A former US Army Special Operations Command paratrooper and Afghanistan veteran has spoken out in criticism of Activision’s leading Modern Warfare 3 Christmas ad.
“[The ad] is so base and strident that it's hard to believe that it's not deliberately offensive,” D B Grady wrote on The Atlantic.
“The game crossed the billion dollar sales mark in only 16 days, [so] clearly its marketing strategy is working. But none of that makes it okay, or mitigates its tastelessness. The advertisement trivializes combat and sanitizes war.
“If this were September 10, 2001, maybe it wouldn't be quite so bad. 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’."
Grady goes on to cite the example of Sergeant Timothy Gilboe, who received a Silver Star for heroism.
“Here's how the Modern Warfare 3 commercial ends,” he added. “Two smug, A-list clowns strut toward the camera, rifles hanging over their shoulders, explosions consuming the city of New York, and then the words 'THERE'S A SOLDIER IN ALL OF US'.
“No, there's not.”