On Nov. 9, 2010, just in time for the holiday sales season, Activision released “Call of Duty; Black Ops.” The M-rated video game, set in Cuba, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam, is a hyper-realistic violent Cold War role-playing game in which the player joins the Bay of Pigs invasion and then carves bloody mayhem through Cuba with the mission to assassinate a young Fidel Castro.
The Cuban government has strongly criticized the game stating, “This new video game is doubly perverse. On the one hand, it glorifies the illegal assassination attempts the United States government planned against the Cuban leader … and on the other, it stimulates sociopathic attitudes in North American children and adolescents.”
Industry review site, g4tv.com, wrote “…I think Cuba’s reaction is understandable. Imagine how incensed Americans would be if a game came out that featured the assignation of a respected leader? How would we like it if there was a “murder-Reagan” level in a widely available game?”
Atlantic magazine reviewer, Sam Machkovech, wrote of the advertising for the game, “Activision’s ad, on the other hand, comes closer to selling real death than any video game possibly could. I’m not buying it.”
And our children shouldn’t either. This video game is so violent that it has been censored in Germany and Japan. The game went on sale on Nov. 9 in 4,400 nationwide. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and dozens of other retailers in your community are today dealing this pornography to the children in your community. It is part of the whole culture of US militarism with the entertainment industry’s role being to desensitize us to violence. Our children are the most vulnerable.
Take action now to derail the industry projection that Call to Duty: Black Ops will be the biggest video game seller of the holiday season. Tell the retailers in your community that the game is a violation of your community’s values and you demand that they take it off their shelves.
What you can do:
- Send the letter below (or your own text) to your local retailers.
- Pass out this flier at the entrances of stores that sell the game.
- Ask for a meeting with the store manager by yourself or for your group.
- Ask your city council to declare the game a violation under local pornography laws
- Get your church, civic organization, PTA or club to pass a resolution and send it to the store manager and corporate headquarters.
- Think up your own creative direct action
Dear Store Manager/Public Relations Executive (insert names if known)
I/we are writing to demand that you remove from your shelves and do not in the future sell the violent video game, Call of Duty: Black Ops. This M-Rated game has as part of its “play” the assassination of a live world leader, Fidel Castro. If someone suggested such a scenario involving the President of the United States, that person would be arrested and prosecuted. Assassination of a world leader is an internationally recognized crime. The game has been censored in Germany and Japan due to this and it’s prurient violence. While I/we do not advocate censorship of speech, this game goes well beyond the boundaries of protected speech. Atlantic Magazine reviewer, Sam Machkovech, wrote of the advertising for the game, “Activision’s ad…comes closer to selling real death than any video game possibly could. I’m not buying it.”
This video game violates community standards and could be considered a form of pornography to which local laws apply. I/we demand that you immediately cease selling this product. My future shopping decisions will be based on your response to this issue.