— THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE

CALL OF DUTY x AMNESTY.

With such a strong brand behind them, Amnesty International are always coming up with novel, creative ways to get their (traditionally0 hard-hitting message across.

But, sometimes those messages can be somewhat preaching to the converted. That’s why this idea from the Amnesty and Activision (creators of the Call Of Duty series) is smart, and in some ways, hopefully more effective in spreading their message.

Anybody who even has a passing interest in gaming will be aware that the Call of Duty series is somewhat of phenomenon. The previous ‘Black Ops’ addition to the series was the highest grossing entertainment product in the 2010. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 broke records itself, and the anticipation for the game was pretty self-evident to anybody who walked past a HMV store the weeks of release. However (as this film touches on), it’s really the ‘stickiness’ of the game that provides the biggest opportunity. Online, players are spending hours completing extra game maps and linking online with players around the world.

Here’s where the power of Amnesty’s message steps in. Supplanting their own ‘map’ into the online experience. Now it’s not just about saving the world from Nuclear disaster, or despotic rogue Russian heavies, it’s about helping victims of war crimes and torture escape their captors. Players buy the Amnesty map on the Playstation store and are instantly transported into the narrative. The hyper realism that CoD prides itself on, becomes the most valuable asset in bringing visually to life the suffering of victims and the visceral danger that these victims are constantly under.

I could imagine that there would be critics of this approach, potentially seeing that their message was being diluted with it’s inclusion in a ‘video game’. But as the gaming continues it’s march from geek pursuit to mainstream entertainment platform, the power of these games to create narratives that smart brands can disrupt and twist, is all too real. Amnesty have taken this to the next level. I for one, am excited to see this in action.

(Via Edward Boches)

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