Dave Anthony, who’s been behind the call of duty series as both a producer and a direction, was recently been invited to join the ominously named Atlantic Council, an influential political and military think tank established in 1961, during the cold war. As a strategic adviser to the Art of Future War Project, Anthony addressed an audience at a special event last month called “The Future of Unknown Conflict.”
In a related interview, Anthony commented on the use of Call Of Duty games by soldiers on active duty within the military, both to blow off steam and to keep themselves sharp. The relationship between Call of Duty developer Treyarch and the U.S. military establishment goes back to at least 2012 (and probably much further) when none other than former lieutenant colonel Oliver North was credited as a consultant on COD: Black Ops 2, in which he also made a brief appearance. With the current games jumping into the near future, Anthony seems to suggest that the futuristic war modalities on display in his games could assist soldiers in battle preparedness.
It’s reaching a level of realism where you can really believe that these conflicts could happen…the environment is realistic, the soldiers look realistic, the guns themselves are extremely realistic.
But the thinking behind Anthony’s involvement in the Atlantic council has more to do with shaking things up in Washington than in answering that dogged question of whether or not video games can make better killers. The goal of the project is to leverage the creative process that artist excel at when it comes to applying the power of ‘non-linear’ or ‘discontinuous thinking’ to explorations of diverse and likely scenarios.
By discussing his own creative methods during the production of a Call of Duty games Anthony advises political and military strategists to assume that a terrorist event has already happened, then work backwards. Here he points out that a terrorist attack using airplanes, such as the one carried out on 9/11 was predicted in film (1997), in written fiction (1994) on television (2001).
Anthony joins the company of other artists who have worked with the Atlantic Council, such as Terminator Salvation director McG.