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.
im smith0288 on PSN if anyone is willing to join me in nazi death
That, my friend, is what the law is for. If you are found to be a murderer by your peers, then your right to life is forfeit. (etc., True Justice.)
That's why I didn't say Wehrmacht soldier. I see a difference between the regular conscript soldiers on the one hand, and the politicized, fanatical "crack" untis on the other (acknowledging that the Waffen-SS also conscripted later in the war, and the Wehrmacht had it's share of crimes).
I would have no remorse eliminating SS soldiers, KGB agents, Al-Qaeda or Hamas terrorists, Saddam's Republican Guards, or the Ayatollahs Revolutionary Guards. They have forfeited their right of any empathy.
Ah, I understand you now. I think we were saying the same thing, but from different angles.
this was war. the rules change.
“World at War” was unbelievably intense. I can’t even imagine fighting like that.
Interesting note: a WWII vet grandfather of one my fellow PLs in the Strykers said he would’ve preferred to have fought where he did rather than fight in Iraq. He said that since the Germans were pros it was easy to predict how any particular engagement was gonna go down, but the hajis were unpredictable amateurs and that made them scarier. Personally, I appreciated what he said, but I disagree!
I’ve played all the COD’s. Some of the battles in Single Player were ridiculous in their stress level. I mostly stuck to playing multi-player.
COD:MW is a network nightmare. Everyone complains about the lag and I’m on a 3 meg DSL line.
I played COD4 single and multiplayer until my eyes practically bled. I can’t wait for the sequel! I’ve got it on X360, though, I’ve never played the PC version.
THAT is just TOOO cool.
I’ve flown in a B-17 with my dad and listened to people talk about their experiences and read books with first-person accounts, but actually getting guidance from your Uncle and Father in Law from their experience flying the aircraft the game was simulating...
I prefer COD3, and I must be a traitor because I usually prefer to be a German scout.
In fact, the Wehrmacht participated in war crimes (to a relatively limited extent, and mainly on the Eastern Front)as well as did German Police forces, or as they were called, “Order Police”. In a vid game, I’d feel no qualms at all shooting at ANY uniformed combatant who was fighting under the Nazi flag, in ANY capacity, for what that evil symbol represented and the demonic forces that depended on their bearing arms against the free world.
The Police was under one umbrella organisation with the SS anyway (headed by Himmler). The police was argueably more involved in mass murder and opression than the Waffen-SS, because the Police wasn't designed for a frontline combat role.
But I can understand when the point is made that the Wehrmacht regular was merely a conscript soldier. Not without reason the SS and Police were declared criminal organisations by the Allies, while the Wehrmacht was not.
Still I agree that during wartime there is no room for empathy with an enemy soldier (as long as he is armed).
COD 2 is the best multi-player version going. They ruined the subsequent versions making them way too cluttered and complicated.
Ive flown in a B-17 with my dad and listened to people talk about their experiences and read books with first-person accounts, but actually getting guidance from your Uncle and Father in Law from their experience flying the aircraft the game was simulating...
My thoughts exactly. Inconceivably cool.