Russian Media Suggests Modern Warfare 2 Trained Terrorists

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RT-shotgun-support:
*snip*

Well, to be fair, if you're playing a certain FPS game, like ARMA, for example, being serious about it, and playing with squadmates/friends, it can teach you tactics. And although it can teach you which end is the loud one, certainly; it can also potentially teach you how to operate, not fire, but operate the weapon. Reloading, how to properly hold, where the fire selector switch is, where the bolt release is, depending on game, of course. Like someone else said, alone, games of any kind aren't training for anything, but a supplement, that they can be. Again, it depends on the game in question.

stompy:
The fact that this 'journalism' comes from a state-owned media outlet does make me wonder whether the Kremlin wants to deflect attention away from the issues surrounding the region. Food for thought, at least.

That's a generally accepted political tactic though, and one everyone should be familiar with by now. Remember Clinton launching cruise missiles at Sudanese and Afghan targets during the breaking of the Lewinsky scandal? Or the numerous 'alert' changes by the Bush Administration, during the time that people were uncovering that they'd made up lies about Iraq's weapons programs?

Diversion is a primary tactic of politicians, usually when they say one thing, we should be looking elsewhere to find out what it is they're hiding.

Russia Today: a model of sober and objective reporting...it is not.

Therumancer:
Video games are the current boogieman, and it's international. Blaming video games is a way of avoiding serious societal issues. It's nice for a lot of people to delude themselves into thinking that they can prevent terrorism by taking away their training tools, rather than having to put insane amounts of blood on their hands to destroy the cultures involved (though this is an entirely differant discussion). Video games are blamed for most of society's ills today, and they are not the first thing to be put into such a position, nor will they be the last as the central problems are not going to go away no matter what anyone does.

On the other hand, those of us defending video games also have to be realistic, and acknowlege when they other side has some legitimate points. I doubt "Modern Warfare 2" inspired this, and even if it did it's no worse than any other work of fiction that inspired real world events (like the book "Hijacked"). It is true that shooter games can be used as part of a training process. It helps with visualization, and developing tactics and an understanding of what you are trying to do. Our military in the US uses FPS games as a *part* of training, and so do a lot of other armed forces groups. Indeed one of the selling points for some games like "ARMA" is that they are hyper realistic, and were developed as training tools. It's hard to deny that the terrorists involved probably did train with FPS games, because almost anyone with combat training and access to the technology probably did. Terrorists are not stupid. I'd imagine like a lot of groups these guys probably did the FPS games while working out and practicing physical skills, and also doing things like paintball (which is another common training exercise).

As far as demonizing the Russians in games goes, well they seemed well on the path to reform, but they have themselves to blame for their return to popular consciousness as the bad guys. Ukraine, Georgia, threatening Poland, cutting off fuel to the EU... it's not exactly unwarrented. As someone pointed out though, "Modern Warfare 2" did have a differant justification other than the Russians simply being douches for the sake of being douches.

Thank you. Obviously, aiming a gun in a videogame is nothing like shooting one in real life. However, tactics in realistic videogames, like, say, Modern Warfare 2, ArmA II, or America's Freakin' Army, are very similar to those used in real life, and can be used as training tools. It's perfectly plausible that these guys trained on a videogame, whether it was a mod for ArmA or America's Army, or they used the off the shelf mission from MW2. Legitimate militaries do it, why not terrorist groups?

I wasn't aware Fox News started airing in Russia.

8bitmaster:
I knew it! I knew games would be blamed! Games still aren't taken seriously as a medium, so they have become an outlet of the media to blame events with occasionally nothing to do with said game, but "oh the same location was involved it must have been relevant" or "some kid played a violent game, then committed a murder" argument to blame. Some people just don't have a good mindset. Its still free thought, and just because they did something in a game doesn't mean that a majority, or even all people think its right in real life. Its not the game's fault, the person involved either chose to do it, or had clouded judgement.

MEDIA! STOP BLAMING GAMES! THEY ARE NOT THE CAUSE!

In this case I don't think video gaming can play the 'misunderstood victim of an uninformed media' card. Infinity Ward/Activision knew exactly what they were doing when they put that level in the game - and what they were doing was stirring up controversy for a bit of extra publicity.

This isn't some indie fringe title like Postal 2 we're talking about here. This is a major, cross platform multi million selling franchise from a massive publisher, and this kind of reaction was inevitable.

