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The Media Games

Russian Media Link Moscow Bombing With Modern Warfare 2 Scene 91

Posted by Soulskill
from the taking-cues-from-american-journalists dept.
An anonymous reader tips news that following the airport bombing in Moscow earlier this week, the Russia media is linking the attack to a scene from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in which a number of civilians were gunned down inside an airport. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has become a shocking reality ... with so many people seemingly downloading, playing or watching this game, you have to consider whether or not anybody actually thought this game could so closely resemble reality,' said a Russia Today news presenter in the report. It also included comments from US terrorism expert Walid Phares, who said it was possible that computer games might influence the strategies employed by terrorists. Phares, who is director of Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said: 'The issue is we need to know if terrorists or extremists are using these videos or DVDs or games to basically apply the model.' '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.'" As we discussed when the game came out, Activision edited out the controversial scene from the Russian version. Violent video games have been taking a similar beating in the US after the shooting in Arizona earlier this month.
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Russian Media Link Moscow Bombing With Modern Warfare 2 Scene

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  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Friday January 28, 2011 @02:29AM (#35029316) Journal
    The Russian media must clearly be correct. Nobody [wikipedia.org] ever [wikipedia.org] attacked [wikipedia.org] an [wikipedia.org] airport [wikipedia.org] before [wikipedia.org].

    This is a strong contender for "lowest point in the history of journalism about video games". At the very least, it's tied with the whole MS Flight Sim and 9/11 "controversy". It's hard to see it as anything but an insult to those who died or were injured in the incident.
    • by noidentity (188756) on Friday January 28, 2011 @03:17AM (#35029502)

      Games might affect the exact target of these extremists, but they are not the cause of their extremism. It's their extremism that is leads them to kill innocent people. I can't help but think of water precipitating in the atmosphere. "It's that grain of dust that caused that drop to precipitate! If it hadn't been for that grain of dust, this drop wouldn't have precipitated somewhere else."

      Seems like their blame on games is like when there's a bully that nobody wants to deal with, so their anger towards him is directed at other things. Like if the bully threatens to beat someone up if anyone goes near the soda machines, you blame the kid who went near the soda machines for causing someone to get beat up, because you're too cowardly to confront the bully.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Extremism is brought to you by desperation. The latter is either a reality or is indoctrinated*. I don't understand why people in charge (of policy, police, etc.) fail so hard to understand these basic principles.

        How do you fix that is another problem and is specific to each area of the globe. For example, take the examples of Tamil Tigers** or suicide bombers in the Israeli-Palestinian problem. In both cases not only the cause is known (ie. reason people are desperate and have nothing to lose), but solutio

        • I'm curious; so what solution is available for Israeli-Palestinian problem?

          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            I'm curious; so what solution is available for Israeli-Palestinian problem?

            Build a wall (to low orbit) around the area and man it with disinterested guards (Hindus, Buddhists, meso-American Indian animists, atheists, whoever as long as they're not followers of any of the Judaeo-Christian-Muslim monotheist sects) with orders to shoot anyone coming out AND anyone looking in.

            Let them sort it out amongst themselves for a half-dozen generations (on the outside).

            Demolish the wall and greet the inhabitants as "W

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rainmouse (1784278)

      This is a strong contender for "lowest point in the history of journalism about video games". At the very least, it's tied with the whole MS Flight Sim and 9/11 "controversy". It's hard to see it as anything but an insult to those who died or were injured in the incident.

      You are right, there is no evidence other than reasonably close timing, but to be honest part of me feels they deserve some of the heat by using such dubious methods purely for hype and marketing purposes. Though I must stress I am completely against censorship, the fact that Activision would add content that is pretty much guaranteed to cause worldwide damage to the gaming industry for free marketing and thus a quick extra few points on the profit margins is frankly far more offensive than the actual con

      • by silanea (1241518)

        What is the alternative? Not to shock people? Hell, literature would be a rather poor subject if authors had followed that reasoning. Yes, the airport scene is crass. Yes, I can understand that it is controversial to many people. Still it is a work of fiction. Nothing more. Fiction serves to entertain, and there was a time it also was intended to educate. And I do see MW2 in this tradition. It has the player face probably the biggest dilemma of them all: Does the end justify the means?

        We see exactly this qu

        • What is the alternative? Not to shock people? Hell, literature would be a rather poor subject if authors had followed that reasoning.

