Thursday, 15 November 2012

Call of Duty: Video Game or Cultural Event?

by Ross Watkins

Tuesday, 13 November marked the release of Call of Duty Black Ops 2. I, for one, have never owned a game console and I cannot see the appeal of these games, but, for the many millions who queued at midnight to be the first to get their hands on this heavily anticipated game, this release is heavily indented on their calendar.
This game is the ninth in the series of Call of Duty games. The first was released on October 29, 2003. Critically acclaimed, it was originally only available on PC; an expansion pack was then produced. This game was followed by Call of Duty 2 which was released on the October 25, 2005. Three weeks later, on November 15, 2005, marked the start of the games being released on consoles.
Later releases have included: Call of Duty 3 (November 7, 2006); Call of Duty World at War (November 11, 2008); Modern Warfare 1 ( November 7, 2007); Modern Warfare 2 (November 10, 2009); Modern Warfare 3 (November 8, 2011); Black Ops 1 (November 9, 2010); and Black Ops 2 (November 13, 2012).

Student Taylor Pelling queued for 4 days
so he could be first to buy the new Call of Duty
As of November 11th 2011, the Call of Duty series had sold over 100 million copies.
As of March 31st 2012, there had been 40 million active users worldwide.
Over 1.6 billion hours of online game play has been logged in the latest game in the series.
For Black Ops 1 an estimated 7 million copies of the game were sold on Day One.

There are many theories as to why Call of Duty is so popular. Here are a few:
Call of Duty games are generally easy to play and they offer instant rewards, which  means that casual gamers find them more enjoyable than other games which require more perseverance and skill.

The game gets rid of the death frustration in three different ways: giving the player  perks, having instant spawning (which reduces the time that players have to wait around after being killed) and having a kill cam that shows the ease with which they were killed and who killed them; this makes them want revenge, thus increasing the addictiveness.
Call of Duty runs at 60 frames per second, which makes the game flow much better than its main rivals.
It is easily the most recognisable video game because of all the heavy marketing, so that, when there is a new release scheduled, it swiftly becomes a trend, with the consequence that nobody forgets to buy it. In school, the day before Call of Duty was released,  it was the hot topic, with many PGS pupils pre-ordering in order to get their hands on it as soon as they got home. A perhaps worrying statistic is that, in a survey of 10,000 gamers online, about one in four respondents said they planned to skip work or school to play Black Ops II on launch day, with average game playtime expected to be 5.5 hours. Call of Duty has become so big that it is starting to have its own significant effect on the economy.
A media student arrived five days ahead of the worldwide launch at the HMV in Oxford Street, London. The student was brought cups of food and tea by the staff as he claimed his spot at the very front of the queue. His reasoning behind this: “I love Call of Duty and I know the launch is going to be pretty spectacular, so being at the front of the queue to buy it will make it an even more memorable experience for me,” (read the whole article here).
Whatever your conception of Call of Duty, it is extremely popular and millions see the launch as a cultural event. I, for one, have never seen the appeal of these games, but by the millions who swear by the game it is viewed as a religion.


  1. i like the game but wouldn't camp out for it

  2. its way too violent

  3. No one likes it as much anymore. Zombies is the only good part now, multiplayer is always the same.

  4. got to 9th prestiege then got bored. typical COD ALTHOUGH I STILL PLAY IT :/

  5. not as good as the origninal

  6. Jonathan Furniss21 March 2013 at 15:19

    Its a good game, But i think FIFA is better and less violent :P


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