Russian news links Modern Warfare 2 to airport bomb
Game questioned as an influence to recent terrorist attack
Russian television channel, Russia Today, has linked Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to yesterday’s terrorist bombing of Russian airport Domodedovo in Moscow.
Gamers will remember the controversy surrounding MW2’s ‘No Russian’ level, which has players taking control of an under-cover agent who’s forced to join a group of terrorists in an attack on a fictitious Moscow airport in order to maintain their cover. Players are not, however, forced to kill civilians.
“It may have seemed too gruesome and tragic ever to come true,” says the report from the government-funded Russia Today. “But far-fetched it is not, for this week’s events at Domodedovo International Airport are very real indeed,” it adds.
The report goes on to compare footage of the game level with footage of the explosion and aftermath at Domodedovo. “The game was released by the American company Activision in November 2009, and in just a few months, sales surpassed $1 billion worldwide,” adds the report.
It goes on to suggest that the game may have been a direct influence. Walid Phares, the director of Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies – who also regularly contributes to Fox news as an expert on terrorism – told the channel: “Indeed it is a trouble to look at the game and reality. The issue is we need to know if terrorists or extremists are using these videos or DVDs or games to basically apply the model.”
Phares goes on to suggest that radical groups such as the “jihadists, Al-Qaeda or other kind” use games such as MW2 to “train”.
Media critic Danny Schechter added: “This is the way entertainment mirrors reality and reality mirrors entertainment, and there are people influenced by all this, even though the manufacturers always deny having any influence on anyone.”
The ‘No Russian’ level was removed from the Russian version of MW2.