As the launch of the next Call of Duty game approaches, a former US Marine has spoken out against the depiction of war in video games, saying it “romanticises” the conflict.
Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor for saving lives and sustaining injuries during a 2009 military operation in Afghanistan, spoke about the phenomenon on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
Meyer said: “Suffering has become normal for people. It’s become entertainment. Video games about war … war has now been romanticized.
“It’s been romanticized that it’s this cool image … I hear people say ‘I just want to go kick in doors and shoot people in the face.’ Well, you’ve probably never done it then. We’ve got kids playing video games of the stuff that keeps me awake at night. And it’s like, at what point do we start humanizing these things?”
Meyer went on to argue that video games (and movies, for that matter) are also desensitising consumers, making them less shocked by extreme acts of violence.
“There is nothing cool about taking another human’s life,” he said. “When you’re playing video games, and it’s like, ‘Oh I got this many kills.’ These kids are just watching this screen over and over, and the more graphic it gets, the [more desensitized we become] to another human being’s suffering.
“We’ve pushed ourselves away form being empathetic to, hey, these are real people. These are real people’s lives.”
Meyer received his Medal of Honor in 2011, when he was presented the award by President Barack Obama. It was given to him for disregarding orders, when he entered a killing zone to save the lives of 12 of his fellow squad members.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is set to be one of the darkest games in the series to date. Just a few of the more harrowing elements included in the title include dismemberment, the death of children, intense blood spatter, decapitation and waterboarding. Infinity Ward definitely isn’t messing around with Modern Warfare!
Featured Image Credit: Activision