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Censorship Games Politics

Russia Recalls Modern Warfare 2 548

Posted by timothy
from the no-you-take-that-back dept.
eldavojohn writes "You may recall much ado over some questionable footage in the latest Call of Duty game. Well, that footage has led to a recall of Modern Warfare 2 in Russia. Seems the Russian government was none too happy about the portrayal of Russia in the game and decided to yank it from stores. Infinity Ward has responded with a patch that removes the 'No Russian' mission (the content in question) from the storyline. Before you overly criticize the Russian government, there may be some truth to the claim that the game's story line overly demonizes Russians as just terrorists as the Russian site GotPS3.ru alleges. Is cultural sensitivity becoming an overly played card in the gaming world? Not too long ago, Wolfenstein was recalled in Germany for containing Nazi symbols."
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Russia Recalls Modern Warfare 2

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:15PM (#30118462)

    > Before you overly criticize the Russian government, there may be some truth to the claim that the game's story line overly demonizes Russians

    Oh, I guess that makes it okay, then. The Russian government has every right to make up your mind for you.

  • Sad (Score:1, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:16PM (#30118476) Journal

    It's sad and pathetic how some countries have such thin skins. It must be so awful to be a major nuclear power and yet be so terrified of any kind of real or imagined insult.

  • CoD6: Vietnam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by number17 (952777) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:20PM (#30118542)
    When are the Vietnam missions coming out where a villiage gate opens and you have to pillage and rape all the civilians? That's right, nobody is stupid enough to do it for the same reason.
  • Not so fast.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@gm a i l.com> on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:20PM (#30118546) Homepage Journal

    Oh boo hoo. Russia has a bad history, it should expect criticism

    While we Americans were sitting on our rears eating bon-bons, more Russians died than in all of America's wars combined fighting Adolph Hitler. Love them or hate them, forced by circumstances or not, the Russians did more to save Western Europe from Nazism than anyone else.

  • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:22PM (#30118588)
    In 'No Russian', you play as an American CIA agent, and you, as an AMERICAN agent, lay round after round into the innocent populace, alongside the Russian antagonist. I think the even larger message Infinity Ward sends with this mission is the atrocious things the American government is willing to do for the sake of 'National Security'.

    Does anyone else see the hilarity in this? Not to mention their foreshadowing of American soldiers torturing an informant via electrocution! Each side of the geopolitical spectrum gets demonized in their own right.

    But hey, lets just hate on the game that shows the gritty reality of the world.
  • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:24PM (#30118616)
    I wasn't aware that images on your TV inside your private residence was considered 'public' in Germany.
  • The big picture... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:25PM (#30118642)
    How many sales do software companies even make in Russia? Russia is notorious for hacking, pirates, and spam; not a place where a lot of sales are to be made.
  • Re:Sad (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:27PM (#30118672)

    If anybody created a video game depicting Americans the same way many video games depict Russians/Arabs/enemy ethnicity of the day, the game would be branded a "terrorist training tool" and its creators would be put on a "terrorist watch list" and not allowed to live normal lives as free human beings (assuming they were in US or its puppet states like UK).

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:29PM (#30118704) Journal

    Of course, the Russians have to take a lot of responsibility for that, because right up until the morning of the Nazi invasion they were shipping steel to Nazi Germany. In fact, Operation Barbarossa was specifically delayed until after those final steel shipments. It's one of the great ironies of the War that a lot of equipment thrown into the invasion of Russia was made using Russian steel.

    Beyond that, one of the chief reasons that Germany was initially so successful was because of Stalin's purges of the Army in the 1930s had eliminated a good deal of talent in the Red Army. While Hitler was content to overlook some of the opinions of his most important officers in the Navy, Army and Luftwaffe, Stalin's paranoia and megalomania drove him to wipe out a good portion of the very people that would have been key in organizing military defense.

    So Russia was by no means innocent of its own woes, as Churchill reminded Stalin at times when Stalin would freak out about not enough armament shipments were getting through or when he felt the US and Britain weren't doing enough to relieve pressure in the Eastern Theater.

