Friday, November 11, 2011

Call of Duty

Earlier this week people lined up hours in advance of store openings to get the latest version of one of the most popular video games ever, Call of Duty.

I have never been a video game person, which is an indication of my age, but I know that this is a huge industry. In fact the release of a new video game or its latest version can be bigger than a blockbuster movie. We're talking about billions of dollars here. The cost of developing them can exceed a Hollywood movie and the failure of a single game can send a company into bankruptcy.

It had not occurred to me that war games including Call of Duty:Modern Warfare 3 are intentionally released in the week leading up to Remembrance Day to draught in behind the patriotism many people feel at this time of year. There are veterans' organizations which have protested this trend, feeling it is disrespectful to in effect use the sacrifices of military personnel to promote these games.

In contrast, last week our tween youth group spent time with one of our two remaining WWII veterans. Rae Abernathy is a remarkable elder statesman in our congregation, a person our children and youth can look up to regardless of his war service. I was pleased to hear that Laura, our child and youth worker, arranged this. Rae was also our representative veteran in last Sunday's service. He is always supportive of the peace aspect of that worship service. We don't post photos of our children for security reasons but there is a great shot of Rae bedecked with medals in the midst of a dozen young people on our bulletin board.

What are your feelings about this on Remembrance Day? What will happen in the schools where some of you teach? Will you be attending a Remembrance ceremony somewhere? One thing for sure: war is not a game. I am grateful for those in the past and present who answered the true call of duty.


IanD said...

Just finished setting up the P.A. system for ours. The kids at my school really understand the significance of today, and they're very respectful and attentive during our Remembrance Day assembly.

At my former school, Mr. Abertnethy was always a guest speaker. Year after year he kept the kids interested and enthralled. We're lucky to have him!

Nancy said...

We will have an assembly and we will be showing a video "Highway of Heroes", making it a little more real for our students, since they live on this route, and many have stood on the bridges of the 401. We have a student whose father is in Afghanistan, so this day is very meaningful for the family. Our students "get it". Our choir has been invited to take part in the service in Brooklin this afternoon.

johnny said...

I attended a Remembrance service that was held out of town earlier in the week. I was happy to hear the applause for the veterans there, and happy to hear it for the veterans here in Bowmanville this morning. They are true heroes.

Laura said...

I heard an interesting documentary today about today's kids "getting" Remembrance Day moreso than those of a few decades ago because of Canada's military involvement in recent years. I imagine media access contributes also.
We have been talking about heroes in Junior Young People this fall and In an age of 24/7 media access, video games included, real life heroes are golden. Thanks,Rae.