Modern Warfare, Modern Hype

cod

There has been a furore of commentary recently over leaked footage of the highly anticipated FPS Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In the footage we see a terrorist attack taking place in a public airport, civilians duck and cover, bullets fly and bloody rampage ensues. The controversy with the footage stems from the participation the player takes in this mass culling.

Now, video games have always had their fair share of critics and campaigners calling for the destruction of the pixels, but their arguments were normally grounded on a framework of alienation and indoctrination rather than political commentary and taste. What makes this leak more harrowing, more personal and subsequent more tabloid worthy, is the direct comparisons that have been made between it and the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year.

mw2

There have been some perfectly level-headed articles about the footage in question, but there is a worry that this will be outweighed by the more draconian reactionary responses before the general public has had a chance to digest the scene within a narrative context.

It is the focus on interactivity that defines the very medium but is also the cause of most of its ills. How much is too much? Infinity Ward (the developer of the game) are revered for their video game immersion – utilising these bleak set-pieces to absorb the players within the fiction. The opening scene of the first Modern Warfare would be a perfect example of this,

This uncomfortable positioning is the very foundation of the franchise. We are very much aware of our own mortality and the antagonist who is in control of it. This is a developer with no track record of controversial publicity – only consistently compelling FPS’s. Understandably, the footage was vehemently discussed because of the placement of the player within the attacks. We are no longer the impassive president being dragging unwillingly to our slaughter, or the grunt grasping their last breath beneath the mushroom cloud. We are in the position of power now, the Cheney with acog. There is no doubting that the new Modern Warfare will be the biggest selling game this year. I just pray that the footage shown will be part of a narrative that doesn’t leave itself open to a hysterical media campaign.

prestige

We’ve already got the night vision goggles for that.

Dré

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4 Responses to “Modern Warfare, Modern Hype”

  1. Bi-Pixel Reviews: Modern Warfare 2 – Part One « Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] next you will be member of Task Force 141, working an undercover operation that puts you into that pretty uncomfortable situation you’ve been hearing a lot about recently. The story feels like it’s been given the Bruce […]

  2. Bi-Pixel Reviews: Modern Warfare 2 – Part Two « Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] know i’ve defended the right for this particular scene, having not experienced it within a narrative context. Having […]

  3. Bi-Pixel Reviews: Modern Warfare 2 – Part Two – Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] know i’ve defended the right for this particular scene, having not experienced it within a narrative context. Having […]

  4. Bi-Pixel Reviews: Modern Warfare 2 – Part One – Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] next you will be member of Task Force 141, working an undercover operation that puts you into that pretty uncomfortable situation you’ve been hearing a lot about recently. The story feels like it’s been given the Bruce […]

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