Game Overthinker: Fall of Duty

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He looks fatter then he sounds.

While I do agree with some of moviebob's thoughts, at times it's hard to tell if he's intentionally hamming it up, or if he's unaware of how silly he sounds. He is being ranty in this episode, the film tangent being a key offender of the whole ranty issue, and he is quite unnecessarily nostalgic, but he has several good points. Damned if they're stupid, damned if they're republican.

He should remove that annoying as all fuck Ivan fairy thing though.

DrVornoff:
I'm reminded of my grandmother pulling the, "Other kids are starving in Japan," routine.

Yeah, you know, I was kinda reminded of that too. I was going to post this image but I cant find it anywhere, but its basically a short strip which shows things can always get worse.

DrVornoff:
If you want me to get started on my various issues with infotainment, I hope you've got a lot of time because I could be here all day.

It seems that fundamentally we don't disagree, we're just not seeing it through the same lens.

Does seem like it. As for the blend of media and entertainment, I might actually go make a thread about it in the next few hours. I'm now curious as to what other people think about it, so if you do feel like rambling on about it, keep an eye open for that.

DrVornoff:
You said before that you didn't watch the full video. Bob went on to assert his interpretation that what we're seeing is gaming still having growing pains. Call of Duty is not a new idea. Film used to have the same sort of material. The name Howard Hawks comes to mind. But film doesn't make those sorts of movies anymore. They now make movies with more nuanced, intelligent perspectives on the reality of warfare and military life. Well... most of the time anyway. Gaming hasn't quite gotten past that phase yet. And this blatant cynicism on Activision's part isn't helping. In fact, it could be argued that they're making it worse by tainting public perception of the medium.

Well, as has been said, stuff like this certainly isn't helping, but its important to remember theres no invisible panel of judges reviewing every step the medium makes. (Actually there is, but the members of the panel that actually have the power to do something tend to like the whole America fuck yeah thing, so no worries.) Personally I don't really see gaming as one medium where everything is related to everything else, and gamers as some union that needs to stick together lest society eats us. Eventually, gaming will reach the point where its just another part of a wide panel of entertainment, along with reading, watching and listening, for better or for worse. No amount of dodgy ad campaigns will halt that development completely.

Just how good a thing that is is a topic for the thread I was talking about I guess, so yeah. Once again, sorry for being such a dick for the majority of this thread, I need to stop venting here when I get out on the wrong side of bed.

nyttyn:
He looks fatter then he sounds.

Probably the biggest compliment MovieBob has received in this entire thread, haha.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Personally I don't really see gaming as one medium where everything is related to everything else, and gamers as some union that needs to stick together lest society eats us. Eventually, gaming will reach the point where its just another part of a wide panel of entertainment, along with reading, watching and listening, for better or for worse.

I agree and disagree. It's hard to deny that gaming has a culture associated with it, or at least its various genres. It's much the same way that comics have a culture or the horror genre has a culture. Even if the public is only peripherally aware of these things, they still have a perception of it that can help or hinder the culture. I'm a horror hound myself and it kills me to see the myriad ways that the genre remains ghettoized even by its own devotees.

No amount of dodgy ad campaigns will halt that development completely.

No, but why make things more difficult unnecessarily?

Once again, sorry for being such a dick for the majority of this thread, I need to stop venting here when I get out on the wrong side of bed.

Water under the bridge.

Frostbite3789:

JohnDoey:
Even if you don't like Cod it's unfair to basically say it's an "America are win" type thing the games have avoided displaying any real opinion on war or if some countries are right or wrong in their actions they display an event and you control characters in the event.

This is so evenhanded, right? Totally not "America are win" at all or anything like that.

/sarcasm

But that's just one scene, and from the only CoD that genuinely went down the "Mericuh fuck yeah" route.
An American general betraying the good guys and the Americans getting massacredhardly fit that description.

DrVornoff:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Personally I don't really see gaming as one medium where everything is related to everything else, and gamers as some union that needs to stick together lest society eats us. Eventually, gaming will reach the point where its just another part of a wide panel of entertainment, along with reading, watching and listening, for better or for worse.

I agree and disagree. It's hard to deny that gaming has a culture associated with it, or at least its various genres. It's much the same way that comics have a culture or the horror genre has a culture. Even if the public is only peripherally aware of these things, they still have a perception of it that can help or hinder the culture. I'm a horror hound myself and it kills me to see the myriad ways that the genre remains ghettoized even by its own devotees.

Mmmmh. I guess one could make a point for horror movies and comic books only being one small genre in a large, generally accepted industry. Its certainly the case with horror movies. Comic books - I'm not so sure. Part of me thinks they kinda slot in with books and the likes, but I never really read comics, so I don't know whether they differentiate enough to be counted completely separated. I guess visual feedback is a pretty damn big difference, but whatever. I'll let the people who actually know shit about comics make conclusions there.

Anyway. Point being, if you want to draw a parallel to horror movies, maybe thats where FPS will go one day. We already have many small segments and communities inside the entire gaming community, and maybe one day people in general will not just see gaming as one big blob, but rather many different genres and styles. Seems to be how movies are thought of by the average bloke. When people look at the film genre they see drama, comedy, violence, action, horror, and on and on it goes, even when they don't watch many things themselves. And I'm sure soon it wont be gaming; it will be action games, role playing games, online games, puzzle games, etc, even to non-gamers. And when that happens Activision can make as many stupid commercials as they like, it will tarnish only their image and not gaming in its entirety.

DJjaffacake:

Frostbite3789:

JohnDoey:
Even if you don't like Cod it's unfair to basically say it's an "America are win" type thing the games have avoided displaying any real opinion on war or if some countries are right or wrong in their actions they display an event and you control characters in the event.

This is so evenhanded, right? Totally not "America are win" at all or anything like that.

/sarcasm

But that's just one scene, and from the only CoD that genuinely went down the "Mericuh fuck yeah" route.
An American general betraying the good guys and the Americans getting massacredhardly fit that description.

To be fair thats still "America fuck yeah so patriotic and moving and shit". Black Ops just put the icing on the cake and stepped over the line between "stuff for people who love the US and the military" and "so stupid you wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be an elaborate commercial for another Screenwipe that takes on American television."