I don't think the developers/publishers of MW2 are in any way responsible for the attack - that's a ridiculous allegation. However I do think that they are 100% responsible for making this kind of ill informed attack so easy.

Mornelithe:
That's a generally accepted political tactic though, and one everyone should be familiar with by now. Remember Clinton launching cruise missiles at Sudanese and Afghan targets during the breaking of the Lewinsky scandal? Or the numerous 'alert' changes by the Bush Administration, during the time that people were uncovering that they'd made up lies about Iraq's weapons programs?

Diversion is a primary tactic of politicians, usually when they say one thing, we should be looking elsewhere to find out what it is they're hiding.

I'm Australian, so no, I don't remember those incidents. Sorry. Though, I get what you're saying. I guess what really bugs me is that, in those instances, it was the media actually reporting on something, not a made-up story propagated by what essentially amounts to a propaganda tool for the Kremlin. Press in Russia hasn't got much freer, which is a worry for proponents of democracy and free speech in the country.

Excluding the fact that you can opt-out of the violence: I thought the whole point of No Russian was shooting people, not conducting suicide bombings.

Two entirely different things there, Russia Today.

Bang25:
"With all of the people "downloading, playing, and watching" Modern Warfare 2, the report suggests that terrorists could be training on these types of games too."

Bull. Shit. Playing a game like Modern Warfare 2 is NOTHING like actually firing a gun at someone in real combat. It might LOOK like it, but it's NOT THE SAME! Playing Call of Duty is the equivelant of playing Cops and Robbers.... in the future.

You probably didn't read my previous message.

You are correct that firing a gun in a FPS is nothing like firing one IRL, but FPS games are a valuable training tool when it comes to tactics and so on. FPS-type games are one of the elements your going to intergrate into a modern training program. The selling point of some games like the "ARMA" series is that they were developed as training simulators.

Let's say your a terrorist organization, you've probably got guns galore, and people that can teach other people how to shoot them. In between going out and learning how to shoot those guns, being made to work out, and probably doing other things like paintball, FPS games are probably going to be intergrated (assuming they have the tech) to help people train mentally.

Of course that doesn't mean that FPS games should be banned or blamed any more than paint guns, which can also be used as part of training.

Reality always differs from a mission, but just imagine your planning a terrorist attack, and you have guard schedules and a layout for the area your going to (especially if it's a public building), with the construction tools availible out there it's probably not all that difficult to build an approximation of the mission, and have people run through it in a FPS game. That could help a LOT when it comes to doing it in reality, though ultimatly your relying on the other training for them to inevitably adapt to the actual conditions (no training simulation is ever going to match reality).

I mean I disagree with the arguements being made overall, but there is some validity to what is being said.

Of course to be honest I'm far more worried about various terrorist websites and training camps that exist to "teach muslim men the art of self defense". Not to mention the number of terrorists and terrorism supporters acting as professors in a lot of our universities right now. Overall any claims about video games are minor compared to other problems within our society:

http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=19591

http://www.freeman.org/m_online/mar03/pipes1.htm

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2010/October/College-Professor-Calls-for-Israels-Destruction/

Then of course we have Julio Pino which is still going on (I think he's pushing to have Hamas removed from a list of terrorist organizations), this link dealing with a university giving him some wonky leave after he was caught, and the guy who did so getting fired:

http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeAdams/2007/11/30/kent_state_fires_chair_and_terrorist_sympathizer

Then we have this guy who is linked to the pro-communist terror community:

http://www.aim.org/aim-report/ayer-head-professor-defends-terrorist-ayers/

It gets even worse if you really start digging, and I'd imagine Russia has similar problems. If you want to deal with terrorism even defensively, you have to start asking yourself some uncomfortable social questions. Video games are comparitively an easy target compared to putting more security on academic student transfers, websites for terrorism supported by university resources, and even the question of when someone's actions become treason, which is still a crime, just one we never really enforce in the US due to it having a bad reputation. Just like how free speech is limited in certain cases like threatening people, slander, libel, and similar things. There is a differance between criticizing the goverment and it's policies, and directly trying to undermine or destroy it. Time of conflict being one of the few occasions when I've mentioned that I feel regulating free speech is actually okay (and only for the duration of the conflict), but even so I am not all that comfortable with this myself, but still it's the kind of issue that society needs to start addressing despite it being uncomfortable rather than screaming that video games are the devil.

