Perform some online research about this issue (the Wikipedia page about Modern Warfare 2 is a good starting point) and then write an opinion piece of about 500 words for your learning journal. List any resources you used in your research at the end of your piece.
Try to answer the following questions:
- Do you think the game should have been released at all?
- Should the scene in the airport have been included?
- Did the game’s creators take reasonable steps to protect people from the scene?
- Do you have more sympathy for the opinions expressed by those who were offended, or by those who supported the scene’s inclusion?
To me, computer games are an expressive medium through which a story can be told. Indeed for decades now it has been this aspect of games, the story, the plot, the world created for the player to discover, that has made them such a popular entertainment media across a wide demographic. Just as there are controvercial books and movies, there are controversial video games. They each as a public medium have their own laws, rules and restrictions to which they must conform, and boards which must approve them prior to their release to the general public.
Do you Think the Game Should have been Released at all?
The wording of this question is interesting as it moves responsibility away from the developers and into the territory of Public Relations, Quality control, and approval boards ( The ESRB in this case, although many companies have their own bodies for governing such matters ). Seeing as the game has been released, and that it has an ESRB rating, I know that it has met the rules and regulations required for public use. Moreover if it was not released the time, work, and effort of Infinity Ward and it’s employees, the man hours and their wages, would have been wasted.
From a viewpoint of someone who would potentially be offended by the controversial “airport scene” there was an option to bypass such scenes, and still play the game. However the controversy is that these scenes were included in the first place. As I said earlier, a video game is a story-telling medium, if you don’t like a book, don’t read it, if you don;t like a game, don’t play it. There is no more reason for the game to have not been released than for Mein Kampf to never have been published, yes they are each controversial, but they are each media we have the right to choose whether or not we use them.
Should the scene in the airport have been included?
HAving not played the game, I am not aware of exactly how this scene integrates with the plot, but I would hope the game designers would not have simply included it to pad-out a cut-scene. Presumable it is a plot-device to help polarize the players world view through the game, or at least to motivate them through the next mission.
Did the game’s creators take reasonable steps to protect people from the scene?
firstly, the player has the choice to shoot into the crowd of civilians, so it is not necessarily an execution scene, and the game also offers the options to skip the entire scene altogether. These steps are should be adequate to protect those who would be offended or disturbed by the scene.
Do you have more sympathy for the opinions expressed by those who were offended, or by those who supported the scene’s inclusion?
Those who were offended were perhaps in too much of a rush to get into the game to pay attention to the options which, so perhaps the option could have been made more apparent to the player, other than that, I have no sympathy for those who made the choice to see the scene. Perhaps the point was to polarize the opinion of the player(s), but not to the degree apparent in the backlash from the games fan base.