I think getting Oliver North or any 'real military' person to pitch COD is a bad idea. You and I see these games as fun diversions but these people (Oliver North and his ilk) see these games as a chance to get their message across, and to these people there is always terrible 'dangers' out there. For Activision to give this nut a soap box to stand on and spew his paranoid fantasies and delusions is a bad move on their part.

You have to remember that the military will always argue for the fact there are dangers and terrorists. They are not there to fix any sort of problems it isn't in their best interest to do so. An agency or force will almost always seek to prolong a problem for which they are the 'solution' because once they solve it they are out of a job.

I thought the new black ops looked neat I like the futuristic style and it reminded me a lot of BF2142 which I still play occasionally to this day. But the massage that Activision seems to be spewing with the story line of this game and the ad campaign is just repulsive and at best simply paranoid if not down right socially irresponsible.

It seems to only give more credence to this so called 'cyberwar' that the military has been trying to fabricate for years now. It's the new front for warfare and to the military it is a new way for them to get more funds and more control of our country. There is no Cyberwar there won't be a cyberwar and to allow the military to scare people into giving up freedoms as well as money which should go to social services not to virtual bullets in a nonexistant 'war'.

Activision frankly disgusts me and they would have anyway with out using Oliver North simply because of the message they seem to be spreading with Black ops 2.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
And I'm sure soon it wont be gaming; it will be action games, role playing games, online games, puzzle games, etc, even to non-gamers. And when that happens Activision can make as many stupid commercials as they like, it will tarnish only their image and not gaming in its entirety.

Unfortunately we're not there yet, so we have to be mindful of the image we share with the public.

There are a number of things we can do beyond telling EA and Activision to stop greenlighting every cockamamie sensationalist idea that comes out of their marketing departments. We could use more names for example. Gaming doesn't really have much in the way of an equivalent of Scorsese or Coppola or Cronenberg. And the ones we do have we're pretty divided on. Shigeru Miyamoto, for example. Past his prime, but I rather like the man myself. Similar can be said of Peter Molyneux. It amazes me how much venom gets leveled at both men every time they say something. Tim Schafer is about the only name who doesn't attract a lot of disproportionately hostile reactions whenever he talks.

Also other than Japan and some parts of Europe, the foreign games industry is still developing. Gaming doesn't have anything comparable to French New Wave or German expressionism or Bollywood for example. At least, not yet. I hear Rock of Ages came out of Chile, which is encouraging. Baby steps.

My hope is that the growth of the indie studios and the lower barrier to entry into the medium means that we might eventually see gaming's equivalent of Roger Corman surface. That would be huge.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

DJjaffacake:

Frostbite3789:

This is so evenhanded, right? Totally not "America are win" at all or anything like that.

/sarcasm

But that's just one scene, and from the only CoD that genuinely went down the "Mericuh fuck yeah" route.
An American general betraying the good guys and the Americans getting massacredhardly fit that description.

To be fair thats still "America fuck yeah so patriotic and moving and shit". Black Ops just put the icing on the cake and stepped over the line between "stuff for people who love the US and the military" and "so stupid you wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be an elaborate commercial for another Screenwipe that takes on American television."

But the first clearly depicts an American as a bad guy, and the second does go for a more, "The Americans are the good guys," theme, but it's still not, as the original post said, "America are win," because they lose in it.

I tend to view Call of Duty as the 'Twilight' of gaming: Softcore porn pandering to the base desires of its demographic and achieving stupidly inflated sales because of it.

So I just spent sixteen minutes learning who Oliver North is. Do I care? No. Are CoD's target market going to care? Probably not. Look, I don't know how well known is North is in America, (I'm British and hadn't heard of him before this), but this seems to me to be far simpler than MovieBob is making it out to be. This isn't the first time that publishers have tried to sell military games by getting real soldiers as spokespeople for them. All the audience are gonna see is that Colonel at the beginning of his name and think, "ooh, that guy's from the top, it must be good". Ghost Recon is doing this too, with an ex-SEAL talking about the weapons of the future. It just adds a bit more credibility to have a supposed "expert" in the field.

There's no dark political ideology at work here; even if Activision were trying to send some kind of message, I doubt people would get it. CoD games may be rated 16 or 18, but I find it difficult to believe Activision wouldn't be aware of their true audience. And when you're a fourteen year old boy, you don't care about morally grey areas. You just want to shoot the baddies.

So that's the first part. And the next half about the decline of gaming? Oh fuck off. Games aren't the same as films. In a film, if you want a long scene of dialogue to present the harsh realities of war, that's fine. In games, things have to be more immediate. And it all boils down to shooting stuff, really. Like it or not, it's always the more simplistic stuff that sells. In films, games, TV, music, or anything. There are plenty of games around with interesting stories and moral choices and all that shit. But for every one of those, there's three standard military shooters. And I'm fine with that. People, me included want their being a soldier fix.

In the end, it's a new CoD game. It's gonna sell. Having North on board is probably not gonna change that for better or worse. It's a firmly established IP with tons of fans, I'm sure their were hundreds of preorders before any footage was even released.

Johnson McGee:
I tend to view Call of Duty as the 'Twilight' of gaming: Softcore porn pandering to the base desires of its demographic and achieving stupidly inflated sales because of it.

Except Call of Duty is actually good, Twilight is not.

*once again wonders how many people here actually watched the video*

R9-APLHA:

Johnson McGee:
I tend to view Call of Duty as the 'Twilight' of gaming: Softcore porn pandering to the base desires of its demographic and achieving stupidly inflated sales because of it.

Except Call of Duty is actually good, Twilight is not.

Right, I wasn't trying to compare them based on quality but rather their sales models and demographic targeting methods.

Not being a FPS fan I'm not qualified to comment on Call of Duty's quality or lack there-of.

