I know, I know, it is a rather blatant headline; after all it is our first post, have to get readers some how. And the answer to the question, it is an overwhelming “NO”. And anyone who believes that is a fool. These are digital characters, in a digital world, performing digital actions. The most responsible of new’s sources, FOX, recently tried stating that MW2 is training terrorists in an interview with slashgamer. All because of one level. For those of you who haven’t played it and do not want a level and plot points spoiled, please stop reading now.
After a rather quick start to the game, one of your many personalities in the game is recruited by the CIA to be an operative that gets close to the antagonist in the the game, Makarov. By the fourth mission in the game you are standing next to Makarov getting ready to commit a rather horrific act. Now I have to say this mission is eluded to within the first 2 minutes of firing up the game. And not only does it prompt you once stating you can skip this, it prompts you *TWICE*. So you are warned ahead of time. This is actually a pretty impactful mission of the game. It is similar to the start of Modern Warfare where you witness the assassination at the beginning from the eyes of the mark. Only in this mission you play the role of the trigger man and instead of one mark, it is an airport full of civilians. I have to say, I did not shoot one civilian. It seemed even hard to pull the trigger then. Perhaps I am not a cold hearted killed that the media has led me to believe I am. The game unfortunately does not offer you choice, you cannot just kill your comrades and call it a game. Instead, you walk along and witness the horrific slaughtering of hundreds of civilians, then eventually get a bullet in the head for it.
This catalyst of the terrorist attack leads to the other huge tipping point for the media, the attack of the US, and the occupation of the White House. The game even embraces the invasion with a snappy little joke -which I found odd- by naming the chapter that starts the invasion “WOLVERINES”. I guess this is their attempt to integrate the fact that they are not the first to do this, so the media does not make it such a big deal. Or it is an attempt at the similar humor to the Fight Against Grenade Spam advert that got yanked. I love this attempt at black humor – or off the normal path humor. This game is designed for adults, retailers seem to be doing a good job at policing the rating, and the ability to integrate this type of humor should be applauded. I chuckled when I saw the introduction and this did a great job breaking some of the tension this game creates. For those who do not get the reference, give Patrick Swayze a nod and rent yourself some “Red Dawn” – do not wait for the remake.
All this being said, the game is violent, the game is punishing, the game is good. It is far from a terrorist trainer. It is a game. And the people who play these games need to understand the differences between this, if they do not, they need help…or better parenting. When I went to pick my copy of the game up at a midnight launch, I saw plenty of dads and moms with their teenage kids picking up the game. The father/son combo in front of me seemed really stable and adjusted. The dad knew what was going on. He even told him you can play it a little tonight, not to late though, you still have school tomorrow. It seems to me that if more people took this role in raising their kids, taking an interest in the games, these kids would be able to adjust and discuss the happenings of this game with their parents, making a healthier family overall. If the crappy mainstream media would pull their heads out of their asses and promote embracing what their kids do, rather then doing what I did with the subject we would have a better society and a more acceptance to games, specifically these types of games, that challenge our perspective of our world.
*As soon as I get the transcript or video of the interview I will post and/or link it in this article.
And here is the crappy FOX “fair and balanced” journalism – Unfortunately Jim from slashgamer gets a little off track in the beginning. I am assuming based on the appalling lack of preparedness in the hate-monger news caster.