Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

In the video gaming arena, World Wars are a hot commodity. Within the past four years, no fewer than eight major World War II-centric titles have hit store shelves, all of which are first-person shooters. And lately the overcrowded genre has seemed more like a Hollywood red carpet preenfest with games flaunting glitz, not substance.

But in 2003, Infinity Ward's Call of Duty ducked under the ropes and turned the gaming industry on its head. More than 80 "game of the year" awards. Fifty "editors' choice" awards worldwide. How did one project dominate the field so soundly? Two words: Unparalleled realism. With intriguing missions, lifelike graphics, cinema-level ambient sound and extraordinary online multiplayer action, Call of Duty recreated the chaos of epic WWII clashes like no game had ever done before.

Now its sequel aims to do the same thing with similar results.

Same War, New Battles
Call of Duty 2 doesn't waste time in once again placing players deep in the trenches with a horde of enemies fast approaching. You begin the game as a grunt in the Soviet army trying desperately to defend a bombed locale near Moscow from invading German forces. By the end, you've fought through three major campaigns and 27 missions, all the while experiencing virtually every facet of ground warfare.

As a British sergeant, you venture across the monochromatic browns of northern Africa into rural France, where one of your many tasks is to reconnoiter the abandoned town of Beltot and rescue a group of wounded American POWs. And as American Cpl. Bill Taylor, gamers experience, among other things, the bedlam of D-Day as troops storm the Normandy cliffs in the battle at Pointe du Hoc.

Whether you're manning binoculars and calling in air strikes on incoming enemy infantry, sniping targets behind Axis lines atop a water tower or driving tanks through the Tunisian desert, this is far more than just a let-'em-rip, point-and-shoot adventure.

Look Out! Enemy Approaching!
It's immediately obvious, then, that this is not a slightly tweaked version of the original. Game developer Infinity Ward goes above and beyond to raise the bar. Artificial intelligence is improved (translation: your enemies just got smarter). And to add authenticity, real-life GIs and military consultants were brought in during the design phase, and more than 20,000 lines of dialogue were added, including on-the-field callouts between soldiers that enhance the chaotic but ultra-real feel.

What do those 20,000 speaking lines sound like exactly? Instead of offering canned, generic trigger phrases such as "Enemy approaching!" and "Look out!" your comrades can now actually cover for you, alert you to incoming dangers and offer strategy tips at appropriate times.

They also tend to use some harsh language, including quite a bit of taking God's name in vain. And though there's no Saving Private Ryan-level gore, a spray of blood is shown whenever bullets make contact. You're also likely to see bodies writhing and flying through the air after getting hit by a grenade or, as in the D-Day sequence, set on fire.

The gamemakers say it's all part of their effort to re-create WWII scenarios and make this one of the most true-to-life video games to date. "We don't want Call of Duty 2 just to be the best World War II first-person shooter," claims Infinity Ward president Grant Collier, "we want it to be the best first-person shooter bar none."

Care to Take That Online?
In today's gaming world, it's hard to be the best in any genre without offering an attractive online multiplayer showground in addition to single-play mode. Within the past few years faster connection speeds have made online gaming (complete with headsets to communicate with others) all the rage. In fact, for many players, that's the sole reason they'll purchase Call of Duty 2.

So what's behind all the hype? I joined the online crush to find out.

By my second game of team deathmatch (one of the five formats offered online), I'd already received a lesson in just how hard-core players can get—from a 6-year-old apparently intent on tracking my every onscreen move from his sniper hideout. Sure, after the first few times of getting gunned down or blown up by a grenade I acted as the gracious victim, congratulating my killers on a nice shot while waiting for my character to "re-spawn." And although I heard several f-bombs dropped in with the expected trash talking, there was also quite a bit of teamwork and verbal camaraderie. But within the hour, the game began to take on a darker feel as I noticed I was surrounded by a never-ending stream of preteen and teen boys vegging after a day in the classroom ... and doing nothing but honing their killing skills.

A Bigger Issue
Call of Duty 2 isn't an all-out gorefest in the mold of Half-Life, nor does it advocate senseless murdering the way Grand Theft Auto does. In fact, when playing in solo mode the game actually offers a steady supply of history lessons. Sure, it's no substitute for history class, but before each campaign we're shown a few minutes of actual war footage from the Military Channel to give context to the scenario. And in between missions, the game offers war-related quotes from some of the world's greatest leaders and military strategists throughout history.

But perhaps because of this attention to both historical detail and visual and audio realism, we're served up a dilemma. Just because we can turn World Wars into after-school playgrounds, should we? Does the context of war excuse the "thrill" of the virtual kill? Are the thousands of current online players simply playing a high-tech version of tag and capture the flag, or are they disgracing the memories of the men and women who survived hell on earth and wouldn't relive it for all the money or "entertainment" value in the world?

Call of Duty 2 includes an intriguing quote from Winston Churchill: "When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite." That may be true in real-life war, but for gamers, it could be costing them more than they realize.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Record Label


PC, Xbox 360




On Video

Year Published



Marcus Yoars Taylor Holmes

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!