Modern Warfare 2 Terrorist Footage Sparks Outrage In Australia

Leaked footage of terrorist gameplay from Activision's Modern Warfare 2 has the Australian Council on Children and the Media calling for the game's MA15+ to be reconsidered, effectively banning it from sale.

The skippable scene of terrorist atrocities in Modern Warfare 2 first came to light via leaked footage on YouTube early yesterday. News travelled quickly, however, with an AP report dropping yesterday afternoon, distributing the news to just about every news organisation on the planet. Word obviously reached Australia, prompting Australian Council on Children and the Media Jane Roberts to call on the Australian Classification Board to reconsider the MA15+ rating the game received, which is the highest rating given games in the country. Reconsideration would effectively ban the game from release. Roberts claims that even with the MA15+ rating, the game would still be readily available to children.

"The consequences of terrorism are just abhorrent in our community and yet here we are with a product that's meant to be passed off as a leisure time activity, actually promoting what most world leaders speak out publicly against."

Do not read on if you wish to avoid Modern Warfare 2 spoilers.

Here's the report regarding the offending scene filed by the Classification Board that accompanied the MA15+ rating decision.

"Several civilians are shot with blood burst bullet wounds; civilian corpses are strewn across the airport floor, often in stylised pools of blood; injured civilians crawl away with lengthy blood trails behind them."

The report goes on to mention that you cannot inflict post mortem damage on the civilians, and that all other missions of the game will result in failure if a civilian is shot.

Activision released a statement to Kotaku yesterday regarding the scene, explaining that it was "meant to evoke the atrocities of terrorism".

Back in Australia the debate rages on, with Nicholas Suzor, spokesman for the lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, using the situation to call for a R18+ rating for games released in the country, while rejecting the idea that a video game could foster terrorism.

"Films often show the villain's perspective and, by doing that, they get across the character's story and the heinous nature of people who carry out atrocities. Games, too, are becoming more expressive, and are telling more involved stories. We may make an argument that these sorts of topics are not suitable for children, but I don't at all accept that it is unsuitable for adults."

The Classification Board cannot review its own decisions, so anyone interested in getting the rating reviewed will have to apply directly to the board.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is slated for Australian release on November 10.

Outrage as terrorist game lets players massacre civilians [The Sydney Morning Herald]

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Comments

    Stupid parents, have no sort of understanding that a game is just a medium for a story, it shouldn't be more watered down than a movie just because it's a 'game'. Guess they should ban all Tom Clancy books from the libraries too. If this helps us get an R18+ rating though, whatever.

      Its not quite this simple. Watching something and then actually performing the act yourself have different effects. I believe that is their concern.

        if your loco enough shoot someone because of a game youll do the same thing with a movie

        Natural born killers comes to mind

        we live in a country where the govt is willing to censcor everything

        If MA15+ games are still readily abvaliable to children why rate them at all just go allowed or not

        they need to reform the sales end side of it there should be larger penalties for selling R18+ or MA15+ content to kids

        if a parent Buys it for them thats fair enough
        but you should be asked for ID no matter what that way when a parent goes to buy his 10 yr old GTA5 and she gets carded at age 30-40 she might think w8 a minute

        instead we have a inconsistant classification system that bans stuff for often petty reason's and only conribute to the piracy situation

        i do think that MW2 should be banned tho until dedicated servers are pur back in since it will ruin the online for anyone inside of australia :(

          ...and Natural Born Killers had an R18+ rating...

        Way to claim something without a shred of evidence to back it up, you're as bad as the gov.

    God I hope it gets RC, will spark a bigger outrage than L4D2

    Another reason why Australia needs the R18+ rating added to our classication on games.

    Going by the comparison videos on Youtube over Left 4 Dead 2..

    They REALLY need to consider the change.

    As if things couldn't get any worse for Infinity Ward, lol.

    We need an R18+ rating before November 10, oh god!

    Man, I could see this coming after yesterdays posted and the leaked footage. Was only a matter of time before someone here "though of the children" and decided to attempt to ban it.

    If this gets banned, here or anywhere because of its content its going to cause massive outrage. People are so hyped for this game, and for it to be banned less than 2 weeks before its release would be insane!

    Dear God I hope it doesn't get banned before release! Be sure to go out and buy your copy on release day just in case the morons get their way, they usually seem to.

    People seem to forget the whole freedom of speech thing, something that the west is meant to value and fight for.

    It seems that the 'powers that be', the people who make the rules and regulations seem to believe that video games are a 'child's toy, simply played "as a leisure time activity". This is not so the case, with more 'grown ups' playing games. This shift has come about as the kids of yesterday are now the adults of today, brought up with video games as a part of their lives, viewing it as a real form of media, equal to films and literature. If this game was a movie or a book there would be no issue. Simply put, MW2 is an adult game, with adult themes, intended for mature audiences. If you don't want your kids playing it then simply don't let them. Responsibility lies with the consumer.

      Couldn't have put it better myself. Hear hear.

