Atlantic columnist and U.S. war veteran D.B. Grady has called out Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's marketing strategy - particularly that of 'The Vet and the N00b' - as one that " trivializes and sanitizes war to an extreme, setting a new low".
"The advertisement trivializes combat and sanitizes war," said Grady in an article entitled 'The Hideous Marketing of Modern Warfare 3'. "If this were September 10, 2001, maybe it wouldn't be quite so bad."
Grady posited that, in the wake of a decade long battle in the Middle East, the offhand nature of the advertisement seems a little crass.
"Those who are too young to remember Vietnam might indulge in combat fantasies of resting heart rates while rocket-propelled grenades whiz by, and of flinty glares while emptying a magazine into the enemy. But after ten years of constant war, of thousands of amputees and flag-draped coffins, of hundreds of grief-stricken communities, did nobody involved in this commercial raise a hand and say, 'You know, this is probably a little crass. Maybe we could just show footage from the game'."
Grady also suggested that the escalation of conflict in Afghanistan at present makes the commercial a poorly timed one.
"This is not an argument against so-called shooter video games or depictions of war in popular culture," Grady said. "However, as Afghanistan intensifies and we assess the mental and physical damage to veterans of Iraq, is now really the time to sell the country on how much fun the whole enterprise is? (Here I point to the giddy howls of one supposed soldier in the commercial as he fires a grenade launcher at some off-screen combatant. War is great, see? It's like a gritty Disneyland.)"