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Why Call Of Duty Is Like Pro Wrestling…

A few days ago I posted a blog wondering about the fate and future of Call of Duty and Battlefield since we haven't heard a lot of feedback, good or bad, about the two games. In that blog, I mentioned I was fans of both games and had recently ordered Call of Duty: Ghost. Sure, it's been months since its release, but I wanted to experience it first hand and see what I thought of it since I hadn't really heard too much about it. I've played the single player mode the past few days and tonight I played the multiplayer mode for the first time.

While I was playing the game, I couldn't help but wonder why people are so critical of the game. I also came to the realization the game is a lot like pro wrestling - WWE, not Olympic wrestling or the kind you probably watched in high school. No, we're talking Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage.

Before I make the comparison, please allow me to share a quick story that sort of ruined wrestling for me. When I was a wee lad, my dad was in the Army and managed some of the recreational events that happened on Post. He would arrange these weekend events to entertain the troops, so he often brought my brother and me along. It was something cool for us to see and do, and it kept him from having to leave us with a baby sitter. I can remember seeing the original Harlem Globetrotters and various other performances. Perhaps the most popular were the wrestling events. These seemed to occur every few weeks and I went to a number of them. My favorite wrestler was named Bulldog Bob Brown.

So, on one particular weekend, after the event was over and my dad was locking up the field house where these sorts of events occurred, I remember I went with him to the men's locker room so he could, "pay the wrestlers" as he put it. When we entered the locker room, I saw something very disturbing. No, not naked men. What I saw was the good guy wrestlers talking and being nice to the bad guy wrestlers.  An hour earlier these guys were pummeling each other and using metal folding chairs to beat each other half to death...and now they're chatting like long lost friend. It was quite disturbing. I couldn't comprehend what was happening...

While I might not necessarily be a big fan of Call of Duty, there are thousands and thousands who are. That brings me to my first comparison between Call of Duty and Pro Wrestling - the crowds.

Crowds

As many people as there are that say they hate Call of Duty, there are countless others who embrace the game and are diehard fans. Sometimes I think they are every bit as energized as wrestling fans too. Fans of both are passionate and rally behind their brands despite what the general public thinks about them.

Sensationalism

Whether you think wrestling is absolutely real, obviously fake or somewhere in the middle - fans of the sport don't really seem to care. They watch the sensational battles in amazement while overlooking the truth behind the staged events that defy reality. They suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy the show and discuss the events after the fact as if they were real historical events. Playing Call of Duty is a lot like this. Clearly there is an element of sensationalism in every game, yet we never seem to care or question how unrealistic our actions are. If you've battled your way through any of the Call of Duty games, you've escaped death around every corner from some truly shocking events - satellites falling out of the sky; helicopter crashes, building collapses, bombings, shootings and millions of rounds flying overhead. The sensationalism in Call of Duty Ghost returns, and even though I've only briefly started playing the game, I've already survived a helicopter crash, a flash flood about to destroy an entire city and a skyscraper falling down around me. I parachuted out of that one, and I liked it.

Drama

I'm not a big fan (or expert) on wrestling, but it seems like a big part of the action and excitement is the drama between the competitors. There is so much trash talking, plotting and scheming, it's almost as entertaining to watch as the actual fights. The wrestlers get involved with it; the families and fellow wrestlers get involved with it; the announcers and promoters get involved with it. The villains antagonize the crowd to hate them while the hero always tugs at our heart strings because we think they're about to lose the fight. Just when we think they are about to lose though, they get that second wind...they get that look in their eye...and make their triumphant comeback. Yes, the drama before, during and after the fight definitely lends to the appeal of wrestling.

Call of Duty always has drama. There can't ever be a simple mission to patrol an area where nothing happens (who would want to play that) - the world always seems to be threatened and you're sent in to make things right. Villains? Yep, Call of Duty always has one. He always seems to antagonize you by killing somebody close to you or blowing up something important. There are plenty of stories of deceit, betrayal and power struggles in Call of Duty.

Follow Up

I always wondered why a wrestler who lost a match to another wrestler who cheated would turn around and fight them again. Or how come those wrestlers weren't disqualified by the board or sanctioning body. Or how someone who was thrown out of the ring onto their face can come back the next week ready to fight again. Ah, but I digress. We know there are going to be rematches, sequels and follow ups. And we know this is true of Call of Duty too. Every year, almost like clockwork.

So, I sort of feel like a wrestling fan. I don't care what people think or say about Call of Duty...I happen to enjoy it. And I don't care how exaggerated the action is, I enjoy it. If military shooters were modelled after real world military operations, you would spend about 90% of your time sitting around waiting for something to happen, 5% of your time actually doing something, and 5% of your time critiquing what you did and how you could do it better next time. And I even enjoy all of the drama they throw into the story. Ghost has some real doozies when it comes to the drama, with a father and two sons and who could forget Riley, your dog. I'm still expecting something bad to happen to the dog. It always does. And later this year when the next Call of Duty game releases, I might be like one of those crazed wrestling fans hooting and hollering and carrying on.

Snap into a Slim Jim, and play some Call of Duty.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Cheers.

 

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