'Call of Duty' Spot Is Near Perfect


Age is also an issue -- the game is rated Mature, and the agency has had to defend the ad, saying everyone in it is over 18. The issue of whether the game glorifies war, or desensitizes young minds, is also a very real one.

But let's leave the violence-as-porn issue aside for now and instead bask in the glory that is the plus-size shooter girl in the puffy-shouldered, half-sleeved purple shirt. We can debate whether it represents feminist progress that four women are seen shooting weapons in the spot. It is, sort of. The casting is brilliant in showing the easy diversity of everyday people in their everyday outfits (a concierge, a pizza guy, a doctor, etc.) who are all crucial to the game, and gender has nothing to do with it.

For once, women are part of the action, and they don't have to look like Angelina Jolie (although the black woman in black heels and gray suit sure qualifies).

Indeed, the gal with the glasses, who is maybe a size 16, has already received the same kind of attention online as the ad's two (wildly diverse) celebrities: NBA star Kobe Bryant, whose weapon bears the tag "Mamba," and talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, who is Kobe's opposite. He falls over while shooting, representing the rest of us, and his gun reads, "Proud Noob," which is what made me laugh. This one ad will probably do more for Kimmel's Q rating than a year of late-night shows.

There's also a Patty-Hearst-as-Tania type in a long skirt, Birkenstocks and knit cap, and another woman in jeans. The chunky girl ends up kicking down a door and gets a huge grin on her face. Since when is an overweight woman portrayed as a player, alongside everyone else, rather than as a butt of a joke?

The one thing I don't like is the tagline, which is also the ad's title: "There's a soldier in all of us." I think it trivializes the sacrifices that actual soldiers make. The ad is more about honoring your inner badass.

It would probably help us all as a country if we got this stuff out of our systems this way as a group. Game on.