Times change. Opinions change, people change… in the past, I’ve been a bit vocal about how I feel about Activision and their business practices. I don’t mind admitting that I’ve calmed down a bit now and I’m less bothered – I still think they charge a bit too much for their games and DLC etc… but they do know their shit, and the Call of Duty franchise is a good franchise that’s done well for itself. I was just talking to someone about the first game, how breathtaking it was and how it completely surpassed the current top-dog – Medal of Honor… Infinity Ward and Activision deserve credit for that, at least. Saying that, I probably still won’t end up buying Modern Warfare 3 – not because I’m boycotting now, but because I’m just not that inspired to play it anymore. I’ve had Black Ops sitting in my pile of shame for months, and I still haven’t touched it. In all honesty, I prefer the online atmosphere of Bad Company 2, and now Battlefield 3, but that’s just me.

Anyway – the main point of today’s post is this wonderful story from fellow writer (and GMA Rising Star Award Winner) Martin Gaston. He really needs to stop being so awesome, as I’m never going to surpass him at this rate.

In his post, Martin points out how Call of Duty changed a life. Ed found comfort and a safe haven from the bullies in his school in the franchise, and even made some friends. I was just having a conversation with someone last night on this subject, and suffice to say she was a bit sceptical about the whole making friends online thing, but this is what I’m talking about. Sure, an ‘online life’ shouldn’t completely supplant an offline life, but just because you talk to someone over the internet does not in any way devalue the significance of the friendship. My ex had trouble understanding why I would sometimes stay up late just so I could help someone with something who happened to live in America. I considered them friends (not close friends, but you know what I meant), and I would give any friend any help they needed. Many people still don’t get that, and it’s a shame.

I’m glad Ed found solace in Call of Duty – growing up I was bullied a bit as well, so I know that despair, and like Martin said I can talk about how I disapprove of Activison or whatever else, but I must never lose site of the positives. Whilst I honestly prefer Battlefield‘s approach to online multiplayer, I do recognise that Call of Duty does what it does very well. Call of Duty games are usually more polished on a technical level at launch, their highly competitive solo-player is done very well – no one does Deathmatch like COD… these are all things that deserve credit, so credit they shall have.

Thanks Martin, for always putting things in perspective.

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