I cant load the video therefore i will simply react to what the OP has said (internet too slow right now). Dear OP, please think about this. Gaming is not 99.9% pornographic (in the sense that it appeals to basic senses in basic ways, I think thats correct) content with no desire to better itself. If you look beyond your brow you will find that gaming is continuisly innovating and producing massively enjoyable and enjoyed experiences which are deep, thoughtful, sometimes thought provoking and mature. Just as an example Fez and Trials Evolution. Trials Evolution requires immense skill to even progress into the main areas of the game, it is not basic and whilst iits style will not bring many monocle wearers it fits with the game perfectly and has since the series inception. It has little in common with any other game out there and does not fall to the lowest common denominator, it is not crude and it is not immature. Fez is a brilliantly crafted puzzle platformer using the idea of perspective of a 3D world on a 2D plane changing the enviroment to great effect in building a game. However the game surpasses this and is a masterpiece in an original form of puzzle. The game contain a language and a number system, hidden all over the world are codes related to this and the meat of the game revolves around these codes. These puzzles, built into the world, are the real game and it was a challenge to gamers to work together to figure it out, the game has not yet been fully discovered. Just figuring out the language and the codes and their relation to the game to then put in the effort and intellect required to achieve what has been done is an impressive feat for the gaming community. My examples were released within a week of each other, and yes i used them as they are the ifrst two which come to mind, but the point i am trying to make is that gaming is not as bad as you claim it is, these games are popular which would be impossible if your claim that gaming is pornographic was remotely true. If it was the case then games with such depth, either mechanically or content wise, would not exist. Fact is they sell pretty damn well. Also worth considering is that gamers defeat these challenges, is this not enough in itself to defend gaming. We are gamers and thus we are gaming, we are great and we personify what makes games great. we accept a challenge with glee. Hell the first Modern Warfare had a well placed anti war message, it has been manipulated over time but has it really gotten that much popular because of this? Dont listen to Bob, he isnt worth your time. He claims that any fault is due to limited time, yet doesnt understand that if he cannot make a well researched and well thought out point then he shouldnt make a point. That and the fact that he purposelfully baits gamers to react and thus getting him views. his type are a true plague on gaming. If anything I say is factually wrong then im sorry. I would Also like to state that taking the most popular thing in gaming or any medium is not a fair representation of the entire medium. Most things are popular by being lowest common denominator eg. the expendables or avatar. Whatever you thing of those movies do they represent the whole of the movie industry?

endtherapture:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Gaming is made up of a diverse range of genres, true, but it is unquestionable that it is currently being dominated by brain-dead shooters like Call Of Duty and Battlefield. When games like those sell in the tens of millions, while other games like Mass Effect struggle to even reach 3 million, then it's not unreasonable to focus on the effect of those games, and their influence on the industry at large. After all, we've already seen the effect of COD in Ubisoft's decision to make Assassin's Creed an annual title, or in Capcom admitting that turned Resident Evil into an action series to try and ape COD's success. Or to use another example, look at how every MMO released in the last 5 years has tried to ape WOW. Even Bioware pretty much admitted that they designed The Old Republic to be a WOW-esque game with story.

Uber-successful games like COD have a massive effect on the way other developers go about making their games. That's how these things work. It's why we've currently got a Battleships film about to be released in cinemas, thanks to the spectacular financial success of Transformers. When things like this become an unwritten rule of an entire medium, then it is very much worth looking into what it is that makes up the content of those games that are so spectacularly succesful.

It'd be like saying films are going backwards, and then giving Transformers as your only example.

Considering that the latest Transformer film made about $160 million in its opening weekend, I don't see how it's wrong to use it as an example of where modern film-making has gone. The Transformers franchise is a series of undeniable pieces of utter cinematic shit. It's also one of the most profitable franchises in cinema history.

For every Transformers, there's a more deep film, just like for every Call of Duty, there are games which are more mature and deep.

But it is not those deep films and mature games that direct where their respective industries go. It is the success of the Transformers films and the Call Of Duty games that mean publishers/film studios demand their developers/production teams to make more games and film that ape the style of those properties, meaning that those developers and film-makers are not working on original properties. In short, the incredible success of things like COD and Transformers has led to a decrease in the amount of original, innovative games and films, as more resources are poured into copying them, rather than creatign anything new.

It's what sells. You know why films like Transformers make money? Because of accessbility. no one is going to go and see a Scandinavian art film about the existence of life. Transformers is something that appeals to loads of people...families, teenagers, adult males, even some girls. It's an easily accessible thing that people will spend their money on rather than taking a gamble, and I'm fine with that. Not every film has to be the next Citizen Kane. It's not a bad thing, it's just a reflection of society and what sells.

Same with CoD. I'm personally not a fan but I don't think CoD is a bad thing - it's got loads of people into gaming for instance. Many of those people have gone on to play franchises like Mass Effect - it's a good gateway to gaming. People have limited time and money, and CoD is a decent investment for people who might only game for a few hours a week and don't have the time investment to put into something like Mass Effect or The Witcher. Plus it's a trend. In 5 years time there'll be another big game that sells loads.

It's the same with music - stuff like Rihanna is big now - I think it's personally a load of balls but it doesn't stop the bands I love from making music and touring.

Just cos something "immature" is the most popular thing, doesn't mean that "mature" things are being affected by this, and that's always been the case.

Anyway Skyrim is as big a thing as CoD, maybe more popular (many more girls seem into it) and that's a big WRPG so CoD being massive is a load of bollocks.

Oh and then he stereotypes all gamers as racist homophobes? I know people who play CoD...many of them are my friends and they're NOT racist homophobes. What a bloody idiot. This dude should be banned from talking about games. He seems to have such a ridiculous superiority complex as well as having no idea about what he's on about, or thinking before he talks.

Have you ever played on Xbox Live? The rampant racism, homophobia, and sexism displayed by gamers online is truly something to be ashamed of. There are numerous blogs by female gamers that have shown time and again the amount of abuse and downright sexual harassment they get from other gamers when they reveal that they are in fact girls. There are countless examples on Youtube of gamers launching homophobic insults at each other to try and make up for their complete lack of skill.

It has long been known that the anonymity of the internet allows people to say and do things that they otherwise never would do. Online multiplayer allows for another way for gamers to interact with each other, while still retaining that anonymity, meaning that things like Xbox Live have become a breeding ground for hateful speech and discrimination. This is not hyperbole. The problem of racism and sexism in gaming demographics is a very real problem that needs to be addressed at some point.

I play on PC so the worst I've experienced it is being called a stupid n00b on Dota 2, but really being online brings out the worst in people due to the anonymity. It is also sad when guy gamers degrade women, but it happens in many other communities eg. girl guitarists. That's just humanity plus anonymity on the internet, not nessecarily gaming culture.

EDIT: AHHH FORMATTING IS FUCKED[/quote]

Want another example? Capcom. Since SF4 sold like gangbusters, other games have gotton shafted coming to the states or even released because it won't sell like SF4. AAI2? Never coming over. MML3, canned before the demo. RE6 and ORC? Basically CoDs Zombie mode with a story.

