Jezebel Author Defends Black Ops Ad

While an Atlantic columnist dubbed an advertisement for Call of Duty: Black Ops “twisted,” a fellow scribe at Jezebel defended the ad for prominently featuring female gamers.

Jezebel previously published a column in which the author, unhappy with how games were being marketed to females, offered tips on targeting women gamers. In the new Black Ops-focused piece, Margaret Hartmann wrote that “this ad actually acknowledges that not all of the 5.6 million copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops sold in the first 24 hours were bought by white men ages 18-34.”

Hartmann added that, even though she chooses not to play first-person shooters, “… I’m still excited to see marketers reach out to female gamers in an way that doesn’t demean them.”

In further defense of the ad, she offered:

I actually only spotted a confident, shotgun-wielding woman enjoying a video game, but either way, how does featuring real people in a war zone make this ad worse than any other commercial?

After lamenting the fact that Black Ops only features the ability to play as male characters, Hartmann added:

Even if women are still second-class citizens in the world of video games, hopefully this commercial is a sign that marketers are starting to realize female gamers make up a large and diverse group. And sometimes we enjoy a good explosion, even if it isn’t pink.

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  1. 0
    Speeder says:

    I agree with you too.


    If you look upward there are people bashing me for mentioning reproduction…


    I wonder if they are not concerned for those countries with birth rates lower than 2.1 children per couple (when this happen the population shrink and you have economic problems). And the US in particular is moving toward that too.


    — Maurício Gomes

  2. 0
    Weatherlight says:

    !!!Lies and Slander!!!, !!!Lies and Slander!!! Burn the witch, she makes sense……

    "If you really care about gender and sex not being important, stop paying so much attention to it"

    Lol, exactly the point I wish I could state, however I am a white male which makes this comment racist & sexist. Unfortunately you are now a racist…


  3. 0
    Samster says:

    As a female gamer who has been playing "men’s" games for twenty years now, I have to say the main thing that bothers me is when women are only marketed to for ‘girly’ games, so to see women run around with shotguns in military settings for a game ad (and not even fake barbie women either) made my heart soar, too :’D

    That said, plenty of times there are good reasons why a female character does not fit the setting, for historical or plot purposes etc., and I can think of plenty of noteworthy female icons in gaming anyway. Equality doesn’t necessarily mean equality of numbers. Who stands out more to you? Generic male beefcake soldier x from video game y in the 90s, or someone like Lara Croft, Claire Redfield or Alyx Vance?

    With various sexual orientations getting increasingly more coverage and choice in games, I honestly think the games industry is doing very well on this issue. Offering choice is excellent, but I’d hate to see ‘token’ genders, ethnicities and orientations forcibly inserted into a game for the sake of equality. If you really care about gender and sex not being important, stop paying so much attention to it and just enjoy the game, eh?

  4. 0
    Speeder says:

    (note: This GP editor is crap, it keeps reloading and deleting my text, also when I click preview it delets my text to, and it has no "post" button, only preview…)


    I bow to you.

  5. 0
    Monte says:

    Wow… simply wow…

    Women and reproduction… This is an utterly stupid argument since only a small portion of the country’s population is part of the military. even if there was as many women as men in the military we would not be in any real danger of our population being reduced by a lack of reproduction. Even if the military was made up of nothing but women we would not be in such danger. really this arguement would only make sense is if a HUGE portion of our female population was taking part in the military AND dying in the field.

    The physical difference between men and women… First off, much of military combat is done with guns which has little to do with physical strength; a woman can easily be just as good with a rifle as a man. Second, Hand-to-hand combat training can often overcome a difference in physical strength; this is especially true in cases like the middle-east where the enemy is poorly trained compared to our own troops. Third, women ARE capable of being stronger than men, though it may not come as easily and they are weaker on average; but to exclude women on such a blanket statement would mean that you should also greatly raise the standards for men and eliminate any man who does not meet certain VERY high-level physical requirements (which i will mention some women are capable of reaching  aswell); the kind of requirement that puts them on the level of the "average" woman. Though the whole argument is stupid since women can make very capable soldiers. Also not thinking recklessly is an ASSET to a solider not a weakness; reckless action is what can easily get a soldier killed and lead to huge mistakes that can cost allied or civilian lives.

    Impregnation… You’re seriously suggesting that this level of self control is a serious problem in the military? Honestly, separate trenches? you think their gonna do something ON the battlefield? if that’s the case then our military as FAR bigger issues if they allow themselves to fall so easily. Isn’t disipline supposed to be a big corner stone of military training? Training is seriously lacking if this is such a damn huge issue. Honestly this is as stupid as the anti-gay arguments that claim two gay men can’t serve together on the battlefield without feeling each other up. And really rape by bored soldiers? again, the women are supposed to be trained… and if soldiers are willing to RAPE women for ANY reason (much less being bored) then THEY are the first that should be removed from service, NOT women. 

  6. 0
    Aidinthel says:

    Firstly, your arguments about necessity for reproduction are completely ridiculous. Do you seriously believe that our population is in such crises that we need to worry about that? Next you’ll be saying that it is a women’s duty to the nation to have children or something. It’s an individual choice, just like enlistment. 

    And it doesn’t matter what the statistical differences are. There are women who’s strength is a match for a man’s and I don’t see why they should be denied the opportunity to fight if they want to. Equal opportunity does not mean a lowering of standards.

