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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare impressions — Taking war in a frightening direction

GlamFM

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This all sounds very cool to me.

And that’s not trying to be edgy or something, but a COD trying to do anything is exciting to me.

MW2 came out 10 years ago and people still talk about no Russian..
Also this should be exciting:


This is a sizable chunk of the old core team back at work.
 

Shadowstar39

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Whilst I think a lot of people confuse the 90s with the early 2000s (I mean, yeah, people weren't too concerned over what violent games there were on the SNES), the early 2000s were way worst for game devs to actually get their games out if there was violence than today.

The difference was:
End of 90s/early 2000 violence in games = Mass media moral panic.
These days violence in games = Twitter panic
Eh, the early to mid 90s had the mortal Kombat contraversy. The whole no blood in the snes vet. Also the fight, that led to the esrb. The difference is games media wasn't for censorship back then.
 

Geki-D

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Eh, the early to mid 90s had the mortal Kombat contraversy. The whole no blood in the snes vet. Also the fight, that led to the esrb. The difference is games media wasn't for censorship back then.
I guess it had its moments. Point being people crying on Twitter today is nowhere near as bad as the conservative groups back then who did actually get rating boards & game companies to censor games.
 

TGO

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I'm glad they are taking this direction.
This is what Call of Duty is but with each release after MW2 its just become a joke.
Especially Treyarchs games.
Well I'm sure Treyarch will get their chance to ham it up next year.
 

Saber

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Another day, another internet drama.

This one must be one of losers who thinks that "games are for kids". Guys/gals, the rating system was create just for the lolz

This guy should do the "where the game touch you" moment. Go watch a movie or a series and spare me this drama.
 
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Northeastmonk

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Another day, another internet drama.

This one must be one of losers who thinks that "games are for kids". Guys/gals, the rating system was create just for the lolz

This guy should do the "where the game touch you" moment. Go watch a movie or a seried and spare me this drama.

Its as if they see something like the ESRB as telling them who the video game was made for. I see an E that must mean only small kids can play this game. This is a T, that must mean this game is only meant for teenagers. I see an M, maybe this game was meant for those kids going off to college. They focus every single detail on that ratings board, which is why its there I guess. It doesn't define who plays which/what video game. I play plenty of T rated games, but I'm not a teenager (far from it). I can very well enjoy an engaging plot that offends someone else and myself. I don't think about the kid's parents down the street (nor do I want to).

I've played DOOM with my step daughter and some politicians/religious affiliates/etc would call that monstrous. I also play games when she's not around.
 
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What bothers me is that it seems that you will be playing as one of the White Helmets who are known terrorists. This triggers me.

the setting of the game is fictional and it uses a fictional country.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Jihadists using civilians as weapons is a real thing that occurs in real warfare, and professional military killing innocent civilians after mistaken them for combatants is also a real thing.

Maybe this is is another symptom of games "growing up" just like all the self-important journalists have demanded for years (when it suits their ideological aims). The devs are trying to impart some realism to the modern theatre of war and journalists are saying "no, we cannot have such realistic narrative. By the way, keep the boobs out of my games, too".
 

Northeastmonk

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Ah well, I'll guess I'll go back to killing civilians on GTA with a hammer then, because this game is too much to deal with.

If anything, this is what Activision needs to sell the game. The more hype they generate around controversy the more attention their game gets. Call of Duty already had a lot of attention, but it sorta went by the way side with so many entries every year. No Russian or even Modern Warfare were a thing many years ago. We've had so many entries since then. I'm not shocked at all that they're raising the bar with this one. They have a legacy to uphold. The people behind it left the company. They had Modern Warfare 3 to close it out with and that had a car bomb with a mom and her kid (IIRC). It wasn't as controversial as No Russian, which actually sucked. They couldn't top No Russian.

As an adult, saying they haven't topped "No Russian" leads me to believe that the developers of Modern Warfare 2 did something right. Those developers deserve their pay grade just for getting everyone's attention towards a video game. Even games like GTA profit from hot shots like this guy.
 
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Saber

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I've played DOOM with my step daughter and some politicians/religious affiliates/etc would call that monstrous. I also play games when she's not around.

Because it kind is lol
The rate system WAS create because of that. You never played a M game and wondered why its M? Like, not at all?

