BCM215 Contextual Blog – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

BCM215 Contextual Blog – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Introduction

If there is a single video game genre that has become the most popular worldwide amongst teens and adults it has to be the First-person shooter (Fsp). First-person shooter games are becoming the fastest-growing segment of the entertainment industry accumulating over 11% of overall sales (Weber et al. 2009, p.1017). What draws players to these types of games is that there is no on-screen avatar, you are the eyes and the controller is the weapon. First-person shooter games are designed to engage players in virtual activities that incorporate sound and vision to closely create a sense of being (Weber et al. 2009, p.1017).

Ideation & Concept

Call of duty 4: modern warfare is a 2007 first-person shooter video game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activism. The game breaks away from the typical WWII setting of previous entries and is instead set in modern times. Its main focus is to create emphasis on the ideas of war, spectacle and action in a Hollywood version of military conflicts (Jensen 2017).

For my digital artefact, I have drawn on the ideals of first-person shooter games and have been specifically looking into Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare franchise. I have expanded upon my pitch, to build a three-part analytical framework to help analyse the overall research question of “whether Call of Duty 4: modern warfare is an accurate depiction of a modern war situation”. My analytical framework looks into the concepts of realism, violence and affects to compare and contrast these aspects within the game.

Made on Canva

My original Digital Artefact was to construct three blog posts, where I would utilize academic sources, gameplay and my own personal experiences to talk about the concepts from my analytical framework. Each blog would be completely different and focus on how accurate the game is to war and how we can look at it through a concept from the analytical framework. These blog posts would be uploaded to my personal university website for others within the gaming community to view and leave feedback on.

Background Research

C Mead – War Play Video games and the future of armed conflict

  • Mead looks at games from the perspective of the US army and how 9/11 has impacted the way games are created now
  • Analyses how the military uses video game technology to train soldiers
  • Explains how the military fuels the adoption of games as learning tools
  • This book was fundamental to my research and analysis of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as it gives a perspective as how the military can influence how video games are created

C Moore – Invigorating Play: The Role of affect in online multiplayer FPS games

  • Moore looks into how affect plays an important role in the multiplayer military first person shooter genre
  • His focus is on the broader perception of these games and what it means to play them
  • The research from this journal article was useful in the affect concept in my analytical framework, it has helped in understanding how affect plays a role in military shooter games.

M Payne – Marketing Military Realism Selling the Gameplay Modality of Ludic War

  • This chapter of Paynes book investigates the fine line that video game marketers tread when selling ludic war.
  • The main focus is on the paratext Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is understood within the market.
  • The research from the chapter of a book was used when analysing realism in video games, it helped to understand the struggles marketers have when trying to sell military first person shooter games

Limitations

Throughout conducting research into Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare I have had various limitations which have affected my Digital Artefact.

Lack of time due to Sydney Lockdown – As shown through my pitch blog and video I had originally decided to create three blog posts talking about the various concepts within my analytical framework. Due to lack of time and becoming busy during Sydney Lockdown I had to reduce the number of blog posts from three to two blog posts. This has helped in being able to put all of my focus into researching and creating a strong analysis for only two blog posts.

Little to no feedback- The response to my Digital Artefact has been minimal. I realise now after posting my blogs that a different platform would have helped with gaining interaction. Platforms such as Twitch (for streaming) or Tiktok (Short Videos) could have provided me with an audience who is interested in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. While I haven’t been able to gain feedback from an outside audience, I was able to gain feedback through the Pitch and Beta assignments which have given me a form of direction throughout my analysis.

Feedback

Even though I haven’t been able to gain as much feedback on my digital artefact blog posts. I have been able to gain feedback from peers in the Pitch and Beta assessments. The first piece of feedback I had been given was to look further into the MIC and MEC, while I did research into these concepts I did not include them within my Digital Artefact as I already had a solid idea and analytical framework. The second piece of feedback I received was in relation to the types of academic sources I have used within my research. Many of my peers have suggested that in order to create well-rounded research I should look further into popular sources such as news articles, blog posts, videos etc. I have implemented this within my research by finding sources that are more opinion-based and also using other blog posts to give me ideas on the direction in which I should take my blog posts.

Final Conclusions

My final conclusion to answer my research question on whether Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is an accurate depiction of war. From academic sources to gameplay I have found Call of Duty to be accurate in some aspects such as weaponry but in violence and graphics, it is not. How accurate a game is depends on the individual playing it. Most game designers and publishers are trying to be more accurate within their game but it is impossible to get every minor detail. I think more research into this topic of depictions of war in other military-style video games will result in a broader outlook.

References:

Jensen, K 2017, ‘The complete history of first-person shooters’, PC Mag, weblog post, 11 October, viewed 28 October 2021, <https://www.pcmag.com/news/the-complete-history-of-first-person-shooters&gt;

Mead, C 2013, War Play Video games and the future of armed conflict, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, New York

Moore, C 2012, ‘Invigorating play: the role of affect in online multiplayer fps games’, in Guns, Grenades, and grunts: first-person shooter games, Continuum, New York, pp.341-364

Payne, M 2016, Playing War: Military video games after 9/11, New York University Press, New York

Weber, R, Behr, K, Tamborini, R, Ritterfield, U & Mathiak, K 2009, ‘ What do we really know about first-person-shooter games? An event-related, high-resolution content analysis’, Journal of computer-mediated communication, vol.14, pp.1016-1037

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