Sessler's Soapbox: The Modern Warfare 2 Airport Scene

Posted: November 11, 2009
Sessler's Soapbox: The Modern Warfare 2 Airport Scene

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  • Chupacabras_X

    There is no denying that it was a graphic scene, no question about that.

    I'm as 'bothered' by the AirPort scene as I am by, oh, in Left-4-Dead everyone being turned into zombies, for example.

    Posted: November 16, 2009 8:17 AM
  • tjmcclucas

    After serving in Iraq and seeing the worst of the worst, their is nothing to be gained by playing as a soldier fighting the good fight to protect the greater good of humanity, or by playing as a terrorist committing an evil act of murder to hasten the fall of humanity, and to assume otherwise is foolish and naive. Neither video games, nor any other virtual medium can adequately reflect such life experiences, and if anything is ultimately learned or gained by the experience itself, it will be lost in translation. Death is never pretty, whether justified or not and it leaves its mark on the soul. In the end, this ignorant attempt at what ever it was they thought they could scratch the surface of, was done in poor taste. It is further complicated by the fact that the medium itself and the audience it targets is not capable of "gaining" what ever it was "suppose" to gather, at least not while playing the game. This is not a slight to the audience itself, it is just a matter of fact...THE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE EXPERIENCE ITSELF, and the experience itself by its very nature, provides no perspective and no answers to deal with the aftermath. People do not play video games to learn the ways of the world, and if some do, they need to get counseling for they need help. As for the artists who created the game, get some perspective and keep it simple.

    Posted: November 16, 2009 8:07 AM
  • gnosis_darkid

    Okay, I'll reiterate a point I made in last week's soapbox. I find it distressing that so many people have absolutely no objection to the killing of virtual Middle Eastern people in this game and yet find it completely distressing and offensive when tasked with killing some virtual civilians.

    Why is it acceptable to be a virtual American solider romping through the streets of some virtual Middle Eastern town, mowing down streams of virtual Middle Eastern soldiers whilst complete jingoistic bull is spouted out of your speakers? Why is blowing stuff up as an American solider commendable and not in anyway a form of terrorism against the people of the country in question (and in fact makes you a 'good' guy)? Why does no one mind this?

    I postulate that there are some very limited perceptions of 'right' and 'wrong' at work here. We are told that those in the Middle East are evil, out to get us, opposed to all our virtues and therefore it is okay to kill virtual representations of them without moral question. Which is just absolute clap-trap.

    Everything has two-sides, two-faces and dualistic intentions. If IW had at least attempted to discuss some of the political and social issues at play and to provide a deeper and more carefully constructed insight into these complexities, then maybe this game would be truly great - a break-through, watershed moment in gaming. As it is, MW2 is nothing more than complete dribble.

    Some might suggest it is not for IW to deal with such complexities, that their main role is to create a 'fun' videogame. But I disagree. If you're going to make use of such a current, real-world topic then you have to responsibility to deal with it in a responsible manner.

    As far a MW2 stands in relation to other media forms, then IW's portrayal of their chosen issue is nothing more than a Claude Van Dame movie viewpoint on the whole issue. In fact, its the equivalent of producing a rape scene in a movie that glorifies the act of rape, as opposed to showing it to be the vile thing it truly is. If such a scene was produced, no one would applaud the film's bold attempts to address a tricky issue, they would simple condemn it for diminishing the abhorrent nature of the act.

    Personally, I believe that this game is extremely damaging and dangerous in regards to breeding a new generation who will unquestionably adopt the belief that those in the Middle East are dangerous. With such perceptions in play, not only will we continue to live in hatred, fear and prejudice, but we will continue to be easily manipulated by various powers that fed off our fears for their own benefit. People, read 1984 and Brave New World, for God's sake!

    As gamers, we must ramp up our expectations and demands. If a company is going to use such issues for the sake of entertainment and deals with them in such a trite, fun-park manner, then we must take issue with it, or equally, treat it like the pathetic, Steven Segal rubbish that it is and not hold it aloft as a monumental moment in gaming history. It does nothing but embarrass us all.

    Posted: November 16, 2009 3:52 AM
  • ultra man 38

    i killing the people in game w-be its a game.and fun. yes i sand fun .

