Ill-advised censorship has been a problem that most popular culture items have faced time and again. The latest victim is Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, as Russia has recalled all copies of the game from stores.
The reason, of course, is the controversial ‘No Russian’ level in the game, which depicts the player and a few Russian terrorists opening fire on civilians in an airport. As previously noted on ThinkDigit, Indian gamers and reviewers have had a varied reaction to this. If you ask us, the airport level is obviously a publicity stunt by Infinity Ward in order to raise more word-of-mouth publicity about the game.
Hellforge reports: “Russian gaming website GotPS3 voiced their anger over the game’s storyline, which they criticized as catering to a primarily American audience with total disregard towards other cultures, especially the Russians, whom the game depicts as terrorists.”
There have been online comments and blogs that are calling the Russia’s game recall as being hyper-sensitive and hypocritical. Destructoid wrote: “I am sure Russians would have had no problem if it was another country involved in the game's plot, like Germany, which has of course been the antagonist in most Call of Duty games.”
The analogy is a bit off, as the objection here is about being seen as terrorists, a much-maligned word that is used repeatedly in the game. The biggest reason for this claim of hypocrisy not holding water is that the game is set in current times using the name ‘Russia’, and does not depict a historical or fictitious context like in previous Call of Duty games.
Still, the other line of the Destructoid comment is something we can get behind: “Anybody who pays attention to MW2's plot will understand why Russia is at war with the US, and know that the Russians aren’t being depicted solely as bad guys.”
Really, without giving away too much, this is probably another incident of someone objecting to the first part of the game without playing it through and looking at the end game.
Of course, Infinity Ward still needs to sell the game and is going to offer to patch the level out for Russian consumers in a special edited version of the game, which will be re-released in less than a month. That’s if the Russian government approves…