Russian gov't-funded stations turn out to be Fox News Russia. Nice.

Bljad! Idioti ebanjie!

I guess even my government is not above this bullshit.

stompy:

Mornelithe:
That's a generally accepted political tactic though, and one everyone should be familiar with by now. Remember Clinton launching cruise missiles at Sudanese and Afghan targets during the breaking of the Lewinsky scandal? Or the numerous 'alert' changes by the Bush Administration, during the time that people were uncovering that they'd made up lies about Iraq's weapons programs?

Diversion is a primary tactic of politicians, usually when they say one thing, we should be looking elsewhere to find out what it is they're hiding.

I'm Australian, so no, I don't remember those incidents. Sorry. Though, I get what you're saying. I guess what really bugs me is that, in those instances, it was the media actually reporting on something, not a made-up story propagated by what essentially amounts to a propaganda tool for the Kremlin. Press in Russia hasn't got much freer, which is a worry for proponents of democracy and free speech in the country.

It's all good, I forget that the Escapist community is largely based outside the US (I think?). But yeah, the point is pretty clear. Although, I should point out that the US has it's own semi-sponsored news agencies also. Like the Associated Press etc.., some of those guys get fed info straight from politicians, so in a sense they're reporting on whatever it is they're told to.

But, I agree that Russia must relax its press rules. Everything they say is always subject to scrutiny because noone really has any assurance that what's being stated isn't a Kremlin ploy.

<facepalm>

Wow, just wow. I remeber first hearing the report and thinking 'this will be blamed on MW2' .. and this proves my powers of clairvoyance.

CARRYING YOUR BOMBS OUT IN THE OPEN IS NOT A FORMULA FOR SUCCESS IN A *SUICIDE BOMBING*!
it is not a formula for success in ANYTHING WHATSOEVER!

Daemascus:
I think this is a first, blaming a video game for terrorism.

Nah, remember how everyone was blaming Doom for Columbine?

Technically it does show suicide bombing, many a time has a guy been walking around the corner with a noob tube just to make sure he gets atleast 1 kill before death.
Allthough I dont agree with Russia I can understand why they are pissed, because I havent seen a game where you play as a terrorist blowing up America (GTA/SR dont count.

To suggest that part of the game was profound enough to be used as terrorist training I think is giving the game way to much credit.

Daemascus:
I think this is a first, blaming a video game for terrorism.

Exactly what I was thinking. We've been upgraded from Murder simulators to Terrorism ones.

By the end of the year, we should be up to Genocide which places us perfectly to take the blame should the world end in 2012! We win at being blamed!

When I first heard this story I said this to my friend as a joke.

Didn't think anyone was dumb enough to acctually think it...

and the car accident on the A180 motorway this morning was clearly a product of Need for Speed

i know the article says that they have only implied that they're blaming the game
but come on. Idiots can't ACTUALLY think this can they?
it must be some sort of comfort thing, having something to bame

The game may have been used to get the terrorists in question into the correct mindset, or given them ideas (ie, to attack an airport). However so many forms of media can do that. Can anyone who has played Flight Simulator honestly say that they have never gotten bored and crashed a plane into "insert famous landmark here" just for the hell of it. I'm pretty sure the designers didn't have that in mind when they made the game. As for all the action/war films out there, surely they must give terrorists ideas.

By blaming a game/movie/book/song we are ultimately losing focus on the true culprit, which is the person who actually made the conscious decision to commit the crime. The media would be better blaming whatever organisation actually committed the attack. I'm going to take an absolute stab in the dark and guess that it WASN'T Infinity Ward or Activision.

So true. Thats why I'm training to be a surgeon by playing Trauma Center. Also in case of a zombie apocalypse I'm playing Left 4 Dead so I know how to work with others and Dead Rising just in case I'm alone.

Ramare:

RT-shotgun-support:
*snip*

Well, to be fair, if you're playing a certain FPS game, like ARMA, for example, being serious about it, and playing with squadmates/friends, it can teach you tactics. And although it can teach you which end is the loud one, certainly; it can also potentially teach you how to operate, not fire, but operate the weapon. Reloading, how to properly hold, where the fire selector switch is, where the bolt release is, depending on game, of course. Like someone else said, alone, games of any kind aren't training for anything, but a supplement, that they can be. Again, it depends on the game in question.

