Freudian Slips: Call of Duty

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

August 11, 2005

Call of Duty

Screenshot of Joe killing his friend Mark with a Thompson submachine gun.

Time to confess to an addiction. I am hooked on Call of Duty, a simulated virtual reality multi-player on-line war game. It is a first person shooter game and the vast weaponry is authentic to the World War II period. I kill with pistols, German lugers, FG42's, anti-tank guns, grenades, panzers, Bren machine guns, and scoped sniper rifles. I will even swing my elbows to kill an opponent when the weapon has been shot out of my hand. These are my killing fields. It is full of gratuitous violence and gore bar none.

I would never survive in war and yet therein undelies my real attraction to the game. To die without consequence. Plain and simple. I get goose bumps walking the battlefields because the action is chillingly real. You can hear crickets chirp at night, the roar of planes flying overhead, the boots of soldiers transversing staircases, the tink tink tink of thrown grenades. My mind shoots endorphins while I play. My pulse and heart rate go up before a kill or a great escape. I have become quite an assassin for my age. War is what is wrong with this world yet I catapult myself into the mayhem a few times a week for fun. I have been known to share my bad habits with others and Call of Duty is no exception. I have hooked my friends and brothers to the blood sport. Our childish play is often aided by phone headsets to enable ordering our squad to flank right on command.

I will sacrifice sleep for a chance to play this game. I have withheld bodily functions just not to leave my seat to toilet. I have skipped meals. The longest I have ever played in one sitting lasted seven hours. I have played morning, noon, and night. I confess to playing on more than one Christmas Eve and sadly after attending a funeral. People all around the world play Call of Duty. The mayhem never stops thanks to international time changes and the networking of millions of personal computers. People take this game so seriously they recruit the best soldiers to band together to form fighting clans. It is a subculture of computer geeks, most of whom are half my age. I realize people are so addicted to on-line gaming they are shirking school and work and not paying their rent and mortgages. This is no joke. It is a betting parlor without chips. Computer gaming is a drug that should be added to the addiction list in high school health classes.
American soldiers are dying in Iraq while I hoist a toy rifle with pageantry. I am ashamed but I cannot get away from it. I tried once. The longest I stayed away was three months. The reason for the moratorium - I built a better war room, a two station oak computer desk from scratch. Then I bought new computers with better graphic cards and two huge 17 inch high resolution monitors. A soldier can never leave a battlefield. I left the battlefield only long enough to build a desk. With the war room complete, I returned to playing Call of Duty with reckless abandon. Now I understand deer hunters building deer stands. It is a symbol of my weakness to willingly die over and over again in make believe battle but it is my Achillis heel. It is insane and I haven't been able to help myself. War games. Those are two words that should never be brought together side by side. Call of Duty The Sequel is being released this Fall. God help us all.

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Blogger Rob Seifert said...

I have, thus far, successfully avoided COD though I have played the demos and they are exquisite. The way I avoided it was by becoming addicted to Half-Life 2's Counterstrike Source which, like COD, is incredibly lifelike and deeply satisfying in a sick uncomfortable sort of way. I too would not make a good soldier in real life but give me a computer and watch me work. It causes me to stop and ponder a book by the name of "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. If you haven't read it, check it out. There may be hope for us geeks yet! ;-)


2:04 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

As a reader of your blog, I gathered that you are well read. I had hoped you would come up with the right self-help book for me. thank you.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous et said...

Joe, I can understand you getting addicted to the game, but did you have to involve your brothers? Oh, the shame of it all!

9:02 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

i'm leaning towards faulty DNA.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous et said...

Joe,it must be on the paternal side of the family. No DNA lika dat on this side.

9:37 PM  
Blogger lilly05 said...

Well, speaking from the OTHER SIDE of this particular addiction. I can honestly say that on more than one occasion, if RCS didn't put out I would have broken his keyboard over his head in frustration!! Hope this perspective helps! :0)

12:26 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

that's when the computer becomes terminal.

12:29 AM  

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