Video games have evolved a thousand times since their first introduction to consumers. They have increased not only in price but in intensity. Violence seems to be a central theme in some games and with that there is the consequential impact on today’s youth. This paper does not aim to analyze how kids and adults value (or fail to value) life after hours of killing in video games. It aims to simply describe two popular selections that have quite a few things in common, despite their obvious differences. Call of Duty allows for traveling through time from World War II to the year 2015. While ammunition and technology featured in the games keep the pace of their given time periods, they remain loyal to the idea of letting players shoot and kill for hours at a time. Final Fantasy originated in Japan at a time when American video games were quite primitive in comparison. When it arrived in American homes, it unleashed a world of imaginative scenery and battles. It was like being in a story or movie with directional choices of movement and various role playing characters to choose from. Both video games enhance hand-to eye coordination and enhance one’s ability to react quickly. However, they are also quite violent and for that reason, discretion should be employed for young gamers.
Video games are as much a part of American culture as the good, old fashioned hot dog at Yankee Stadium. At one time, video games were in giant, creatively painted machines with large rectangular screens. It was in a fun, buzzing arcade and it required just twenty five cents for one player or fifty cents for two players to embark on a short adventure to another place. Video games have evolved since the 1980’s when Mrs. Packman was chomping power pellets. In fact, they are extremely different. Today they are even more interactive because the player can hold a rifle or a tennis racket instead of just pushing buttons to make the characters jump. They seem to be very realistic so that the player feels like they are controlling characters in a movie instead of just a game. Video games of the 21st century coupled with surround-sound technology, can make players feel as if they are completely immersed in the past or in the future. Once personal criticism is that some video games of today have been elevated to a frightening, high level of violence that has numbed the minds of young people. It has almost made them indifferent to the true devastation of gruesome bloodshed. Two examples that fit this description are Call of Duty and Final Fantasy. While there is no intent to bash these games, the objective is to simply describe them. Anyone absorbing the details can decide for themselves, whether or not these games inspire peace and love.
Call of Duty is a video game that has grown in the game world from being a new kid on the block to a hugely popular hit boasting 18 selections. To name a few, some of the C.O.D. titles or subtitles include, Modern Warfare, World at War and Black Ops Zombies. Among these titles there are C.O.D numbers one through four and Declassified. The most amazing thing about this game is the realistic sounds, characters, scenarios and images. The player gets a chance to take up arms and fight in a World War II battle with the first three versions of this game. The dialogue among characters and battle field images completely immerse the player in that time period. While watching weapons fire ammunition at the enemy targets, soldiers can be seen dying from explosions nearby. It is possible to hide in the trenches among other fallen, dismantled soldiers who are barely conscious. It is even possible to help a fellow soldier by pulling him to a hidden shed. There are so many ways to enjoy the game and learn something new each time. The weaponry is true to the time period as well as the setting. It is essentially a shooting game that can be played in first-person meaning that the player is pulling the trigger. It can also be played as the third person meaning that the player has a character to control and make him fight to survive. The Modern Warfare series swept through the stores and millions of homes as Call of Duty 4. The World at War and Black Ops take place during the Cold War. Once again, the weaponry, scenery, threat of being killed and challenge of killing the enemy were consistent with technological advances of the Cold War period. In November of 2011, Modern Warfare 3 offered a chance to peek into a grim, yet more advanced future. For those who are really bored by living in the distant past, Black Ops 2 offers an eleven year trip to the future. The fighting and thirsty need to kill is even more intense than one might have ever thought to be possible. It features abandoned neighborhoods that appear to recently have a nice community with businesses, parks and nice apartments. Then, it is suddenly revealed as a war zone. The player has the gun and is required to shoot every man in uniform or army-designed clothing. The sound of the gun is so real and the property damage to already ruined vehicles and buildings has a realistic appearance as well. It allows for bright sunlight to enter the game which was missing in some of the games that featured historical wars. The scenes are multidimensional and even more alive than the beginning versions of this game. While this game maintains the adrenaline rush from killing, it features architecture that is indicative of the future. Some homes or buildings have a rounded structure or roof that is not seen in homes of the current time period. The Call of Duty series has been running since 2003 and more than 100 million copies of its various titles have now been sold (Shane, 2011).
While QBert and Burger Time were still earning teenager’s coins and fulfilling their fun time in the 1980’s, Japanese geniuses were creating and producing video games that included wizardry, fire breathing dragons and gothic scenery. They were the next big thing to gain popularity with American kids and adults everywhere starting in 1990 on the Nintendo console. (Fahs & Sliva, 2009) The early version of Final Fantasy has two dimensional graphics whereas the games that followed are viewable in 3D. Final Fantasy evolved to enable playing on Xbox, Play Station and Microsoft Windows. It is unique in that it really gives the feeling of being in a movie. There are female voices and female characters that bravely battle large beasts. There is exciting music similar to symphony orchestras in heroic movies. There are huge gray, stone castles or moonlit roaring oceans in the background. The characters use swords, fire balls and magic to slay enormous, angry dragons that come in various colors, shapes and sizes. There is a narrator that tells the story, the mission and what is necessary in order to be successful. It is possible to feel like a real hero in Final Fantasy because a huge animal is attacking a human. On the other hand, fighting in Call of Duty seems to be about killing other humans and the joy is in the justification that the enemy must be destroyed.
In conclusion, Call of Duty and Final Fantasy are both likely to be among the hottest video games on the market today. They differ in the missions on which they send the players. In Final Fantasy, the story is already prewritten and explained by a narrator. On the other hand, Call of Duty allows for just going on an angry killing spree for no reason at all. They both can strengthen coordination and sharpen reflexes. However, they should be played with caution and with consideration for the age of the audience in the room.
Fahs, T., & Sliva, M. (2009, June 18). Ign presents the history of final fantasy. Retrieved from http://www.ign.com/articles/2009/06/18/ign-presents-the-history-of-final-fantasy
Shane , R. (2011, November 11). Call of duty: Modern warfare 3 breaks sales records. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/video-game-news/8884726/Call-of-Duty-Modern-Warfare-3-breaks-sales-records.html