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Calling in sick to play Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? You're not alone

Feeling a tad under the weather? One out of four respondents to an IGN poll reveals plans to feel ill when the next turn in Activision's blockbluster series launches tomorrow.

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
  • Third place film critic, 2021 LA Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards
Leslie Katz
2 min read
"I'm sorry, boss. I got hit in the head by a quadrocopter and won't be able to make it in for a while." Activision

Getting a bit of a scratchy throat? You'd better plan to stay home tomorrow to fend off what's sure to be a terrible cold. And while you're lying around hacking up a lung, maybe you can garner the strength to play a little Call of Duty: Black Ops: 2. Your boss will never suspect that's why you really dialed in sick.

Not until reading about a new IGN poll, that is. One in four respondents indicated plans to skip work/school tomorrow, the day the next installment of the hugely popular first-person shooter launches worldwide for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Health warning: The Call of Duty Cough is expected to be serious and widespread!

IGN, a site that covers all things gaming, invited readers to take part in the quick, four-question online survey over the course of three days last week. Nearly 10,000 IGN.com visitors answered the call, with 26 percent of respondents saying they definitely expect to feel under the weather tomorrow.

How many people actually skip school and spreadsheets for first-person shooting remains to be seen. But given the immense hype leading up to the game -- it just clocked in at Amazon's most preordered game ever, and is on pace to become GameStop's biggest launch ever -- don't be surprised to see a few empty chairs around the cubicle farm.

Upping the excitement factor, Activision announced last week that players will be able to live-stream their Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 gameplay, audio commentary, and even Webcam footage on YouTube without any new hardware or software.

Set in the year 2025, the main story of Black Ops 2 revolves around the notion of a "21st century Cold War." A launch trailer for the Activision title released earlier this year reveals the first fully futuristic Call of Duty, complete with armed quadrocopters and mechanized walking vehicles.

According to IGN, 99 percent of survey respondents were male, while 41 percent identified themselves as between the ages of 18 and 24. Thirty-two percent fell into the 25- to 34-year-old range, and 21 percent said they are between 13 and 17, a demographic that clearly skews more toward the student population than the workforce.

Respondents to the survey said they expected to play 5.5 hours of the game on launch day alone (in between cold compresses to lower their fevers, of course). Look for a review of the game by CNET's Jeff Bakalar this week.

Update, 4:30 p.m. PT: to add more statistics on survey respondents provided by IGN.