Andy McNab Defends COD, Video Game Violence

Following an inquest into the suicide of 14 year-old Callum Green last March, coroner John Pollard blamed violent video games (or to be more precise, Call of Duty) for the tragic teen’s death.

However, in today’s edition of The Sun, war novelist and former SAS operative Andy McNab discounted these claims, stating that militaristic video games such as Call of Duty produce positive role models and are ultimately “teaching lessons of morality.”


Reiterating what has been said a thousand times over, McNab states that there is no sufficient evidence to prove that violent video games (or films for that matter) can motivate youngsters to take a life. He also addresses the point that just about everyone consumes interactive media nowadays though his argument soon goes off on a bit of a weird tangent.

Comparing video game protagonists with real world icons such as David Beckham, McNab claims that the former excel in conveying positive moral messages. In a nutshell, he believes that morality is best taught through the delivery of violence, saying that video game heroes such as CoD mainstays Soap McTavish, John Price, and Victor Reznov always “do the right thing.”

It’s true that, in most cases, these pixelated paragons will protect the innocent and attempt to quash evil, though not without slaughtering hundreds if not thousands along the way. Though many will agree that the interactive journeys of video game heroes can sometimes yield inspiring qualities, conveying this message through a shroud of constant bullet-fire and gore (at least in my opinion) can override any such moral code from the perspective of an under-age gamer.

Source: The Sun



  1. Shoot first, decide moral implications later.

  2. Well, I’m not gonna argue with him. If he says it’s Tuesday, it’s Tuesday ;p

  3. And this is in The Sun?! Aren’t they supposed to be sensationalising stuff like this?

    • The way the story is presented suggests that The Sun has simply given him a platform on which to comment.

  4. So kids should look up to a murdering bastard that has taken on 100s of Russians without getting scratched. Even the T-800 would be impressed by that. :O Plus, COD is not known for offering moral choices. ;) So prehaps we should get kids to play RPGs that offer moral choices in an attempt to get them to get some role models? I recall certain heros in videogames doing the right thing that doesn’t involve violence and it sounds like Mcnab is actually saying that violence is okay as long as it’s the right thing.

    I am a bit surprised the Daily Mail hasn’t put “VIDEO GAMES CAUSE SUICIDE! BAN VIDEO GAMES!” on their front page.

  5. What a pointless addition to the argument. If we start arguing about the morality of characters in a video-game, I feel it’s only going to make it more murky, and idiot parents will feel justified in giving 18 games to their kids rather than realising an 18 game is not for a kid around 7, simple!

  6. shit the situation has been evicted from big brother….
    oh sorry this story didnt hold my attention enough…

  7. Seriously, are we really back to this ridiculous arguement!

  8. “coroner John Pollard blamed violent video games (or to be more precise, Call of Duty) for the tragic teen’s death” . Not sure i’m comfortable with this opening statement from TSA. I’ve seen articles in several usual rags mentioning COD in same context as tragic Callum’s death but have not seen anywhere the coroner blaming COD or games for his death. From the articles I’ve seen the coroner correctly explains that age certs are on games for a good reason and also says that it’s not known if Callum meant to kill himself or shock his parents. Linking these to to come up with this ( senstationalist) opening statement seems like the very type of journalism that we lambast the likes of the Sun and Mail for regularly. Please feel free to point me in the direction of the statement where the coroner directly blames COD and games for the death if I’ve missed something.

  9. If Callum commit suicide, then he had bigger issues than video games, if he did it to get his parents attention, then maybe there was something wrong with his parents?

    I’m sure the coroner is suitably well educated and understands that such a remark is inflammatory. But most likely the press took his comments out of context to create a story to sell papers (toilet paper most likely).

  10. It was rock music before, then films, then rap and now video games. Fact is millions upon millions of people enjoy games, it is probable a few are likely to be the kind of f#ck wits to cause harm and death to others.

    You know what media – we could point the finger at you! The constant reporting and coverage of such crimes and events gives the sadistic lawbreakers a name and moment of fame. Perhaps they don’t think “call of duty looks cool, I wanna shoot some people” but more likely “cool, if I shoot shit up I’ll be famous via papers and tv news coverage”.


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