  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:31PM (#30118756) Journal

    You'd get bitchy people, but an attempt to ban it would probably lead to the ACLU taking whatever level of government that tried it to court..

    There is a difference between disliking something and having a system that actually allows you to outright ban it.

  • Re:Waaaaahh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:35PM (#30118826) Journal

    What does this have to do with history?

    If you have played the game, its clear it makes Americans seem as the true, innocent heroes fighting against bad bad Russia. Even after so long after Cold War Americans still have the type of thinking that Russians are The Evil.

    The war is started by Makarov's set up, but its clear the whole game romanticizes Americans.

  • Re:Waaaaahh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Piata (927858) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:35PM (#30118830)

    I'm curious what America's response would be to their people being demonized. I'd love to see a game set in Iraq or Vietnam where America invades your country, kills your people and attempts to rest control of your homeland away from you. Or how about a game focused on WWII's war between Japan and America that ends with 2 of your cities being vaporized?

    I would love to see games from a different perspective. It would be refreshing. That and it would generate a lot of amusingly ironic commentary from Americans.

  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:38PM (#30118884) Journal

    Just turn it around. Try to even think about the uproar if some game developer released a game where Americans are associated with terrorism and the famous "No Russian" level would take part in lets say New York Airport, instead of Moscow.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Keebler71 (520908) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:41PM (#30118934) Journal

    While we Americans were sitting on our rears eating bon-bons, more Russians died than in all of America's wars combined fighting Adolph Hitler. Love them or hate them, forced by circumstances or not, the Russians did more to save Western Europe from Nazism than anyone else.

    How's that? The fact that they suffered higher casualties does not at all correllate to their contribution to "saving Western Europe". Perhaps they suffered higher casualties because they were an inferior fighting force. Maybe if Stalin hadn't murdered the vast majority of his military leadership during the great purge [wikipedia.org] from 1937-1938 then his armies would have faired better... from wikipedia:

    "The purge of the army removed three of five marshals (then equivalent to six-star generals), 13 of 15 army commanders (then equivalent to four- and five-star generals), eight of nine admirals (the purge fell heavily on the Navy, who were suspected of exploiting their opportunities for foreign contacts[24]), 50 of 57 army corps commanders, 154 out of 186 division commanders, 16 of 16 army commissars, and 25 of 28 army corps commissars")

    yeah...I'm sure that had nothing to do with their staggering losses...just a couple years later..

    True they sacrificed more in terms of lives lost - but they were also fighting for their survival as a nation... if they were so interested in saving Western Europe then maybe that wouldn't have signed a non-aggression pact [wikipedia.org] with Hitler in 1939 (complete with a secret pact collaborating with the Germans on carving up eastern Europe and the balatics).

  • by tetromino (807969) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:41PM (#30118942)

    The problem Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs had with the mission is not with how the Russian villain is portrayed (although that probably didn't help the game get a positive reception), but with the fact that the mission is about killing innocent Russian civilians. It does not matter whether the villain is Russian or French or American or Martian - killing civilians at an airport is, according, to a Ministry spokesman, "propaganda of terrorism" and hence illegal.

    See http://www.gotps3.ru/article/call_of_duty_modern_warfare_2_zapretjat_v_rossii/ [gotps3.ru] for more details.

  • Re:Waaaaahh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:42PM (#30118962)
    I've played, but clearly you haven't.

    SPOLIERS

    Did you completely forget the massive subplot where Col. Shepard was in cahoots with Makarov to initiate the attack on American soil? His motives be damned, towards the end you were fighting hordes of Russian and traitorous US troops.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:52PM (#30119176)

    Release an alternative mission that involves first going into an American school and massacring the schoolkids, then by chance stumbling upon the president out on a jog and killing him, who happens to be Obama.

    -5billion flamebait.