Thats the problem with people these days. They play games that aren't supposed to play and then parents go over the internet because of it. Dude, we need to at least try to use common sense here.

If theres a sign saying "This movie has sexual scenes/heavy violence , but if you're minor you can watch with an adult" what would you do?
 
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Northeastmonk

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Because it kind is lol
The rate system WAS create because of that. You never played a M game and wondered why its M? Like, not at all?

Thats the problem with people these days. They play games that aren't supposed to play and then parents go over the internet because of it. Dude, we need to at least try to use common sense here.

If theres a sign saying "This movie has sexual scenes/heavy violence , but if you're minor you can watch with an adult" what would you do?

Here's how I did things. I played Mortal Kombat at the arcade as a kid. When my mom showed up it was like "look mom, I can make this person explode from the inside, cool huh?". She made a shocked face and said something about it being over the top. In my mind it was cool. Over the years some things come off as shocking. Sexuality is more worrisome than violence IMO. I'd much rather explain to my kid that you shouldn't hurt people in real life versus having the whole "what are they doing to each other" conversation.

I was only trying to emphasize that people only tend to look at the ratings system and nothing else. I remember getting Silent Hill 2, GTA3/Vice City, and Resident Evil at Babbages. I had to have my dad drive me to the mall i n order to get them. He literally rolled his eyes. I remember getting State of Emergency on PS2. It had an 18+ sticker on the cover. That was the only time my dad was like "18? Are you sure you should be playing this?".

I don't want to just ban someone from playing a game. I think its all in context. There are M rated games that are worse than others. There are T rated super hero games that display cartoon violence. The scale on which one person puts an M rated game is different than someone else. I can use common sense. You could drive your car into a ditch in GTA and walk for hours on end. You don't see the queued cutscene with sex, drugs, and gun fire right away. I don't see a scene in GTA and think some kid will get the idea that you should play with guns now because you saw GTA.

Edit: this was DOOM from the 90's, not the 2016 DOOM. She had fun and was actually finishing the levels. She had fun and that's about it.
 
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48086

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Hold up...

So, it's not ok to shoot women who are enemy combatants determined to kill you but women should be equal and be allowed to serve in the military but the game shouldn't be made because it's too realistic but it's time for games to stop being male power fantasies and focus on realistic modern day issues but not war and the game is violent because women die but Game of Thrones is so good.

Wat.
 

Saber

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Here's how I did things. I played Mortal Kombat at the arcade as a kid. When my mom showed up it was like "look mom, I can make this person explode from the inside, cool huh?". She made a shocked face and said something about it being over the top. In my mind it was cool. Over the years some things come off as shocking. Sexuality is more worrisome than violence IMO. I'd much rather explain to my kid that you shouldn't hurt people in real life versus having the whole "what are they doing to each other" conversation.

For me they're the same. And I may have done the same as a kid though, but never actually hunt games down because of it. Thats the point.

I was only trying to emphasize that people only tend to look at the ratings system and nothing else.

Thats why I said common sense. You're an adult and Im pretty sure that dumbass is as well. Never occured to you that these games you play aren't supposed to be watched by kids? Like, did this ever occured in your mind at all?

But nah. Little Timoty loves to kill people and save the day in COD games. But uncle is worried because the game he loves has too much violence for his age. So how about we tone down the game for his sake?

I don't want to just ban someone from playing a game. I think its all in context. There are M rated games that are worse than others.There are T rated super hero games that display cartoon violence. The scale on which one person puts an M rated game is different than someone else. I can use common sense. You could drive your car into a ditch in GTA and walk for hours on end. You don't see the queued cutscene with sex, drugs, and gun fire right away. I don't see a scene in GTA and think some kid will get the idea that you should play with guns now because you saw GTA.

No sure whats your point here. Theres a lot of scenes in GTA that are very violent splicity. The woman sliced into to pieces, to name a few.
Again not sure whats your point saying that rate games vary from one to another. If it's M rate, could care less if "one is less than the other".

The point here again is use common sense. Don't go complaining about kids playing violent games when they're not supposed to play those games in the first place.
 
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Son_of_Zardoz

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They shouldn't take something out that's grounded in reality and shows the tense/terrible situations in combat. Fucking parents that allow 10 yr olds to play these games are the real problem.

