Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Mail's Call of Duty 'fury'

The Mail's sensationalist reporting about video games continues with an article about the latest instalment of Call of Duty:

It seems that headline has been changed, and toned down, at least once - the URL reveals the Mail originally said the game 'recreates 7/7 Tube bomb attacks' rather than 'features 7/7 Tube bomb-style attacks'.

The article explains:

In one particularly vivid shot, an armed soldier on a truck cuts in front of a Tube carriage, derailing and causing it to explode.

Despite being 'ultra-violent' and causing such 'fury', the Mail has helpfully embedded the game's trailer at the end of their article. It does indeed show a truck ramming into a Tube train and causing it to derail.

But there's no explosion of that Tube carriage in the trailer. There's no bomb attack. There's no suicide bomb attack. There's no recreation of 7/7. There's no 7/7 bomb-style attack.

Indeed, the quote that ends the article, from Activision, the makers of the game, makes clear:

'The scenes in the game are entirely fictional and are not intended to recreate any historical events.'

So what of the 'fury'? The Mail claims:

Supporters of those affected by the 7/7 suicide attacks in July 2005, which killed 52 people, called for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to be banned.

It's not clear who these 'supporters' are. The article only manages to produce one outrage quote and that comes from Mail favourites Mediawatch-UK. And although they say, rather predictably, that the game is in 'incredibly poor taste' they don't actually say it should be banned. Nor does anyone else in the article.

(More on the Mail's article from Minority Thought and CVG. See also a CVG post on the Mail's misleading article 'Playing football games on computers 'makes you more aggressive'' from a few weeks ago.)


  1. This would be at least a step up from being horrified about a game which was never going to be (GTA: Rothbury).

    No indication as to what The Mail thinks about other forms of the arts which tackle nasty subjects. Such as films and books. Its all about games now.

  2. The game will be a best seller no matter how outraged the Mail pretends to be. Keep up the free advertising, guaranteed lots of Mail readers' Kids will be demanding this game the second it hits the shelves!

  3. Interestingly, the developers clearly are not basing the event 100% on the July 7th bombings, as the screenshots clearly are not based on any real section of the Tube. Also, reading how the event is meant to take place, we are only meant to draw similarities with the real world event, since last time I checked, you couldn't fit a pick-up truck in a Tube tunnel, let alone ram a train with it. Clearly just an attempt at a "pulled from the headlines" plot that has become common in videogames recently.

    Plus, if we're going to point fingers about distasteful imagery, I find it incredibly ill advised that the Mail has seen fit to illustrate an article about a fictional event in an unreleased videogame with actual file images of the aftermath from the bombing.

  4. Umm... the latest COD is based upon a scenario of world war 3 (West vs Russia) having laready erupted. Logically, unlike the previous modern warfares, there aren't going to be any terrorist-style attacks. If it's going to be emulating anything, it'll be the old fears of the cold war turning hot. You'd think the Mail might like that - they certainly aren't keen on Russia, and a few fearmongering articles about Russia themselves:

    I love hypocrisy.

  5. Hmm. The standard Yerkes tube tunnel is 3.56m in diameter[1]. A current Toyota Hilux pickup is 1.76m wide and 1.795m high[2], for a diagonal of about 2.52m. I reckon it'd fit.



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