  • by Lemming Mark (849014) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:52PM (#30119182) Homepage

    The article isn't specific on whether the infamous airport scene is being removed because of its portrayal of Russia, or whether it's being censored because it's an unpleasant part of the game. Most other countries have had uproar about this scene and I'd expect to see it refused classification in some places (e.g. in Australia where Left 4 Dead 2 recently encountered problems). A national classification body refusing to allow a game to go on sale does, effectively, constitute the government disapproving of something - but it's a very different situation to central government stepping in and banning something directly for political reasons. Maybe this is happening behind the scenes but the article *doesn't say*.

    It's certainly suggested that the Russian gaming public weren't all overjoyed to see the portrayal of their country in the game. That's hardly surprising, though - I expect most gamers from other big markets such as Europe, the US and Japan would also be quite easily offended if their unpleasant past was dredged up. People don't like to think of their country ever being the villains and yet pretty much every country in the world has been villainous in the past, often surprisingly recently.

  • by lbalbalba (526209) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:54PM (#30119228)

    Just turn it around.

    Indeed. Just imagine a game company publishing a game were you got to play some mad Islamic-fundamentalist terrorists that were out to rid the world of the 'root-of-all-evil' American civilians, and watch all hell break loose...

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:54PM (#30119232) Journal

    While we Americans were sitting on our rears eating bon-bons

    Why shouldn't we have been sitting on our rears eating bon-bons? You think it's the job of the United States to intervene in foreign wars? We did that in WW1 and got nothing out of it -- our supposed Allies ignored Wilson's plan for a just and fair peace and imposed draconian terms on Germany that set the stage for WW2. Then they defaulted on their wartime debts to the US. With that bit of history in mind perhaps it's easier to understand why the US had a strong isolationist sentiment in the 30s?

    Love them or hate them, forced by circumstances or not, the Russians did more to save Western Europe from Nazism than anyone else.

    The Russians made their own bed when they cut a deal with Hitler to slice up Eastern Europe. Had they joined forces with the Allies in 1939 it's probable that Germany would have been crushed and the Great Patriotic War would never have happened. The French had long sought an alliance with the Soviet Union to counter the threat of Germany but Stalin wasn't interested. He wanted the European powers to beat the stuffing out of each other to strengthen his own position. He even supplied Germany with the raw materials (ranging from grain to steel) required to keep her war machine running.

    The West owes Russia no debt for her actions in WW2.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:59PM (#30119340)

    I am pretty sure no Russians have died defending the West ... ever!

    They died defended their homeland. Once that was safe they moved West in a land grab. It took 50 years for those countries to gain independence.

  • by Dmala (752610) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:06PM (#30119460)
    Just turn it around. Try to even think about the uproar if some game developer released a game where Americans are associated with terrorism and the famous "No Russian" level would take part in lets say New York Airport, instead of Moscow.

    Uproar *from the people* is fine. The problem here is that, as I understand it, the ban is coming from the Russian government. There is no way the US government could get a game banned over content that portrayed Americans negatively. Any attempt would rightly be overturned as unconstitutional.
  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:06PM (#30119466)

    The Russian were sending human waves of starving, pressed "soldiers" against an army with trained, properly fed soldiers who had some of the best and most advanced weaponry of the war.

    Russia's special recognition is for being fucking retards.

  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:07PM (#30119478) Homepage

    You mean those long 5 months? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov%E2%80%93Ribbentrop_Pact [wikipedia.org]

    Seriously, Stalin let Hitler attack Britain & Poland. They were double-crossed. The Soviets did sacrifice a lot, but let's be honest. They were bastards.

  • by plague3106 (71849) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:07PM (#30119480)

    I wouldn't care, and would still buy the game.

    Its just a fucking game.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mewsenews (251487) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:07PM (#30119486) Homepage

    Of course, the Russians have to take a lot of responsibility for that

    Please be careful not to blame the Russian people for the failures of their leadership. Especially post-WWII it was clear Stalin was off his rockers, but we should always be grateful for how much blood the Russians shed fighting our common enemy (far, FAR more than we did).

  • by PitaBred (632671) <(slashdot) (at) (pitabred.dyndns.org)> on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:08PM (#30119504) Homepage
    You can play as a terrorist in the game. How is that different? Sure, you can say it's distasteful and protest it. But stopping sale of it by the government is just a symptom of an authoritarian government.

