Why I Play Call of Duty… Still
I have been on the Call of Duty bandwagon since Modern Warfare 2. Believe it or not, I was once a member of the other camp. When Call of Duty 4 released in November 2007, a number of my good friends immediately bought it and proceeded to let it consume their lives for the better part of six months. These guys were as serious about COD as most of us are about Skyrim… they would have taken a bullet for that game… in game of course.
Logically enough, it soon became a big part of my time spent with my friends. I would stare for hours, through the smoke, at the screen, subconsciously picking up on subtle COD nuances. And when I say “subtle nuances” I mean learning how to tube a guy in the face from across the map. Still, I couldn’t understand the appeal in sitting hours on end, repeatedly killing people online… all day.
Eventually, the COD buzz kind of died out around my circle of friends and we all moved on to other things; mainly other games. Then, it happened. 2009 marked the year I officially caught the Call Of Duty bug. Normally when I say Call of Duty, I’m referring to the newest edition (just so there’s no confusion). It came on slow; I picked it up at someone’s house one day and it just felt right. Anyone’s who’s ever played COD online knows that when you start, you die… like, a lot. It still happens to the best of us sometimes. It took me a while to get used to it; how to run and gun, using the sights instead of spraying a general direction with lead and how to avoid those pesky snipers. Had I not been so driven to be better than my friends, all of my in-game deaths would have been in vain.
This scenario occurred for a while, and like any great story, one day something happened. I fired up a game and killed someone, first blood, then I killed another… and another. I was on fire. Calling in kill streaks left and right and sideways even. I was amazed; actually, to be quite honest, I wasn’t anything except in the zone. Nothing else mattered for those ten to fifteen minutes except the battlefield and that gets up to the point of this article. Why I play Call of Duty… Still.
The thing that keeps me coming back to COD is “the zone”. That mystical place where the real world and digital world collide in streams of zeros and ones. I’ve heard it described as simply “being really good” or as a good buddy of mine put it “…dude… I think I’ve become one with the game” which was followed by generous portion of belly laughs all round. It’s almost like the force of gaming, and don’t get me wrong, it isn’t exclusively a COD thing. Anyone who’s ever stayed up late trying to beat that one damn train level that seems impossible… sorry, most of you out there have probably experienced “the zone” in some game or another. Time slows down, your mind and fingers work quicker and your eyes seem to have some super-human ability to detect even the slightest motion. It’s where gaming meets godliness and boy is it fine.
Another issue I feel I need to address are all the COD haters out there. You’ll hear things like; “Wasn’t as good as Modern Warfare”; “It’s basically the same game just repackaged”; “Call of Duty is gay”. To these dissidents I say: then don’t play the fraking game! Sure, I know that as long as there are things to talk negatively about there will always be people doing just that. Personally, I don’t care what people have to say about the video games I buy. I play them because they are fun… that’s it, and in a perfect world that should be the reason we all play games.