If you’re fond of playing war-themed video games, you probably have played Call of Duty (There have been enough versions to cover most everyone on the planet at this point) i. It is a first-person shooter (FPS) game published by Activision, released in 2003. It’s easy to get hooked and immersed in the game, imagining yourself as this badass character doing badass things in the middle of the battle zone, all while on the couch. Sad to say, and I think people who have served in a combat role in the military will agree that the Call of Duty (CoD) is far from the military. To erase misperceptions about military life, here are some reasons why CoD is different:

You Can’t Customize Your Loadout Much 

You can’t embellish and bedazzle your M24 SWS with diamonds, nor can you attach an adorable charm to it. In fact, soldiers are not allowed to personalize their weapons as they are government propertyy. Of course, this does not strictly apply to those assigned to Special Operations units.  

You can’t choose your outfit, either

The military has a standardized uniform, this is so our own troops can recognize each other in the field. The better not to shoot at your own side. Generally speaking, you can’t just kit up in the Cool-Guy gear you bought online. Once again, this rule does not strictly apply to guys in Special Operations units.  During Vietnam, certain Green Berets and SEALs wore Levi’s jeans into the field because they were considered more durable than the OD green combat uniform was.  No one dared tell them to do otherwise.

Care packages are really just care packages

Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Leslie Orand and Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Denique Glenn, assigned to Naval Station Mayport Security Military Working Dog Unit, prepare holiday care packages for two of their deployed service members and their dogs in Iraq. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Leah Stiles (RELEASED)

In the game, care packages are delivered once you reach the number of a required killstreak. If you’re lucky, it might even contain an XS1 Goliath, which is a manually-piloted mechanized suit with tough armor and a machine gun on the side. In reality, these packages include necessities like flip-flops, lip balms, socks, or snacks like salsa, candies, and cookies. And you get them back at the FOB, not in the middle of a firefight.

Your boxing gloves don’t count as a melee weapon

Boxing gloves from the Call of Duty® game. ©Activision

In Call of Duty: Black Ops III, players can attack their enemies by throwing a right hook; it’s actually one of my favorite melees to bring. However cool it looks, you can’t do that in real life as, a.) It will require you to get close enough to your enemies so you can punch them, and b.) it will require you to throw hundreds of punches before you can kill one of them. In real life you would reflexively reach for your sidearm or knife in close quarters. Besides, in real life, you can get hurt punching someone. You could break your hand, then how will you shoot?

You will not be handed a nuke just because you killed enough people

Activating the nuke in Call of Duty®. (Image credit: Activision/ParkerTheSlayer (YouTube))

If you managed to kill 25 people in the game without dying, a nuke button will suddenly appear on your screen that you can click anytime to annihilate your enemies and win the match. A nuclear bomb will destroy far more than just your adversaries, as its damage reaches at least 80 square miles. Plus, come on, no one will just let you drop a nuke. If you were a guy who was killing 25 enemies every time you went outside the wire, they wouldn’t give you a Nuke.  Your CO would assign a PFC to stick to you like glue carrying extra ammunition for you.

Running tirelessly with a bag full of weapons

CoD inventory includes a gun, a melee, grenades, a special weapon, knife, and nearly unlimited ammo. Heck, you can even pull out a portable sentry gun from your bag. Realistically speaking, you might get eight steps under all that weight before you collapse in a heap that looks like a weapons dump.

It’s the little things that count

CoD players are spared all the little inconveniences that make life in the infantry pretty miserable at times. Well, most times.

Guns are never red hot from being fired.

And that hot, spent casing never drops down the front of your shirt.

Sweat never runs into your eyes and stings like mad.

The guy next to you doesn’t stink because he hasn’t bathed in a week.

You are never dying of thirst with an empty canteen on your rig.

Your rifle never jams, misfires or stove-pipes in the middle of a fight that you then have to frantically try to clear.

You never get your fingers bashed, caught or cut by one of the metal things that are all over your body.

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You never have to fish around in ten different uniform pockets trying to find your spare batteries for your red dot sight.

And you can muzzle sweep your teammates constantly without them personally packing your bags for you and sending you home because you’re an unsafe turd to be around.

And you don’t respawn 300 times after getting shot. After your third Purple Heart they usually send you back to Uncle Sugar Land unless you are dumb enough to beg, borrow and steal your way back into a combat unit.

Why would anyone want to do that when they could just stay in barracks and play Call of Duty instead?