Ex-Call of Duty dev: US military can learn a thing or two from game marketing

By Stephany Nunneley
3 October 2014 17:53 GMT

Dave Anthony, former writer and director for Call of Duty: Black Ops and Black Ops 2, spoke recently during a Atlantic Counsel meeting, and discussed how to use marketing to convince the American public to embrace emergency scenarios such as posting undercover US soldiers in schools.

According to Anthony, the best way for the US military to convince the public of something it wouldn’t normally agree with, is to market it as a company would a product.

“When we have a new product that has elements that we’re not sure how people will respond to, what do we do as a corporation?” he asked. “We market it, and we market it as much as we can – so that whether people like it or not, we do all the things we can to essentially brainwash people into liking it before it actually comes out.”

Anthony feels policy-makers should use marketing as a way to fix “solvable problem” such as the public equating military stationed in public schools with a police state.

“Imagine the concept of something like a ‘school marshal,’” he said. “Now these guys are US soldiers who are in plainclothes, whose job and part of their responsibility is to protect schools,” he said. “The public won’t like it, they’ll think it’s a police state. All of these are solvable problems. I look at the US military and government, ironically, as having some of the very same problems as what the Call of Duty franchise has.

“We are both on top of our game. We are both the best in the world at what we do. We both have enemies who are trying to take us down at any possible opportunity. But the difference is, we know how to react to that.”

The former game developer feels the biggest threat to national security at the moment is an invasion “from within” and made his point by showing a mock up scenario of a drone hacked by Iran used to attack a hotel in Las Vegas.

He stated in his talk the biggest threat at the moment is extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.

“It could be that you have 100 of these guys who may be on our soil right now, who may even be US citizens, who could legally walk into whatever gun store they choose, buy some assault rifles, and start attacking soft targets,” he said.

The October 1 talk held by the Atlantic Counsel was titled “The Future of Unknown Conflict”. The firm is a “nonpartisan think-tank in the field of international affairs,” which was founded in 1961 and is independent of the US government and NATO.

One of the firm’s specializations is thinking up scenarios and identify potential problems should an invasion or natural disaster occur. It discusses ways in which emergency response teams or if needed, the military, can approach life-threatening situations.

You can view Anthony’s talk below.

Thanks GI International via Business Week.

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