Doug ‘Censor’ Martin is one of the most widely-followed creators in the Call of Duty scene. He’s constantly innovating, and recently, his efforts to dominate a world record attempt involving pull-ups have been the source of entertainment and inspiration for many thousands of Call of Duty fans. However, while arguing with a player during a game of Modern Warfare II, Censor lost full, throwing out a string of insults that ended with a homophobic slur.
In the clip that has been captured and spread around social media like wildfire, Censor tries to catch himself both before and after he says the ‘F-Word’. He stammers before saying it and immediately garbles afterwards, recognising at that moment exactly what he has said and the implications that will (and did) arise from saying it. Within a short time, he’d uploaded a video to Twitter addressing the incident and has since received mixed feedback on the incident.
Call of Duty’s Toxicity is Eternal
Censor has a monumental following and makes his living by streaming Call of Duty and competing in the Challenger’s circuit. That means he’s more vulnerable to the criticisms of the COD community at large, but some of the feedback he’s received is indicative of the state of the COD scene. For instance, many players and fans commenting on this incident have taken the time to suggest that those insulted by Censor’s slur are ‘soft’.
There are the age-old claims that Call of Duty has ‘always been this way’, ‘it was worse in my day’, or the scene-favourite, ‘you wouldn’t have survived my lobbies’.
In 2023, people are striving to do better, and that’s the sentiment that was laid out by Censor in his apology video:
As he said, he let someone get under his skin, and he ‘slipped up’. It’s part and parcel of competitive gaming, but how you react is everything. He explained that he’s disappointed in himself, and he’s already miserable about his expectations that his fans will use him as an example and repeat the slur ‘because it’s okay for him to do it.’ There were some who noticed that Censor didn’t really apologise for using the slur, but instead, used his platform as an outlet to explain why saying it has upset him or to vent about what will happen to him moving forward.
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Will COD Ever Change?
As I’ve highlighted, the Call of Duty scene has forever been plagued by an air of toxicity that permeates every competitive player. It’s almost natural for Call of Duty players to feel some animosity towards their fellow gamers – whether they’re fighting with them or against them. There are countless experiences I can personally draw upon from playing Call of Duty multiplayer for 15 years where I’ve been drawn into arguments with others while playing the game.
In one comment, a user wrote, ‘COD will have the Pope saying slurs.’ In another, someone wrote, ‘COD is like 75% slurs.’
It’s a representative example of the community at large because barely any comments on Censor’s video were talking about what he did wrong. They were almost all geared towards ‘it not being a problem’, or ‘it being normal for Call of Duty.’ That’s a huge issue when a large majority of Call of Duty’s audience is made up of younger people – they’re impressionable, and they’re learning that racism, sexism, and misogyny are ‘okay’.
But will COD ever change?
Related: Talking About Toxic Communities