True. Though tactics in MW2 and shooters are nothing more than "Go behind cover, shoot bad guy, move up to better cover, repeat" Tactical strategy and squad cohesion can be learned in any game and could possibly be learned faster through actual training. I know i did not lean to be a true team player, pick my role, and operate in shooters with a higher degree of clarity until i had been playing for 3 years.

On the matter of showing how to operate a firearm(reload and such) The same thing could be learned anywhere online in less time. To test this past common sense name any two guns and i will find a manual on operation online in about 10 minuets.

I feel like going further into squad & teamwork and strategy in games like MW2. With a game like MW2 the single player is pretty straight forward. You adapt to the situation based on what the game tells you, you kill, you progress. You learn little tactical treasure from this that the human mind can not figure out with common sense "Hmm i must stay out of sight and i have bushes here.... I KNOW I WILL HIDE BEHIND THIS BUSH!!". Yes to succeed in Multiplayer some strategy must be used but not enough to train someone for physical combat.

In the end nothing the games teach cannot be learned faster & better through drills that actually train for cobat, books that teach strategy, weapons training, and manuals on how to hold and operate a firearm.

Wouldn't terrorists actually practice whatever they're going to do in a live setting? Sitting on one's ass playing video games seems counter productive, especially in a highly unrealistic simulated environment with regenerating health and the like. Just saying...

Sixcess:
Activision's response should be interesting.

"We at Activision wholeheartedly deny that MW2 could be used to train terrorists. MW2 is intended purely for entertainment, because massacring dozens of unarmed, screaming civilians is... um... fun..."

It's a silly story, but that doesn't mean Activision don't deserve to take flack for that cheap, stupid, sensationalist level.

Oh please, had that been the start of a movie it would have been lauded as "harrowing, brave and edgy" Just because it's a part of a game it's suddenly thought as cheap and sensationalist.

Is Walid Phares' lawyer Jack Thompson or just his drinking buddy?

I'm pretty sure the player is warned before starting the single player campaign and skip the mission in advance. Heck you can spend the mission majority of the mission visiting the shops and doing anything BUT shooting. Besides the level was removed from Russian versions of the game.

Training using MW2?

Anyone who's actually played the game will agree putting what works in Call of Duty into practice in real world combat will get you killed. Quickly.

Show me a group of terrorists than ran around with scoped, bolt-action hunting rifles and scored kills on people by glancing down the sights for a millisecond, and your accusations will hold water. Until then... no.

EDIT: I blame Diehard 2.

Because apparently people aren't just psychopaths...

Since the Russian media is so quick to point to a video game as the problem then Call of Duty will have the answer. Airport security will now have cursors to point at people. If the cursor turns red then they will know they are looking at terrorists.

Also can you imagine if terrorists did use CoD as a training module. Half of the trainees would be dead by the end of the week due to the rampant team killing.

Really? As far as contreversy goes, the No Russian level was weak. And as for training these suicide bombers, would it really have made a difference wether or not they had played it? It's suicide bombing, not rocket science! Strap a bomb to your torso, walk into a crowded area, explode, and don't repeat.

I think this makes sense. I mean, it explains why so many 16-year-old XBOX and PC Gamers blow themselves up in American airports all the time!

SpiderJerusalem:

Sixcess:
Activision's response should be interesting.

"We at Activision wholeheartedly deny that MW2 could be used to train terrorists. MW2 is intended purely for entertainment, because massacring dozens of unarmed, screaming civilians is... um... fun..."

It's a silly story, but that doesn't mean Activision don't deserve to take flack for that cheap, stupid, sensationalist level.

Oh please, had that been the start of a movie it would have been lauded as "harrowing, brave and edgy" Just because it's a part of a game it's suddenly thought as cheap and sensationalist.

No, it's thought of as cheap and sensationalist because it is cheap and sensationalist. I don't believe for a second that that sequence had any purpose behind it other than to stir up controversy and publicity.

MW2 is a dumb ass shooter and if it was a movie it would be Red Dawn, not Saving Private Ryan.

That's what games do. They simulate real life things.

Anyone dedicated enough can learn a thing or two about the principals behind how a weapon works by playing games. It still doesn't prepare you for actually firing the damned thing.

Let's just stop creating games all together. We wouldn't want anyone using Cooking Mama to learn how to wield a spatula with deadly precision, now would we?

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