    They're absolutly right...
    Perhaps Nick Suzor should be talking to them about supporting the campaign?

    I hate whiny people, also our classification board (being australia).

    Could this finally be the game that brings mainstream attention to the R18+ debate?

    I think I would literally cry if MW2 was refused classification but if it is necessary for the inception of an R18+ rating in Australia I could deal with it.

      Good point, even if it took a year before we were legally able to purchase it from a store shelf with a rating of R18+, the wait would be well worth it.

      Cant have mainstream debate without taking Micheal atkinsons power away he has the controlling vote and not a 8-8 hes the tie vote a simple Yes or No and hes an old guy who didnt grow up with games so he thinks there just for 5 yr olds despite evidence to the contrary

      when argued with he just said well run in the election against me and if you win youll be able to make the decision

      yeah well im not 50 yet and im pretty sure that the minimum age to be elevcted :P

      but hes has the power and hes in the 5th largest major city of 8 so really how does he have the power and i thought we were a democracy not a dictatorship

    Why are narrow-minded idiots who have literally zero experience of proper, hardcore games constantly making assumptions about the effects of them?

    Isn't it compulsory in some circles to actually experience a product before you start bitching about it in the media? In like, you know, the courtroom?

    Seriously one day some moron's going to get rammed up the rear with a lawsuit so hard when someone actually proves that half these deadshits are just ruining the reputation of developers' products with baseless, ignorant claims about what they THINK the content is rather than what it is.

    *facepalm*

    I'm kind of glad about this, because now the OFLC will hopefully justify to us, how in their opinion mowing down hordes of innocent civilians in an airport is MA15+ content, but mowing down hordes of violent zombies isn't MA15+ because the zombies are "too much like humans"

    I am going to assuming there will be mass suicides across Australia if this is banned!

    Oh my god i HOPE this gets banned, get more people to lobby for the R rating!!!

    Please ban this game PLEASE.

    OK CHUMS UP LETS DO THIS!!!!!!!!!

    bannnnnnnnnn mooodeerrrrnnnn warrrrfaarrrree 222!!!!

    As a fairly seroius gamer, hearing that MY game of the year is being watered down to appease 3 Board Classification Members and apparently on ONE mp in SA, and now MODERN WARFARE 2!?!?
    Why wasn't the first one bannned? With a first person view of someone being executed in the intro to the game?
    Fallout 3? Can't have a drug called "morphine" yet I can watch in slow mo as I dismember people with a shotgun.
    I remember when I was just four years old (I'm 23 now) and getting the full version of Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM - and anything else that involved running around with a gun and killing - WHATEVER.
    Over in NZ, hey, guess what, THEY get the unedited version of L4D2, and probably even MW2. And all this while the gamers of OZ cry out "What the crap?"

    Oh dear God no. Please do not let ths get banned or edited. I would lose it. I've been looking forward to MW2 for so long and his would kill me.

    I hope it gets BANNNED! thats right I do!
    So it gets us Australians an R18+ rating!

      The banning of this game will most certainly not guarantee a R18+ classification.

      It will bring more attention to the issue that's for sure, but the powers that be seem to have no qualm with shrugging off popular opinion and outrage.

    To the Australian Council on Children and the Media,
    Open your friggin' eyes and have a look around you. The amount of terrorism I have seen in hollywood flicks & TV shows over the past 15 years is amazing. It's a money factory. All of which widely accepted in our community.

    To the Media,
    Bunch of hypocrites...you show bomb blasts on a daily basis. I see footage of mothers crying their heart out, fathers carrying their dead children through the streets & to wrap it up you finish off the night with a nice heart warming story of how a cat gets saved from a drainpipe.
    You call this an outrage..

    You know what, I hope this game does get banned. More outrage means we'll be closer to an R18 rating.

    They better not ban COD MW2 or I will send a million emails to the Australian Classification board just to piss them off. If we didn't have Religion then we would probably not have terrorist in the first place, they only blow themselves up because they think they go to some paridise with alot of virgins. They are a bunch of psychotic fruit cakes

      lol fruitcakes!

      You don't see atheist blowing themselves up

    I've always wondered what parents actually think their kids are playing when they buy a game with machine guns on the front cover.

    Ban it, worked for l4d2, im enjoying my unedited gory goodness right now, banning it just makes it cheaper.

    Gah, fuck. Here we go again.

    I honestly hope this game gets banned only to bring attention to the R18 debate...also Activision deserves a punch in the face...they are the greediest, most money hungry videogame publisher in history and people need to stop giving into the hype for most of their games and buying them without playing them...thank god Guitar Hero 5 was a major flop in most places.
    (PS. this isnt a stab at MW2 just activision)

    Go and ban it, just give me another reason to pirate the game.

    The hold-up in the R18 debate is not just with Atkinson; the discussion paper is sitting on the Commonwealth Minister for Home Affair's desk (Hon Brendan O'Connor MP). Please take a moment to send him a letter: http://wiki.efa.org.au/censorship/r18_games/discussion_paper_release

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