          Perhaps you misunderstand what I meant and besides, there are many effective ways of shocking people without resorting to a tiresome marketing technique that ultimately damages the very industry you work in. I personally see characters in games as no more than game pieces, not dissimilar to chess pieces and attach to them roughly the same level of emotion; but to the uninitiated they see games apparently simulating slaughter and torture, turning their children into a murdering wave of emotionless sociopaths

          • by hazah (807503)

            but to the uninitiated they see games apparently simulating slaughter and torture, turning their children into a murdering wave of emotionless sociopaths.

            Ok... but they are wrong on all of those counts as far as I can tell. Should we really cater to people who are so horribly misinformed about reality? Should we change our own? Or, maybe, just maybe, we should stop listening to the nonsense.

          • by Dhalka226 (559740)

            The morality crusaders will find ammunition whether you give it to them or not. If somebody shoots some people at school, it's because he played Doom. If a guy detonates a bomb in an airport, it's because they played a scene in MW2 where five guys went shooting people in an airport. By that example alone you can see the kind of tenuous logic these people are willing to employ. So fuck 'em. It might be worth trying to tip-toe around people who are actually being reasonable, but it's not at all worth it

            • by gknoy (899301)

              The nuke launch in MW2 was done to do an EMP burst in space, disabling the attackers' electronics and communications structure. It was done by a rogue faction (and is in fact part of why your player and his allies are labeled as terrorists for the remainder of the game), and did not target population centers. The deaths that resulted were from other things breaking due to the EMP, rather than radiation or nuclear explosions. You'd need to watch the "in-space" mission again to see this more clearly, but i

          • by silanea (1241518)

            I personally see characters in games as no more than game pieces, not dissimilar to chess pieces and attach to them roughly the same level of emotion; but to the uninitiated they see games apparently simulating slaughter and torture, turning their children into a murdering wave of emotionless sociopaths.

            Bottom line: Stupid people are stupid. That has nothing to do with the airport scene. Those people do not react to "amoral" things, they create amorality so they can bitch about how it ruins the world. Leave out the airport scene and you still have all those morons demanding the banishment of any kind of violent video game, along with anything that depicts or refers to sexuality, mocks religions, is anti-patriotic...

            The problem is that if they push the boundaries too hard and too fast you get a backlash causing things like:- http://www.gamestooge.com/2009/06/05/germany-bans-violent-games-completely/ [gamestooge.com]

            See above. Here in Germany the right-wing pseudo-christian conservative bloc has been waging

            • by silanea (1241518)
              One thing I forgot: Those idiots are worried that terrorists
              • might use MS Flight Simulator to train for 9/11 style plane hijackings,
              • might use Google Maps and Streetview to scout out locations for attacks,
              • might photograph train stations etc. to actually plan their mischief

              and so on. Again, this has nothing to do with how violent or dangerous or realistic something actually is.

              • by afxgrin (208686)

                Hey, they might even read a Tom Clancy novel for inspiration.

                • by silanea (1241518)

                  Good point, I completely forgot.

                  People who are afraid of something will see it everywhere because fear, like any strong emotion, displaces reason. In a literature class the lecturer casually, just in passing, referred to the death eaters in "Harry Potter" as a form of terrorism. What the hell?! Sure, when one looks at them closely some of the superficial criteria fit - they strike suddenly out of hiding, kill and quickly vanish again - but not in a million years would it have occurred to me to call them ter

      • This asshole blowing himself up in an airport which happens to be in Moscow has as much to do with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as the 9/11 hijackers flying into the WTC and the Pentagon had to do with the Tom Clancy novel where some asshole flies a jumbo into the Capitol Building during a joint session of Congress.

        There's no causality here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Feinu (1956378)

      At the very least, it's tied with the whole MS Flight Sim and 9/11 "controversy"

      Not even close. Comparing the realism between flight sim games and MW2 is ludicrous - with some additional hardware you could start approximating the experience of flying a plane. Hardly compares to holding down 'W', waving your mouse around and clicking bullets into unarmed civilians.

      Additionally, there is no bomb in the "No Russian" mission of MW2, while it's entirely possible to fly jets into the World Trade Center in pre-9/11 flight sims. I once did it with a Cessna in Flight Simulator 95, which res

      • by delinear (991444)
        Moreover, if MW2 is a realistic simulation of your airport security model, you probably need to begin by looking at your security model rather than MW2. They're seriously underestimating terrorists if they think they're incapable of working out that large_crowd_of_people == good_target, though.
        • by lxs (131946)

          Which coincidentally is more or less the position of Russia's president. [businessweek.com]

        • by meustrus (1588597)

          This was my immediate reaction. Gosh, if terrorists can get useful planning and training information from a video game, why can't the Russian government? Assuming for a moment that there were even passing similarities with reality (which there weren't), the Russians should have been able to look at the game and analyze where their security practices were failing to prevent such an attack. If anyone were actually taking the "No Russian" scenario seriously, it would have been treated like a zero-day vulnerabi

      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        which resulted in "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down" moments after the crash.

