So, despite being a largely Nintendo related site, we do like to keep in the loop in regards to the larger video gaming world. And in turn, we like to keep you in the loop. With that being said, I’m sure many of you realize that Modern Warfare 3 just recently hit store shelves. And like the game before it, just a tad bit of controversy is following after it.
Modern Warfare 3 is of course the third title in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, a series which is infamous for throwing the player into the middle of epic firefights, edge of your seat nuclear cataclysms, and brutal special ops take downs. As well, since the release of Modern Warfare 2, the series has become rather famous for controversy.
Modern Warfare 2 famously contained a level, “No Russian,” which became wildly controversial for having the player play as a member of a terrorist group who proceed to brutally gun down dozens of innocent civilians in a Russian airport.
Modern Warfare 3 seems to be continuing that rich, controversial tradition.
[Some minor spoilers for Modern Warfare 3 follows]
In the third title, there is a brief cut scene which shows an American family on vacation in London. The scene is viewed through the lens of a camcorder held by the father, who is video taping his wife and young daughter as they laugh and see the sights. Before too long, a terrorist van pulls up beside the wife and daughter, unnoticed by the family, which proceeds to violently explode right next to the wife and daughter. The two are engulfed in flame, the camera is knocked to the ground and waves of black smoke roll over the scene.
The actual scene can be seen HERE. Pretty gruesome to say the least.
However, this particular controversy differs from the one in Modern Warfare 2 in a pretty big way. Mainly, you’re simply a passive viewer in the events of the Modern Warfare 3 scene; it’s almost entirely a cut scene. There are no moral choices the player can make which can change the fate of the young girl. In the “No Russian” scene, the player had full control to either kill innocent civilians or to hang back and let the other members of the group do all the dirty work.
As well, I think it needs to be noted that the killing of children is nothing new to the entertainment industry. While perhaps always shocking or disturbing to us on some level, there are dozens of movies where children are seen to be killed, some on screen and some off. Many times this helps to drive the plot in big ways and serves to make it clear to us just how bad and despicable the bad guys are, like it seems to do in the case of Modern Warfare 3.
But what do you guys think? Is Infinity Ward pushing the envelope just a wee bit too far or is it simply nothing more than a way to advance the plot in an ‘interesting’ way?