Tiktok is thirsting over Modern Warfare II’s Ghost

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Honestly same

After decades of gamers thirsting over the sexy, sexy female video game characters out there, it looks like our favorite virtual himbos are finally getting the mainstream attention they deserve. In case you missed it, Tiktok is currently obsessed with Ghost from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare IIand posting countless videos of scenes from the game, skits, and fan art have flooded the app. Just like the withdrawn kings to come before him like Darcy, Rochester, and Heathcliff, fans are drawn to the cold, aloof nature of a mysterious male character.

Simon “Ghost” Riley was first introduced in the original Modern Warfare game and its subsequent sequel, and was brought back for the reboot. He’s one of the main recurring characters in Modern Warfare II, and while I have to be honest that all of the characters in the game mostly look and sound the same to me, Ghost is easy to pick out because he never shows his face, and perpetually wears a skull mask.

One scene that’s getting players particularly hot and bothered is a conversation in the Modern Warfare II campaign between Ghost and his squad mate John “Soap” MacTavish, wherein the two discuss Ghost’s mask and what he looks like underneath it. The conversation certainly has a playful tone that we’re not used to seeing as much in Call of Duty games, and was a nice respite from the endless stream of monotonous tactical chatter.

While plenty of fans on Tiktok are having a blast depicting Ghost in a goofier (and sluttier) like than usual, some players aren’t too thrilled about the new characterization — the protests range from series veterans expressing their distaste for a change in Ghost’s characterization, to claiming that “Ghost would be disappointed in you,” to straight up homophobic harassment.

The Call of Duty franchise has been known as one of the most bro-y gaming properties around basically since it started all the way back in the early 2000s, and a large part of the player base has actually served in the armed forces. While the series is just about as masculine as it gets, they’re fun games, and the type of new players who are jumping in diversify more and more with each release. Most of the fans who are posting sexy Ghost content are certainly taking the flirty subtext of the game and running with it to a meme-worthy extreme, it’s their own way to reclaim the hyper-masculinity of the games.

Whether a player is enjoying the game through an ironic lens or taking it stone-cold seriously, the throughline is that both players have an appreciation of the game in their own way. Call of Duty can be hardcore and intense while also being camp — both can be true at the same time.

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Noelle Warner
After a few years of working in game development, Noelle joined the Destructoid team in 2021. She particularly loves interactive storytelling and cuddling with her cats!
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