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Modern Warfare 2: Terrorist Stage


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22 replies to this topic

#1
djmattb241

djmattb241
  • 83 posts

I'm not positive that this is the right section, but either way...



So as many of you may know, Modern Warfare 2 came out this week, and about 2.6 bajillion people bought a copy. I did not. I played the Call of Duty 4 demo (the previous game in the series) and found that playing as the US military was just too off-putting to keep playing. I can enjoy a good first person shooter, but when it's steeped in current events... ugh.


Anyways, I got wind of this one particular stage of MW2, where you play as a CIA operative, who has infiltrated the ranks of some terrorist cell, and have to get close with the leader by (this is the part where you play), going with him to an airport with machine guns in tow and literally mowing down a couple hundred innocent civilians.


I couldn't help myself, and found a YouTube video. If your ability to empathize with video game characters is as high as mine, you would be wise to travel with caution:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrqA0Wz45fM (9 min)


I don't think there's really anything left to say. I was already not on board with this game, but holy CRAP.


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#2
whittingham

whittingham
  • 20 posts

*SPOILERS BELOW*


 


 


 


I bought the game yesterday and have already played through the whole campaign. At first I was a little put off by the "hooah-ing" and the monologue sequences that took place during load screens by a U.S. general about the need for "sacrifice" and lamenting the fact the the people the military "helped" have now started fighting against them (this is all regarding the fictional events that took place in the first game, but are clearly referring to sentiments about the war in Iraq). The airport was definitely tough and had much more of an emotional impact on me than I thought it would. It was certainly the most somber I've ever felt while playing a video game. However, jumping to the end of the game, it is revealed that the airport shootings were actually a plot engineered by a U.S. Army general in order to start a war with Russia and get himself money, power, and prestige. So although the game is ultra-violent, it at least contains some metaphorical truth.


 


 


 


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#3
djmattb241

djmattb241
  • 83 posts

 I like RTS and TBS games. I never really liked FPSs. I don't know what to say. I wonder what it says about us that we choose to pretend to kill people in our spare time.

I think it's one thing if you're dealing with two equally-armed teams going at it, like some sort of Capture the Flag with guns or whatever. Just think of it like football, but since it's fake it can be crazier, since you don't have real life safety issues. But one team having machine guns and the other team having a 7pm flight to the afterlife is.... ugh.


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#4
djmattb241

djmattb241
  • 83 posts

No, I don't think it is. It's not the "killing people" that bothers me. It's the empathy when you are vastly overpowering an unarmed opponent. The same emotion is triggered if I'm playing Mario Kart against someone who's WAY worse than me. It gets very not fun very fast, because my empathy is triggered.


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#5
Darius

Darius

  • 790 posts

No, I don't think it is. It's not the "killing people" that bothers me. It's the empathy when you are vastly overpowering an unarmed opponent. The same emotion is triggered if I'm playing Mario Kart against someone who's WAY worse than me. It gets very not fun very fast, because my empathy is triggered.

For other people it triggers only boredom and annoyance ("man, you suck at this", this is boring etc.). It's great that you have empathy.

About MW2... I love video games, but I never liked war games (and movies). And only realistic ones, I think. I like shooters, but If I'm some US soldier and have a mission to shoot other soldiers and save the country, I don't want to play it. If I'm some dwarf killing elves or some unknown dude killing zombies, it can be fun for me.

Here's a video, where Adam Sessler from G4 adresses this issue. I'm not shure if I agree with his Oscar Wilde quote, that a book cannot be moral or immoral.

By the way, are there any podcasts where Stef talks about art? EDIT: found a 3 part series about art.


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#6
XepeR

XepeR
  • 36 posts

Keep in mind that it is a game


If you dropped as nation the hiroshima bomb and try to talk about morality that's different


But that's not the case


Though your country most likely is involved in warfare. If you want to stop that make crusades, write letters and do homework.


If someone plays a game where killing common people is regular it may depend upon the person who is involved to judge this


I think its not a  good trend.