I'm not the biggest fan of COD but this is the first one that I'm really interested in since forever. Glad they took a break from the future stuff--there's plenty of other good options for various levels of sci-fi shooters.
 
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Sub_Level

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Michael Condrey, the former co-head of Activision’s Sledgehammer Games, said at our recent GamesBeat Summit event that, in the age of the shooting at Christchurch in New Zealand, is it appropriate to make a game like Modern Warfare today.

If a game purports to be a representation of modern warfare, it should incorporate allegories if not outright depictions of such events. Modern Warfare showed Middle Eastern combat between insurgents and US soldiers. 10 years later, the situation has shifted to more sporadic terrorist attacks throughout the world while Middle Eastern countries are engaged in civil strife. The few bits of footage we have show us that this is where the game will take us.

Its not going to speak to the human condition or some shit. Its a call of duty game where you blast comedically evil russians away and subsequently go play multiplayer so you can get called a faggot by a 12 year old. But a Syria Civil War level or a London Terrorist Attack level will allow players to experience the contemporary horrors of war from different soldiers' viewpoints. Which is the whole point.

Infinity Ward has not delivered as well as its sister studios Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games

Except this isn't true in the case of campaigns. Infinite Warfare's campaign is gold, especially compared to the passable Advanced Warfare and the outright terrible Black Ops 3 campaigns.
 

makaveli60

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I guess it had its moments. Point being people crying on Twitter today is nowhere near as bad as the conservative groups back then who did actually get rating boards & game companies to censor games.
Except it leads to developers self-censoring their works and filling them with insane political agendas.
 
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Hendrick's

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I don't see the problem. Why can TV and film have content like this, and frankly much worse, receive little flak, but then just because this is a game it's now a problem? I mean, as long as it is rated appropriately what's the problem? Or are will still on the "games are evil" thing?
 

PianistaMacabro

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I think the discussion is more complicated than it seems. It's not just about "we have a rating system" and so we can allow anything. The same applies to movie comparison, some very agressive good war movies are saying something beyond entertainment, doesn't work as direct comparison with games.
A COD game unfortunately is just entertainment and because of that, the way this type of violence gets into society can be complicated and should be treated in responsable manner by the developers part. I would be totally down for it if we get a game that goes deeply in a political understanding of war, showing how fucked up it is and specially not portraying America as the good guys with this manichaeism and patriotism bullshit. But the first thing we see is a sexy hipster smoking cigars in a operation ? That's pathetic and socially harmful as a entertainment product
 

Geki-D

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Except it leads to developers self-censoring their works and filling them with insane political agendas.
"Self-censoring", if there is such a thing, is a choice the devs make. Back in the day the censoring was imposed. As for "insane political agendas", lol, an "insane political agenda" is generally just one you don't agree with. For example, it's pretty funny how many people will call Dean here a snowflake for complaining about how this game depicts war (and war is generally pretty fucking political, especially when it has a modern day setting) but then will cry all the tears of their body because a game has, say, a transgender flag in it or has gay characters and will demand devs take them out and stop putting them in future games.

"Pushing political agendas" is generally just code for "I dun like it!" and it's amazing how quickly a devs "artistic freedom" is only valid for some things but should be taken away for others.
 

vpance

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I don't see the problem. Why can TV and film have content like this, and frankly much worse, receive little flak, but then just because this is a game it's now a problem? I mean, as long as it is rated appropriately what's the problem? Or are will still on the "games are evil" thing?

His reasoning is it's interactive. The assumption is if it's interactive then it's more impressionable, especially on kids. People will become inspired to do bad things in real life. So basically it's the same message we got nearly 20 years ago with GTA3.

The new 2019 twist to the old message is it could offend Muslims.
 

Clear

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It just reminds me how utterly ineffectual pc/progressive culture appears when faced by real militarized ideologues who are willing to do the "unthinkable" to achieve their ends.

I mean on one end of the scale we have people who think language is violence and "punching a nazi" is the ultimate deterrent, while simultaneously we have groups like ISIL for whom throwing gays off of buildings and fitting kids with martyrdom vests is all part of their righteous Jihad!

I don't want to dignify or condone those sort of atrocities by characterizing them as being "strong", but the progressive mentality where fragility is venerated... is simply weakness, and in no way fit to challenge real "evil" should it ever have to combat it.
 
