A recently leaked scene from Infinity Ward’s upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 depicting players (SPOILER ALERT) playing as terrorists has sparked some rather heated discussions since it appeared earlier in the week. (The above video was the original teaser trailer for the game, and it clearly features the audio portion of the scene in question.) Shockingly, the Australian Council on Children have called for the game’s MA-15+ rating to be re-reviewed, Game Politics reports.
“The consequences of terrorism are just abhorrent in our community,” the groups’ president Jane Roberts told The Age, “and yet here we are with a product that's meant to be passed off as a leisure time activity, actually promoting what most world leaders speak out publicly against. We understand that it's a game but ... we're not far off when you look at the images that you could actually put it on a Channel Nine news report and you'd think maybe that is real.”
Australia’s most open-minded attorney general, Michael Atkinson (who has single-handedly held back the approval of a R18+ for video games in the country), astutely and reasonably observed, “Expecting game designers to be responsible by not glorifying terrorism will always lead to disappointment.”
On the non-loony side of the coin is spokesman for the lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, Nicholas Suzor, said, “Films often show the villain's perspective and, by doing that, they get across the character's story and the heinous nature of people who carry out atrocities. Games, too, are becoming more expressive, and are telling more involved stories.”
What’s interesting about all of this is that if the board stands by its R15+ rating for the game, that means either it sees no issue with the controversial scene, or the board didn’t see the scene before it made its decision about the rating. Either way, as a Classification Board spokesman explained, the board isn’t able to review its own decision, so a formal application to Board will be required if a re-review were to occur.
Even more fascinating is that one of the main reasons the Australian ratings board forced Valve to make significant cuts to Left 4 Dead 2 in order to avoid the game being banned was that the zombies looked too human. So apparently, (SPOILER ALERT) mowing down 100 percent human civilians in MW2 is fine, but mowing down zombified humans is too disturbing? Here’s a new slogan I’m trying out: Australia’s stance on creative expression - Not Making Sense Since Ever.