    Hell, there are even other games specifically developed where you can play as a terrorist [topshareware.com] the whole time. I see no limitations on them.
  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zach_the_lizard (1317619) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:12PM (#30119574)

    the Russians did more to save Western Europe from Nazism than anyone else.

    Interesting thought, that. The initial justification for the war between the Allies (France and Great Britain, initially) and Germany was the NAZI invasion of Poland. Oddly enough, the Western Allies were totally content to allow Stalin to conquer Eastern Europe and directly annex territory from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Germany, and Romania. They were also allowed to totally annex Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. And then, in the territories they did not annex, they were allowed to install puppet regimes (such as the unannexed portions of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, East Germany, Czechoslovakia). So, if Stalin's army did, in fact, do more to save Western Europe than the Western Allies, it came at the cost of almost all of Eastern Europe.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:13PM (#30119592) Journal

    but we should always be grateful for how much blood the Russians shed fighting our common enemy (far, FAR more than we did).

    You mean the common enemy that they cut a deal [wikipedia.org] with and allowed to conquer Western Europe without so much as firing a shot? Heck, it's worse than that -- they invaded several innocent and neutral countries (Finland, the Baltic States) while Hitler was enjoying his free hand in the West.

    If the Russians had allied with the Western Allies in 1939 Germany would have been crushed and the Great Patriotic War would never have happened. Let's try not to forget that.....

  • And yet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:15PM (#30119636)
    A good percentage of games and media made in the U.S. portray the U.S. government in a bad light, and yet they don't get yanked. (pun merely fortuitous)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:16PM (#30119652)

    I have to say that your teacher has no clue what he's talking about, even though this behavior was widespread in the generation fighting this war (which is pretty obvious...try to explain to yourself you took part in genocide) this holds no longer true today.
    I am German and WWII is anything but glossed over. I'd even say it is exaggerated. During my school career WWII and our 'Sonderweg' (special path in history) were central aspects, they were repeated over and over until it came out of your ears. The German culture, up to this day, has not recovered from the moral blow.

    Our government and population are outright afraid of being accused to have forgotten the past. We will do anything to tell you it is our fault anytime, we will stoop as low as we can. To this date it is not possible for Germany to talk openly to Poland or Israel for example. We cannot do a neutral decision in matters of immigration and there are a thousand other things like that (to which the ban of the swastika belongs).

    It is because our politicians and population always feel the sword of Damocles above their heads. If there is one thing you have to be afraid of in German politics or community then it is being called a Nazi or being compared to them. It's like Godwin's in real life. You can override any argument if you play that card.

    Hm, this got a little long. Well just as additional value for all you non Germans out there (especially to the Americans, since that student exchange I feel some of them need a reality update) : Hitler is dead, yes we have electricity and we don't use the Hitler salute anymore.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:17PM (#30119662) Journal

    Stalingrad and Kursk. Defense rests.

    Stalingrad and Kursk don't cancel out the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. In fact Stalingrad and Kursk would never have happened if Stalin hadn't cut that deal with Hitler. Taking the Soviet Union out of play in 1939 was the only thing that enabled Germany to invade Poland and deal with the Western Allies.

    Just admit it, the Russians shot themselves in the foot......

  • Re:Sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vishbar (862440) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:25PM (#30119838)

    You'd get more than bitchy people. You'd have the Fox News generation in arms, Glenn Beck screaming on the television, an A/O rating from the ESA, and, even if it managed to eek out an M rating, you'd have a de facto ban from retailers afraid of enraging a bunch of teabaggers.

    In reality, it'd be the same effect. I highly doubt that the game would see the light of day. Sure, you could pirate it or order it from specialty online stores, but that's probably the same thing happening in Russia. It's better than an "official" government ban, but censorship by the masses is very alive and very well here in these United States.

  • Re:Waaaaahh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:27PM (#30119892) Journal

    Shouldn't the story here be about censorship rather than game content? Make a game that portrays Americans in a negative light and sell it here -- I doubt our Government will feel the need to prevent our people from buying it.

