Conflict of Interest

Video games based on America's real wars are big business

Correction Appended: Oct. 24, 2011

On Friday, Sept. 2, 6,000 men and women converged on two airplane hangars in the Playa Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles. Back in the day, Howard Hughes used the hangars to build the Spruce Goose. Now they'd been rented out by the video-game publisher Activision for a two-day event called Call of Duty XP, billed as "the premier live fan experience" for players of the insanely popular video-game franchise Call of Duty, a gritty simulation of military combat.

Tickets were $150 a head, but you got a lot for your money. There was a zip line and...

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