5 Things I Learned From Call of Duty

I played a lot of video games growing up; not as much as those weird neck-bearded kids who play WoW, but enough to learn just how much time one can waste playing them. After I got home from school I’d grab a snack and sit my ass on the couch and start playing until dinner. I’d go to friends houses on weekends and play games and when a new game came out I’d play it tirelessly until I beat it. Fifteen hours a week isn’t all that much when you’re a teenager; school is easy and you have no reason to be doing anything else, but the older I get the more I realize how much of a time-sink it was. However, there are a few important lessons I learned from playing all those hours.

1. There are complainers…

Most guys who play CoD either talk shit about how they fucked your mother or they just keep silent. The rest are those who bitch and moan about every little detail. They’re the guys who complain you’re ‘hacking,’ playing unfairly, or using a loadout that gives you an advantage. They’re the sore losers and you encounter them in the real world all the time. In the real world those same guys whine about following the rules because they are scared of stepping out of line, they are the people who believe everyone needs to be brought to the same level lest one be left out. The best way I’ve found to deal with them is just ignore them. Ignore those who complain about perceived problems the same way you would ignore some 13 year old kid whining how using RPGs aren’t fair.

cod complainer

2. …and then there are those who find patterns.

On the more extreme end of things there are those who learn patterns and exploit them. They’re the guys who learn spawning patterns, optimized loadouts, good sniping positions and so on. They put in serious time to get good at the game, they also know they have to do more than learn the game to get good at the game. In the time it takes them to master the theoretical or detail oriented parts of the game their motor skills have increased as well. These guys are like us. We improve our social skills, appearance, and confidence as well as exploiting the current system in order to get better at the game of life.

3. The importance of competition

Competition is at the core of our masculinity, without it we are just participating in existence. Call of Duty is the most immediate form of competition I have come across and I never realized its importance until the first powerlifting meet I competed in. At the meet adrenaline coursed through my veins between attempts and although I cheered others on I felt a burning desire to lift as much as I damn could to prove myself better than the rest. While you may only be competing against half-literate, drugged out teenagers playing Call of Duty, you still get that same rush when trying to annihilate the other team. Even while relaxing with friends, having a few beers and playing CoD you want to beat their score. You want to be the best.

cod girl

4. The average man sucks

The last CoD game I played regularly was the first Black Ops game. There was an option to look at another player’s scorecard. This scorecard showed their kill/death ratio, win/loss ratio, and every other imaginable metric of success. In this data was hours played. Between matches I’d always look at the opposition’s scorecard and 9 times out of 10 the dude had fucking terrible stats. I would regularly see players who played hundreds of hours yet still died more than they killed. Even though most guys play CoD to relax they’re still fucking terrible and aren’t any better than when they started. Same goes in the real world. Most men you meet will be extremely average, and as we all know average never got anyone anywhere. You reconnect with a friend 5 years down the line and his accomplishments include: having a mortgage, being in debt, becoming overweight, and maybe driving a new car.

5. People will do anything if given the right rewards

Video game developers are crafty sons of bitches, like social media mavens they sell instant gratification. When you think about it a game like Call of Duty is extremely boring and repetitive. Each game is 10-15 minutes long and you do the exact same thing each time, something has to keep you coming back. While much of the draw can be attributed to the thrill of competition and success there is another factor: the instant gratification of rewards. The first few hours you play Call of Duty you’re assaulted with various medals, ribbons, unlocks and upgrades. You get a medal for 5 kills, then 50, then 500. You get sucked in from the start and desire the hardest to get rewards. As in the real world people will perform the same mindless action day in, day out given enough monetary or emotional compensation.

cod 2

I still play from time to time. Its nice to do nothing but move your thumbs for an hour, but no man should spend the majority of his precious free time doing something so unproductive as playing video games. One of my biggest regrets from being a teenager was spending much of my time alone playing games when I could have been out doing something interesting, or in the very least reading books. However I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned. I know now to ignore those who complain and instead of complaining myself I seek out ways to overcome obstacles and get better. I know now how easily average people can be manipulated into doing mindless things if they are sufficiently compensated. Most importantly I know the importance of competition in masculine development.

