U.K. Member of Parliament Keith Vaz says he is "absolutely shocked" by the violence in Modern Warfare 2 and plans to raise his concerns about the game in Parliament.
Controversy erupted when it was revealed that Modern Warfare 2 would include a sequence in which players could join terrorists in killing unarmed civilians at a Russian airport. Players who find the scenes disturbing or objectionable will be able to skip them but that's not enough for Vaz, a notorious videogame critic. "I am absolutely shocked by the level of violence in this game and am particularly concerned about how realistic the game itself looks," he said.
Activision pointed out in a statement that Modern Warfare 2 is meant for adults and that warnings about potentially offensive content will be given prior to the start of the sequences. "At the beginning of the game there are two checkpoints where the player is advised that some people may find an upcoming segment disturbing," the company said. "These checkpoints can't be disabled. It is appropriately rated 18 for violent scenes."
Despite Activision's caution, it's no surprise that Vaz is taking issue with the game. He is familiar to gamers, particularly in the U.K., as a Jack Thompson-like figure whose concern for facts often takes a back seat to his penchant for strident commentary. In the past, he has claimed that interactive rape is a feature of some videogames (a statement quickly debunked by the BBFC) and also played a central role in bringing the brief Amazon appearance of the Japanese game RapeLay to widespread attention.