Call of Duty and VICE team up to expose private militaries

call duty vice team expose private militaries kevin spacey

In the midst of all the excitement over the recent Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare reveal (Hover-bikes! Frank Underwood!), Activision slipped in something surprisingly somber. The publisher teamed up with VICE Magazine to produce a video that explores troubling trends in the rise of private military corporations (or PMCs) in global affairs. 

Although not the first shooter to feature PMCs in recent years, this does mark something of a shift towards a more critical cynicism for a series that has traditionally taken a somewhat “rah-rah ‘Murica!” tone. If the video failed to get you upset enough, they also released this supporting infographic with more depressing numbers:

vice pmc

PMCs have thumbed their nose at the UN convention banning mercenaries, using semantics to wedge open a distressingly transparent loophole while they quietly take over global military operations. The rapid evolution of PR mechanisms over the last few decades may be one of their most effective weapons in this takeover, allowing it to happen with manageable amounts of public outcry. Firms like Blackwater and Titan Corporation have all quietly changed their names in recent years to the much more innocuous Academi and L-3 Communications, respectively, apparently having figured out that their original monikers sounded a bit too much like video game villains to go unnoticed. 

While it stands to be seen how this theme will be explored in the game itself, it is encouraging to see a pillar of mainstream gaming attempting to engage with such serious, contemporary issues. Perhaps no amount of discourse will be able to save us now, though, and soon once-mighty nation states will be under the boot of our corpocratic masters. It wouldn’t be the first thing that “Snow Crash” got right.

Gaming

Kingdom Hearts 3 on Nintendo Switch reportedly never going to happen

Kingdom Hearts 3 for the Nintendo Switch will likely not happen, according to Game Informer's senior editor, Imran Khan. Square Enix is reportedly considering an alternative in bringing the franchise to the console.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

Apex Legends dataminers discover upcoming characters and weapons

Dataminers have discovered code in Apex Legends that refers to characters named Octane and Wattson, and weapons named the Havoc Rifle and the L-Star EMG. Octane is believed to have a Stim Pack ability, while Wattson has the Tesla Trap.
Gaming

Bayonetta 3 still in the works, set to launch on Nintendo Switch this year

Bayonetta 3 was notably absent from the latest Nintendo Direct presentation, raising concerns that the game will be delayed. A Nintendo executive clarified that the Nintendo Switch exclusive remains on track for a 2019 release.
Gaming

Over 16,000 Apex Legends cheaters have already been banned by Respawn

Respawn Entertainment revealed that it has already banned over 16,000 cheaters in Apex Legends in the less than two weeks since its release. The developer may be working on an in-game feature to report cheaters.
Gaming

Get the most life out of your Xbox One controller with these tips

The Xbox One controller has fantastic battery life, but eventually your batteries will still die. To make it even better and ensure you never have to stop gaming, follow these tips.
Gaming

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Gaming

A beginner’s guide to Far Cry New Dawn’s postapocalyptic Hope County

Far Cry New Dawn is yet another entry in Ubisoft's popular open world shooter franchise. But while it may feel quite similar in motion, the progression system is changed in a lot of ways. Our beginner's guide is here to help.
Gaming

Learn to scavenge like a pro with our Far Cry New Dawn crafting guide

Far Cry New Dawn revolves around the hunt -- the hunt for materials to craft new weapons, vehicles, and other useful items. It's easy to miss out on great opportunities to find new materials if you don't go off the beaten path.
Gaming

Here's our take on the best game-streaming services currently out there

You can still get your physical video game discs or cartridges at your local store or download games digitally, but another option is even more convenient: Game streaming. Here are the best game streaming services.