In doubt don't play the game or skip the scene.


Children also used to play soldiers; games are a way to get some energy done by induction of stress of some sort; cardgames, poker stresslevels etc. are comparable


Don't hurt no-one and check the effects


 


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"Much Learning does not Teach Understanding"

Ἡράκλειτος ὁ Ἐφέσιος / Hērákleitos ho Ephésios / Heraclitus the Ephesian

( 544 BCE - 483 BCE, Ionia on the coast of Asia Minor )

---

"Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults"

Σωκράτης (Sōkrátēs)


#7
Erik Fagerholt

Erik Fagerholt

  • 90 posts

I had a real hard time already with CoD-MW(1) with the level when you shoot guys from a AC-130 gunship. That section was so realistic and listening to the gunship-crew's detached comments about me blowing "insurgents" into little pieces was realy uncomfortable.


MW (1) was probably the last military shooter game I will ever play. Even before I heard about the airport-level I knew I would not buy this game.


On the other hand it's interesting to see how people (game-bloggers etc.) freak-out about murder in a game "simulating" being a murderer. [dazed]


 


 


 


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You don't need explosives to take down a house of cards.


#8
Erik Fagerholt

Erik Fagerholt

  • 90 posts

Ok, now I’v watched some footage from the level and…. Wow… Holy-crap, that stuff is tough to watch.

From the games description of the main Antagonist:

This man, Macarow, is fighting his own war and he has no rules. No boundaries. He does not flinch at torture, human trafficking or genocide.

Ah, so he is pretty much your average politician then… It goes on:

He is not loyal to a flag or a country or any set of ideals. He trades blood for money.

No ideals and blood for money - got it! Again, just like your average parasite politician.
The main problem here then, seems to be the loyalty thing…

 And than the whole airport massacre thing is justified by…. You guessed it… The greater good!


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You don't need explosives to take down a house of cards.


#9
memeverse

memeverse
  • 305 posts

I wrote about this today here: Modern Warfare 2 jolts the player awake with a question: what kind of a world is this?


I wouldn't necessarily say that the producers of this game were immoral to produce that scene nor that those who play this are immoral. It IS just a game. However there still is something to be said about the player depending on his reactions to this and about the producers in terms of the message they wanted to convey.


In some sense it's even a good thing, that scene. Violence is typically something we hear about in the news but pay little attention to. It's not a surprise that it's such a challenge for us here to get people to see "the gun in the room". Shocking people by having them experience nearly the full extent of what it's really like could jolt some of them into some pondering, which can't be a bad thing.


Showing violence isn't always the same thing as actually promoting violence. Sometimes it can have just the opposite effect.


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#10
Darius

Darius

  • 790 posts


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#11
DaveDoggOwns

DaveDoggOwns
  • 502 posts

 


 Not only am I turned off by modern video gaming in general, I especially dislike these FPS games that try to model current events. I know it's a game, but because of my anarchism I know it doesn't make a difference whether you are a muslim terrorist or a soldier in the army. You are fighting using terrorism regardless.


One of my favorite games is an old game called "Syndicate". I love the game not just because of the gameplay, but because the developers of the game actually tell you the cold hard truth about the world we live in. You are essentially a member of a megacorporation(megamafia I should say) and each mission you throw 4 cybernetic slaves to do your bidding. You can brainwash civilians, you can shoot policemen, and you can fire opon other mafias. All with futuristic weapons and armor. This is the truth about the world we live in. Don't let "democracy" fool you. The people essentially beg to policians pre-selected by corporations. The truth is corporations run the world....and they have all the guns(the state).


So don't play bullshit games like MW2 that straight up lie to you. "They're terrorists. They're bad. You're a hero for fighting in the army". Play games that actually tell it like it is like Syndicate. War is just slaves creating new slaves.


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#12
WonderWiz

WonderWiz
  • 112 posts

I'm an RPG guy myself. I'm turned off by these violent humans vs. violent human games as well. Games killing aliens or zombies or anything subhuman, to save humans, I find I enjoy. In the right framing, I might enjoy a FPS if I could believe I was defeating an evil.