Read Next: The 6 Commandments of Masculinity

35 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned From Call of Duty”

  1. This article was surprisingly good considering the title. Note to future RoK writers: when you write an article, tie in some real macro-lessons about life that can be understood and applied by the readers.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Second note to future writers: Learn how to fucking title your article without starting with ‘5 Things I Learned From’…

    2. Couldn’t agree more. Second note to future writers: Learn how to fucking title your article without starting with ‘5 Things I Learned From’…

  2. >no man
    should spend the majority of his precious free time doing something so
    unproductive as playing video games.
    Wait, why again should we care what your standards for adult masculinity are?
    Who are you to try and define for us what is and isn’t acceptably manly?

    1. And who are you to challenge him?
      Why don’t you start over, and tell us why video games are worth the majority of a man’s time.

      1. >And who are you to challenge him?
        Pretty sure the default “Neither bitch nor homey” applies.
        >Why don’t you start over, and tell us why video games are worth the majority of a man’s time.
        Because it’s irrelevant to his credentials.
        Why don’t you try answering for him?

        1. Nor have you supplied any credentials that deem you worthy of being taken seriously. I can play the reductio ad absurdum game better than you can.
          If the subject of authority interests you so much, perhaps you should write an article on it.

    2. i can answer that. many of these people are trying to become alpha. “trying to become” means that they are not naturally so, and as such, need someone else to teach them how to be so. even though it’s good advice not to waste the majority of one’s time (youth) on gaming, many of these guys will take it as gospel because one of their alpha mentors wrote it; not worthy of any sort of debate. you can expect to be trolled for having an independant opinion.

  3. Even though I prefer Halo, COD is an extraordinarily good game. Playing either games online – against other human beings – is akin to playing chess.

  4. Psh, shootan gaems. Go full nerd and play eSports games like Starcraft or Dota, these are some of the meanest, most judgmental, most unforgiving communities out there. Make the tiniest mistake, ask a teammate to do something, or even just winning the game and people will flame and bash and rage.
    Yet for some reason I’ve grown to love and feel at home with the constant trash talking and complete disregard for people’s feelings. It feels like… freedom.

    1. many of them suffer from deep insecurity and immaturity. combine it with anonymity and you get the sort of behavior that we see everyday in nearly every online community open to the general public, including any site that rund discus.

  5. 5 things I learned for Wolfenstein:
    1. Call of Duty can suck my balls.
    2. Call of Duty can suck my balls.
    3. Call of Duty can suck my balls.
    4. Call of Duty can suck my balls.
    5. Call of Duty can suck my balls.

      1. gee, and if the engine is the same, the games must be the same! did you ever play one game in your klife more then 5 minutes?

        1. lol, 5 minutes? strange insult.
          yep. plenty of time spent playing quake3, wolfenstein, MOHAA, COD1, and COD2, all of which ran on the same engine, and yes, were pretty much all the same as far as control and gameplay was concerned, minus the small tweaks that each game designer made to the engine to adapt it to the respective format. that’s why good quake3 players went on to dominate in all of those subsequent games with minimal learning curve.
          in the case of wolfenstein and call of duty, the differences were minimal, which is why it strikes me as funny that someone would like wolfenstein but think that COD sucks, or that 11 other readers would agree with it.

  6. The new Planetside is a great lesson in tactics…I feel playing strategic/tactical games is a far better waste of time than watching sports; but playing sports is better than both combined;but I can’t seem to get games of football going as easily as booting up my computer.

  7. There is something very pitiful about men who have nvr experienced hardship finding a sense of dominance in video games or in lifting heavy things while guzzling protein powder
    pathetic cockroaches

  8. Black Ops doesn’t even have any good players. The competitive nature you’re seeing is true, though. The competitive scene for call of duty died of with Call of Duty 4. Shooter (FPS) games aren’t about the public servers. They’ve always been about playing wars with a team versus another team or 1 versus 1 depending on what game you’re playing.
    I think that you can easily waste tons of time playing video games, including FPS games, but FPS games, when played on a decent level, can teach you a lot. Teamwork, pattern recognition, extremely good hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
    There’s also plenty of people who do this as a full-time job. You can talk shit about gamers all you want but someone playing games as their fulltime job is someone who is probably happier (and probably earns more) than someone doing an average 9-5 job and I can respect that.

