How anybody who has played or watched somebody else play Call of Duty can remain ambivalent concerning these depictions of carnage is beyond me. The player is the triggerman who kills hundreds of imaginary people on the way to winning the game. By the time a player is good enough to finish the game, hundreds of thousands of imaginary people have been killed by their hand, of finger as it were. Most people manage to separate fantasy from reality, but not without some cost. It is impossible to graphically and mindlessly gun down hundreds of thousands of people without de-humanizing real people to some degree.
I worked with a partner addicted to Call of Duty. In Providence, one of the two person crew is supposedly "in charge." That person has been me for the last ten or so years, and I have had some great partners over that time. Something just wasn't right with one of them, and I never figured it out until years after I "shacked" him (shacked is the sports equivalent to being traded mid season.)
It was only after he had broken the addiction that he told me why he had been missing calls, showing up late, having temper outbursts with patients, blowing streets and sleeping through most of our calls. The "game" had him hooked, it was all he saw, all he thought about, all he wanted to do. A network of players were in his web, and hour after hour he played the game, rushing through his job to get to his fantasy.
That a grown man can be so enamored with a game is testament to the addictive hold these things have on a person. Images of bloodshed and mayhem do not need to fill the minds of people. A life with purpose is far more satisfying than one spent in a world created for profit that promotes murder, violence and power. He very nearly lost his job over a video game. Imagine the power these games hold over people who have yet to grow up.
A boy from Newton, Connecticut has decide to do something about the problem. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/newtown-boy-12-renounces-violent-video-games-article-1.1225983 While I salute him for his efforts, I already see people's horror over the murder of twenty-six people by an allegedly mentally ill person who spent too much time killing imaginary people beginning to wane. I mentioned getting rid of those kind of games to somebody I know who has a young son. The notion was quickly dismissed, the game defended and even glorified as a means for communication between father and son.
There are some mighty big players profiting greatly from the production, distribution and sales of these games. As long as there is money to be made, the games will go on. All I can do is continue to express my opinions concerning them, and hope that somebody listens.