Colour By Numbers – The Call Of Duty Effect

My latest piece for Games.On.Net is now live – this time taking a look at the effect of Call of Duty on the FPS genre, and in turn discussing linearity. It’s a piece I’ve been wrangling with for a while, and Games offered it a nice home.

It went through a few iterations with different focuses – including a section looking at the multiplayer side of things – though I’m happy with its now smaller focus.

Certainly meant more as a question raiser than the standard “WE HATE COD! FLAME WAR FOR CLICKS!” pieces. Hopefully it comes across that way.

The sound of gunfire ricochets off building walls. You hurtle down a cramped city street. Nameless soldiers’ faces scrape the blood covered ground, as they continue to fall; who they are and why you should care is unknown, as a sergeant screams out Go!Go!Go!

There’s no other option. You’re funneled forward – no other path open except for the one straight ahead. There’s no single moment to take it all in.

A fellow soldier standing by a car to your left screams “Get in!”, and you heed his advice lest you fall where you stand. The tanks close in, and as you climb in to the driver’s seat, it happens. All control is lost and no matter how many buttons you mash nothing happens.

The scenes now unfolding are grandiose, awe inspiring, and completely devoid of interaction…Continue