Call of Duty Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops is the seventh video console game in the COD series and was made available to an extremely eager fan base on Tuesday 9 November, 2010. When we say eager, we aren’t being sloppy with our words – over 5.6 million copies of the game were snapped up by players within the first 24 hours of it hitting the stores. That gave Call of Duty: Black Ops the world record for the fastest selling video games title in history, but the game also made headlines for a couple of other reasons, both of them rather controversial.

The first reason why Call of Duty: Black Ops caused controversy was because the storyline, which revolves around Cold War cover-ups, includes one mission where players have to try and assassinate Fidel Castro, former president of Cuba. This obviously didn't go down well in Cuba even though the game itself is not on sale in that country, and many Cubans complained that the mission as one that glorifies assassination and serves as a negative influence on American youths.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that the content of a COD game has caused controversy. A previous COD game made headlines for a mission which allowed players to take on the role of a terrorist attacking an airport, and in the wake of 9/11 that kind of mission was sure to grab plenty of attention. There were even calls for the title to be banned, but to the relief of players those calls weren’t acted upon. The Fidel Castro mission in Call of Duty: Black Ops is quite different from the terrorist plot, but it still raised quite a few eyebrows and was openly criticised on the website of the Cuban government.

The other reason why Call of Duty: Black Ops caused controversy was because of the general nature of the game. Like its predecessors, COD: Black Ops is a first-person shooter which involves killing the enemy (or rather, lots of enemies), and modern video games technology means that the experience of playing the game is incredibly realistic – so much so that in the UK the game can only be purchased by players aged 18 or over. The controversy here is that even though the game is labelled “adults only” many people under the age of 18 will play it even if they aren’t old enough to buy it, and some have argued that exposure to such realistic violence can have a negative psychological impact on younger players.

This argument about the way in which video games might have a negative impact on “impressionable young players” is one that has been around for years, so it is no real surprise that it came up when COD: Black Ops was released. The same argument has been raised concerning the content of movies and even song lyrics, and in all cases it has never been resolved, and probably never will be. We therefore expect similar controversy to arise whenever the next installment of the COD franchise is released.

In the meantime, from a gaming perspective, Call of Duty: Black Ops is one of the finest first-person shooters released, and by COD standards that is quite an achievement. If you get the chance to play the game (and you are aged 18 or over) then it well worth checking out. And if you fancy having some COD fun in an online slots format, don’t forget to play the COD 4 slots game.