  9. As an avid ‘competitive’ gamer, it’s not a productive hobby. To be good in games (or anything) you spend time on them. Deriving success from winning a tournament or 2 has this buzz due to man’s competitive nature but in the end we’re just pressing buttons. Even if you win money out of this to justify your time, you’re still pressing buttons infront of the screen. That is all.
    Thanks to this goal, I spent my good time overseas, a big time slot away from my parents… just studying and playing video games. Looking back, those years could’ve been used to extensively develop myself better as a genuine person. Such a big opportunity gone quite to waste. The few lessons which are stated in this article can be learnt but there are other means too.
    Top gamers aren’t exactly the best people around too. There are some cool people within the context of the hobby. However, you realize the more successful capitalize off the hobby’s industry or know when to stop and simply enjoy gaming for what it is, entertainment.
    Fortunately, I’m barely 20 but this has hit me hard when juggling ‘competitive gaming’ with my working life. Glad that I’m lifting, reading books, read manosphere websites and broadening my interests more. Bet it’s more fun to do some one night stands on cosplayers while simultaneously cockblocking white knights.

  10. Yeah, I learned during my late teenage years how much of a time and money sink video games really are. Haven’t bought a new one in five years. Unless your livelihood is in some way tied to games (like being a developer or a writer for a game publication), there are few better ways to waste your time.
    Always heard that the adamant COD players were petulant thirteen-year-olds. And given the overall mediocrity of the franchise, it indeed shows.

  11. If I kick your ass 8 times out of 10 and the other 2 times you killed me by throwing a C4 blindly…
    …I have every right to complain and/or talk shit to you. I personally choose the latter.
    But great article nonetheless!

  12. Only a BETA man would look back at extensive time playing video games as a WASTE.

  13. This article was great! Ive learned these same lessons playing starcraft and Magic the Gathering. What really stood out was 4. The average man sucks. Ive noticed this in many things not just video games, it solidifies my belief that people just arent created equal. Some have better genes than others and excel at many things while others spend a life of mediocracy.

  14. My question for you. What is wrong with playing video games for hours upon hours a day? If I play video games for 7 hours a day and you go out and try to meet women or talk to friends for 7 hours a day. Well which if us accomplished more? You had an orgasm, maybe, and I saved a princess from a burning tower. Which did more that day? I find in the end as long as you enjoy the activity regardless of the reward in physical form there is nothing wrong with it. You can go out and socialize with 20 bitches at a bar or meet up with 4 friends and try to talk… Who knows. But you know I can meet over 300 different people in under an hour and chat with at least 60 of them. I am more social than the average non gamer will ever be. I mean who here can honestly say they have spoken to a German, Japanese, French, and Vietnamese person at the same time? OR even just two of them.

  15. I pretty much play the storyline and stay away from the online playing.
    My stepson used to play practically 24 hours until his sister broke his game console.

  16. I was a competitive gamer in my teens, world ranking nerd lololol. When I quit gaming and picked up fitness and weightlifting I noticed the same principles I applied to succeed in the gaimz Also Applied To Deadlifting heavy objects: patience, commitment, dedication, consistency, ingenuity. Pretty much to do anything well in life follows a very similar formula, just have to want to make shit happen and take the steps towards it and it will be done. Being a shy nerd gaming may have been the one source of masculine expression I had that kept me from becoming a complete mangina.ps there’s literally guys who make a living gaming competitively in mlg (major league gaming), basically nerd athletes rofl.

  17. I was an “avid” gamer until sometime ago. And now I look back at the time with a kind of passive self loathing and even contempt. It was simply a symptom of directionless-ness and lack of control. Though even now I indulge from time to time but no way as much as back then.
    Whatever way you cut it, whatever epiphanies you’ve had, there is no denying it that video games are merely a major sink of energy. They are to be enjoyed like sweets are from time to time. Not made to be a lifestyle.
    The reason why they are so addictive is that they satisfy our psychological need for control, competition, adventure and even combat without having to do any work, take any risk or do any of the non-fun stuff that inevitably pops up in real life.

    1. Oh my lord, is that what I think it is?
      I didn’t even know that shit was on display anywhere.

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