Its ok to like those games(CoD, SF) but it pisses me off stuff I do like is getting the cold shoulder because its not the in thing. Also, think if it was the other way, CoD stops being made because FFXV outsells it. Or worse, CoD becomes a JRPG.

MB did do an ep on fans of Jap games getting shafted and people even flipped their shit over that.

5-0:
So I just spent sixteen minutes learning who Oliver North is. Do I care? No. Are CoD's target market going to care? Probably not. Look, I don't know how well known is North is in America, (I'm British and hadn't heard of him before this), but this seems to me to be far simpler than MovieBob is making it out to be. This isn't the first time that publishers have tried to sell military games by getting real soldiers as spokespeople for them. All the audience are gonna see is that Colonel at the beginning of his name and think, "ooh, that guy's from the top, it must be good". Ghost Recon is doing this too, with an ex-SEAL talking about the weapons of the future. It just adds a bit more credibility to have a supposed "expert" in the field.

There's no dark political ideology at work here; even if Activision were trying to send some kind of message, I doubt people would get it. CoD games may be rated 16 or 18, but I find it difficult to believe Activision wouldn't be aware of their true audience. And when you're a fourteen year old boy, you don't care about morally grey areas. You just want to shoot the baddies.

So that's the first part. And the next half about the decline of gaming? Oh fuck off. Games aren't the same as films. In a film, if you want a long scene of dialogue to present the harsh realities of war, that's fine. In games, things have to be more immediate. And it all boils down to shooting stuff, really. Like it or not, it's always the more simplistic stuff that sells. In films, games, TV, music, or anything. There are plenty of games around with interesting stories and moral choices and all that shit. But for every one of those, there's three standard military shooters. And I'm fine with that. People, me included want their being a soldier fix.

In the end, it's a new CoD game. It's gonna sell. Having North on board is probably not gonna change that for better or worse. It's a firmly established IP with tons of fans, I'm sure their were hundreds of preorders before any footage was even released.

On your second point, does it really need to be immediate? If the success and popularity of games like Mass Effect (forgetting the end for now) and Deus Ex, heck even the success of the MGS series, stand for anything is that there is a large demographic of games who don't mind a bit of exposition. It doesn't have to be brain numbingly long winded either... some games insert depth and themes in a way that doesn't interfere with flow. Some games completely immerse themselves in exposition, heck the RPG genre is 60% exposition (arbitrary percentage used for comedic affect). And of course, some games don't give a fuck and that's okay too.

BUT, the point being made isn't "It's COD with North" and how Cod is such a bad game, now with horrendously bad taste, but rather a MASSIVE franchise in the most popular genre in the west giving a delusional head case a soap box to tell impressionable folk that terrorists will win if there aren't honest to goodness american people in the army. It's a fucking enlistment pitch.

Black Ops 2 has now, whether intentional or not, partnered with the philosophies of a War Criminal. They either did it purely for inflating controversy (which is likely on a check list for the CoD series at this point) or they actually agree with him and honestly, I can't tell what's worse. What I am sure of is that Activision doesn't give a fuck about the ramifications of their actions for the Industry as a whole.

Whether you realise it or not, this is a problem. I don't care about Activision or the CoD series. I care about the medium of gaming... right now the medium is under duress from various powerful bodies globally as a result of serious misrepresentation. This is more ammunition for those bodies. It's heartening to see sense win out when these vitriolic morons speak their nonsense, but the more we fuel this fire the worse it will be for us in the future...

If the Mediums suffers for the shits and giggles of a brainless marketing team, I will probably give up on gaming altogether. But as unlikely as that may be, the more we allow this immature nonsense to continue the worse it will be for all of us gamers in the not so distant future.

The Medium doesn't have the luxury of pedigree or reputability like the Film industry or Literature. For some games are still kids toys and who wants their kids playing games with masked agendas? Who wants their kids playing games that challenge what is socially acceptable? Games are still not recognised as art, and won't be defended on the topic of integrity either. As an industry and a medium we need to show we are better then cheap shots and tasteless controversy, until we get that respect. By then we might have the sense not to do stupid things like this anyway (well, mostly).

5-0:
This isn't the first time that publishers have tried to sell military games by getting real soldiers as spokespeople for them.

Never one with this much baggage attached to him however. The whole thing seems rather crass, don't you think? I'm an American and I think it's in a bad taste to have your product endorsed by a law-breaking war profiteer who got off scot-free and is completely unrepentant about his crimes. Am I wrong?

There's no dark political ideology at work here; even if Activision were trying to send some kind of message, I doubt people would get it. CoD games may be rated 16 or 18, but I find it difficult to believe Activision wouldn't be aware of their true audience. And when you're a fourteen year old boy, you don't care about morally grey areas. You just want to shoot the baddies.

You are aware that the average gamer is in his late-20's, early-30's right? Gaming stopped being for kids when the generation that grew up playing them... well, grew up. I know a lot of gamers who are old enough to remember when the Iran-Contra scandal hit the news.

Games aren't the same as films. In a film, if you want a long scene of dialogue to present the harsh realities of war, that's fine.

So films only convey their messages in dialog? You don't watch a lot of movies, do you?

In games, things have to be more immediate.

You believe that?

And it all boils down to shooting stuff, really. Like it or not, it's always the more simplistic stuff that sells. In films, games, TV, music, or anything. There are plenty of games around with interesting stories and moral choices and all that shit. But for every one of those, there's three standard military shooters. And I'm fine with that. People, me included want their being a soldier fix.

There's nothing wrong with escapism, but it's mental junk food. If that's all you subsist on, you're making yourself weak. It's not asking too much to have a little more art and media that doesn't just pander to your escapist fantasies. Hell, it shouldn't be asking too much that your media junk food at least be a little better made.

In the end, it's a new CoD game. It's gonna sell. Having North on board is probably not gonna change that for better or worse. It's a firmly established IP with tons of fans, I'm sure their were hundreds of preorders before any footage was even released.

Probably. But I can still say it was cynical as fuck. Call of Duty can rise or fall on its own merits, but don't give that fucking criminal North a soapbox through the medium just so you can drum up some publicity. The last thing we need is for gaming's image problem to be exacerbated by association with that asshole.

McMarbles:
*once again wonders how many people here actually watched the video*

I would say three. Three people saw it.