    I really doubt there would NOT be any problems to release a game where you're an Iraqi fighting against the invading your country by American soldiers, trying to protect your country from the "bad". To give some extra perspective to the game, the American soldiers could be raping your families and completely destroying your country (interestingly that's not even made up story, as it's real [bbc.co.uk]). Or where you would be designing terrorist attacks against USA. Do you really think that would be allowed?

    But there's no need to think what would happen. It would be banned for obscene material and the creators sent to jail, like in earlier case [slashdot.org]:

    Extreme Associates and owners Robert Zicari, also known as Rob Black, 35, and his wife, Janet Romano, aka Lizzie Borden, 32, pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of conspiracy to distribute obscene material through the mail and over the Internet and got over an year in jail time.

  • by Anonymous Struct (660658) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:28PM (#30119922)

    It's not like we don't have a culture of denial here in the US. We wiped out the American Indians pretty remorselessly. That's pretty close to genocide, but it doesn't get taught that way in our schools. Every nation tries to overlook the terrible things its done in the past. People and countries are pretty much all the same, wherever you go.

  • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:29PM (#30119936)

    Much of the modern legal systems in both Germany and Japan still contains elements that were dictated to them by the Allies after WWII. They did not choose this viewpoint entirely of their own accord, but accepted it as part of the peace agreements.

    Any serious student of history sees their can be no moral high ground to look down on other civilizations. Each one has done terrible things in the past. Acceptance and understanding are what will prevent past travesties from being repeated.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:35PM (#30120030)

    I'm pretty sure I can see the headlines already, should Germany decriminalize the swastika: "Swastikas endorsed by German Government", "Germans are again flying SS symbols", etc.

    I don't think there is a country in the world that works harder at self-flagellation than the Germans - nor is there any country in the world that is expected to self-flagellate that hard.

  • Re:And yet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Phrogman (80473) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:39PM (#30120102) Homepage

    Ah but I think Americans also distinguish between criticism of their Government by other Americans and criticism by foreigners. There is also the distinction between criticizing the Government and the System.

    Pretty much every American seems willing to accept that their Government is not perfect and needs constant correction to keep to the right path; that its capable of corruption etc.

    Pretty much every American I have met or talked with seems to think that in general their government system is the best possible option over other systems - and many seem to assign almost religious overtones to the US Constitution, like it was handed down to them from the hands of Jehovah himself.

    If a game came out that portrayed the US Government as a malevolent system that dominated and abused its population, that portrayed the Constitution as a scheme/tool that permitted that domination, and which showed the US Government rounding up civilians both at home and abroad and slaughtering them in concentration camps - and encouraged you to support this view of the US by participating, I think that US gameplayers and the US Government might have some objections (although some would love it of course). I agree that they would likely founder on the rights of free speech mind you, but someone would be speaking up. There is a distinction between portraying individual Americans as evil and portraying the system as evil.

    Now, I don't think that the US Government or the US Constitution are in fact evil. I do think that Corporations are inherently immoral, and that they have far too much control over the machinations of the Government (in some ways they appear to be the Government effectively). The truth of the situation is somewhere in between I think.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:46PM (#30120232)

    more Russians died than in all of America's wars combined fighting Adolph Hitler. Love them or hate them, forced by circumstances or not, the Russians did more to save Western Europe from Nazism than anyone else.

    "No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country" - General George S. Patton

    My friend General Patton and I disagree with you, they sacrificed more that is for certain but Sacrifice != Winning

    All winning requires sacrifice.

    Point being that it wasn't their death that helped win, it was what they accomplished before/as they died. Stating that Russia's contribution to victory is equal to their losses does not take into account all the Russians who died utterly in vain as a result of reckless and ineffectual orders, malnutrition, and poor training.

  • by theArtificial (613980) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:47PM (#30120256)
    I think you're confusing Germany with Japan [redorbit.com]. Japan gloss over their ww2 history with the atrocities they inflicted upon their neighbors and that is part of an on going problem to this day.

