The Christian Science Monitor has taken issue with the shocking imagery of the "Infamy" trailer for Modern Warfare 2, suggesting that the events depicted in the video and the game might be going too far.
(If you haven't seen the video and want your Modern Warfare 2 experience to be completely unspoiled, you may want to stop reading now. Consider yourself warned.)
As expected, the Modern Warfare 2 trailer that debuted on Sunday night was gorgeous and action-packed; somewhat less expected, I would guess, was the depiction of a blasted and burning Washington D.C. as a battleground upon which U.S. forces were struggling against an unknown foe. To me, as a gamer (and a confessed non-American), it was frikkin' awesome, but Andrew Heining of the Christian Science Monitor has a somewhat less enthusiastic take on it.
"In the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2... the gallant mansion reduced to rubble doesn't belong to some crazed separatist dictator hellbent on all kinds of nefarious acts. Instead, it's the White House," he wrote. "The scenes of post-apocalyptic scenes of carnage play out not in some fictional town in eastern Europe, but in Washington D.C. itself."
He admits that this isn't the first time that D.C. has been blown up in the name of entertainment and, with an obligatory swipe at Grand Theft Auto IV, suggests that Modern Warfare 2 may not actually be any worse than anything else put out by the gaming industry these days. "But this is one of the first times such striking imagery has surfaced since 9/11, when the idea of widespread destruction on US soil was suddenly thrust into reality," he added.
"Games based on current events are seeing something of a surge," he continued. "But something tells this writer there's something of a difference between a cartoonish Flash game where the object is to try to hit George W. Bush with a shoe, and one in which the destruction of a major U.S. city - in near photo-realistic detail - plays a central role."
Of course, this isn't the first time the U.S. capital has been blown up in "near photo-realistic detail" in a videogame, either; as numerous people have pointed out, Fallout 3 let players tromp all over the "Capital Wasteland," including a lead-n-lasers quickie tour through the crumbling remains of the White House. But Fallout 3 was set in the aftermath; only Modern Warfare 2 will, presumably, let you fight in the city as it burns. Is that going too far? Is the depiction of Washington D.C. in the throes of destruction inappropriate or is it merely, as the author himself put it, "striking?"