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FEATURED VOXPOP LinksOcarina This is another article from Blistered Thumbs I wrote, back from the dead after being buried in the way-back machine. I posted this back in April of 2013, and many of the issues present seem to be prevalent right now in some cases, namely the decrees of sexism and misogony. Considering current...

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Call of Duty Endowment Might Help You Get a Job, But We Won't Learn Anything From Its Latest Campaign

Posted on Wednesday, April 16 @ 16:30:00 Eastern by


It's my belief that Activision has now come full circle to become both the problem and the solution to war-hungry attitudes many Americans wear on their sleeves, on their bumpers, and on their chests, but the irony (is this ironic?) shouts at you in the latest video from the Call of Duty Endowment.

The Call of Duty Endowment helps veterans find jobs and assists them in making a smooth transition home after serving abroad. There is no possible argument against the Endowment's endeavors as millions of veterans return home from their tours with no one to turn to. It should be very clear that Activision's efforts are needed and valuable to the community of warriors that return from the battlefield.

However, there's something very significant that the veterans in the video above repeat:

I walked in to this interview. When I wore my uniform, I thought I was, to be honest, hot shit. You know, I've got all my medals on my chest, I'm just like "yeah dude, I'm gonna go in there and rock the shit out of this interview."

Another veteran says:

You get out thinking you're gonna be this veteran, like a high-class citizen. When I first got out, six months I couldn't find a job. There are jobs available but I feel like there are employers out there who are just avoiding hiring veterans.

What gives these veterans the idea that they'll be lauded and celebrated as heroes for the rest of their lives? Movies, TV, and video games like Call of Duty.

The truth is that Americans at home want soldiers out there "protecting our freedoms" but they'd rather not be faced with exactly what those freedoms are: paying exorbitant prices for movie tickets, shitty hamburgers from McDonalds, and an underclass that's quiet and scared so big business doesn't feel threatened, so that big banks don't have to worry about a nationwide run.

There's a definitive undercurrent of deception underneath American society in this day and age. You have Activision on one hand profiting off the sale of conflict-promoting video games and on the other hand hoping that you'll donate to their tax-sheltered charity fund to save the kids who get sucked into multiplayer enough to grasp at the free college education and the opportunity to protect "our" freedoms.

It's no longer "our" freedom. There's big business freedom and there's the freedom a veteran might get from escaping a speeding ticket. Where's the Call of Duty Endowment for millennials who have gone through a tour of duty in our national public education system and come out the other side jobless and hopelessly in debt?

Here's what I'd like to see in the next Call of Duty Endowment video:

Veterans A, B, and C are getting dressed in their uniforms. Maybe their kids are sitting in the background playing Call of Duty multiplayer. These veterans then walk into the lobbies of ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Halliburton and politely ask for an application or to speak with someone from HR.

As the veterans sit in the lobby waiting, the video cuts back to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and the scene where the player rescues an injured helicopter pilot. The video shows the real-life vet waiting in the lobby and then it shows the player rushing to pick up and carry the wounded soldier home.

Then the video shows the player escaping in the helicopter before cutting back to the lobby where the vet is waiting. Just as the big oil employee comes back down the hall and informs the vet that they're not currently hiring, the in-game nuke goes off and the helicopter crashes.

If Activision really wants to help, they'd run that ad and keep its most dedicated gamers from enlisting in the first place. Hell, they'd take the entirety of Call of Duty: Ghosts profits from the past 6 months and donate all of it to the US government and local VFW offices.

Someone is making enough money to support veterans and the poorest Americans who are currently unable to make ends meet, but someone is also greedy enough to store it up and hand it down to snot-nosed punks who're likely to waste their days on Xbox Live anyway. It's true that no video game will prevent the cycle of warmongering in our world, but there's nothing to learn from the Call of Duty Endowment's latest efforts either.
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