I'm thinking it may also cause people who are still mad about Ollie will protest. And knowing how bad the launch of MW3 was(guy got mugged, another threatened to bomb a BB because they didn't have it) whats to say one of these nutjobs won't attack or kill someone over wanting the game banned over the ad? I mean saying you're not intrested in the series on the internet gets you treated like you just spat in their face.

RaikuFA:
And knowing how bad the launch of MW3 was(guy got mugged, another threatened to bomb a BB because they didn't have it) whats to say one of these nutjobs won't attack or kill someone over wanting the game banned over the ad?

I doubt it will come to that. Muggings are one thing. Threatening people is something any cretin who can put one word after the other can do. But actually physically assaulting someone for saying something you disagree with? Not many people are that crazy. You usually have to be drunk to be that bad.

More likely, it will inspire more shrill whining from CoD fan-tards who just can't deal with the fact that not everyone in the world shares their taste. Hell, we already have people whining that guys like me think North is a prick and having him sponsor a military shooter is crass. They won't actually do anything for 2 reasons. First being that I'm just text on a computer screen to them. They don't know my name, what I look like, where I live. I could be a particularly sarcastic South Korean troll pretending to be an American just to fuck with them for all they know. And the second being most of them are either mostly sane and know that they're just barking to an empty room, or they're pussies. The latter can talk a lot of smack in a text-based environment, but most of them wouldn't even have the guts to talk that same smack to my face in real life, nevermind actually throw a punch.

So no, I'm not worried about violence as a result of this ad. I just respect Activision even less than I already did for what for all intents and purposes seems to be a cynical attempt at garnering more publicity regardless of how it affects gaming's public image.

endtherapture:

He seems to forget that the other big forces in mainstream gaming are Sports games (it's sport, it has no political bias or anything and is neither mature or immature) or Skyrim which is a complex WRPG and could be considered mature.

No, he actually doesn't. I think you're trying to force a point here. He states that it's the largest franchise (true) in the largest genre (probably true, I don't know). Neither of those points preclude the presence of other large markets nor devalue his point.

5-0:
So I just spent sixteen minutes learning who Oliver North is. Do I care? No. Are CoD's target market going to care? Probably not. Look, I don't know how well known is North is in America, (I'm British and hadn't heard of him before this), but this seems to me to be far simpler than MovieBob is making it out to be. This isn't the first time that publishers have tried to sell military games by getting real soldiers as spokespeople for them. All the audience are gonna see is that Colonel at the beginning of his name and think, "ooh, that guy's from the top, it must be good". Ghost Recon is doing this too, with an ex-SEAL talking about the weapons of the future. It just adds a bit more credibility to have a supposed "expert" in the field.

Sorry, but the issue here is not the fact that they got an ex-soldier to shill for their game. The issue here is that the solder in question was at the heart of the Iranian-Contra affair.

In case you don't know what that means: During the Cold War, North was responsible for selling weapons to the Iranians, then channelling the profits to support the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Why is that such a bad thing? Because where the US had discretely tried to aid Iran in its conflicts with Iraq, North decided to press ahead and sell weapons directly to the Ayotollah, leader of the same bat-shit extreme-fundamentalist theocracy that is at the head of Iran today, the same theocracy that's shitting on the rights of its own citizens and calling for other nations to be nuked.

As for the Contra rebels? They were directly involved in drug trafficking, and were also responsible for numerous acts of despicable violence against Nicuraguan civilians. They regularly engaged in kidnapping and torturing civilians, raping women, killing unarmed men, women and children, capturing civilians and forcing them to be used as labour, burning down houses and sometimes entire villages... they weren't freedom fighters, they were nothing more than a warband. And this guy North became directly responsible for funding them. He is responsible for the mutiliation, rape and murder of countless innocent civilians. And you know what?

He was tried and found guilty. He was brought to justice, and found guilty of everything I've mentioned. And the tragic thing is that he couldn't be convicted, because of an immunity agreement that he'd made with the Justice dept before going to trial. In short, he agreed only to go on trial if they promised not to punish him for his crimes.

This isn't just some old Vietnam veteran, or some soldier who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is a man who literally sold weapons to religious extremists in order to fund other extremists in their acts of terrorism. If there were any real justice in the world, this man would still be behind bars today, not hawking Activision's latest entry in the COD franchise.

DrVornoff:

5-0:
This isn't the first time that publishers have tried to sell military games by getting real soldiers as spokespeople for them.

Never one with this much baggage attached to him however. The whole thing seems rather crass, don't you think? I'm an American and I think it's in a bad taste to have your product endorsed by a law-breaking war profiteer who got off scot-free and is completely unrepentant about his crimes. Am I wrong?

There's no dark political ideology at work here; even if Activision were trying to send some kind of message, I doubt people would get it. CoD games may be rated 16 or 18, but I find it difficult to believe Activision wouldn't be aware of their true audience. And when you're a fourteen year old boy, you don't care about morally grey areas. You just want to shoot the baddies.

You are aware that the average gamer is in his late-20's, early-30's right? Gaming stopped being for kids when the generation that grew up playing them... well, grew up. I know a lot of gamers who are old enough to remember when the Iran-Contra scandal hit the news.

Games aren't the same as films. In a film, if you want a long scene of dialogue to present the harsh realities of war, that's fine.

So films only convey their messages in dialog? You don't watch a lot of movies, do you?

In games, things have to be more immediate.

You believe that?

And it all boils down to shooting stuff, really. Like it or not, it's always the more simplistic stuff that sells. In films, games, TV, music, or anything. There are plenty of games around with interesting stories and moral choices and all that shit. But for every one of those, there's three standard military shooters. And I'm fine with that. People, me included want their being a soldier fix.

There's nothing wrong with escapism, but it's mental junk food. If that's all you subsist on, you're making yourself weak. It's not asking too much to have a little more art and media that doesn't just pander to your escapist fantasies. Hell, it shouldn't be asking too much that your media junk food at least be a little better made.

In the end, it's a new CoD game. It's gonna sell. Having North on board is probably not gonna change that for better or worse. It's a firmly established IP with tons of fans, I'm sure their were hundreds of preorders before any footage was even released.

Probably. But I can still say it was cynical as fuck. Call of Duty can rise or fall on its own merits, but don't give that fucking criminal North a soapbox through the medium just so you can drum up some publicity. The last thing we need is for gaming's image problem to be exacerbated by association with that asshole.

