Infinity Ward Removes Modern Warfare 2 "F.A.G.S." Video

Following stern criticism from two games writers yesterday, Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling pulled back a viral video for Modern Warfare 2, couched as a PSA from a group called "Fight Against Grenade Spam" that called the tactic "for pussies."

Destructoid's Samit Sarkar, following the event unfold over Twitter, reports that Infinity Ward took fire publicly from Phillip Kollar of Game Informer and freelancer Mitchell Dyer over the video's language, tone and especially, the way the fake interest group's name formed the acronym "F.A.G.S." In the video, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher - and Modern Warfare fan - Cole Hamels (pictured, at right), pretends to deliver the public interest message that randomly throwing grenades around in multiplayer is "for pussies," and throws in an "oh f—k," at the end when he himself is blown up. "Fight Against Grenade Spam" appeared as a title card introducing Hamels.

In the end, Bowling said he could "appreciate the concerns" although he felt "the core gag is great," and ultimately, the video was taken down.

Kollar made his feelings known in a long message, broken up into five tweets, to a reader who said he was "overreacting" to the video:

Overreacting how? I'm not organizing a mass boycott or even saying I won't buy the game. I'm just pointing out that their decision to become complicit in one of their communities most oppressive slurs in a not-terribly-fun ad campaign is stupid and makes me reconsider my purchase more than any other controversy surrounding the game thus far. But it's an official video released by them that for all intents and purposes says, "Yeah, we think it's hillarious to use the word FAGS as well! LOLOLOLOL!" Just look at all the YouTube comments saying how totally awesome IW is for that bit. Whether it was their intent or not, that stupid joke condones a part of their community they should be shunning.

Bowling noticed the exchange and replied:

I think it was more of a social commentary joke of that stereotype than it was a fist-bump of acceptance to it.

Dyer replied to that, copying the message to Kollar, with:

The problem is that it was so poorly handled/executed that it looks derogatory. It seems to enforce the asshole-ry.

Finally, Bowling relented in the following tweet:

I agree. I think the core gag is great, the end is a bit too far from the intent of the joke & can appreciate the concerns. Pulled.

And now the withering, scorching comments about political correctness and who has the right to take offence and to what shall begin again, thanks to a video that needlessly took one step over the line. Just a slight tweaking of the PSA group's title, as one Kotaku reader pointed out, to "Fight Relentlessly Against Grenade Spam," would have preserved the spirit of this piece and skirted all the outrage, even with the "for pussies" line.

Many gamers, judged largely on what I've seen in commenting threads and in behaviour online, haven't expressed a lot of sophistication on this subject or a great willingness to have a mature discussion about it. It tends to break down to "I'm not offended so, no one else can be either," and accuse anyone who is of politically motivated dishonesty. By no means do I accuse Infinity Ward or Bowling of homophobia or having that same small-minded attitude. But the video was pointlessly provocative, and made not only the studio, but also some of their biggest fans, by their reactions to it, look foolish and reprehensible to the general public. Bowling made the right call in removing it.

Infinity Ward Pulls MW2 Hamels Video After Internet Furor [Destructoid]

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Comments

    thats sad, the add was pretty awesome, those complainers suck...there have been far worse adds than some simple swear, god!

      *sigh* And the idiot procession continues its inexorable march to nowhere.

      Way to miss the point there Shawn. The issue was a lot deeper than some swearing, you might want to read the above article first.

    OH NO! HE SED FAGS! HERE COMES THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS HAMMER!!!

    Complainers ruined this video, i watched it and actually found it quite funny. As someone who has played a lot of CoD, I understand the FURY behind random grenade spam!

    I immediately picked up that it was a social commentary joke, but then again, i LOVE satire.

    Too many morons that take satire seriously ruin everything -_-. Get a life guys, you can take your PC moral crusade elsewhere

      As someone fragged by grenaded you could probably understand the fury of grenade spam.

      As thousands of people who get the word spat at them while they are being bashed ad shunned for loving the person they want to love by pathetic close-minded simpletons that seem to make up our society, i can understand the FURY behind a company supporting the use of the word.

      Satire is an excellent thing. Supporting derogatory language that keeps minorities in our society secluded and fearful is pathetic.

        Wahhhh, WAAAAAAAH, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

        (PS I don't think you understand what satire is, maybe when you get older someone can explain it to you)

          I do know what satire is, actually. It is why I can appreciate the use of the word 'fag' in the right context.Such as its repeated use in The Ballad of Gay Tony, to use a recent example. The first five hours of this game are filled with racial and homophobic and sexist slurs; however, they are all blatant satire used to speak more about the people who throw the slander moreso than those that receive it.

          I can appreciate how this video was possibly attempting to do this by making commentary on the kind of idiots who toss words like fag and homo and nigga around on multiplayer whilst teabagging you, but it did a pretty poor job at it. The satirist has to be incredibly careful to ensure they don't tip over into simply offensive. Just saying "it is satire" is not an excuse. It is an excuse to attempt to use the word, certainly, but when you stuff it up, you can't just claim you you were trying to be satirical to absolve yourself.

          Better than me, I think this blogger says things perfectly:
          http://vorpalbunnyranch.blogspot.com/2009/10/fags.html

          Perhaps when you are older you can think of a more rational justification for why nonchalantly using the word fag is alright other than "Wahhhh, WAAAAAAAH, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH"

          Satire is supposed to be about unseating the comfortable. I don't see how an oppressed/subjugated group (in online gaming at least) are appropriate targets for satire. Maybe you're the one who doesn't truly understand satire. Maybe you're confusing it with lulz?

      Yeah, we'll definitely get that R18+ rating with people as mature and thoughtful as you flying the Gamer banner.

      Sigh.

        Sorry guys, it's all my fault. I am to blame for all of societies ills. A scapegoat, if you will

          Bogos is it just me or are you constantly putting forth an uninformed and immature opinion here on Kotaku?

          Not only that but the condescensing tone in your many childish posts seems to only stem from ignorance or a desire to sound smarter than you really are.

          Please wake up before posting your trash here on this site - your constant provocative ignorant posts only further the dumb, desperate fanboy stereotypes others are trying to quash with intellectual discussion.

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