    Posted: November 16, 2009 1:38 AM
  • drumsofreckoning

    Fact is stuff like this happens in real life everyday, somewhere in the world. It makes me go crazy when americans and the rest of the world especially news networks want the little peasants of the world to believe that stuff like the airport scene never happen. That we live in this perfect world were suicide bombers make bombs out of kittens and bunnies and never hurt innocent people. The fact is evil does exist in this world and we do see it in movies and books and tv and real life so why not video games. The player has the first hand opportunity to experience such a violent, immoral act of terrorism. To see thru the eyes of our enemies, to think as they do, do as they do and understand wats going thru there minds. Parents of the world want to shield there children from such things and I say. Let them see it, let them see how this world can be an evil place. Then let them keep playing and see how good people battle against evil, teach them that moral instead of blaming artists for there children picking up a gun and killing innocent people. Hell play the game with ur kids discuss things pay attention to them and maybe theyll turn out okay or become marines... semper fi marines.

    Posted: November 15, 2009 10:29 PM
  • ryZe

    I agree with you completely on this one.
    People need to start seeing video games as more of an art than just "a mindless waste of time."
    Now, the airport sequence. Played it. And unlike you I did shoot into the crowd, etc.
    (Don't jump and call me messed up here.)
    What really heightened the sense of this situation is going downhill fast, are the screams of the people when you fire into the crowd, also some of the death animations people go through are very gruesome.
    But, when I played through this level, you know, I thought "Wow this is really sick and twisted."
    And that is exactly what Infinity Ward was going for, I think.
    And like you said, you really do get the feeling that this was for the greater good.
    (Especially after the speech Shepard gives you before the mission.)
    This scene makes you really delve into what terrorism could look like,
    and could very well be, which is why it is so touchy for some people.
    But, what it does is it shoves you directly into what you're fighting against and deepens the players understanding of, okay this situation is dire and time is short.
    I say, great job Infinity Ward.

    Posted: November 15, 2009 10:02 PM
  • RickofFaith

    I've been excited for this game since I first finished the campaign in Modern Warfare 1 and to make this experience even more awesome, I didn't look up anything about this, I hadn't looked up and spoilers or heard a word about the airport scene going in...

    This scene was artistically AMAZING! I started out mowing down the civilians, after a few seconds it began to sink in what was going on, by the end I wasn't firing on anyone but cops and definitely looking forward to getting to blow the Russian villains brains out.
    I don't remember ever hating a villain more that the one in this game.
    I would almost say I was offended, but it is that very feeling of shock and anger that makes the scene powerful
    And Kudos to Infinity Ward for really doing everything within reason to allow people to not go through the scene

    Posted: November 15, 2009 8:28 PM
  • Naded47x

    I think that the scene helped to establish the grave situation of the world in which the game takes place, as well as to establish the player's disdain for the main antagonist. I think that the original Modern Warfare should have featured a scene like this, I mean it did show the nuclear annihilation of a few thousand marines but you didn't witness the antagonist actually committing the act, while in Modern Warfare 2 you can physically see Makarov taking an automatic rifle to droves of innocent civilians, and looking at a situation from that perspective in a game greatly affects the players response.

    Posted: November 15, 2009 7:02 PM
  • MindCarrot

    I thought it was upsetting BUT it was one of the most interesting things i have every seen and very ballsy. it moves the plot foward AND you end up hating the villian even more.

    Posted: November 15, 2009 3:12 PM
  • nils

    A lot of gamers equate being emotionally numb to violence in game as an indication of maturity and jump at any chance to declare they know the difference between fiction and reality. or at least that is often how they come across in debate such as this.

    its always: "lol it a game! it wasnt even disturbing!" (go ahead, read some comments... youll see)

    this reaction is fine for a game like God of War, but in MW2 case the Airport sequence was supposed to evoke some kind of reaction. it was supposed to be harrowing to play through...
    yet it seems player mostly missed that point, -or at least deny they felt any impact whatsoever... that or the scene brought the satirical joy of like a GTA crime spree.

    theres a reason why the game medium has a long way to go until it first and for most "art" as opposed to entertainment: the consumers and their expectations.

    Posted: November 15, 2009 2:58 PM
  • Erthazus

    Sessler, you are an idiot. There is no point in that mission because when people play, they don't learn how to appreciate people's life.

    If you are playing as a hero or a soldier then thats fine. You are killing bad guys. Even if you are playing as a bad guy, then its ok if it is a fantasy game.
    but art must teach you to appreciate people's life.

    Sessler you don't know what is art and that level is stupid, because you don't even know russian nature and what are Russian terrorists. that mission was just a PR, because how much i lived in ST. Petersburg and know about russian life, everybody who played this game know here that Infinity Ward need to examine their head atleast for a knowledge of Russian history and russian nature. terrorsits and e.t.c. Everybody who lives in EU or RUS and know atleast something about Russia and violence and that can appreciate people's life thinks that you are a total idiot too. You can defend your opinion in USA where are a lot of likes you, very. *Clever*. People.

    Sorry for my bad english.

