Russian versions of Modern Warfare 2 have been recalled from stores across the country thanks to political and gamer outrage over the game’s infamous “airport scene.”
Controversy has swirled around the “airport scene” in Modern Warfare 2 (and if you somehow don’t know what I’m talking about and want to avoid spoilers, you’d best stop reading now) since before the game was launched, as people debated back and forth about whether or not it was appropriate to let gamers take part in a brutal terrorist massacre of unarmed civilians. Entirely predictable, of course, but what wasn’t predicted was the reaction of the Russians, who apparently feel that the game’s portrayal of Russian terrorists shines an unflattering light on the nation as a whole.
In fact, according to Hellforge, every copy of the console version of the game has been recalled, while Infinity Ward has released an official patch for the PC and Steam releases of the game that remove the mission entirely. It’s a bit tricky to determine if the game has been banned by the government in any official sense but the site notes that censored versions of Modern Warfare 2 are expected to be released within a month, “pending validation from the Russian government.”
The anger doesn’t appear to be entirely political, either; an admittedly dodgy Google translation of the Russian gaming site gotPS3 seems to suggest that many Russian gamers are also upset with the game, which “feeds the primary audience residing in the United States of America a story about the evil Russian!”
It’s all nonsense, of course, from the suggestion that a handful of Russian terrorists are somehow a reflection of the entire Russian state to the feigned surprise that an American videogame would appeal first and foremost to an American audience. And correct me if I’m wrong here but I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time the relationship between the Russian and American nations has been portrayed as adversarial; as the man once said, “I have no desire to drink with him or any other Russian son of a bitch.” Still, I can’t help but be amused by the fact that even though the perspectives and reasoning are radically different, at the end of the day the net result is exactly the same: People get pissed off about videogames for really stupid reasons.