November 4th rolls around, and your twelve year old son is begging you for the new game, Call of Duty WW2. It’s the first time in nine years since the release of a WW2 Call of Duty game, and you’re son is extremely eager to play it. Being the nice parent you are, you grab a copy of it one day while your son is at school, and save it for Christmas. December 25th soon comes, and your son screams when he opens his present to find it being Call of Duty WW2. He rushes down to the game room in the basement, and instantly gets hooked to the game. One day, after a few weeks of playing the game, your son taps your shoulder while your working from home one night, asking you a question. You turn to him, asking what it is. He says, “Did you know black women fought for the Nazis in World War 2?” The world suddenly stops spinning for you as your son utters those words. You look at him confused, demanding to know where he learned something like that from. He laughs, “From the Call of Duty game!”.
This is an insane reality we will face when the younger generation of gamers get their hands on this upcoming Call of Duty game. We now live in an unfortunate society where we can no longer tell the truth of history. A society where Feminazis plague the media, and wish to spread their disgusting influence across all fronts. A society where we have to be nice to people with lies, instead of giving them the cold hard truth of history and reality. This Call of Duty game is proving to be accepting of social justice warriors instead of actual history. It is becoming an insult to World War 2 veterans and to the bitter truth of that brutal war. If we allow companies like Sledgehammer to write history in their own image to sympathize with the minority groups because they’re “feeling oppressed”, then their actions will cause other major companies to follow in their footsteps. Allow me to explain.
In an article by Heat Street, Michael Condrey of Sledgehammer said in an interview, “Ultimately we decided that Nazi symbols, like the swastika, had a place in the campaign to be historically accurate.” He continues, saying, “As for the multiplayer and zombies … in this community, we didn’t feel it was appropriate there. It’s a dark symbol and we have to be really respectful and mindful of the customs and regulations of different territories and we wanted the whole community to play it together. You’ll see it in the campaign in a historical and accurate way, but not in multiplayer and zombies.”
Now, at first glance with this response from Michael, I would be totally fine with this decision. I would understand they’re simply trying to branch out their community, and I’d be content with their choice to remove it. However, that’s where the hypocrisies begin. If Michael Condrey removed Nazi symbolism for these reasons, then why wasn’t it removed from games like Call of Duty, Call of Duty United Offensive, and even Call of Duty World at War. In all of those games, the Nazi flag wasn’t only in the campaign, but in the multiplayer and zombies as well. As seen by these images here. Granted, these previous titles were made by Infinity Ward and Treyarch, however, those games each had their own international title. So if those companies were able to do, why can’t Sledgehammer?
Minorities in WW2
In an article by Polygon, a writer who played the multiplayer had made quite an unexpected encounter with another player. After killing a German soldier, he noticed something rather odd. The German soldier he killed was a black, female Nazi soldier. Yep, can’t say that with a straight face. Just the idea of running into Nazi soldiers like that is almost insane to think. Now the article has producer, Matt Rubin, quoted in saying, “What we wanted to do was acknowledge the fan base that already existed. We have a lot of different kinds of people who play Call of Duty, and we want them to be represented when we do character creation.”
Now while I can almost agree with this statement, I have to again make light of Sledgehammer’s hypocrisies. If you are going to make an alternative World War 2 multiplayer experience where everybody can be whoever they want, history be damned, then why did you guys promise at the Reveal Trailer that “this would be the most historically accurate Call of Duty game ever”? I’m not saying I’m against minority groups, however, when you place them in historically inaccurate spots during one of the biggest conflicts in history, you kind of break that sense of historical accuracy.
Now we should all know the truth of minority groups during World War 2. Women, Blacks, and even Native Americans all played a crucial part in the war. There was Virginia Hall, also known as The Spy with the Wooden Leg, who proved to the State Department that she could conduct espionage for the allied forces with one leg. The Tuskegee Airmen, who proved generals that they could protect our military bombers through thick and thin. The Navajo Indians who helped keep our radio transmissions coded from the Japanese. The Afro-Germans who were captured and forced to work for the Nazis during their North African Campaign, while at the same time being able to sabotage German supplies by making dud bombs. The WAVES, who were American women who built tanks, trucks, jeeps, guns, and ammo for the military, proving women are more than capable of doing any kind of work.
If Sledgehammer is able to make light of these brave people who proved that race/sex didn’t matter, and that in the end we’re all human, then this game will have my full support. However, if they continue down this ridiculous path of historical inaccuracies and unrealistic battles, then they will have done nothing but insult the people who gave up everything so we could live in a better world.
Why am I upset about this?
Out of all the things I’ve been told by my friends, there’s one question that’s always stood out to me the most, “Why am I upset about this?”. Why do I care? It’s just a videogame, right? I understand and have learned to accept the fact that 90% of the Call of Duty community could care less about the story or history of the game, and would rather just blindly pay the $60, rush into multiplayer, reach max prestige, and feel content with their lives. However, I consider myself the oddball. I for one, love the history and story of the Call of Duty games.
