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Submitted by Columbo 2277d ago | video

Sessler's Soapbox: The Modern Warfare 2 Airport Scene

Since everyone is talking about or playing or buying extra copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 right now, Adam couldn't let this week's Soapbox go by without talking about the controversial "Airport Scene" gamers have all been hearing so much about.

While this video is fairly light on spoilers, if you haven't finished the single-player campaign in the game, you might want to wait before you hear what the Sess has to say on the subject. That being said, how did playing through that scene make you feel? Or did you skip the level, expecting it to be gratuitous and offensive? (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Attached Video
LtSkittles  +   2277d ago
I totally agree with him. If other forms of media can do this why can't video games? I agree with him on Infinity Ward also. I know they have been horrible towards the PC community, and removing with stuff, but they have balls to do this, and I respect them for that, but at the same time I can't really support them right now for what they did, but I will eventually get the game.
Cwalat  +   2277d ago
It's not that they don't have the balls to do it... Has nothing to do with that. I mean it's pretty obvious it's gonna contain mature content when it gets an M rating.

The thing that surprised me was that the scene wasn't needed storywise, and throwing it in there just for the heck of people discussing about and media calling it controversy is bull***t imo. Rather than making a better told story, or adding in more hours to the campaign. They wasted all their resources on designing a level only for people discussing about its' controversy.
madpuppy  +   2277d ago
Are you kidding me? this will probably drive sales of the game even higher.
controversy is a great way to make people curious about a game they may not have considered purchasing. you add a perceived taboo in a game it gets more publicity. look at GTA and the hot coffee minigame. all the free publicity from that and all the kids that went out and got it. I would say that is money well spent by IW.


IW still sucks.
#1.2 (Edited 2277d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
PrimordialSoupBase  +   2277d ago
The problem isn't the content itself but how it was positioned within the game. The scene is only made possible through the largest of plot holes and because of that it seems like lazy controversy bait on the part of Infinity Ward.

The most ridiculous part isn't even the scene itself but the one that comes up directly after. You accidentally shoot a few civies in Rio and it's game over. I found that really quite funny. Interactivity is a new form, sure, but it's also incredibly difficult to grapple with when new freedom is offered but the limits of the genre take it away the next.
#1.3 (Edited 2277d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
Willio  +   2277d ago
I simply just don't understand the scene at all. An undercover agent willing to sacrifice hundreds of people to capture a few terrorists? Had anyone else be the agent, they would have shot the terrorist group. Had anyone been the terrorist, they would not have trusted the agent in the assistance of killing civilians. The scene had no logic.
PrimordialSoupBase  +   2277d ago

Indeed. It simply wasn't positioned and given proper context.

Hell, I can think of something right now. There's a hidden nuke in the States that's going to go off and you need to get close to Makarov to find out where it is. Thus having to do the horrid things he engages in.

It's more problematic for the game than anything else.
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Ju  +   2277d ago
First things first. This "controversy" is hypocritical at best. If at all, we can discuss violence in video games in general, where MW (and 2) contribute their fair share to.

I personally think that scene is unnecessary, but this game is not art, its an action flick. A AAA action flick, but still no art.

I think its good it raises concerns and steers up controversy. But I would like to see that extended to the "playing war" in general.

This game plays with stereotypes like no other. Uses the "terrorist thread" as a marketing instrument. I would like to see a discussion about all that. Impact of violent games on young adult. Games as a medium of propaganda (which this definitively is).

And, selling M games to under age customers. Which this game sell more then any other. I guarantee, the amount of under 17 year old in CoD is sensational high.

Now I throw all this out here - knowing it will lead to nowhere. But eventually, I can thank IW that they started this with putting that scene in there - which I agree, I have a personal problem with (but understand from the POV to raise awareness), and possibly would skip playing it.
#1.6 (Edited 2277d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
DelbertGrady  +   2277d ago
It's up to you if you want to shoot the innocents or not. No one's forcing you to pull the trigger.

