Editorial: Video game McCarthyism

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Apparently, there’s nothing like long winter nights (and the prospect of holiday sales!) to make video game developers dream of reviving the Cold War.

A new game — “Call of Duty: Black Ops” — is set on military battlegrounds in Cuba, Vietnam and the Soviet Union. At one point, the player joins the Bay of Pigs invasion and launches a bloody mission to assassinate Fidel Castro.

“Black Ops” sold 7 million copies the day it was launched. Its ad campaign — “There’s a soldier in all of us” — is accompanied by scenes of Kobe Bryant and supposedly ordinary working-class folk tossing grenades and firing weapons. The game is on sale at thousands of outlets nationwide, including Best Buy.

This game goes hand-in-hand with recent FBI raids against the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and is part of the military seduction of young people to kill or be killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. All of it, from the virtual violence in the service of patriotic indoctrination to the real wars on the ground, must be fought against.

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