With Call of Duty 1, playing alongside America, Great Britain, and Russia. Fighting in battles based on actual historical events. To Call of Duty World At War, where the geniuses at Treyarch show the gritty reality of the World War 2. Fighting alongside fictional characters put into this bloody war. Even the Modern Warfare series, proving that all it takes to change the course of history is the will of a single man. These games all had one major thing that made them great, immersion. You felt like you were in the boots of soldiers, fighting in global conflicts. Whether it’d be in the campaign or multiplayer, you were immersed into the game, but this new title completely shatters that sense of immersion when Nazi symbolism is censored and black women are fighting for the Germans. You no longer get that feeling of being in a World War 2 setting, and instead, you simply feel like you’re just playing another bland Call of Duty game.
Furthermore, this is history being rewritten and changed to fit an agenda. It isn’t to unite the Call of Duty community. It’s to pander to these Social Justice Warriors and Feminazis who were complaining that they couldn’t play as a female character in a World War 2 game. It’s to pander to individuals who continue to deny the truth of World War 2, and to have it where it fits their image. Not only that, but it appears that a good majority of this originated from a meeting Anita Sarkeesian had with Sledgehammer Games back in 2015, and we all know who she is.
For Sledgehammer, the solution to this whole fiasco should be rather obvious. It’s a solution that previous Call of Duty titles had. Create an Explicit Content Filter! In Call of Duty WaW, Modern Warfare and the Black Ops Series, each of them contained an option in the main menu where the player may censor certain explicit content shown in the game. This mainly removed the gore feature and any other offensive content (i.e. Nazi symbolism). It was a bit of extra coding, but it worked out and paid off in the end. If Sledgehammer wishes to truly unite the Call of Duty (including those who wish for a more historically accurate experience) then they should certainly take advantage of this feature. It would be a better way to keep your community united.
At the end of the day, one thing we have to realize is that the game hasn’t even come out yet. We don’t truly know what Sledgehammer has in store for us. They’ve only shown us the tip of the iceberg on this game. Who knows, maybe I’m entirely wrong and this game may actually be very good, and you know what, I hope I am. I hope Sledgehammer is able to share the history of World War 2 accurately, and truly pay homage to the men and women who gave their lives for us. I hope this game is a comeback for the Call of Duty franchise. I hope Sledgehammer proves me wrong.
However, when you call your upcoming game “the most historically accurate Call of Duty game ever”, you cannot be afraid to show the truth of World War 2. You cannot be afraid to show the swastika, you cannot be afraid to show the discrimination during the war, and you cannot be afraid to show the brutality of the war. In a quote by Maya Angelou, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”. Sledgehammer, despite my criticisms, I do truly hope your game is the best World War 2 game ever. I hope you show the hell these brave men and women had gone through to achieve victory in Japan and Berlin. I hope this becomes a precursor to new and better games in the future. Please don’t mess this up!
UPDATE: So a day has passed since I lasted posted this blog, and Michael Condrey has already gone and messed himself up. Recently, a fan of his by the name of Zach V made a tweet to Michael Condrey saying, “It was used as a medal in the 1930’s by the Nazi regime which by that time had the swastika as their symbol. Plus previous COD’s had them.” This in reference to Sledgehammer’s removal of the Swastika in Call of Duty WW2. Michael Condrey replies with, “This reads to me as ‘I want a more racist and hateful symbol that helps me better associate with mass murder.’ Is that your position, Zack?”
This is completely immature on Michael Condrey’s side. The fact that he would respond to a fan of his that way is just absurd. Zach even replied to him saying, “I respect you Mr. Condrey, I love your games and hyped for WWII. I’m far from racist. I just really enjoy my history and COD. Nothing but respect.” Wow, Condrey, way to respect a man who respects you. However, it doesn’t stop there.
In another tweet by LVNS to Michael Condrey, he asked this, ” just please don’t black female Germans or even any blacks and females please don’t it just ruins the feel of the game”. How does Condrey respond? With more of his ignorance, “Your bio says that you are a young & aspiring YTer so view this as coaching: Be a citizen of the world, my man. Be inclusive & welcoming.” Woof.
If you wish to hear more on this topic, go ahead check out Eight Thoughts’ recent video on it. He does a ton of videos on Call of Duty, both critical and positive, and he has a fun time doing it, check him out. Also the One Angry Gamer has another article about this as well, check it out. This news needs to get out there. It happened on July 20, and it’s only now getting attention.
- Cheong, Ian Miles. “Developers of ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ Scrub Swastika From ‘Historically Authentic’ Game.” Heat Street. Heat Street, 14 June 2017. Web. 21 July 2017. <https://heatst.com/gaming/developers-of-call-of-duty-wwii-scrub-swastika-from-historically-authentic-game/>.\
- Hall, Charlie. “Call of Duty: World War II Multiplayer Lets You Fight as Anyone, History Be Damned.” Polygon. Polygon, 14 June 2017. Web. 21 July 2017. <https://www.polygon.com/e3/2017/6/14/15798864/call-of-duty-world-war-ii-black-female-german-soldier>.