        That is actually rather funny. You did something illegal and the computer blamed it on the software :)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is a strong contender for "lowest point in the history of journalism about video games". At the very least, it's tied with the whole MS Flight Sim and 9/11 "controversy".

      What about FOX's Mass Effect Se'XBox [wikipedia.org] coverage?

      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        From that section of the article:

        Jack Thompson said about the controversy, "The guy who shot his mouth off about it had no idea what the Hell he was talking about. This contrived controversy is absolutely ridiculous."

        Holy crap, Jack Thompson defending video games? Is the world coming to an end? Oo, I think I just saw a pig fly by.

    • by sheehaje (240093)

      Damn right they are correct. Worse than MW2 is Frogger! [afterdawn.com]

    • I agree. Attacking an airport is clearly such a unique idea that nobody would have ever been able to conceive of it had they not seen it in a video game first.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday January 28, 2011 @02:31AM (#35029324)

    Any security barrier creates a clot of people which becomes a target.

    You can protect the planes for the most part, but people are tougher.

  • Highly connected. (Score:5, Informative)

    by cgenman (325138) on Friday January 28, 2011 @02:37AM (#35029348) Homepage

    For the record, in Modern Warfare 2, the terrorists are a group of people who gun down people in the middle of an airport with automatic guns. In real life, this guy blew himself up outside the terminal.

    Obviously, very similar.

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      It's really sad that this is the best scapegoat they could drag out; but, because the majority of the population hasn't played the game, it'll fly.
      • by TheMidget (512188)

        It's really sad that this is the best scapegoat they could drag out; but, because the majority of the population hasn't played the game, it'll fly.

        You mean, goatse can fly? I though that was monkeys?

    • by 54mc (897170)
      Yea, and in the game, the terrorists didn't speak Russian!
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Obviously they made the level too difficult, so the terrorists decided not to try this in RL and went for something simpler instead.

      If only Activision had had the sense to make it only possible to complete the level by giving out free hugs, this tragedy could have been averted!

  • Games have never been the problem. The number of shootings, bombings etc in a country doesn't grow proportionally to the number of people exposed to violent video games. They grow based on the culture of the country in which they occur in. The US has a particularly high number (overall and per capita), but countries with similar living conditions have almost none.

    Russia has always had a problem with terrorists and various ethnic groups. Anyone blaming a game for something like this is desperately grasping f

  • "Russian airport bombed. Looks so much like MW2"

    That's exactly what he sent a few hours after it happened.

    • by nigelo (30096)

      "Russian airport bombed. Looks so much like MW2"

      Hm, he could have said "Russian airport bombed. Looks so much like WW2", which could lead to the banning of all kinds of popular video games.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Hey we have no imagination but the people that do, clearly must be responsible for everything bad we did not imagine !!!"

  • by dnaumov (453672) on Friday January 28, 2011 @02:59AM (#35029434)

    So:

    The attack wasn't really a suicide bomber, it was 5 gunmen?
    One of the gunmen was actually an american?
    The atack was carried out to the music of Hans Zimmer?

    Just like MW2, alright...

    • The atack was carried out to the music of Hans Zimmer?

      You know, you've got me thinking about him. He's done the music for dozens of movies that involve violence. I think Mr. Zimmer should take some of the blame for terrorism.

    • by will_die (586523)
      We get rid of him and Basil Poledouris and most of violent movie music will be taken care of.
  • by sltd (1182933) on Friday January 28, 2011 @03:00AM (#35029436)
    Blaming video games for this type of violence is like blaming spoons for making Rosie O'Donnell fat.
    • by Canazza (1428553)

      I see what you did there... Rosie O'Donnell didn't even USE a spoon. Just went in with her face.

    • by TheMidget (512188)
      Spoons don't make whales fat, food does.
    • Amusing though in this article for once the person dosn't sound like he's blaming the video game for the terrorists being psycotic killers.

      "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.'"

