Skip to comments.Rabbi: Playing 'Call Of Duty' Videogame Helped Me Conquer My Fear Of Nazis
Posted on 03/10/2009 10:20:01 AM PDT by AreaMan
Typically, we only hear clergy talk about violent videogames in a negative way.
But Brooklyn Rabbi Micah Kelber has an op-ed in Jewish media outlet The Forward this weekend, in which he describes, at length and with a lot of subtlety, how Activision-produced (ATVI) World War II-themed videogame 'Call of Duty: World At War' helped him confront his life-long fear of Nazi persecution.
The whole thing is worth reading, but a taste of what the Rabbi has to say:
As a Jew, being involved in virtually ending World War II allows you to experience the closest thing possible to killing the sense of victimhood created by the Holocaust. And you do it without actually hurting any real people. In fact, its so satisfying that when you get to shoot down the golden eagle on the Reichstag, while sniping headshots at flame-throwing Nazis, you simply dont want the war to end...
The surprising benefit of the game was that throughout my entire life, since sneaking into the synagogue library with David Yagobian and paging through a book of Nazi medical experiments, I have had nightmares about Nazis. Jewish summer camp didnt help. In games like Call of Duty, you get unlimited lives; you keep playing the game until you are victorious. Its a safe place. When your character dies, you may have to go back to a checkpoint, but this is simply inconvenient, never tragic or final. You will always have another chance to kill your demons.
Hurting Waffen-SS soldiers is somehow bad?
However, the Japanese now scare the hell out of him.
It makes no sense.
I dunno, I’ve been playing Call of Duty, Medal of Honour etc. for years now and I’m still scared sh*tless of Nazis.
No, but there aren't too many of them in Brooklyn, thank goodness.
>Hurting Waffen-SS soldiers is somehow bad?
People are people, they have inherent human-rights. Not every soldier thought what they were doing was right.
I hate Illinois Nazis.
Note: In COD:WAW, the allies play as Russians.
“I dunno, Ive been playing Call of Duty, Medal of Honour etc. for years now and Im still scared sh*tless of Nazis.”
Rest assured, many an SS trooper was sent to hell, courtesy of the Canadian Army.
The most chilling moment was in one of the games (help me, gamers) where you are touring Pearl Harbor base in a jeep with your CO right before the attack. Guys tossing a baseball, pretty nurses sitting on benches, and YOU...you know that any minute, Jap zeros are coming in over the horizon to blow it all away forever. And like a old Twilight Zone, you can't make a move to warn anybody. Shivver.
This makes a nice anecdote to support my contention (also backed up by crime statistics) that violent video games offer catharsis, rather than incitement to violence.
Well, if the Rabbi’s experience is to be accepted then does playing the GTA franchise make you less afraid of the law?
I know a couple of dozen rounds of Counter-Strike: Source usually cures my bloodlust!
I haven’t played it, but a search shows it is probably Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault.
people may be born with inherent human rights. however, some people, thru the course of their existence, forfeit those rights. imho.
*shudder* don’t get me started on Canadians *shudder*
It doesn't sound shallow or silly. A few years ago, I showed that online WarBirds flight sim to my uncle and father-in-law. I just thought they'd like to see the graphics, but they both ended up coaching me through mission after mission (my uncle flew P-47s in Europe and my father-in-law was a Navy patrol bomber crewman, qualified as a pilot). Instructions that were drilled into them during flight training just poured forth, as though they'd just heard the lecture yesterday. I think they were both shocked by the level of realism.
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