    The Germans do not have a culture of denial. Time is spent covering this theme although it varies from instructor to instructor what material is covered. On average I would say anywhere from 3 to 4 months is spent studying but it is not a tabu thema.

    Damals war es Friedrich [amazon.de] is a book that is usually covered in class. The reason for the ban of symbols, greetings etc. are set in the constitution. Example: Imagine if you will that Democrats are outlawed - to be a member is illegal, the party is not official, the symbols are illegal. Fast forward 60 years and it becomes a big PC issue.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:48PM (#30120268)

    They could even add a bit about stealing cars, and call it Grand Theft Auto, or something like that.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:48PM (#30120278) Journal

    Dominance of the Mediterranean would have given Germany sufficient oil (that was the big thing). That's why the Brits (and later the Americans) concentrated all their effort on North Africa. Regaining control of the Mediterranean and other interesting tricks like booting out the Shah of Iran (who had pretty much been bought by the Nazis) in favor of his son were key actions. If Hitler had been able to hold on to North Africa and gain the key petroleum assets of the Middle East and Iran, he would have been in a far better position, not to mention basically holding a sword to the belly of Russia.

    Of course, all of this is hindsight "what-ifs", but no one other than Hitler seemed to seriously believe that an invasion of Russia would be a quick thing. The invasion of Russia was a good example of how a political leader going where his military advisors feared to tread can lead to catastrophe. All the Russians had to do was what they had done in 1812, wait for winter.

  • Re:Waaaaahh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:48PM (#30120290) Journal

    Yes, I do think it would be allowed. I think that such a game would be a failure in the marketplace and that many stores (Wal-Mart) would refuse to sell it but I do not see the Government preventing you from publishing such a game. If you have any evidence to suggest that they have done so recently then let's see it.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.v ... m ['rbo' in gap]> on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:49PM (#30120298) Homepage

    Oddly enough, that's how I play Civ 4.

    Before invading a country, I make demands from it. Starting with the reasonable, and then getting increasing unreasonable. And then I invade anyway.

    I am Hitlereque.

  • Re:Waaaaahh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:50PM (#30120334)

    I'm curious what America's response would be to their people being demonized.

    I'm curious as to what planet you've been living on in recent years. America is regularly demonized by little shit-stain, wanna-be dictators, their regimes, and masses of useful leftist idiots that support them from the sidelines.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:51PM (#30120336)

    Would you play the Jihad Freedom Fighter game that one day demonizes the US?

    No, but I wouldn't ban it, either.

    In fact, I'll one-up your hypothetical with the actual Postal series. I don't particularly approve of the game's focus on running around killing innocent civilians and small animals, but I didn't go out and start demanding it be banned. I simply didn't buy it.

  • Re:CoD6: Vietnam (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:53PM (#30120386)

    The appropriate question is not that some company has/hasn't made such a game but if said game existed, would you be able to play it in the USA?

    The answer would likely be "yes", you could probably still buy said game but it would likely be pulled from many store shelves due to public pressure. Places like Walmart that have pulled music and magazines because of "objectionable" nature.

    * SPOILERS * Of course, the scene in question isn't all about Russia. You're playing an "undercover" American who also willingly slaughters thousands of civilians. Not all of whom where likely Russian. I thought the rest of the game was far more "anti-Russian" than that one scene, I think. Given Russia invades America and proceeds to destroy everything standing in their way. Basically saying, a terrorist act carried out by suspected American terrorists would warrant an entire invasion of one major super power into another.

    Of course, it's really Infinity Ward's way of making you think about 9/11 and the response of America with the Afghanistan and Iraq invasion, from a different view point. It's just Russia got the scapegoat title instead of some made up countries name. And that's primarily trying to connect this game to the first game where some story of the Cold War was involved.

    Of course, the second games story was much weaker but some of the level designs where cooler. It was nice to see what it the developer envisioned of fighting a modern war on American soil.

  • by hellfire (86129) <(deviladv) (at) (gmail.com)> on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:55PM (#30120428) Homepage

    Russians who believe they single-handedly took down the Nazis are as foolish as Americans who think they single-handedly took down the Nazis.

