Kobe Bryant in ‘The Call of Duty’ Ad: What Is the Right Thing To Do?

Seem familiar? It should. It’s the new Call of Duty: Black Ops by Activision and TreyArch.

After Infinity Ward got knocked off the development of the new C.O.D. franchise, TreyArch hauled ass to prove that they can still deliver an award-winning title.

It’s no surprise that they spent a pretty penny on marketing; by getting Kobe Bryant to appear in their new commercial, along with Jimmy Kimmel.

My initial reaction was…cool. I thought it was a clever commercial, considering I’m a film major myself. It shows everyday people, with their everyday work-hats on and wielding guns in an intense war-zone, to imply that people of all age, sex, race and status will be playing Call of Duty. No harm in that, right?

Well, for one, Bomani Jones and Skip Bayless from ESPN disagree. So do Matt Moore of CBSSports, Mark Medina of L.A. Times, and many more who will gladly jump on the bandwagon.

“It’s OK for [Bryant], though, because he’s never had to worry about going home to the ghetto. That ain’t his world.” – Walker

In an article by Tim Keown of ESPN, he interviews a youth football coach, Todd Walker, who also happens to be fighting the gun and violence culture. Todd is shocked by Bryant’s appearance in the new Call of Duty TV spot.

Part of it has to do with the fact that one of his players was shot in the head at a friend’s house. Tragic? Without a doubt. But are violent video games the cause for senseless violence? Well, I think we’re jumping the gun here.

Sure, it’s not exactly promoting world peace. With games like Grand Theft Auto programming hidden “missions” like Hot Coffee, where the player engages in sex with a prostitute, I can’t exactly defend the path that the video game industry has embarked on.

Recently, there was even a game released in Japan, where it encourag...

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