Die-Hard CoD Follower: "We Are the Most Persecuted Fans Ever"

An anonymous Call of Duty fan makes the bold statement that in fact, he's "one of the most hated gamers alive."

Let me give you a quick background on the individual who made the statement in the headline:

He's been a friend of mine since elementary school and his gaming history is similar to mine. Although we went in different directions in our college years (I got more into RPGs while he gravitated toward shooters), we still played a variety of games, and we still saw eye-to-eye on many issues.

Anyway, we lost touch about five years ago. I ran into him about a week ago at a housewarming and we started catching up. Eventually, the topic turned to what games we were currently playing and when he mentioned his love of Call of Duty, he watched me especially closely.

He knew I was a games journalist and, obviously, he wondered if I'd just laugh in his face. Of course, I'd never do that but perhaps he had good reason to suspect...

"We're easily the most hated fans in gaming history"

This comment followed hot on the heels of the one in the title, and he was clearly bitter about the subject. Remember, this is someone who began gaming with me back in the early '80s, and his portfolio does include a wide array of games over the past 30 years. However, he has loved CoD since Modern Warfare and he claims that CoD has offered him the best multiplayer entertainment since that time.

Even so, despite being a fan of the most popular game franchise around, he has stopped posting on message boards online. He first tried defending one of his favorite franchises but that only resulted in a lot of hostility and immature behavior. He said he even received random death threats because he was someone who was "contributing to the decline of the video game industry."

"They were disgusted that some crazy CoD fans sent death threats to Infinity Ward and yet, they still sent me death threats."

Having covered games for a long time, I had to agree: I couldn't recall a single group of fans who have received more flak than CoD followers.

"I never ran into this when I was playing Quake and Unreal Tournament...WTF happened?"

Clearly, he knew what had happened, but he was being darkly sarcastic. Call of Duty became such a phenomenon that many people started to hate it simply because it was a phenomenon. At the same time, my long-time friend acknowledges that CoD is responsible for further "mainstreaming" the industry, which has resulted in some unpopular trends. For instance, it can be argued that CoD helped pioneer the "annualization" approach to franchises.

However, is it really fair that just because someone likes Call of Duty, as they enjoyed shooters since the days of DOOM and Heretic, they should be hated? He made no bones about it and was quite blunt: "Yes, it seems like the instant I say I play CoD, everyone jumps up to call me an idiot." This is why you won't find him posting at any game community these days. He remembers with fondness when gamers didn't have any trouble supporting Duke Nukem and Half-Life.

"Just leave me alone and go play what you want to play"

This is his summary and I can't blame him. Over the years, we've seen countless negative headlines pertaining to Call of Duty. While I've come across some downright nasty fans, one can't assume that the millions who have bought and played CoD on an annual basis are just dumb, trigger-happy morons who don't play anything else.

After that party, I reflected that I too had often jumped to conclusions concerning CoD players. It's difficult not to when faced with the rampant hatred that spreads like wildfire on the Internet. As such, I had to admit, I felt bad for him. Others should, too.

Disclaimer: Despite the relatively dark picture I've painted here, this guy isn't going to go off and kill himself. He's fine; he's just a little bitter about the situation. He typically shrugs it off because after all, we have lives and responsibilities that require our attention. ;)

Published May. 5th 2014
  • Kitten Mother
    I don't really worry about what people play so long as they aren't contributing to the trolls that crawl out from those games. The trolls are what bother me, not the people that enjoy the games and are polite to fellow players.
  • John_8993
    This article is as stupid as people who claim "Christians are persecuted" because of a few random billboards even though they are the majority. Oooh, people online don't like you. Nut the fuck up and a grow a fucking spine. Being black, jewish, or a woman, on the internet let alone within a multiplayer game is like walking into a minefield of insults and harassment. If I and others can deal with being called a "nigger, spic, slut, etc" then a COD fan can deal with having their video game insulted.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Seems to me that if I was a CoD fan and I had to read aggressive, egotistical, self-righteous crap like that on a daily basis, I might get annoyed.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    I can admit I'm guilty of this. I guess in my defense, I just dislike the trolls that play CoD. The ones that make us all look bad, but I should consider there are basically just as many in every other game. At least percentage wise.
  • SDowner
    Featured Contributor
    I've never understood the need to insult and verbally attack someone based on what kind of games you like to play. Sure, CoDs success can be blamed for a lot of things (though various developers and publishers trying to jump on its success are more at fault) but we're all gamers right?

    Who cares what games you play as long as you enjoy it!
  • zoLo567
    Senior Intern
    I personally do not like the CoD series anymore. However, if someone else loves the series, let them. I am not gonna discriminate on someone for loving a specific series. I play some games that others hate, and that is okay. Its a matter of opinion. If he loves CoD, than that is his personal preference. I never understood hating on someone for liking a game that you do not. It makes you a total ass. We all love different things. People need to learn to respect those opinions
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    He has my sympathy. You already read my piece on what it's like being a fan of multiplayer in general, so I imagine it's been even worse for him. CoD fans have found some safe havens, at least from what I've seen, but they are isolated and often still get badgered. I think it's more a problem in general with the community that some many different fans/niches are subjugated so casually. How did we get here? And more importantly, how do we stop this from happening?
  • Ashley Gill
    Associate Editor
    The whole reason it gets a lot of hate on the internet (and not real life, mind you) is because this type of game has dominated the market in such a way, that big publishing is scared to try anything new.

    Also, JRPG fans are the ones who get the poopy end of the stick these days in terms of the gaming community. Japanese RPGs used to be the standard on consoles, and today people are ashamed to even admit they like a single game in the genre.

    So, no. CoD fans are not persecuted the most by any margin.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    I'm not really seeing that. People don't get attacked in forums because they like JRPGs. In fact, in my experience, many are sympathetic because of how JRPGs have declined in quality over the years.

    It's hardly a patch on what happens to Call of Duty fans who see a dozen "This is why Call of Duty Sucks" articles on a daily basis.

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