    As any reasonable historian will tell you, it was a combined effort. The Nazis lost because they were outnumbered. Had the Nazis not invaded Russia (or at least waited until the UK fell) or Japan hadn't bombed pearl harbor, the war would have been quite different. It's a testament to both the Russian and US soldiers for what they had endured, but to say simply that the only factor was how awesomely great one army was over the other discounts the thousands of factors that go into modern warfare.

    Oh and by the way, we didn't get a whole lot of help from the Russians in the pacific theater. You like to take a lot of credit over the Nazis and you forget that the Italians and Japanese were allied with Germany and someone had to deal with them, and it sure wasn't the Russians.

  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:58PM (#30120474)

    Question - do you find it a moral quandary to run over people in the GTA games? Or play a thief stealing from people in any number of games?

    Nowhere near as much as the massacre scene. It's very deliberately quite disturbing.

  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:03PM (#30120534) Homepage

    I think they knew the game wouldn't sell original copies too much in Russia so they basically trolled with that "No Russians" level, predicting this or less would happen.

    Income: PR, "Reds banning American game", Slashdot YRO story etc. It is far more than the game would sell in Russia.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mewsenews (251487) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:10PM (#30120646) Homepage

    One could say the same of Germany under Hitler [...]

    At the end of a day, a country's behavior is defined by its leadership.

    These are good points, I agree with you.

  • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.v ... m ['rbo' in gap]> on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:12PM (#30120664) Homepage

    We have several Holocaust memorial days, there is probably a documentary on the Third Reich and World War Two once week on the TV channel.

    Only once a week? Man, the History channel must have really cut back on the WWII stuff over in Germany.

    Here it's about 50/50 WWII stuff.

  • Re:Sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pwfffff (1517213) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:17PM (#30120744)

    How about a game where you assassinate the president?

    http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/jfkreloaded/index.html [gamespot.com]

    Not as recent, but there it is.

  • Re:Waaaaahh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:23PM (#30120816)

    I'm curious what America's response would be to their people being demonized.
    [snip]
    That and it would generate a lot of amusingly ironic commentary from Americans.

    Apparently you are not curious. Apparently you have made up your mind already. :)

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pthisis (27352) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:27PM (#30120892) Homepage Journal

    The German General Staff was one of the very best military commands the world has ever known (inherited from Prussia and originally built into a magnificent war machine by Frederick the Great).

    That's like saying that the modern USA military is a magnificent war machine inherited from Abraham Lincoln.

    Frederick the Great died in 1786. His military success had very little relationship to Germany's WW2 military.

  • by Idbar (1034346) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:28PM (#30120900)
    "The Russian government has every right to make up your mind for you"
    How come you're label as insightful? Perhaps the Russian government shouldn't have a right, but certainly not a game that wrongly stereotypes countries.

    I am from Colombia, I have to constantly deal with being stereotyped as a drug dealer, and although I learn to take it as a joke, that doesn't make right. I won't miss the chance of correcting people making these kind of mistakes. I'm sorry but I don't like when they depict my country's capital as a tropical forest where everyone wears mustaches (which it's not true), and people believe that's the way it is.

    If a country doesn't take care of the image of its citizens, who would do it?
  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:29PM (#30120910) Journal

    It probably would fail because folks wouldn't buy it. That's quite different from the government forcing it to be pulled from shelves. One is simply market forces, the other is, well, for lack of a better word, censorship.

  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:38PM (#30121022)

    I actually went back to re-play the mission to answer the same question as soon as I'd finished the campaign. The game will not let you fire on the terrorists at all.

    This is where I think the developers could have really done something special and failed... if as soon as you realize the intent of the terrorists you could eliminate them (or die trying) there could have been two paths to the storyline... one in which you complete the massacre, and one in which it is stopped short. They could have easily wrapped both up in the whole story with minimal impact on cut scenes.

    Not having the opportunity to do the right thing here is where the scene fails.

    What I'd like to know is how many players get to this sequence and wonder "Now wtf do I do?" And what does it imply about those people who start blowing away the civilians without pause?

