Call of Duty: Black Ops

“Call of Duty” and Other War Video Games May Be Dangerous to War Vets

I remember watching, with my heart in my mouth, as a friend played “Call of Duty.”  I stood behind him, amazed and appalled at the realistic portrayal of what I knew of war.  Nowadays there’s not a whole lot left to the imagination because of photo-taking and video-taping right in the battlefields.  It is commonplace to see, on our giant TV screens, bodies sprawled across streets and fields, in houses and offices, in markets and squares.  We often are given the actual fighting scenes that created these bodies.  As I said, it’s an almost daily thing.This journey into reality created by reporters and photojournalists is stark enough, but it doesn’t give us the feeling of actually being IN the battle, of actually killing people and risking death ourselves.  “Call of Duty” does.  In the game you get to pick what kind of soldier you are, on which side you are on, you are supplied with weapons and told to complete a mission.  You can do the mission solo, or more often, you go with a patrol.  You shoot the enemy.  The enemy shoots at you.  And you watch your cyber buddies dying around you.  If you are lucky and careful, you do not get fatally wounded yourself.  If you do, there is an instant blinding flash of blood blotting everything else out…then blackness.  Now, in the game, you get a chance to go back and start over.  You can save your playing of the game at different points. In real life?  Not so easy…not easy at all.

 So what are people saying about this game?

Stay Strong Nation Says War Video Games May Be Trigger of Severe PTS Symptoms

Stay Strong Nation, a non-profit organization working to help veterans cope with Post-Traumatic Stress/Traumatic Brain Injury (PTS/TBI), recently said popular war-simulation video games pose a bigger threat than people think to veterans with PTS. Exposure to popular games like “Call of Duty: Black Ops” serve as dangerous and sometimes volatile triggers for veterans suffering from PTS.

Among the best-selling video games during 2010, “Call of Duty: Black Ops” is engineered as a real-life simulation of war-like scenarios based in different combat zones. It’s been reported that violent video games may pose a danger to children, but often lost in that conversation are the millions of veterans who lived the real thing and today are left trying to put their lives back together.

Experts at Stay Strong Nation say the bigger danger resides within veterans who have PTS but fail to admit or identify the symptoms. “The scariest part of PTS is when a veteran experiences symptoms such as flashbacks, or feelings of panic and depression, yet unknowingly brushes it under a blanket of machismo,” said Gresford Lewishall, vice president of the organization. “Veterans either play or have exposure to the games and subsequently feel like they’re back in Afghanistan or Iraq in life or death situations. Their heart beat accelerates and they feel a sense of unease come over them.”

Veterans coping with PTS/TBI endure daily reminders, often unintentional by most Americans, that serve as triggers causing emotional flashbacks that are sometimes severe. Games like “Call of Duty: Black Ops” act as a trigger whereby veterans think back to the realities of some of war’s darkest moments, from a blown out tire on a jeep to carrying a deceased fellow soldier back from enemy territory.

Stay Strong Nation urges all veterans to realize the inherent dangers involved in playing or having exposure to war-simulation video games. The organization is currently on a mission to educate private citizens on these dangers, as PTS affects family, friends and loved ones of veterans. Stay Strong Nation is also preparing a study involving veterans on a possible new treatment for PTS, as well as planning the development of a $20 million treatment facility and program based in Hawaii.

An Iraq War Veteran Gives Her Opinion

Melissa Cramblett, a veteran of the Iraq war coping with post-traumatic stress, stated:

“I couldn’t believe how realistic the games comes across and I experienced noticeable symptoms of my post-traumatic stress upon seeing it for the first time. I experienced a faster heart rate and could sense a level of panic and anxiety set in. I remember jumping in my car and racing down the street with my memories taking me back to seeing broken down jeeps on the side of the road and fallen comrads lying dead in the streets. I’m thankful that organizations like Stay Strong Nation are here to help veterans like myself try to understand and cope with post-traumatic stress, something I’ll live with for the rest of my life.”

About The Stay Strong Nation

The Stay Strong Nation is a community of volunteers whose mission is to educate and raise awareness of the dangers of Post-Traumatic Stress/Traumatic Brain Injury (PTS/TBI) and its adverse effects on current and former military service personnel. In addition to educational literature and city tours, the organization is preparing a study on PTS/TBI using a promising product called ProArgi-9 Plus, and raising funds to build a $20 million rehabilitation facility in Maui, Hawaii, to help affected service personnel cope and heal from PTS/TBI. For more information please visit


About Sandra Bell Kirchman

My passion is for fiction, especially fantasy fiction. I have been writing nearly all my life, since the age of 7 when I produced a 5-page novel called "Angus the Ant" - self-illustrated. My most recent novel WITCHCANERY is not about an ant and is available at most online booksellers. "Witchcanery" has won several awards and has met with modest, although enthusiastic, acclaim from readers around the world. I've also edited and published an anthology for the writers at my site, called "Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories." Both books are available on Kindle; the latter is also available on Nook. Both books are sold as hard copies at most major online outlets as well as being available as paperbacks. One of my later ventures was horror stories; surprisingly, since horror stories scare me, I find I have a special affinity for them, especially in flash fiction format (under 1000 or less words). Currently, I am working on two WIPs, one a sequel to "Witchcanery," which several readers have made me promise to write; the other an apocalyptic novel called "The Road to the End of the World." There are several examples of this latter novel in my blog "Fantasyfic," formerly known as "Wizards and Ogres and Elves - Oh My!" Fantasyfic is on hold temporarily, while I work on my other two sites--"News, Views, and Gurus," and the said "Fantasyfic.". My other blogs keep me hopping. One is a roundup of news and some fun pieces from around the world. It is listed under the name of "News, Views, and Gurus." My blog "Puppy Dog Tales" is an ongoing sometimes humorous account of my adventures as an avid pet parent and animal lover. My little Shih-Tzu Ling Ling and my long-haired Mexican chihuahua are the joys of my life...and so is my husband, but I don't write about him. Anyhow, my blog "Puppy Dog Tales" is a work of love, featuring my doggies and other pets around the world. I'm a devoted advocate of animal rights and especially backing the cause of animal rescue shelters. My wonderful husband and I live in a very small town in southeastern Saskatchewan on the south side in a rustic, cedar-sided home. Our property is almost a whole acre, and is gracious and pretty (which is not easy to be in one package). All four of us are happy here.

2 Responses to ““Call of Duty” and Other War Video Games May Be Dangerous to War Vets”

  1. As a OIF Combat Vet, I find violent video games to be relaxing. They offer me at least a means to relax. Here i don’t need to worry about anything. I can just focus. This is just my opinion, some folks may get a different result out of this


    • Thanks for visiting my “news magazine.” I appreciate your comment. I am a gamer myself, although I play more the fantasy games like Everquest and World of Warcraft. However, I am not a combat veteran. Because of your comment, which presents another viewpoint of war vet gamers, I am changing the title. Thanks for dropping by.


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