Well I just typed out a long reply only to accidentally lose it, so I'll say this. Of course it is a bad thing. But with the man being in the spotlight already as a talk show host and commentator, are they really giving him a soapbox? He's a law-breaking war profiteer...who's also on TV already.

I am aware of gaming's average audience, perhaps "true audience" was the wrong phrase. However, from what I've seen, the CoD series seems to be incredibly popular with teenagers my age and younger. And I don't think this will make the slightest bit of difference to many of them. I would be interested to see how the ages of the series' audience breaks down though; perhaps the idea of popularity among teens is an over-generalisation.

My point on games being more immediate is that there's only a certain amount of cutscene I can endure before I start wanting some gameplay. The deepest, most satisfying games provide a fine balance between the two, but a nice bit of gunplay can be good for a cheap thrill. I just don't think a game, especially a military shooter, can ever be as morally grey as films can be, unless you can provide a counterpoint example.

Iwata:

GethBall:

Iwata:
I don't like JRPG's

Must..... resist..... urge..... to...... destroy you.

OT: Was I supposed to read this or something? It seems like a complete waste of my time. Oh well.... I'm just gonna sit here with my popcorn and watch as the CoD fanboys and CoD haters fight as they always do.......

.... oh shit, I'm a CoD hater. Well then....

Arm your battle stations hatred, we've got a battle on our hands.

See? I'm a JRPG hater, and you're a CoD hater. And yet I'm perfectly fine with you enjoying your JRPG's, I don't need to feel like my games are better than yours to feel better. I'm glad you enjoy your games! Diversity is good!

I honestly can't understand the people that not only go "my taste in games is the right one and you are having fun wrong", but then also try and actually convince you of that.

Urg..... I don't hate CoD because I don't find it fun (sometimes I enjoy the games) I hate it for what it represents, that no matter how awesome and innovative a new game is it'll never outsell CoD. Although, you could say the same to JRPGs (I only like about two JRPGs btw, the rest I'm kinda indifferent about).

5-0:
Well I just typed out a long reply only to accidentally lose it, so I'll say this. Of course it is a bad thing. But with the man being in the spotlight already as a talk show host and commentator, are they really giving him a soapbox? He's a law-breaking war profiteer...who's also on TV already.

Yeah, for a right wing propaganda machine. Why give him another venue for his psychosis?

I am aware of gaming's average audience, perhaps "true audience" was the wrong phrase. However, from what I've seen, the CoD series seems to be incredibly popular with teenagers my age and younger. And I don't think this will make the slightest bit of difference to many of them. I would be interested to see how the ages of the series' audience breaks down though; perhaps the idea of popularity among teens is an over-generalisation.

They didn't put North in that ad to sway you. It really seems they did it just because he's a controversial figure with a lot of baggage, meaning they could drum up some publicity when people turn and go, "WTF?"

My point on games being more immediate is that there's only a certain amount of cutscene I can endure before I start wanting some gameplay. The deepest, most satisfying games provide a fine balance between the two, but a nice bit of gunplay can be good for a cheap thrill. I just don't think a game, especially a military shooter, can ever be as morally grey as films can be, unless you can provide a counterpoint example.

How about Shadow of the Colossus? The Fallout series? Fate of the World? Silent Hill 2? Hell, even Modern Warfare 2 had a moment of cleverness where it railroads you into shooting civilians and then chastises you for it.

To say that gaming has not produced something on par with Apocalypse Now! is not the same as saying it never will. Never is a very, very long time. The medium is taking steps forward slowly but surely. But in addition to celebrating the successes, we have to note the failures and also show our disapproval at people who are just going to a cynical cash grab or publicity in lieu of any truly sensible business or creative decision.

DrVornoff:

5-0:
Well I just typed out a long reply only to accidentally lose it, so I'll say this. Of course it is a bad thing. But with the man being in the spotlight already as a talk show host and commentator, are they really giving him a soapbox? He's a law-breaking war profiteer...who's also on TV already.

Yeah, for a right wing propaganda machine. Why give him another venue for his psychosis?

I am aware of gaming's average audience, perhaps "true audience" was the wrong phrase. However, from what I've seen, the CoD series seems to be incredibly popular with teenagers my age and younger. And I don't think this will make the slightest bit of difference to many of them. I would be interested to see how the ages of the series' audience breaks down though; perhaps the idea of popularity among teens is an over-generalisation.

They didn't put North in that ad to sway you. It really seems they did it just because he's a controversial figure with a lot of baggage, meaning they could drum up some publicity when people turn and go, "WTF?"

My point on games being more immediate is that there's only a certain amount of cutscene I can endure before I start wanting some gameplay. The deepest, most satisfying games provide a fine balance between the two, but a nice bit of gunplay can be good for a cheap thrill. I just don't think a game, especially a military shooter, can ever be as morally grey as films can be, unless you can provide a counterpoint example.

How about Shadow of the Colossus? The Fallout series? Fate of the World? Silent Hill 2? Hell, even Modern Warfare 2 had a moment of cleverness where it railroads you into shooting civilians and then chastises you for it.

To say that gaming has not produced something on par with Apocalypse Now! is not the same as saying it never will. Never is a very, very long time. The medium is taking steps forward slowly but surely. But in addition to celebrating the successes, we have to note the failures and also show our disapproval at people who are just going to a cynical cash grab or publicity in lieu of any truly sensible business or creative decision.

All good points. They are drumming up publicity, but by noting our disapproval...aren't we giving them what they want?

Draech:

Therumancer:
-snip-

Hoping I didn't misunderstand, but dont you kinda prove his point?

That using Oliver North you are connecting political ideology to the medium. Werther or not you agree with set ideology is irrelevant. He says that he shrugged of that idea a while ago as a joke, but now it is a much bigger deal.

When it becomes "Liberal hollywood" and "Conservative gaming" then we start connecting the wrong images to the people who just want games and movies.

The point is that there is nothing at all wrong with Oliver North's idealogy or what he stands for. By making the criticisms he does, Bob is basically invalidating any case he might have had. The special forces, black ops, and the kinds of things Oli was up to happen to be nessicary evils in the regards to a nation like the US functioning and remaining competitive. In passing judgement over backing a faction like the Contras for moral reasons, he himself doesn't present any viable (the key word) alternatives to having dealt with the situation more efficiently. Diplomacy and such weren't going to work by the very nature of the situation, the USSR who was behind the other side was a clearly defined enemy. If we hadn't been up to things like that we would have probably lost The Cold War.