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Hendrick's

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His reasoning is it's interactive. The assumption is if it's interactive then it's more impressionable, especially on kids. People will become inspired to do bad things in real life. So basically it's the same message we got nearly 20 years ago with GTA3.

The new 2019 twist to the old message is it could offend Muslims.
But the game is rated M and is not for kids. Why not instead make parents be accountable?
 

Paasei

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I just hope the campaign is going to be cool like the original. CoD4 (which was the first MW), still holds a very special place in my heart. Playing promod matches all day long for years, and even managed to win a few (LAN) tournaments here and there, because of all the time I spent on it.

I know it won't and will most likely never get to that point for me again. But that doesn't mean it's not worth keeping track on.
 

Petrae

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Yet another example of “games journalism” becoming this ultra-progressive/“bu-bu-but my fee-fees!” lot of whiny, sniveling pearl-clutchers who somehow still have a platform and an audience. Worse, people in the industry listen to this bitching and make changes based on said bitching, because if they don’t— the slacktivist social media hordes will be summoned... and nobody wants that.

These jackwagons don’t give a shit about video games anymore. Hell, they haven’t in years. There’s no genuine excitement or enthusiasm. They live to complain.

Games with content like this are fine. They’re not intended for children, and video game ratings reflect this. The problem comes in when weak parents give in to their kids and buy unsuitable games for them anyway, because they don’t know how to say no. More and more adults are playing video games, and they shouldn’t have to choose compromised experiences because little Jimmy’s mom gave in because she didn’t want to hear him cry about not getting a game or some super-sensitive “games journalist” thinks that some lines shouldn’t be crossed.
 
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Breakage

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You just know this game is going to get called out for its negative depictions of Muslims and will undoubtedly be branded “Islamophobic”. I can already hear what the conversations will be like here in the UK. Hours will be devoted to it. The Muslim Council of Britain will likely call for the London chapter to be removed or altered on the grounds it fuels Islamophobia and makes ordinary Muslims feel unsafe.
 
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vpance

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But the game is rated M and is not for kids. Why not instead make parents be accountable?

People for censorship aren't big believers of personal responsibility. Dean knows kids will end up playing it anyways, which he's right on. So because of that he wants it censored. After all, there's no better solution for kids not to experience it if it doesn't exist :)
 

Sub_Level

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You just know this game is going to get called out for its negative depictions of Muslims and will undoubtedly be branded “Islamophobic”. I can already hear what the conversations will be like here in the UK. Hours will be devoted to it. The Muslim Council of Britain will likely call for the London chapter to be removed or altered on the grounds it fuels Islamophobia and makes ordinary Muslims feel unsafe.

You are right, but also don't forget the people who will complain that its woke and sjw just because you play as an Arab woman for half the campaign.

Russia Today is already calling the game Western propaganda LOL



Gotta defend their government no matter what. Even over a videogame.
 

molasar

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You are right, but also don't forget the people who will complain that its woke and sjw just because you play as an Arab woman for half the campaign.

Russia Today is already calling the game Western propaganda LOL



Gotta defend their government no matter what. Even over a videogame.
Russians are not worse than other sides of conflict (including USA and NATO). So why portray them always as bad guys?
 

Sub_Level

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Russians are not worse than other sides of conflict (including USA and NATO). So why portray them always as bad guys?

The Russians in the MW series are always portrayed as experiencing a civil conflict between the ultra nationalists and the russian federation, the latter of which always help the player. You even play partly as a Russian in MW3's campaign.

In fact, goin back and looking at who the primary villains are in each of the games:

CoD 1: German
2: German
3: German
4: Russian
WaW: Japanese
MW2: American
Blops: Russian
MW3: Russian
Blops 2: South American
Ghosts: South American
AW: American
Blops 3: The people who wrote this turd
IW: Martian
WW2: German

Chinese and Koreans are the only underrepresented parties, as far as viable shooter bad guys go. We'll get those eventually. Middle Eastern terrorists consistently occupy the secondary bad guy role, heh.
 
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Breakage

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You are right, but also don't forget the people who will complain that its woke and sjw just because you play as an Arab woman for half the campaign.

Russia Today is already calling the game Western propaganda LOL



Gotta defend their government no matter what. Even over a videogame.
It'll be interesting to see if Activision end up caving in to the pressure (whatever form it takes).
I personally think it's the most intriguing CoD game in a long time.
 