      This here is actually legitimate statement. I would call anyone who accused doom of turning the columbine kids into murderers idiots, They would have shot up and killed a

  • . . . they're admitting incompetence? If the game truly influenced this action, then shouldn't they have taken precautions?

    Since they didn't, isn't it their fault then?

  • Yea...that is exactly what this is...a very pitiable attempt to find someone to blame... I mean how on earth can a video game be held responsible for being the inspiration to extremists...Extremists do what they do an the sole blame lies with themselves...
  • They mention that it's used both as inspiration and as a training sim for terrorists. How does that work? I mean, the No Russian level is very linear and controlled. It's all on rails. Further, you don't have to kill people to beat the level. You can opt not to fire your gun at all.

    • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Friday January 28, 2011 @04:48AM (#35029906) Journal

      If I was engaged in fighting a war, or a counter-insurgency operation, then I know one thing. There is nothing I would love more than for my enemy to be using the Call of Duty games as training sims. Just think of all the fantastic lessons they could learn from them:

      - Don't worry about taking a few bullets. As long as you can duck behind cover, you'll be perfectly fine in 5 seconds or so.

      - Charging through an artillery barrage, mine-field or other incredibly dangerous intensely dangerous situation is absolutely fine, provided you can work out the precise sequence of steps that the developers wanted you to take. There'll be convenient cover every 10 paces or so.

      - Enemy soldiers will employ a combination of two cunning tactics. Some of them will run straight towards you, firing sporadically. Others will hide behind a piece of cover, which they will stick their heads above at predictable 3 second intervals. Don't worry too much about numbers; you should be able to take down a dozen or so at a time.

      - If all else fails, hole up on a hill against overwhelming waves of enemies. It might get sticky for a while, but after 5 minutes or so, stirring music will play and reinforcements will arrive to save you.

      • plant your claymore mine on the stairs leading up. doesn't matter which upstairs, just find some stairs.
  • by symes (835608)

    I seem to remember a quote from a Russian official something along the lines that one of the reasons for the attack, or at least something that facilitated it, was lapses in security at the airport. Add in the grievances in Chechnya and similar conflict zones and, well, there's your "reason". How MW2 figures in all this, except for some oblique tenuous simlarities, is beyond me. MW2 responsible for attacks at Russian airport? That is bonkers. If people have issues over violent games then they should be hone

  • For those that missed the bombing in Moscow, you can catch it here to enjoy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NMnnMRWJ-0 [youtube.com]

  • For goodness sake, the word "copy cat" would not even exist ..... everywhere you look its happening!
    Just because its a game and the game is about violence its bad. WTF?
    Humans are copy machines, it is a well known fact (evolution works that way).

  • In Soviet Russia, Modern Warfare 2 links Russian media with Moscow bombing!

  • Grab yer guns and prepare for red dawn! The Russians are coming! Ramirez, take out that aircraft carrier with your grenade!

  • by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Friday January 28, 2011 @06:08AM (#35030176)

    In my humble opinion, people working on projects called "Future Terrorism Project" at research institutes with names like "the Foundation for Defense of Democracies" should just shut up. I mean, really, shut up!

  • An NPC, someone who stands in line at airports, complaining loudly about how expensive it is these days to fly anywhere out of Moscow?

  • Charles Whitman, in 1966, shot and killed 16 people on the University of Texas at Austin campus. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman) Again, in 1966. I can only speculate -- did people back then blame pinball machines for the violence? Or did they just realize that when someone takes it in their mind to kill someone, they're going to go kill them, and they don't need a video game as their model?
  • by hipp5 (1635263) on Friday January 28, 2011 @08:10AM (#35030802)
    for my high consumption of 'shrooms.
  • by boxxa (925862)
    ive been playing violent video games for years. i not once have considered my self suddenly skilled at anything other than witty comebacks at 12 year olds for all the "training" i've done in games.
  • When is the media going to stop blaming video games for every single little thing that goes wrong in our world? Look, I hate MW2 and other FPS games filled with stupid 5 year olds and cheating autistic kids as much as the next guy, but this is just freaking stupid.
  • That nobody watches old movies and sees Black Sunday (1977).
  • I think it's obvious that real world violence is the primary cause of violent media. These violent acts shouldn't be allowed to happen in a world where impressionable young writers and producers might be influenced to produce violent fiction.
  • Every time I see MW2 mentioned in a video game article I think of Mech Warrior 2.
    • Same thing here. When I ask the squirts at Gamestop if they have any AC titles, they think I'm talking about Assassin's Creed. Armored Corps FTW!

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