Is Oliver North a good, publically known example of black ops? Yes, he most certainly is. The game series in question happens to be based around those kinds of deniable actions. If Bob has a problem with Oliver North and what he did, he by definition has a problem with the special forces and covert operations team in general, so why the hell is he even involved in talking about a game like this to begin with?

That's my problem. Oliver North isn't really representitive of a political idealogy, but simply of the kinds of things that need to be done for a nation to function on the level of the USA. Anyone who doesn't understand, or agree with that is by definition detached from reality and any overall political position based around that is effectively invalid due to it it preventing the basic functioning of a high level society in a competitive world.

I mean yes, under the table the goverment (through Oli North) used the contras as cannon fodder to oppose the USSR in that arena. Big bloody whoop, that's how the game is played. In a perfect world left wing idealogy might be the way to go, but the world sucks. You can't get by, trying to be the only nice guys on the planet.

5-0:
All good points. They are drumming up publicity, but by noting our disapproval...aren't we giving them what they want?

Therein is part of the problem. They want the attention, and if you give it to them in any capacity they feel validated. But if you ignore them, they'll just do it even harder next time. I'm in a bit of position where my protests are from an outsider. I already wasn't buying Call of Duty games because I couldn't give a fuck about military shooters in general even if you hooked me up to a magical fuck giving machine. And I already had bones to pick with Activision over their horrible streak the last few years of just trying to nickel and dime us for shit we were already getting for free, to say nothing of how they treat their developers. All it does is further convince me that I made the right decision to stop buying their stuff.

So they're not losing a sale from me by this move because I already stopped being a customer two years ago. But at the same time, huge corporations will often take silence for consent. When you see bullshit, call it what it is. And if this is a deal breaker or at least the straw that broke the camel's back, then you need to show the willpower to follow through and stop patronizing the company. The only thing they understand or care about is their bottom line. Bobby Kotick and John Riccitiello et al aren't gamers. They can't tell a good game from a bad game. But they can tell apart red ink from black ink. It's still going to be a long time before the virtual hegemony of major publishers gets shaken up and it's going to take a lot more than just people like me taking our disposable income elsewhere. But it wouldn't it feel good to every once in a while say, "That guy's an asshole. I'm not giving him my money anymore."

Cheesepower5:
[]Look, I'm not going to say your attempt at being fair was a complete wash, but it's massively hypocritical of you to dance around calling liberals fairies then say all liberals are incapable of being unbiased. You can take it back, and accept that while still holding on to your views liberals can and will hold on to theirs in the same way. Or you can hold your position on Bob and liberals and look like kind of an asshat. At least the Game Overthinker put in the effort to use the odd phrase like "some republicans" instead of just "republicans."

Bob pretty much went off by trying to say that anyone who approved of Oliver North and what he represented was some kind of whack job. A point which made pretty much everything I said true. Like it or not covert operations are part of what allows a nation like the US to function, and stay on top. Opposing what guys like Oli North did in a utopian world would make sense, but our world sucks. He just happens to be a guy who was at a high level who failed, and managed to not be disappeared.

The very game Bob is talking about is part of a series all about covert operations, exactly the kind of thing that by defnition Bob is against in his own words, so why is he choosing to comment on a game like this in general, or it's spokesman that represents what the game is about?

You are correct that I go off on liberals as a whole because their overall idealogy is incapable of running or maintaining a high level society in the world we currently exist in. Opposition to things like say actually fighting back in The Cold War and trying to counter-manipulate areas against the USSR (which is what Oli was doing) pretty much comes down to not having a society to begin with.

I'm not saying that all of the ideas liberals have are nessicarly bad, but simply that they happen to be pipe dreams in a world (and country) that needs to be substantially sorted out first. When diplomacy fails, and a conflict is on, you don't keep trying to do the same thing again and again, you set out to be a bigger bastard than the other guy. We were playing against the USSR at that point for world control, and our own survival, and we won in part by being bigger bastards. According to Bob we pretty much should have just let the USSR roll over us because Cold Warriors like Oli North should never have been doing what they were doing.

In short there is no validity to his position at all. As soon as he defines what Oli did as anything but a nessicary evil in a time of conflict, every shred of credability he has goes flying out the door. You'll notice he won't say "well, this is what we should have done instead" because the bottom line is covert operation were the most viable option in those arenas at the time. The Contras were bastards, as were the people they were fighting, using them however was a hell of a lot easier than say deploying our military down there directly which would have contributed to turning the cold war hot.

Netrigan:
I think where calling Call Of Duty immature breaks down for me is this:

It's next to impossible to do an action-oriented anti-war movie. The Stargate movie attempted this lame anti-gun message in the middle of a movie about an armed rebellion against evil alien overlords. If you want to put that kind of message into a movie, then you have to make the action kind of squalid and disturbing as was the case with Unforgiven... and even then you're standing on the edge of a slippery slope that can easily diffuse your anti-violence message.

In the world of video games, we have Rockstar attempting to do this. The entire set-up of Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption undermine the main story of the game. Both games feature a protagonist who endlessly laments the violence he's "forced" to commit; all the while supplying lots of side missions that give the player the option of committing further acts of violence for the fun of it. I applaud their effort to try to bring something a bit deeper to the table, but it's only games like Saints Row 2 that properly balance the story with the insane levels of violence you're expected to commit on the road to victory. Bringing an anti-violence message to an action game is like bringing an anti-jumping message to Mario.

Call Of Duty crafts a story where you going out and committing acts of violence are justified... they even throw in a few set pieces that show you how easy it can be to cross that line, such as the No Russians scenario where in order to infiltrate (and hopefully prevent violence) you're expected to murder civilians... and then you end up doing it in vain. There's food for thought there if you're inclined to think about it a bit more... although mostly people are going to play it just to watch stuff 'splode.

Likewise, whatever mature messages there are in The Avengers are going to get buried by the over-arching immature message of "cave the bad guy's head in" until you win.

Haven't you ever watched Rambo? Have you never played Metal Gear? How much more anti-war can you even get?

DrVornoff:

5-0:
All good points. They are drumming up publicity, but by noting our disapproval...aren't we giving them what they want?