    Oh god, seriously? You don’t think our soldiers have any self-control at all? Or perhaps access to birth control? Separate sleeping quarters will do nicely, and it wouldn’t be very difficult at all, since you’d need the building for the extra soldiers anyway. Your worldview seems so ridiculous to me…what’s next…

    ……RAPE!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Laying aside the fact that BOTH individuals would be armed and trained in combat, I’m pretty sure the military enforces some basic standard of discipline above the level of savage barbarity! I really can’t understand the way you think, your arguments seem more appropriate to the Victorian era…



  7. 0
    Father Time says:

    "First and foremost, women are VERY important assets regarding reproduction, you can have a single man have several women impregnated at the same time, but you cannot have a women have several babies at the same time. Thus allowing women getting killed is stupid."

    I think that argument only works if the country is incredibly desperate and has to send a large percentage of the population over to fight. As it stand now only a small percentage is needed so this isn’t a problem.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  8. 0
    Speeder says:

    Once I was reading a argument between civilians about why military dislike women.

    The pro-women in military went to say that military must think women are weaker, and inferior, and etc…

    The anti-women in military had a argument that indeed, I noticed was reasonable:

    First and foremost, women are VERY important assets regarding reproduction, you can have a single man have several women impregnated at the same time, but you cannot have a women have several babies at the same time. Thus allowing women getting killed is stupid.

    Second, women and men ARE different, you cannot train them the same, it is already proved that in average men are 66% stronger than women (that is, if you get the strength of all men and women and compare this is the result, individual women may be way stronger than a individual man, my sister for example is still a teenager and can lift weights with some arm muscles more than me), among other differences in way of thinking too (on average man are more reckless, thus more useful to dangerous stuff, like being cannon fodder).

    Third, lots of men and women confined = lots of impregnations… You don’t want lots of pregnant women and future fathers in battlefield, and avoiding that is quite hard, the logistics would be awful, having to make separate barracks, buildings, maybe even trenches.


    Russia for example and their female snipers, it was easy, snipers don’t need brute strength, they need steady arm and intelligence (something that don’t differ between male and female), and snipers being elite soldiers, can be put in another location without issue, since they are by definition a small number (both male and female), and finally, snipers go on the field more or less alone, meaning they can stay in the field some days without fearing getting raped by bored soldiers (unless they go out of their way to walk to the sniper nest… something that would be stupid, since they would be open for enemy snipers during the trip, and would be considered desertion of their position).



    So, sorry Jezebel, but having no female infantry soldiers there is quite obvious.


    Maurício Gomes

  9. 0
    Speeder says:

    What, my text?


    Why you don’t argue then? Just accusing the argument without arguing is kinds pointless.

    For example, why it is self-serving? To me is no advantage men being drafted and women not.

    And why it is prejudice? Against men that I said are likely to rape women, or against women that I said are less likely to be suitable for front-line infantary work?

    Notice the games are about infantary, thus I was talking about infantary, I know great women fighter pilots, helicopter crew, navy, etc… In a tech event here the armed forces (all of them at the same time) had a booth to show their tech stuff, the leader of the booth was a women from Air Force (that although the forces don’t usually interacted with each other, I’ve seen her scolding some navy soldiers that did shit, and later giving orders to army people regarding some other stuff, and she was officially in charge of a group of Air Force scientists that went to show their research)


    — Maurício Gomes

  10. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    I find it really surprising that in FPSes set in the late 20th and early 21st century that only a handful feature playable female characters. Especially the militarily focuses ones.

  11. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    I think it’s great that women are finally being included as a target for games. Now I just wish that such ads would also include older people. In the CoD Black Ops ad I don’t see a single man over age 40, and no women over age 30. Now I think the ad would have been even stronger if it had included a couple of middle-aged people and some old age pensioners.

  12. 0
    Father Time says:

     I too am glad that they are featuring women in their marketing in fact I’m glad that most (if not all) of the people in the ad are people who don’t fit the gamer stereotype.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  13. 0
    edmoss87 says:

    "look of exasperation on that little, shotgun-wielding girl." I actually only spotted a confident, shotgun-wielding woman enjoying a video game

    I’m glad the author pointed this out, calling the woman in the ad a ‘little girl’ because she had a chubby face was downright insulting. I’m glad we haven’t seen a deluge of comments saying "OMG they’re marketing this to kids!" from a bunch of idiots who are too stupid to accept that they are wrong. (So far there’s only one such comment on the original article)

  14. 0
    Papa Midnight says:

    Let’s get the sarcasm out the way real quick: "You leave Dead or Alive out of this!". :) Besides, we all know that the more it shows, the higher the armor rating.

    Well, considering the military outfit, and especially the role of women in the military in many of them during the time periods, Women were not allowed to serve in the military and some others that were allowed could only serve in a very limited capacity. The one country that I know would prominently use women in the military as a force during this time period were the Russians who had an entire veritable squadron of female trained snipers.

    Papa Midnight

  15. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Of course you can only play as male characters.  This game is going for realism and having women running around the battlefield in a thong and pushup bra (with perhaps a shoulder pad or gauntlet for protection) would vastly diminish that authentic feeling.


    Andrew Eisen

  16. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I think the Call of Duty campaing is just very funny, but like this columnist is saying, it´s also aknowledging women as a potential public for a game that is mainly marketed for males.

    People that see this ad as another sign of the end of the world  and morality, like the columnist from the Atlantic did, should be disregarded and filed on the "get out of my lawn" archive.

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship):

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