    Posted: November 15, 2009 1:29 PM
  • Kratier

    what a corporate scum bucket piece of s--t sessler is, he'll suck off any developer's d-k as long as it gets him more views on his second rate show.

    he tries to be articulate , when he just comes off as an overeducated dumb mother f-r. he pauses too long to state something clearly, he takes too much time to be articulate rather than showing he actually has the intelligence to pull off the arguments he is trying to make.

    also, gaming is not art. it is a product. only little corporate peons like sessler would try to make that argument, so further trash can be released with a 60 dollar price tag rather than have quality products being made.

    anything this piece of s-t tries to say is invalidated by the fact of how much he loves developer c-k

    Posted: November 14, 2009 11:28 PM
  • r34p3r_13

    Listen, there IS an option to skip the mission EVEN IF you would want to play the game AND are STILL offended by it. Listen, IW handled this just right- they took a leap of faith and took the necessary precatuions to people who would be offended. GJ, IW.

    Posted: November 14, 2009 11:03 AM
  • FallenSegal

    Please post the Fox News Discussion on G4's Website. I refuse to give Fox any ratings but i want so badly to watch this.

    Posted: November 14, 2009 10:46 AM
  • Flacopaco72

    Wow you hit the mark on that whole issue. And you're right about people not being able to debate this. A game this big was BOUND to have lots of controversy!!!

    Posted: November 14, 2009 7:55 AM
  • RandomGuy1052

    origionlly i was verry critical of the airport scene but having played it I found that It was verry tastefully done It deffinatly played into the story and made you hate the villan that much more. It also ,like adam said made you reallize the severity of the situation in the story but I found myself thinking "what am I doing" every time I started shooting wich I think was the point thank you infinity ward for yet another great game

    (also I am sorry for any spelling erors my keyboard is pretty messed up)

    Posted: November 14, 2009 12:38 AM
  • NoGoodAtGames

    I'm retarded and posted the link wrong... try this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=mZiD8WkL2vo

    Posted: November 13, 2009 7:30 PM
  • NoGoodAtGames

    I wish you had done the Fox and Friends Segment Adam. I'm sure you've all seen this by now... but this is what we got, instead of the articulate, thoughtful and broad shouldered man you see above these comments. Instead of Adam, we got this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=mZiD8WkL2vo&feature=pla yer_embedded

    Posted: November 13, 2009 7:18 PM
  • Q!


    The Airport scene was especially crucial to the story as the whole, and I agree with you with most of it, I see video games as a immersive interactive story, I'm all about the storyline which is why I enjoy Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Oblivion, and Dragon Origins (For their deep stories rather than for the perfection of the controls). Modern Warfare 2 was a great game, and the story was fantastic, IW took a risk putting that scene in, many titles who focus on terrorism or modern war don't touch enough on the reasoning behind the Terrorists, many movies and games instead pose that the Terrorists want an item rather than to take lives, U see it in Die Hard, The Rock, etc, I congratulate IW for taking this step.
    I have often found that Video games are a good way to have an experience, (moral or Immoral) without any consequences, and it helps to put you in the situation of the character without actually killing anyone.

    I myself have played threw the game and by missing that It would have thrown the story off track, I personally found the scene quite enjoyable, a certain rush comes upon me when i have committed a taboo or crime in a game, being the evil character is just as rewarding without the jail time.

    I think that IW could have been less controversial, but they weren't displaying a message of any kind, no endorsement was given to go out and shoot up airports, it simply was a part of the game, I agree that games need to be able to do morally questionable things as we see, the archetype hero isn't very true to real hero. even if a firefighter is an alcoholic if they save 10 kids they are a hero.

    The game eludes to that fact that war isn't black and white and certainly its questionable that a US soldier even undercover would kill tens of people. Morality and war don't go together, if we wanted morality in games we would all buy those evangelical games.

    In the end the press will get more people to buy it, I defiantly bought it but not for that scene, I did it to reenact my fantasy of being Patrick Swazye in Red Dawn.

    Posted: November 13, 2009 6:32 PM
  • m22222

    Personally, I think this is a crass media stunt to try to get more attention and publicity to the game and ultimately boost sales. It is attention mongering; it would be preposterous to think that the airport level would be left alone. Infinity ward knows that Activision knows that . I'll eat my hat the day we can call those two corporations the creators of art.

    Oh and video games are not art- there is no way in hell our offspring will be playing this game 20-40 years from now- but you damn well bet that they will still appreciate Harry Potter, Picasso, van Gogh, Coppola and The Beatles. True art can transcend generations; we will be lucky if this transcend to the next console let alone be regarded as art.

    Posted: November 13, 2009 4:38 PM