Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Russian Bombing and Modern Warfare 2

Following yesterday's suicide bombing at Domodedovo Airport, Russia's busiest airport, Russian media company Russia Today has attempted to link the event to the infamous 'No Russian' level in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The terrorist attack resulted in the deaths of 35 people and injuries to more than 180.
The No Russian level caused quite a controversy back in 2009. It allows players to assume the role of an undercover American being forced to execute innocent civilians in a Russian airport in an attempt to protect his cover. It's actually possible to complete the level without ever firing at a civilian, though that doesn't stop them from being slaughtered nonetheless. The game offers an option to skip the entire sequence. It's also worth noting that the No Russian level features an attack on the airport with guns, not a bomb, and that the title comes from instructions given to the player's character to not speak any Russian.

The version released in Russia actually saw the entire scene removed. The game was also censored in both Germany and Japan, and attempts were made in Australia to ban the game from being sold.

The Russia Today report featured a video (embedded below) juxtaposing the aftermath of yesterday's attack and footage from the No Russian level. It also offered up comments from Walid Phares, director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who said, "Indeed it is a trouble to look at the game and reality. The issue is we need to know if terrorists or extremists are using these videos or DVDs or games to basically apply the model." He added, "I think those who have been radicalized already -- that is supposed in this case jihadists, Al-Qaeda, or other kind -- they look at the games and say these games will serve them to train."

My thoughts are with the families of those affected by the tragedy.

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