War vet scorns Modern Warfare 3 advertising

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The jarring visage of a slimmer Jonah Hill aside, I enjoyed “the Vet and the n00b” series of live action adverts for Modern Warfare 3 – a light-hearted take on the very serious subject of war. A former US Army Special Operations Command paratrooper, D.B. Grady, doesn’t agree – calling the advert crass and insensitive.

“The advertisement trivializes combat and sanitizes war,” he said in an article on The Atlantic. “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.’”

And then, starting to sound a little whiny and not at all like a tough-skinned, combat-hardened Afghanistan vet that he is, he asked:

“As Afghanistan intensifies and we assess the mental and physical damage to veterans of Iraq, is now really the time to sell the country on how much fun the whole enterprise is?” “Here I point to the giddy howls of one supposed soldier in the commercial as he fires a grenade launcher at some off-screen combatant. War is great, see? It’s like a gritty Disneyland.”

While it’s obviously not cool to glamorise war – it is after all, a very real thing that destroys lives – I think anybody with half a brain is able to distinguish fantasy from reality, and know that war is hell. Besides, it’s not as if Call of Duty or other similar shooters make the military more glamorous than real-life recruitment propaganda.

Last Updated: January 4, 2012

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