Many of us can’t remember a time when the country wasn’t engaged in two wars. Young men drawn to the romantic notion of a foreign conflict take up arms, millions of dollars are spent to continue the occupation, and an entire generation is swept away, gone, to one day move on to the next battle. Unfortunately, these wars cannot exist simultaneously; one must be ended. The youth can’t sustain them both. When will someone think of the children? Why do Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 have to be released within a month of each other?

If words could hurt, the tears of many a bro would flood the streets. Flame wars erupting in bars across the nation, as the result of brand loyalty, have only friendships as casualties. As it turns out, one cannot be a fan of Call of Duty (COD) and Battlefield simultaneously; rather, a side must be chosen and defended at all costs.

Both games rely heavily on their multiplayer aspect, though there will be a somewhat vague campaign mode. Each offers improvements over its previous iterations: Call of Duty 3 will introduce survival mode, in which staying alive against a tsunami of enemies is key, as well as “strike packages” tailored to the more tactical player. One can choose to gain bonuses based on one of three trees: assault, support or specialist, the difference being selfishness or empathy. (New weapons for assault and specialist, team gear like new armor and tactical tools for support.)
Battlefield 3, on the other hand, introduces more cooperation in online play. Whereas prior incarnations have relied heavily on a Rambo-esque mob of vigilantes storming the enemy encampment, this band of brothers will be more specialized to aid themselves and others, providing medical and assault support.

Both will have an in depth single-player campaign, taking the Marines into the far reaches of Iran and Iraq to exploit the current political climate. Both are highly customizable simulators, allowing players to customize in excruciating detail every point of any weapon, any piece of armor (color and otherwise), and of course, every 12 year-old with a headset will be able to trash-talk your mother.

When pairing the two, it has been recommended that you assume a crouched position, legs apart and controller in both hands, headset locked and loaded. Does it matter which game is in the console? Rather than hop on the Internet and call fans of either games “noobs,” why not play both? For whatever reason, gamers have constructed an invisible fence upon which there are no sitters, only nerds hurling insults like a million Home Improvement-style Wilsons.

Like many real-world differences, these arguments can be solved by simply getting to know the other party. Buy both games and have a beer with your new best friends, when you’re not disrespecting their parents.

If the bro-time spectacle of war simulation isn’t exactly your style, then by all means, download the free League of Legends. Ever dreamed of battling a werewolf as a forest sprite with a blow dart? Dream no longer.

In League of Legends (LOL), players are placed on teams of three or five and pitted against a roster of varying monsters, humans and others, with the goal being to drive your enemies and hear the lamentation of their women. As far as player vs player (PVP) goes, LOL has it down.

What sets LOL apart from other PVP experiences is the depth of detail in the characters’ origin stories and the world they reside in. Spending time reading through the library-esque history may be a good way to take a break from “realistic” warfare simulations. Work your brain muscle alongside your thumbs. You might need it to get through the big releases this upcoming October and November.

Chris O’Neal is an augmented human looking for the truth in a futuristic Phillip K. Dickian utopia. Follow him on Twitter @AgentONeal.