SirKicksalot

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Medal of Honor 2010 had a powerful story based on a real operation without having you play a stealth level as a child. COD sometimes turns into a parody of itself - see the dad bit in MW3 lol
 

molasar

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The Russians in the MW series are always portrayed as experiencing a civil conflict between the ultra nationalists and the russian federation, the latter of which always help the player. You even play partly as a Russian in MW3's campaign.

In fact, goin back and looking at who the primary villains are in each of the games:

CoD 1: German
2: German
3: German
4: Russian
WaW: Japanese
MW2: American
Blops: Russian
MW3: Russian
Blops 2: South American
Ghosts: South American
AW: American
Blops 3: The people who wrote this turd
IW: Martian
WW2: German

Chinese and Koreans are the only underrepresented parties, as far as viable shooter bad guys go. We'll get those eventually. Middle Eastern terrorists consistently occupy the secondary bad guy role, heh.
Yes, but usually when it goes to MSM, generally people do not know details and they see it as all Russians. Try to imagine a trailer for a CoD game giving impression that the whole USA and NATO are bad guys where Russia and China try to save the world.
 

Geki-D

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It'll be interesting to see if Activision end up caving in to the pressure (whatever form it takes).
From the Russian government's well known propaganda against the White Helmets or whinny VG journos? lol yeah, I doubt it.
 
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The more I hear about this upcoming CoD, the more Im excited for it.

Killing terrorists
Modern day tech/guns
Cross play

All these thing make me happy.
 

Pallas

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MW games have always been a little controversial. It might not be much of a comparison but MW3 has that one scene of a family vacationing and a little girl getting blown up from a truck parked with explosives.


I feel like shouldn’t add a warning but it may be sensitive to some.
 
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Stafford

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I don't agree at all with that journalist and I applaud the developer to try new things. With all these CoD games (that I've gotten beyond tired of) I never felt a thing when gunning down people, if they can change that this time around, really have you feeling a type of way.... I'm all for it. Especially the parts this guy has seen I hope will stay in. War isn't pretty, I'm not against games trying to realistically depict that.

When all is said and done though, will it feel like just another CoD game or will gunplay feel vastly different and improved? Will death animations of enemies look a lot more realistic? Will there be things like bullet holes/wounds in bodies? The fact that they finally went for a new engine is just great news. They got my attention, for the first time in many many years. Black Ops was the last one I played, all the others that followed I ignored. I did finish Advanced Warfare.
 
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Almost any gamer with more than a passing interest in the hobby should be all too well aware of the censorship others have tried to instill within the medium. Throughout gaming’s illustrious history there have been countless calls to tone things down, or to burn them out of existence entirely. How many of us rolled their eyes so hard they popped out of their sockets, and tumbled on towards a better life after Fox news got uppity over an unseen titty in Mass Effect? What about the jokes we levy at the sheer stupidity of Jack Thompson? Who grimaces at the very real culture war that occurred in the 90s when Mortal Kombat created a moral ‘konflict’? Time and time again, gaming has been thrown in the midst of a warpath of raging ideologues who see Fahrenheit 451 not as a warning, but as an all-important user manual. Yet, standing in their way has always been game journalists doing their damnedest to keep the pitchforks and torches at bay. That is, until the current era, where like the turncoats they’ve shown themselves to be, our historically most arduous defenders have turned into our biggest enemy yet.

Yesterday, Dean Takahashi of Venture Beat published an article about the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Within the piece he discusses the game’s goal of making gamers feel uncomfortable with gameplay that matches the startling truth that in the real world, it’s hard to tell civilian from foe. Immediately he took issue with the upcoming iteration of CoD aiming to be as authentically gritty as possible, and began his essay with a call for censorship.

“I have been a Call of Duty fan from the first game in 2003. But I have never wondered about this question before, until now. Should this particular game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, be made? The small glimpse I’ve seen of it so far tells me no,” he begins with, before later also saying: “Sometimes you have to judge something on just what your eyes tell you. And my vote is that this single-player campaign should not ship with these scenes.”

He would further elaborate on twitter that he is “not a book burner. Or a game burner. In 30 years of writing about games, I have never said something like this. I am raising the question for this one. And I am saying they should drop these scenes. I am flagging this for parents to be aware of another “No Russian.”

