Spoiler: Modern Warfare 3's 'No Russian' Moment?

SPOILER WARNING. If you want a tiny part of Modern Warfare 3, which officially hits in just a few days, spoiled, read on. If you don't, this is a post (and comments section) you should skip.

Okay? We all here? Let's dive in.

The above clip was sent to Kotaku, with the tipster writing, "New Modern Warfare 3 Controversy" in the subject line.

The scene brings back memories of Modern Warfare 2's "No Russian", an infamous mission in which the player participates in a massacre of innocent bystanders. There are key differences, however.

Unlike "No Russian", it is not interactive in the same way, and it's not an entire mission. You, the player, don't have the choice whether you'd like to actively join in the destruction or sit back and watch as the scene plays out. There is no moral choice placed before the player.

Here, you can passively control the camcorder during a scene. You are watching. You are a bystander. You are a victim.

If you've made it this far, I'm assuming you've already watched the clip. In it, a young girl is blown to bits. That alone, the senseless killing of a young child, is no doubt what the tipster was alluding to when he noted that he thought this scenes "was just terrible".

Scenes like this, scenes depicting young children being killed, are new to gaming -- possibly because video games have been traditionally viewed as toys. They're not, of course, but that perception most likely has kept game developers away from this territory.

Hollywood, on the other hand, routinely blows up kids, if not put them in harms way. In movies, kids being killed by bombs or nearly being killed by bombs are a quick way to show just how awful the bad guys are, without the intimacy and leftovers of a shooting, and an easy way to evoke viewer emotion.

Yet as unsettling and horrible as it is, we've become increasingly used to seeing scenes like that one from 1987's The Untouchables which showed a little girl being killed by an explosion, that film goers rarely raise a ruckus. As gamers, this sort of stuff is new, but don't be surprised if it becomes old hat. It already is in Hollywood.

Modern Warfare [YouTube Thanks Ben, for the tip!]


    Video removed. Oh well, I'll watch it when the game comes out.

    You know what's disgusting? That you guys are making a big deal of it. Is it an emotionally wrenching scene? Yes. But it's hardly something that should cause an uproar. You guys tell off Fox News whenever they make a big deal of something like this, then you go right ahead and do the same thing. This shouldn't be a controversy; you are making it one.


    as the clip has been pulled, im making this comment based on what was written, and my interpretation of that:

    if indeed this game does show a child being blown up, i dont understand how the australian rating board has given the game an MA15+ rating.... something like that should clearly be seen as violence higher than "strong", and indeed worthy of an RC in this country.

    working in one of the "big 3" gaming retailers, i will make sure to actively make parents aware of such a scene, as i did with the "no russian" mission in MW2

      If it's a non-interactive scene, and does not attempt to glorify the killing of a child, then it is not likely to be given an R/RC rating. Movies have innocent people getting shot, blown up etc - this is no different.

      Given that there's been far worse that come down the pike in movies and television with nothing more than an M rating then I'm not the slightest bit concerned.

      Having said that I did get a shock playing DR2 Case Zero to see that the person at stake is your young daughter - it's odd to see what is a common theme in movies, used in a game.

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