Call of Duty

Oh, the Games We'll Play!

When I used to play dodgeball, I always found that my best games came after I'd ripped a few rounds of Armored Core for PlayStation 2. If you've ever played either, the similarity is obvious. In both, you're primarily facing your opponent with nothing really in between. Shots are lobbed from shoulder level, and there is lots of sideways shuffling or jumping to avoid being hit. The only difference is that one takes place in a gym and is co-ed while the other takes place in your living room and involves controlling giant robots. Now that I'm playing soccer, the guys on my team are urging me to start playing FIFA 10. "It'll help you understand the game better," they said, and they're probably right. They are all huge soccer fans, and understand the ins and outs of the strategy. I just like to run, and I never watch professional soccer games.

In related news, there is an actual race car league that pulls its members from the top ranks of Gran Turismo players (Gran Turismo being probably the best, most realistic racing game ever). I'm willing to bet that within the next five years, there will be at least one professional race car driver that got his start in one of these Gran Turismo contests (and I'm also willing to bet that within 10 years a computer-driven car will be able to best the top human driver).

A few months ago, I read a great article in Esquire about the unmanned planes operated by the American military. Shortly after reading the article about the guys that piloted these planes flying over Iraq and Afghanistan from an air-conditioned room in the States, I started playing Modern Warfare: Call of Duty 2. There are scenes in that game where you are able to call in missile strikes from these drones, and your ability to control them is almost exactly what is described in the Esquire article.

While some might see the military applications as a negative impact, I'm urging you to look past that and see that video games will play an increasingly large role in our lives. Chances are, champion sports teams are going to spend part of their time reviewing strategy using an interactive system like games. People of my generation will probably have major surgery done on them by a doctor that has been trained primarily by video games.


PS: My roommates, neither of whom really likes games, said they wished there was a game where you just sit and have coffee with your friends. "Call of Do Tea" was the name they eventually came up with.