Therein is part of the problem. They want the attention, and if you give it to them in any capacity they feel validated. But if you ignore them, they'll just do it even harder next time. I'm in a bit of position where my protests are from an outsider. I already wasn't buying Call of Duty games because I couldn't give a fuck about military shooters in general even if you hooked me up to a magical fuck giving machine. And I already had bones to pick with Activision over their horrible streak the last few years of just trying to nickel and dime us for shit we were already getting for free, to say nothing of how they treat their developers. All it does is further convince me that I made the right decision to stop buying their stuff.

So they're not losing a sale from me by this move because I already stopped being a customer two years ago. But at the same time, huge corporations will often take silence for consent. When you see bullshit, call it what it is. And if this is a deal breaker or at least the straw that broke the camel's back, then you need to show the willpower to follow through and stop patronizing the company. The only thing they understand or care about is their bottom line. Bobby Kotick and John Riccitiello et al aren't gamers. They can't tell a good game from a bad game. But they can tell apart red ink from black ink. It's still going to be a long time before the virtual hegemony of major publishers gets shaken up and it's going to take a lot more than just people like me taking our disposable income elsewhere. But it wouldn't it feel good to every once in a while say, "That guy's an asshole. I'm not giving him my money anymore."

Oh of course. Like you, I wasn't never going to buy it- I have no interest in the series. I eventually caved in and bought Modern Warfare just to see what the fuss was about, and yeah, it was alright. Bit of a wasted purchase to be honest. I have also enjoyed playing MW2's co-op with friends over splitscreen- I have no desire to own it though. An Activision boycott is incredibly easy to follow up for me, because they don't make anything that interests me. I owned loads of Tony Hawk games in the past, but I sure as hell aren't interested in them now. I think it will be interesting to see if this advertising tactic actually results in them losing any potential sales, because it seems to me that the people raising these issues weren't interested in the game anyway.

Zen Toombs:

Therumancer:

Good lord, you've way overthought the "game overthinker".

Let me explain sum up:
Bob's a jerk, move along.

JohnDoey:
It's the nazi like attitude bei-

Stop. Stop it right there.

Every time you play
image
an angel... punches you in the penis or something.

Just don't do it, okay? It's tacky.

Not really, I just find it kind of offensive that someone like Bob is going to go off on Oliver North as the spokesman for a game about the kind of thing he was involved in. Not to mention, at the same time embracing what amounts to a position that the US should not be involved in covert ops at all, when unfortunatly that's simply how this messed up world works. Especially during The Cold War, if it wasn't for our bastards like Oliver North we would have lost. Sure, he did some bad things, but so did the guys on the other side. Bob's attitude, and that of those who agree with him, is unrealistic, saying "we shouldn't stoop to the other guy's level" is unrealistic in the world we happen to live in. Especially during "The Cold War" where we were facing an equally powerful opponent, trying to be moral all the bloody time would have amounted to us lubing up and assuming the position.

I'm not saying there is nessicarly anything wrong with what the Liberals would like to see as a principle. In a perfect world a lot of the things the left wing wants would be worth striving for, we however do not live in a perfect world. One has to understand that principles are fine, but they cannot get in the way of functioning in the world we live in.

I am being critical of the entire position he took in this article, as I frankly think he's off his rocker. Especially seeing as he pretty much insulted anyone who doesn't see Oli North as a mustache twirling, snively whiplash villain. It's absolutly ridiculous when the only reason why he's able to do videos like the one he was in, is because of guys like Oli North and what they did, and what they doubtlessly continue to do today. He, and those with similar postions, might have the right to speak, but need to be called when they step this far out of line.

As far as I see it, Bob kind of owes an apology to those who agree with Oliver North and what he stood for (us horrible rednecks), and probably to the US covert ops and special forces teams who do all this crap so he can continue to live the way he is. Not that it's ever likely to happen.

OMG, how horrible, we got a group of rebels to fight against the interests of the USSR during the Cold War (gasp). Those rebels weren't a group of nice guys and were fighting using the kinds of nasty, underhanded tactics that are effective against a goverment and society.

In reality you use what's at hand, and do what you need to do in a conflict like that, you can't pick and choose your allies, and take what help you can get.

Therumancer:

The point is that there is nothing at all wrong with Oliver North's idealogy or what he stands for. By making the criticisms he does, Bob is basically invalidating any case he might have had. The special forces, black ops, and the kinds of things Oli was up to happen to be nessicary evils in the regards to a nation like the US functioning and remaining competitive. In passing judgement over backing a faction like the Contras for moral reasons, he himself doesn't present any viable (the key word) alternatives to having dealt with the situation more efficiently. Diplomacy and such weren't going to work by the very nature of the situation, the USSR who was behind the other side was a clearly defined enemy. If we hadn't been up to things like that we would have probably lost The Cold War.

Sorry to seem rude, but fuck that.

Selling weapons to religious extremists to fund warbands as they systematically murder, torture rape and destroy their way through civilian areas is never a justified stand. The Contra rebels were responsible for absolutely depraved acts of violence against innocent civilians of all ages and genders in Nicaragua, and Oliver North helped make that violence possible. By defending North for the crimes for which he was found guilty, you're basically saying that it was a-ok to offer up those civilians in Nicaragua as sacrificial victims to be slaughtered at the altar of America and Russia's dick-waving contest.

Not only this, but there is startling evidence to suggest that North not only knew of the Contra's drug smuggling schemes, he actively endorsed a drug trafficking scheme that allowed the Contras to make huge amounts of money by selling illegal drugs. This is from the Kerry Subcomittee, headed by Sen. John Kerry, that was tasked into looking into the issue.

Sorry, but war criminals and drug traffickers are not the sort of people we need selling games. Fuck that. And seriously, don't even bother trying to defend the guy. He was found guilty of selling weapons to Iran despite there being an embargo in place, he was found guilty of giving aid and support to the Contra movement despite its widespread use of violence against civilians, he was found guilty of trying to destroy government documents that detailed his involvement in these schemes, thereby perverting the course of justice, and he is widely believed to have been involved in drug trafficking out in Nicaragua. You can't defend that. Not even the Cold War is a justifiable reason for funding rape, torture, murder and drug smuggling.

RaikuFA:

McMarbles:
*once again wonders how many people here actually watched the video*

I would say three. Three people saw it.

.

That's being awfully generous. Two at the most.

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