This might be an interesting topic for a podcast; you know, the psychology of violence worship through fiction.


 


 


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#13
memeverse

memeverse
  • 305 posts

 

Showing violence isn't always the same thing as actually promoting violence. Sometimes it can have just the opposite effect.

This is interactive though, asking the player to initiate the violence, not simply watch it from a non-involved perspective, which I agree can be a good thing. Eternal vigilance and all that...

Not saying I'm for or against it. This is definitely not like watching a movie that shows the horrors of violence though, it's different.

True, but then again despite being interactive it still is a form of art. It's just art that assumes quite a bit more about its viewer or "consumer" than movies do. It assumes participation and it of course assumes suspension of disbelief. I think that indignation would then depend quite a bit on how exactly does a person react to this. The fact that a game asks you to participate doesn't mean you can't deny or react to it in a different manner, consider it a sort of a personal test or so..

Also, it's exactly this expectation of participation that factors in to the realism. If you're just an observer you can't quite know what it's like to face the prospect of being the actor himself.


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#14
memeverse

memeverse
  • 305 posts

 

 Not only am I turned off by modern video gaming in general, I especially dislike these FPS games that try to model current events. I know it's a game, but because of my anarchism I know it doesn't make a difference whether you are a muslim terrorist or a soldier in the army. You are fighting using terrorism regardless.

One of my favorite games is an old game called "Syndicate". I love the game not just because of the gameplay, but because the developers of the game actually tell you the cold hard truth about the world we live in. You are essentially a member of a megacorporation(megamafia I should say) and each mission you throw 4 cybernetic slaves to do your bidding. You can brainwash civilians, you can shoot policemen, and you can fire opon other mafias. All with futuristic weapons and armor. This is the truth about the world we live in. Don't let "democracy" fool you. The people essentially beg to policians pre-selected by corporations. The truth is corporations run the world....and they have all the guns(the state).

So don't play bullshit games like MW2 that straight up lie to you. "They're terrorists. They're bad. You're a hero for fighting in the army". Play games that actually tell it like it is like Syndicate. War is just slaves creating new slaves.

True enough. I mostly just reviewed the specific controversial scene in MW2, but yes I'm aware the game echos the typical collectivist myths. That said, terrorists, as in real terrorists, do exist possibly even out of the circles of government and corporations and from the underground mafia. But they always existed and aren't such a new and threatening force as this "war on terror" would have them portrayed. And indeed, the government and corporate mafia probably outnumber them by a great margin. So I agree if you wanna experience something closer to the truth, including the entire context, MW2 probably isn't much of a good choice.


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#15
djmattb241

djmattb241
  • 83 posts

I think a certain amount of truth can still be gotten out of the game. Not so much truth about government, power, etc. But the horrors of war are apparently pretty accurately portrayed, and affected at least this reviewer from Ars Technica:

It's a violent, one-dimensional world where might makes right, and
the atmosphere is oppressive. All of these design decisions work
together to create a compelling, blood-soaked setting. The campaign
moves along at a breathless pace, and by the time you've put the seven
hours or so into the game that it takes to see the credits your ears
will be ringing and your shoulder may feel a little bruised by the idea
of all those virtual guns being fired relentlessly.

This
isn't a game that glorifies violence—situations and characters such as
this aren't attractive—it's a game that overloads you with it. You'll
be asked to take part in some repugnant things, and many of the
peripheral details will stick with you. You'll want to talk about the
single-player campaign long after it's done, and it's clear that people
are going to have strong opinions one way or the other.

How do we feel about the controversial segment where you become part
of a terrorist act? It's hard to watch. The actual mission that has
gained all this controversy is, in all honesty, pretty shocking stuff.
The game slows down; you can't run. You have to walk slowly through the
scene, watching innocents gunned down. They scream. They try to crawl
away. They hold their wounds and moan. You can pull the trigger, or you
can just watch. But you're holding a gun—you're a part of this. If you
decide not to play this mission, you get a cut-scene. Why is this
section of the game playable? What does it add? That's a huge question,
with many different answers. I'm not saying the section makes the game
better, but it certainly will get people talking. But, yes: it is just
as bad as people are saying, and just as hard to take.

