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Fucking Retarded

Call of Duty Thinks You're Too Retarded to Handle Foul Language

Activision looks to end the tradition of verbal smackdowns.

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The art of talking heaps of smack is an essential component of any rivalry. It can boost adrenaline levels and foster solidarity by creating a shared language that adds a layer of excitement through taunts and comebacks. The tradition of verbally shitting on your opponent is a testament to the importance of psychological warfare, where the response to an earlier announcement that your enemy totally had your mom last night is justified by calling him a homo.

Competition is rooted in our evolution and dates back to the earliest of human societies. Ancient civilizations saw men battling in various arenas, from sports and games to intellectual pursuits and the expansion of nations. It was epitomized in the Olympics of ancient Greece and has been a driving force behind scores of advancements throughout history. The goal to win at any cost was harsh, raw, and unforgiving. Wimps weren't invited.

Today, competition has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. Your weapons are a crusty headset, a gaming chair soaked in swamp ass, a custom PC you did a terrible job building, and any one of the two-dozen awful flavors of Mountain Dew. The arena is Activision's Call of Duty franchise, an assortment of battlegrounds ranging from shipping containers to cartel safehouses that have been milked more than Michelle Duggar. Each tournament pits neckbeards against autists in a warfare competition that obliterates body parts and egos, ultimately resulting in proclamation the other guy is a lover of bussy.

Come November, though, Activision is going to step in to make the game much safer for players. No, the violence isn't going to be toned down or the ammunition replaced with glitter and rainbows. Instead, voice chats will be subject to recording and analysis by an AI service to protect players from harmful language. The technology, called ToxMod, will identify and forward flagged audio to Call of Duty's "anti-toxicity team." The next time you call someone garbage or decide to dip into your vast collection of antisemitic insults after getting no-scoped, you might trigger the AI and be handed a suspension or ban from playing the game.

If George Carlin were alive, this would have easily made his list of things contributing to the continued pussification of society. Call of Duty thinks its players are too inept to simply block someone they don't want to listen to or mute voice chat entirely, two features already present in the game. Moreover, someone you're trying to bury into the deepest recesses of hell spewing oral diarrhea has already given you a far better reason as to why you fired up the game in the first place.

This leads to the disconnect between Activision and its player community, underscoring the growing contempt many video game publishers hold for their customers. Adolescent teenagers angrily calling everyone faggots have brought a critical dimension of intense competition to video games for years. However, despite Activision affirming "trash-talk" and friendly banter, they intentionally omit defining these goalposts. Ultimately, ToxMod is in place to promote an equity-focused narrative that sucks the joy out of trolling complete strangers who will forget you even exist the following day. Behind the scenes, it's collecting data that will most likely be leveraged against you in contexts beyond a single title.

There is a notable contradiction here. Players are now required to restrain offensive language while simultaneously being offered the opportunity to embody real-life people, such as rappers Nicki Minaj and Snoop Dogg. These iconic artists gained fame by employing provocative lyrics in their music that frequently challenged authority. Earlier this year, Call of Duty secured licenses to incorporate their likenesses and voices into the game. So, while you're running around the Breenbergh Hotel "shooting these bitch ass motherfucking police that'll impress a motherfucking nigga like me," be mindful not to blurt out that you've got a "super soaker pussy that pops like Coca-Cola."

Nicki Minaj in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Nicki Minaj in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II


Call of Duty doesn't really care about hate speech any more than it cares about diversity, equity, or inclusivity. Activision is justifying their bottom line with a third-party censorship product endlessly spying on everyone. It was likely inherited at the behest of a fat, blue-haired marketing expert needing that last bonus check to finalize getting the tissue of her forearm turned into a dick. This is probably the same person who was happy to offer nearly two-dozen pride flag banners in the game as complimentary profile accessories, but if you want rock a long stream of pink hair as Harajuku Barbie or play as the talent behind 1993's legendary rap album Doggystyle, you literally have to purchase black people.

Engaging in a fierce firefight aboard a rusty cargo ship in the pouring rain, all the while accusing the opposing team of using aimbots through horribly racist tirades, represents the true, unadulterated expression of competition. The frantic cries getting picked up by a headset capturing three generations of family, the heavy breathing of a microphone practically stuffed up a player's nose after he calls you trash, and the 12-year-old kid left home alone referring to the other team as "super dark chocolate" will always remain an integral part of Call of Duty.

It's highly unlikely this latest method of censorship will succeed long term. Nonetheless, taking the filthy commentary out of a good ol' fashioned dick-swinging contest is nothing short of fucking retarded.

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