The Massive Poll returns with a twist! Before we begin we must mention that there are small spoilers for Modern Warfare 3 below, if you don’t want to read about a certain event, click here instead.
Right. A video had been posted showing a scene from Modern Warfare 3. The footage has been created to look like it was filmed on a home video camera and shows a mother and child having a day out in London. Moments later a large truck pulls up and explodes, apparently killing the child.
This week, there are three options in our poll and in a none too subtle rip-off of the TV show Argumental, we have two guest speakers who will offer their opposing opinions.
Speaking first on behalf of the ‘It’s Part Of The Story‘ Party it’s Adam, a.k.a. AG2297.
In the clip you, the character, are not blowing them (the child and mother) up yourself, this is from the point of view of what seems to be the father in an attempt to provoke an emotional response. You are not a soldier watching it, or a news crew, this is your family, the character at the time.
This is not done for enjoyment; it is done for the shock factor. This same shock factor was used in the popular Dead Island trailer where the child was bitten by a zombie and thrown out of a window landing on the pavement below, dead. While the argument of it not being “tasteful” is often thrown around, how do you be tasteful about such a situation? Is life tasteful in such tragedies? Should games not be realistic when dealing with such issues and always add “taste” too such tragedies?
In the end, Modern Warfare 3 will be telling a story. In that story there will be much death and in this case a child died. This was not gory or graphic. The bomb went off, the child fell to the ground. Did it have to happen? No. Was the terrorist attack made much more shocking and personal to the player as a result? Yes.
This scene can be shocking and you could even call the act sick, but the fact is that these things happen and in fiction (whether a movie, book or game) real life events are often mimicked to engage the reader, viewer or player and this is no different.
On the opposing team we have a second guest speaking on behalf of the ‘Blatant Tabloid Scandal‘ party, it’s that devilishly handsome chap called Tuffcub.
After the headlines following ‘No Russians’ you would think Activision and Infinity Ward would be scrutinising every part of the story to make sure that it is justified, it is required to move the plot along and is something that they can defend. I’m sure they probably did that, and then asked themselves how they can get even more headlines than last year. What’s going to get those red tops in a frenzy? I know, let’s slaughter a child.
When was the last time you had a child blown up for you entertainment? It rarely happens in films or in television programs as – strangely enough – most people do not like watching children die. When it does occur (for example in Heavy Rain or the film The Mist) it is handled sensitively and usually off screen.
Admittedly we do not know the story preceding the clip but as the person (presumably the father) holding the camera also seems to be dead it’s safe to assume this is not the viewpoint of a major character.
The child’s death is not shocking because they blew a kid up, it’s shocking as it’s in the game with sole purpose of generating headline news across the world and shifting a few more copies of Modern Warfare 3. There was no need for this to be a family, the sequence could have had the same impact (possibly more) if they had blown the truck up amidst the crowds of tourists on Oxford Street.
To put it simply, Infinity Ward decided to kill a child in their game, to sell more games.
Strong words from both sides, how will you be voting? Will it be Team Adam or Team Tuffcub? Voting closes at midnight on Sunday, results will be published next week.