A new video game is under fire for scenes in which players can kill innocent bystanders in a bloody terrorist attack on an airport. While the makers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 say they want players to be “emotionally shocked” by the “authenticity” of the scenes, others say they are gratuitous and could encourage violent behavior. Should video games allow us to play at being terrorists? (Watch scenes of terrorist attacks from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)
What horrible timing: It's shocking that the makers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare would release this game so soon after the Fort Hood massacre, says Jonathan Berr on Daily Finance. The company, Activision Blizzard, could at least have "waited until after Veterans Day." Then again, with casualties still mounting in Iraq and Afghanistan -- more than 350,000 have been wounded since 9/11 -- maybe there's "no good time" to release this game.
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The terrorism scene is just tasteless: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is an "undoubted masterpiece," says Charlie Brooker in Britain's Guardian, but the airport scene is "jarringly misplaced." If you’re going to evoke the memory of terrorist attacks like Mumbai or Fort Hood, "it’s best to do so with good reason." Given that the rest of the game is little more than a "dumb Tom Clancy romp," this is a "misjudged lapse into tastelessness."
The game makes terrorism real: The airport scenes “turned my stomach,” says Jamin Brophy-Warren in The Wall Street Journal, but not because I thought they shouldn’t be there. I felt “helpless to stop the slaughter.” The game turns the “horror of terrorism” into a “wrenching interactive sequence” rather than simply something you watch on TV. “These are exactly the types of difficult issues videogames should be exploring.”
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