This desire to protect children matches the Venture Beat article where he expresses that kids shouldn’t play Modern Warfare, and in that regard he’s probably right. Kids (at least most of them) shouldn’t be playing Call of Duty, but last I checked, that’s why we have the ESRB rating system. To which the Activision published series is rated ‘M’ for mature for a reason.

If we censored everything created for people of a certain age because kids could possibly lay eyes on whatever media is in question, we’d have no adult entertainment whatsoever. R-rated movies, pornos, violent TV series, gritty books, and whatever else you can think of would suddenly cease to be. Yet Dean doesn’t see the rational truth at hand, and instead chooses to use children because he’s too much of a coward to just accept that things he doesn’t like have a right to exist.

Not too long ago Takahashi was understandably mocked after his abysmal “skills” were put to the test, and he got stuck on a Cuphead tutorial, even when the gameplay prompts were literally spelled out above his character. Even longer ago he was rightfully criticized when he reviewed Mass Effect, and later had to apologize for it after it came to light that he didn’t know he had been able to apply talent points to his character during the experience, putting his complaints that the game was too hard to shame. Yet through all those blunders, he’s still been able to provide adequate coverage when it came to the world of tech (read: not gaming). So as a journalist he’s not totally useless. Or he wasn’t, but in an era where calls for censorship are already weighing not just the gaming medium down, but other forms of entertainment as well, I have six words for him.

Get the fuck out of journalism.

Free speech and expression is key to this entire field of work. Journalism would not exist without it. Calls for censorship are not just misguided, they’re wrong. It’s also a slap in the face to every American who values the freedom our constitution and its subsequent amendments afford. As for getting out of journalism, I want to yell my curse laden sentiment above, for as rude as it sounds, at many who have now somehow made a living out of planting the seeds for moral panic, all under the guise of criticism.

In 2008. Fox News came under fire – and rightfully so – for a debate in which they misrepresented a sex scene in Mass Effect, going so far as to straight up lie when they said it was being marketed to children. Immediately the clip was lambasted practically everywhere, and was even addressed on G4’s popular television series, X-Play. While covering the segment, Adam Sessler criticized the dishonest journalism and the “purposelessness of the situation.”

Fast forward 11 years, and the bad Fox News story can’t even hold a candle up to the purposelessness of modern game coverage.

Vice Gaming, formally Waypoint, just last week got anxiety because Overwatch has an optional skin which allows certain characters to dress up as law enforcement. Deadspin cried last September because Spider-Man aids the NYPD. Pastemagazine a handful of months ago was upset because you kill monsters in Monster Hunter. Polygon were broken up over Rage 2’s depiction of mutants. PC Gamer brought up how Rimworld was “heteronormative” in their review of the game. Meanwhile Eurogamer spent much of its Dead or Alive 6 review bitching about how sexy the characters are. Rockpapershotgun absurdly wishes Far Cry 5 featured more racism and fascism. And Kotaku falsely attacked Persona 5 over a nonexistent ‘ableist slur.’

None of these sites can seemingly go an entire week without courting some made up ‘non-troversy’. On the one hand, it’s because in today’s media climate, publications need to rile up readers to drive the clicks they so desperately need – more so now as their valuations keep thankfully plummeting – so they hire partisan hacks who’ll do the dirty for them. And trust me, these ‘journalists’ believe the nonsense they spew. Browsing their public social media feeds is evidence enough of this. I mean hell, some cerebrally-fragile individuals even got angry because of a Star Wars twitter poll.

Disney simply asked whether people are on the side of the Resistance or the First Order. Yet, because nothing can be lighthearted anymore, folks like Jim Sterling and Austin Walker said it was a ‘fascism poll’. Never-mind people have been cosplaying Storm Troopers for decades, and that people in general enjoy dressing up as various villains on Halloween. No, instead, in their minds, anyone who chose the Order is a true-to-life nazi.

Hate Jack Thompson all you like, and no doubt he’s a damn fool, but he’s got nothing on those that get paid to write the bunk making up a majority of our gaming news media. Jack at least got disbarred and is largely disgraced, meanwhile game critics and journalists move upwards in their careers, and bounce between handfuls of sites at a time, only growing in influence and power.