  • Re:Sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zordak (123132) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:38PM (#30121032) Homepage Journal

    but censorship by the masses is very alive and very well here in these United States.

    Please explain to me how "censorship by the masses" is different from plain old "voting with your wallet." For my part, I see a huge, fundamental difference between the people saying, "No, we're not interested," and the government saying, "No, you will not be interested."

  • Re:Waaaaahh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:55PM (#30121298)

    I'm curious what America's response would be to their people being demonized. I'd love to see a game set in Iraq or Vietnam where America invades your country, kills your people and attempts to rest control of your homeland away from you.

    You mean like a game where you play as a suspected American terrorist who murders hundreds of civilians in an airport of a superpower and then that superpower comes and fucks your country up? I played it this morning, it's called Modern Warfare 2, and we reacted to it by buying millions of copies. Any more questions?

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mea37 (1201159) on Monday November 16, 2009 @04:07PM (#30121456)

    "You'd get more than bitchy people."

    Oh, really?

    "You'd have the Fox News generation in arms,"

    That would be "bitchy people".

    "Glenn Beck screaming on the television"

    That would be "a bitchy person"; subset of "bitchy people"

    "an A/O rating from the ESA,"

    The rating system being nothing more than a way for one group to tell others what they think of the game, that would be - you guessed it - bitchy people.

    "you'd have a de facto ban from retailers afraid of enraging a bunch of teabaggers."

    Individual business would make a business decision about what products they want to carry? Oh, the humanity! Whatever; still just people being bitchy.

    "In reality, it'd be the same effect"

    Well, not really. You don't need retailers to distribute electronic media, and in fact many things are widely available - at the click of a mouse even - in spite of the fact that no mainstream retailer would even consider stocking them.

    "order it from specialty online stores, but that's probably the same thing happening in Russia."

    You think there are online sellers defying a government ban? I doubt it, but let's assume so. That means everyone playing the game in Russia would be a criminal, as is everyone who provided them a copy to play. You really don't see how that's different from having to buy the game from an online store (but then being able to buy and play it without being a criminal)?

    Freedom doesn't mean that there's always someone making it convenient for you to get what you want. It means that if/when you do get what you want, provided it's within the bounds of your freedoms, the government doesn't interfere.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @05:22PM (#30122752)

    Sometimes I wonder if the people leveling criticism at the game have actually completed it at all, or simply weren't paying attention.

    Modern Warfare is mostly critical of... modern warfare. The ease with which a single deception can lead to mass conflict, the mutual exclusiveness of the extremes of patriotism with morality, the callousness of weighing actions by the "potential" number of lives lost, and the physical and spiritual sacrifice soldiers of all sides are forced to make... the only crime IW committed was bringing the true ethical dimensions of war uncomfortably close to gamers who until now have only exprienced it in the comfort of home, who "recall" war with implanted sentimentality. No mass conflict unfolds without taking innocent casualties, no one's hands are left clean... not people like Shepherd, nor people like Price. In fact, they were two sides of the same coin.

    The No Russian stage needed to be in the game, because people NEED to be sickened by war. This doesn't even come close to the kind of soul-wrenching decisions real soldiers face on the battlefield every day to serve their country. Most of us can barely take it in a fictional video game.

  • Re:Not so fast.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday November 16, 2009 @05:30PM (#30122834) Journal

    If the Russians had allied with the Western Allies in 1939 Germany would have been crushed and the Great Patriotic War would never have happened. Let's try not to forget that.....

    You assume that nothing happened between 1939 and 1941 in the USSR. In fact, those 2 years of staying out of the fight were used to heavily ramp up military production, and fight Winter War (which served as a kind of practice session - it was a bitter lesson, but a lesson nonetheless, and e.g. the design of the legendary PPSh was much affected by it).

    As well, service time for conscripts was increased during that period, so Soviets had more trained soldiers than they did in 1939.

    To sum it up: if the USSR were to enter the war in 39, it's not at all clear how that would have gone. "Germany crushed" is mere speculation, and an unlikely one at that.

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