Generic male soldier models suffering under “Call of Duty curse”

Mildly photogenic rugged men everywhere said to be in fear

Since the late 1990s the video game industry has perhaps rather bizarrely played home to a “curse” in the form of the covers for Madden NFL titles, wherein all those players appearing on the cover tend to have some form of tragedy befall them in the coming year. Some have speculated that it’s coincidence, while others have claimed that they saw an employee of rival 2K Games enter a mysterious-looking Gypsy caravan at around the time the curse started to manifest. In fact, it turns out, the curse doesn’t seem to be limited to Madden titles at all.

36 year old Josh Brocklaw enjoyed a healthy career as a male model up until 2011, when his agency was shut down, his girlfriend left him and he was hit by a car in the space of a week. “At first I just put it down to catastrophic bad luck, but then I saw something online about the Madden curse and wondered if the same could happen to me. I was the gun-toting soldier on the cover of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 a few years back, and I decided to contact a few of the others who had modeled for the various games in the series.”

What Brocklaw discovered was truly shocking. Ever since Call of Duty 3, the first title in the series to use actors on the cover, those portraying the embattled soldiers have gone on to suffer horrible fates. Kevin Smith, who played the grizzled WWII soldier on the cover was struck down with a minor heart attack in 2007, while Jamie Sanchez, model for Black Ops suffered a hernia in late 2011, putting him out of action.

We reached out to Activision for comment on the supposed curse, who acted in surprise that their graphics department had actually used different models for each cover. “We were just under the impression they’d been copy and pasting since Modern Warfare and just changing the hue in Photoshop. And really is this news? That people in a high-stress career suffer occasionally from stress-and-work-related ailments? Go back to hating on EA already.”

About Cieran Douglass

Cieran built this website in a cave with a bunch of scraps. Actually no that's not right at all, it was with Wordpress and middling Photoshop and design skills. He often plays video games and his favourites are Paper Mario TTYD, GTA San Andreas, Portal 2 and Minecraft. His display picture is not an accurate portrayal. He currently works for a much bigger website at the University of York, but if you'd like him to write something for you he can be contacted at