We mock them, and pretend they have no power, but their moral dribble leaks out into the industry and causes real change. Don’t believe me? Well just ask Tim Soret, who’s game fell out of favor because of where his politics lay, and who became the target of the press. Trash pieces were written that helped contribute to why his highly anticipated game remains in limbo. He was painted as a feminist-hating gamergate supporting bigot, something their audience ate up, and now he’s unwarrantedly hated by many.

As I’ve written about on this very site before, the current era of gaming coverage has resulted in other casualties as well. A harmless Tweet made by a GOG community manager riled up the press to such a degree that they wrote countless hit pieces calling GOG ‘transphobic’, and worse. The resulting outrage led to the employee being uncovered and doxxed, an action resulting in the community manager’s parents receiving abusive phone calls.

Game coverage can, and should, be better. History shows it’s possible. As a kid, my passion for gaming and journalism burned bright. My monthly subscriptions to Electronic Gaming Monthly and a handful of other publications were little presents left in the mailbox each month. Ones I anxiously awaited. My mailman was Santa, and he always delivered.

I’d open my magazines with care and spend hours reading the contents within. Wowed by the enjoyable writing, the good reviews, and the passion of the editorials that shined a light upon my face each time I turned to the first page. This was journalism, and it was good.

In 2008, Dan Hsu of EGM published an eye-opening editorial. It was about how Ubisoft had blacklisted the magazine because of unfavorable preview coverage. As he would explain
:

“Gamemakers have been taking issue with our reviews for as long as EGM’s been around (almost 19 years now). It goes with the territory: Be honest and tough with your critiques, and you’re going to piss just about everybody off at some point. But when I took over as editor-in-chief in 2001, I also wanted us to get more real with our previews. I was tired of the press-release rehashes our industry had become accustomed to, so I asked for more sincerity and opinions from our writers and editors. Naturally, you have to be fair — the products aren’t finished yet, after all — but judging from reader feedback, our opinionated previews have been a hit. Except with some game publishers, of course. Less-than-totally-positive previews don’t sit well with those who are used to those press-release rehashes. Combine that with our candid reviews, and you can imagine the consequences that we have to face constantly.”
In a later interview he would go on to add: “I’d drag EGM down with me or quit before we compromise our integrity.”

The games media at large would do well to take in that lesson. Moral panics and calls for censorship are the opposite of where this field should be going. We need journalists with integrity, who are willing to risk their careers to stand up against the puritanical pursuits of those wishing to belittle this hobby. There is no room for ideologues who would rather push political activism instead of anything that could be called genuine, passionate, or real.

Journalism may seem like it’s dying, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It just needs to wake up and take out the trash.



https://nichegamer.com/2019/05/31/censorship-moral-outrage-and-the-new-age-of-game-journalism/
 

Bolivar687

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First of all, it is absolutely not appropriate for an entertainment reporter to pre-emptively interject themself into the creative process and question this before the finished product releases. He should instead wait until the game comes out and then make the determination whether, in its full context, it either succeeded or failed on its ambitions and whether the graphic content was helpful or harmful.

Second, it brings up a lot of mixed feelings over No Russian, which I consider a creative failure beyond the notoriety buzz it generated. When I first saw the "leaked" video of it being played by some creepy dude in the reflection, it was fairly haunting. I have to give it innovation credit, because I had not seen anything like it before. But my initial thoughts were "what is this trying to accomplish and are video games an effective medium for that?" The main reason I feel the segment failed is because when I played it for myself a few months later, the high framerate made it no longer look haunting, but cartoony and fake. It also served no purpose for the plot, as you end up reaching out to Makarov at the end for help in tracking down Shepherd. I appreciate IW in trying to recapture the nuke and AC-130 alternative gameplay moments in CoD4, to continue pushing boundaries of the medium. But there was no steak behind the sizzle.

As far as what this means for the new game, it looks like there's going to be a lot of this, beyond just one memorable shock moment. I think it's good for a series to look into this kind of thing to keep it fresh. Things have gotten so stale that they just dropped campaign altogether. My concern is that this will take away from what CoD campaigns are fundamentally about - the Rollercoaster Ride.

I don't believe IW was a good game. It did not know how to design visceral engagements or to string then together in a complete mission with a crescendo. The spaceship segments were complete throwaways. I know a lot of people liked it, but it does not measure up to CoD standards and what the series exists to accomplish.
 
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