and then share your thoughts about it.