A man who worked on the design of one of the original “Call of Duty” video game has issued a statement apologizing for his role in “inspiring” World War II.
In an open letter sent to the entire world, Jose Josephson, who says he worked on the original “Call of Duty” back in the 1990’s, said that recent mass shootings have made him realize something about his own work. Josephson wrote that while he didn’t think it was a big deal at the time, ‘the game clearly had a lasting, negative impact on society.” Mr. Josephson said that had he known that violent video games are the cause of people shooting each other, he never would’ve helped design “Call of Duty” in the first place.
The first few games in the venerable franchise didn’t center on the events of today, as newer games have. In fact, the game Josephson worked on was about a time in the past. It was a game that featured American and allied forces fighting against people who called themselves, “Nazis,” and
Mr. Joseph asked us to reprint his letter, and we have chosen to do so. What follows below is his letter, published verbatim.
Dear The World,
It has come to my attention recently that violent video games cause real life violence. I was always under the impression before the mass shootings of El Paso and Dayton and Gilroy that videogames are art, and that art reflects the times it’s created in, but apparently they are much more than that. It would seem that video games have the ability to turn people who play them into raving lunatics with semi-automatic weapons. For a long time I thought it was stuff like radicalizing rhetoric about the different races and cultures that inspired white nationalist terrorism and other forms of violence, but nope.
It’s all violent video games’ fault.
Now, granted, I have to be honest and say that over the years of my career in the gaming industry, I’ve met scores of people who have played my games, and to this point, none of them have committed any acts of mass homicide. I’m also pretty sure that if violent video games caused people to become violent that a lot more of these incidents would be happening since so many people play them, but that’s logic, and I know that in these times of ours, logic has taken a backseat to political invective and hyperbole. It’s also interesting to me that they have violent games in other countries but don’t have the kinds of spree killings we do, which almost feels like that might mean it’s more about guns than video games, but now is not the time for dangerous things like critical thinking, and I know that.
No matter what I say though, I can’t change one simple fact. Without me, people might not have even heard of Hitler, much less had to deal with him. So for that, I am forever sorry.
Besides, my point today isn’t to ask questions. My point today is to offer my deepest apologies for having helped create one of the most violent games of all time, “Call of Duty.” Clearly had I known that I would be inspiring World War II, I would have never helped design it. If what they’re saying in certain circles is right, and that violent video games cause violence, then obviously it’s all my fault. All of it. The Nazis. Mussolini’s fascism, and all the lives lost. Hell, the Holocaust is probably my fault too.
I cannot make excuses, and I will not equivocate. Obviously, I was part of a team of game designers who clearly need to atone for what we’ve done. I will be turning myself into the authorities shortly, and will throw myself at the mercy of the court.
Lastly, I’d like to propose that we only make video games about wholesome things. Games about things we find in the Bible. Like forcing people who rape your daughter to marry her, slaves cherishing their masters — guess that means bringing back slavery? — and of course not eating shellfish so you don’t go to Hell. Of course, there’s a lot of war in the Bible too, but that’s Holy War. That’s different. Americans like Holy War…unless a Muslim guy starts it. Then they think that’s different somehow.
Anyway, really very sorry about that whole “World War II” thing, everyone. I will do better in the future. I’m off to turn myself in.
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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.