Don’t Censor the Swastika in Call of Duty: WW2

 

On the morning of June 6, 1944 American troops stormed Omaha beach in order to defend liberty and free a continent. This event, coupled with the battles, significant loss of life and atrocities committed during the second World War should not be forgotten.

On the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion I want to make a plea to Activision and Sledgehammer Games. Please do not censor the existence of the Nazi out of Call of Duty: WW2.

I understand why you would censor out the swastika from your game. Countries like Germany and Russia still actively censor out the infamous symbol unless the medium it appears within has scientific, historical or artistic merit.

It is easier to simply use a replacement like the iron cross or some other symbol that alludes to the Nazi existence rather than have to deal with censoring the game in certain locations or including different modes that either feature or remove the symbol.

But sometimes the easiest route needs to be forgotten in order for the noble one to rise. I believe that Sledgehammer Games has a moral obligation to create a piece of art that honors history with truth, not censorship.

Call of Duty: WW2 will sell millions of copies and make Activision more than enough money to make up for the possible fees necessary to create multiple modes that either include or restrict the Nazi symbolism.

In my mind, the game doesn’t even need to have the swastika included mode as the default, but its existence should not and cannot be completely omitted from a game claiming to highlight the turmoil and struggle of World War 2 soldiers. I can’t speak for the soldiers that were there, but I feel that if we censor or dumb down their experiences, we are doing a disservice to the sacrifices they have made.

I fully understand the counterarguments. Some may point out Call of Duty’s selective accuracy with warfare. The already announced inclusion of female soldiers within all multiplayer factions, and the inevitable wacky camos and skins for weapons don’t represent a historically accurate depiction of World War 2. The zombies co-op mode is also a work of fiction that clearly holds no historical merit.

Despite this, I am still inclined to insist that Sledgehammer Games creates a campaign that honors history to the fullest extent possible. The Swastika should remain offensive, it was the symbol for one of, if not the most deplorable group in human history.

The Nazi’s existed, concentration camps happened and millions died in the deadliest conflict the world has ever seen. As time stretches farther from these events, it becomes even more important to uphold and represent the significance of World War 2, even in an arcade shooter.

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