Modern Warfare 2 has steam-rolled it’s way into shops, consoles and PCs across the world, no doubt breaking all kinds of records. It’s impact has had such an effect that it was even debated in parliament yesterday where thankfully the British government saw sense for a change. Labour MP Keith Vaz opted for the obligatory comment about how it would be damaging to children to play this game saying “It’s not about censorship, it’s about protecting our children.” Sion Simon argued that MW2 is perfectly acceptable since it’s rated 18 and therefore should only be played by 18 year olds. His most fitting statements about the situation were:
“I’ve seen the content in this videogame, it is unpleasant, though no worse than in many films and books, it is an 18-plus game and carries the BBFC 18-plus rating as well.”
“Does the Minister agree that it would be better for this House to support the many thousands of games designers and coders and the many millions of games users, rather than collaborating with the Daily Mail to create moral panic over the use of videogames?”
I couldn’t agree more Mr Simon. As for the “unpleasant” content, Justing Webb had BBC reporter Marc Cieslak on his Radio 4 show this morning who gave his opinion – particularly over the infamous ‘terrorists in airport’ level:
“I wasn’t shocked by it but I felt a little bit saddened. I thought the games industry had moved beyond shock tactics for shock tactics sake And that’s what I thought about this level: it’s controversial for the sake of being controversial. I didn’t think it necessarily needed to be included in the game.”
I’ve not yet got to that part of the game myself but it does seem like it was thrown in just to get people talking – and it’s worked. Seeing the age group and maturity of those who I stood in line with last night for the midnight launch did make me wonder as to whether such a violent game is beneficial for them. But much like Sion Simon’s comment, it’s no more violent than any film or even football crowd and those seem to be perfectly acceptable.