Fox News VS Modern Warfare 2

by – “Tiger” Oliver

Author’s Note: The following post contains the views of the author (me, Henry “Tiger” Oliver) and are in no way, shape or form the views and/or opinions of Hans Wuerflein, WordPress, The Daily O’Collegian and/or Oklahoma State University. If you have comments or complaints about my opinions stated in this blog, please contact me via email at: henry.oliver@okstate.edu.

Well, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been released and sold millions of copies in its first day, thanks to some controversy about the violence and a specific level in which you engage on a terrorist attack on a Moscow airport.

Last Wednesday, Fox News had a “fair and balanced” debate on the game between John Christensen, founder of Slashgamer.com and Jim Steyer of Common Sense Media. Here’s the video:

Sorry John, but apparantly debate wasn’t your best subject in high school.

Now, I’m one of the few gamers who hasn’t played the game or know anything about the game’s storyline, but when I learned about this level, I had to get some information on it.

Thankfully, Destructoid has the runthrough of the entire level, named “No Russian”, including the pre-and-post-level info. Here’s the link to the Destructoid article and the video: http://www.destructoid.com/modern-warfare-2-s-controversial-airport-terrorist-attack-154687.phtml

Now, given the already stated fact that I have no knowledge of the backstory, here’s what I could grasp from the video (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!):

– In this mission, you play as a Private First Class chosen by the C.I.A. to gain the trust of a homicidal Russian lunatic (Die Hard, anybody?) by any means possible – in this case, engaging in an attack on a Moscow airport.

– Off the bat, a crowd of innocent civilians are mowed down, most of the same ensues as you advance through the level.

– After about three minutes of this, you engage a counter terrorism unit. A small, minuscule unit which is blown away very easily by you and your new found comrades.

– After the second checkpoint, you finally square off with some actual resistance – a real counter-terrorism force.

– Just when you thought you made it and got in – the Russian guy kills you at the end of the level. All that hard work for nothing.

Now, I understand where people are getting all up in arms about the whole terrorist mission. But, let’s be clear, you are NOT, I repeat, NOT playing as a terrorist, but as an undercover C.I.A. operative. For God’s sake, this kind of crap happened and still IS happening all the time. The FBI has had guys infiltrate the Hells Angels (and other organzations) and killed people in real life, Hollywood portrayed this same scenario in countless movies and they’re up in arms about it being portrayed in a video game?

Also, there’s plenty of World War II games where you can play as the Nazis. Where’s the outcry of being able to play as the most terrible war machine of modern times responsible for over eight million deaths in concentration camps and the emotional scarring of tens of millions more? Or where you play a walking Italian stereotype in a game which could be taken as a drug reference? Or a game where you can pretend to be Satan’s pawns spreading the dark lord’s evil messages through rock music?

Secondly, Fox News and Jim Steyer complained about the violence of the game.

Let me repeat this: they complained about the violence of the game.

IT’S A WAR GAME! It’s a game about war, people! War isn’t all white picket fences and unicorns defacating rainbows that smell like fresh-cut lilac. WAR. IS. VIOLENT. War is Hell. That’s the whole point behind Call of Duty and all games like it: It’s a war game, there’s violence. There’s blood. If you can’t handle that, play Dora the Explorer.

The makers of the game even put in an option to cut out all the disturbingly gore and violent parts and a language filter to censor the audio.

Thirdly, we go back to the point of who’s supposed to play this game?

This game is rated M, which means that no one under 17 can buy this game or should play this game. The video game retailers do a stand-up job at enforcing this rule (I couldn’t even rent Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks from Hastings for weeks even though I was almost 17 1/2 because I didn’t look my age), and the video game companies do a heck of a job making sure they stay within reason (99 percent of the time, at least).

Ultimately, it’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure that kids who aren’t mature enough to understand that this game is fake shouldn’t play this game. Heck, I played Mortal Kombat and watched Beavis & Butthead and Celebrity Deathmatch on MTV when I was eight because my parents knew I knew that these things weren’t real.

Which brings me to by counter-point to the third point: if kids are wanting to play something, they’ll play it, simple as that. It’s just the way things work. One kid finds an adult movie of his father’s, he will show the rest of his prepubescent buddies because they’ve got access to the material. One kid gets a go-kart, the others will go over to that kid’s house and ride it without their parent’s permission. We’ve all done stupid things we shouldn’t have without our parents knowing, so there’s no way of enforcing every single law down to the T. It’s like saying we should outlaw drinking alcohol because teenagers can gain possession of and consume it when they’re by themselves. Not that I condone underage drinking or disobeying parents, but things like those happen, there’s just no stopping it.

I faintly remember this same issue with Mortal Kombat and Doom back in the ’90s when the ideas which would soon become the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) were brought up and set into motion as plans. MK was obscenely violent and gory at the time, kind of like Modern Warfare 2 is now days.

I’m sorry, but if we can’t even acknowledge what the real world’s like in a video game, then something’s up. It ain’t even like you’re an extremeist Islamic terrorist blowing up large buildings, you’re fighting Russians. In Hollywood, they call that a 007 movie. Apparantly it’s considered a scourge to the “innocent” children of America when put in video games that are specifically marketed for older players.

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One Response to “Fox News VS Modern Warfare 2”

  1. […] Oh, before I forget, I must add in one more thing. We’ve all heard the hype and the controversy about the “No Russian” level, so I’m not even going to discuss it here. If you want to learn more about it, check out any of the blog sites on the right side of the page, OR check out my lil’ rant on the subject here. […]


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