Am I glad I played the game? Yes. Can I see myself replaying it?
Maybe not. It's satisfying to step into the shoes of people who are so
uncompromising, and the game is brilliant at creating the feeling of
moral vacuum, but it's not exactly a feeling that's comfortable, or
even fun. During many scenes, I found myself simply emptying clips into
houses, knowing there could be innocents inside. Why not? I was trying
to survive, and in the thick of things it was hard to tell civilians
from soldiers. Yes, it's just a game, and these are just pixels on a
screen, but pixels and actions are enough to create a powerful
emotional reaction.


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#16
memeverse

memeverse
  • 305 posts

That Ars Technica quote gives me chills, though it isn't the first commentary of the scene to do that.


Flawed as the game as a whole might be in portraying the truth about who are the real good guys and bad guys I think it might have earned a place in entertainment history for this airport scene and the way it made people think. I agree at least the truth about what war is like can probably be gleaned from it.


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#17
Jorad

Jorad
  • 98 posts

I just finished playing the campaign myself and I have to say: they couldn't have made a better ending to that particular mission.


SPOILER:


The terrorist leader knew you were an undercover agent the whole time and kills you and leaves your body at the scene while he flees. So the terrorist attack gets blamed on America and this triggers a war. I would have been more upset, if it really worked out to be "for the greater good".


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#18
MvdW

MvdW
  • 44 posts

normally i just lurk around but as a gamer i just had to place a post here.


i really don't get why people are so troubled by games. and the most funny thing is that the people who complain about games the most never play any games themselves.


since the age of 12 i was playing mature games where people (NPCs) exploded into pieces, and it was fun (first one was Unreal Tournament, great game)... by the way, a NPC is a non-player character, a A.I. controlled object... so i really don't get how people can get emotional about a string of 110010111010010010101011000101010001.


however Modern Warfare 2 is a better example how mindlessly people buy things only because of hype... the game really isn't up to standards with exception of the graphics. and don't get me started about the lack of dedicated servers on the PC!... and as far as the terrorist stage goes, it was really mild... and there was very little blood too... i really can't understand why this is such a problem for people (the only problem with the stage was the very low movement speed... like a snail).


if you really want to see a truly extreme game, than try postal 2 + Apocalypse Weekend expansion + AWP mod. this is the most extreme form of violence and gore i have ever seen in a FPS game... and it's just so extreme and insane that it becomes funny. and if anyone wants to see some of it i could record it xD. you just have to ask LOL.


the truth is that such games are only a problem to people who have a mental illness and have trouble distinguishing between a game and reality. this ability to distinguish is actually missing a bit in normal people who had little/none exposure to games. however someone like me who has been exposed a lot can distinguish at such level that almost nothing is too extreme in a game.


however if we change to a movie things work a lot different because movies look and sound so greatly more realistic than games, that people react completely different to it. and lets not forget the lack of interactivity and control compared to a game. even i react very differently to events in a movie that were the same as in a game.


people should look a bit deeper into it. and by that i also mean playing the games themselves.


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#19
CaleyM

CaleyM
  • 50 posts

I've been playing FPS games for 10 years, since I was 16, but this is the first time I recall feeling ill watching a scene.


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#20
Keith

Keith
  • 156 posts

.


Anyways, I got wind of this one particular stage of MW2, where you play as a CIA operative, who has infiltrated the ranks of some terrorist cell, and have to get close with the leader by (this is the part where you play), going with him to an airport with machine guns in tow and literally mowing down a couple hundred innocent civilians.


 


 


 


I couldn't do it,in MW 2 at the airport in the single player...I took
off my head set and let the AI move ahead,I also turned away so is not
to watch...Found it very disturbing.


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