The Violence in “CoD: World at War”

By Deane Barker on February 14, 2009

Play That Blasts Enemies but Pricks Consciences: Interesting comments about the level and tone of violence in the latest “Call of Duty” installment.

The first time I sneaked up to the window of a Japanese bunker, shoved in the nozzle of my flamethrower, squeezed the ignition and heard the terrified screaming of the men burning alive inside, I didn’t feel especially heroic. And I don’t think I was meant to.

[…] A later mission, “Eviction,” set in Berlin, opens with a German soldier on his knees pleading for his life. The Soviets consider sparing him until one pre-emptively steps forward and puts a bullet in the Nazi’s brain.

“This is not war,” another soldier says. “This is murder.”

His comrade replies: “This is how you end a war.”

My son has played this, and it’s brutal. It doesn’t flinch for an instant. At the same time, it doesn’t glamorize. It’s as dirty, realistic, and sobering as a video game is likely to get.