Thursday, December 24, 2009

“No Russian” Scene – Has Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 gone too far?

You’ve seen it, you’ve heard about it on the news and you’ve probably had a friend talk about it. Yes, the gory “No Russian” mission of Modern Warfare 2.

For those who haven’t experienced it, check it out here (warning graphic content):

The first time I went through this mission I was just utterly shocked, to the say the least. I remember hearing the guns cocking, the men zipping on their Kevlar and the elevator opening and the final quote “remember, no Russian,” before seeing a bunch of people lined up outside of a security clearance.

I thought “This can’t be happening, is it what I think it is,” and I saw the four men around me raise their guns and fire at all the people in line. “Wow, I just felt like what it feel likes to be a real terrorist,” and really feeling horrible at the carnage that was unleashed on my screen.

After walking through the airport for what seemed like hours, executing people left and right, encountering the Russian police and finally getting shot and killed the end; shot right in the face.

So has Infinity Ward gone too far with MW2? My answer: No, they haven’t and here’s why.

Whenever an action movie or a horror film comes out does the media ever criticize it for being too gory or too sexual? In most cases, they don’t. In fact you’ll often see quotes from popular movie critics about the movie being “visually stunning” and what not. But when it comes to video games? Oh, no we can’t have that!

MW2 simply allows you to view things from the eyes of a person who has been murdered or is a terrorist. It’s an action movie that the player gets to control. Can a movie really simulate your own death or having you pull the trigger on innocent people? Maybe, but no one has done it so far and it wouldn’t be as entertaining as a video game.

How is that any different than any other movie out there? There are ratings on the games so parents can know who the target audience is just like movies and yet video games are treated differently. Hypocrisy if you ask me.

Other video games have been put on the cross in the media. Bioware’s Mass Effect is perfect example. It wasn’t as “violent” or “gory” as MW2 but it did include a “romance” scene. The media (Fox News in particular) erupted with criticism about the game’s scenes.

Bioware and the creators of the game were taken back from the out lash that Fox News gave them and decided to further instigate it in their latest game Dragon Age: Origins. Simply put, they added more “romance” scenes including a gay scene for some hot man on man action. Take that Fox News.

I digress however and should get back to MW2. Before the game was released the “No Russian” scene was leaked. In my opinion, this was a smart tactical move by Infinity Ward and it had to be a controlled leak. Here’s why:

They knew that the media would go ballistic over such a scene like the “No Russian” one. This would get the media into a flurry of activity and create free publicity for the game, and you know what they say about publicity: Any publicity is good publicity.

So has this scene gone too far? Certainly not, it’s an interactive action game. How often do you get to be put into a situation where you get to murder people and actually feel how horrible about it? If anything it would remind players that life is precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted. It also shows that all of us, no matter how much of a hard-ass we think we are, we do have morals for what is right and wrong. It shows just how truly evil terrorism is. Writer - Smiling Cobra

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