Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Call of duty: Modern linguistics"

Wow, I hadn't seen this one until yesterday. From the name, I was figuring it might be a game for linguists in the usual military sense, but not quite. If you check out the blurb here, it's pretty much all over the map. They say:
Over a dozen word games offer hours of challenge as you square off against hilarious multi-ethnic computer opponents like Omar al-Wordsadi, Mikael Beatyourov, and Capt. "Smarty Pants" Price to find out once and for all who is the smartest word warrior. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. A more in-depth and difficult Veteran mode offers compelling new tasks. Can you decipher the proper nouns of possible terror cell locations in a 512-bit encrypted email? How good are you at translating Farsi to English? With Call of Duty: Modern Linguistics, the war on terror has never been more fun, or educational!
That's odd. But it's not the tip of the iceberg, even:
Are you ready to fight in the greatest battle known to mankind? The war is raging, and only you can help defeat the un-American scourge of double negatives, run-on sentences, improper subject-verb agreement, and violent religious extremists hell-bent on the destruction of the United States and our way of life.
Double negatives are ARCH-American. Hell, Bush uses them. And then:
In Call of Duty: Modern Linguistics, you're enlisted in a verbal boot camp designed to test your semantic knowledge and push your language skills to the breaking point. You won't find out if you could suck a golf ball through a garden hose, but you will learn the etymological root of the word "suck" and a slew of racial epithets thanks to Xbox Live support.
Wait, Xbox Live support teaches a slew of racial slurs?

Friends and countrypeople, I've clearly stumbled across something I cannot comprehend. Help me out here, please: What's going on with this game and/or this ad?


SWB said...

Trolling around looking for fictional video games these days? Nothing to report here other than a poor job of mocking the wizened Call of Duty FPS franchise.

And, yes. If you want to learn every racial epithet currently in use, simply log in to Xbox Live or any other video game server and watch the in-game taunts and gamertags. Always brings a tear to my eye when I see the inventiveness of our youth.

Mr. Verb said...

So, maybe here's a question: Does real Call of Duty stray equally far from directly military material or is that part of how the mocking fails?

The real shame is that this wasn't written by a linguist, I suppose, military or otherwise. That is, we could have had a hilarious send up here.

Maybe the gauntlet has been thrown down for Team Verb to come up with BETTER fictional video games ...


Betsy said...

You really had me going with this one! I didn't realize that it wasn't real until I clicked on the link. Other than the racial epithet, sounds like a game I'd like to play!

Mr. Verb said...

Yeah, we need to make up the ideal version! We could probably pitch it to some game maker.

Todd said...

Fictional video game -- and images of a fictional military conflict, too.

I believe, unless my eyes deceive me, that the photo shows the US military invading a favela in Rio, with Christ the Redeemer looking down upon the unlikely scene.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Verb often pulls our collective leg. At least I suspect it.