Imo the scene was brilliantly executed. It made me feel sick and disgusted. Games rarely have that emotional effect on me. It also gives the player insight into what kind of monster it is you are chasing.
LtSkittles  +   2277d ago
I know I said I haven't played it yet, but I saw one of the videos, and I couldn't watch it, because the guy was laughing at all of the civilians, but I also I just felt weird watching it, and it was different feeling that I got when I pop-in GTA, and decide that I need to blow off steam.
AssassinHD  +   2277d ago
Life just isn't that black and white I am afraid. It is easy to say that if you were the agent you would kill the terrorists and save the civilians, but an undercover agent must look at the big picture. Life is gray, like it or not. Killing the terrorists would save the people in the airport, but also blow the operative's cover. Is it better to save a hundred people in an airport, or kill the man who plans to kill millions?
Godmars290  +   2277d ago
As far as I know, other forms of media don't portray law and anti-terrorists agencies as having to go so far to catch the "big fish" they have to commit crimes like murder.
AssassinHD  +   2277d ago
Have you ever watched Deep Cover or The Departed? Have you ever played Splinter Cell: Double Agent? Don't even get me started on books.
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thewhoopimen  +   2277d ago
Life isn't black and white, but when you have the friggin leader of the russian terrorist group shooting at people and your standing next to him... wouldn't something click in your head that you've done what you were supposed to do as an agent to reach him? Shoot him already. Stupid scenario, designed strictly for shock value.
AssassinHD  +   2277d ago
I haven't played the game yet (Dragon Age: Origins hooked me), so I didn't know the leader actually presents himself in that scene. I plan on starting the campaign tonight. I agree that does seem like a good opportunity. If your mark is right next to you then I don't see any sense in maintaining your cover further.
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Willio  +   2276d ago
@ Sodapop
"It's up to you if you want to shoot the innocents or not. No one's forcing you to pull the trigger."

- By doing nothing, the "agent" assisted in the massacre. He could have stopped it by killing the terrorist group WHICH COULD HAVE ENDED THE GAME. How can any sane person live a normal life after knowing the person did NOTHING to prevent any further damage.

@ Assassin

No offence but if you havent even played the game yet to fully understand the situation, i'll have to dismiss your arguement. I never said life is just simply black and white, you just assumed. Dont just read the title, read the context.
kraze07  +   2277d ago
"They wasted all their resources on designing a level only for people discussing about its' controversy."
So, when did you gain this power to read people's minds and know why did something? It seems as if you're 100% sure this scene was created for that purpose, but really it's just speculation. I agree with Lt. This shows that they have balls and you have to respect that, but at the same time I'm still pissed with what they did with the PC version of this game.
Cwalat  +   2277d ago
I can't say that i'm 100% sure, but it's pretty damn close to that.

Do you honestly believe that they made the airport level because of the continuation and upgrade of the artform? Please, IW did this for controversy and the extra free marketing it would give them. Doesn't take a mindreader to know that. Don't forget that it's a game that is more known for it's frantic and fun gameplay rather than what it does for the artform itself.

It wasn't a big surprise that singleplayer didn't get the same attention as the multiplayer, but i was still damn surprised at the very short campaign.

With that said, the Spec Ops is what shines for MW2. Hope they continue with that.
kraze07  +   2277d ago
"Please, IW did this for controversy and the extra free marketing it would give them." How is that so when the actual video of this scene didn't get that much attention until about a week before it was released? If they really wanted it to be that big of a deal we would've seen this months ago. I do believe it wsa intended to be an upgrade to the artform. The first Modern Warfare had that scene where the guy played by you was a kidnap and he got executed. This is like a huge upgrade to that scene.
Cwalat  +   2277d ago
Actually, the smarter thing is just what they did inorder to get a boost JUST BEFORE the release of the game. Had they've shown this earlier, the "W-T-F" moments in media would've been much less during release time. It's perfect marketing plans from IW, but sadly it wasn't their intention to further develop the artform. It was just plain and simply a way of getting more sales for their games, and if there's a single company out there that stands for Sales>Quality it's IW. Just look at the dumbed down PC version they didn't bother to improve, or the "unexpected" server issues PS3 users are experiencing. Such a big title should've had more testing and more server support, but then again sales>quality.
Willio  +   2277d ago
This is called...
GTA marketing. Use controversy to sell the game.
Solans Scott  +   2277d ago
Well said Mr.Sessler
Swiftfox  +   2277d ago
I agree 100%.

I'm glad to see someone so well regarded in the world of gaming seeing the game as an artform and as a medium of expression, and he's right, video games need to be able to do what movies and books can do. They need to be able to go into those grey areas without the double standards that comes from the media about such things.

He is correct in that video games are NOT a simulation, they are NOT a method of behavioral encouragement. Books had to go through the same steps as this, then radio, then movies. As long as there are those like Mr Sessler that defend it for what it is and not for what others call it or construe it as, then we will be able to see video games develop fully and truly grow into something more than it is today.

Nothing but respect for Sessler. Fight the good fight.
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Willio  +   2277d ago
Using "artform" as an expression is an excuse
The same reasoning can be said for religions. Their excuse is God(s) has a plan for them or because God(s) said so. Regardless of its art form, teenagers WILL play this game and it will influence them in one way or another. Furthermore, by offering people to skip the scene, people are even more drawn to it. It's similar to asking a person not to open the pandora's box but we are just too curious. The effect did the opposite.
Automat  +   2277d ago
the airport scene was just boring! might as well have skipped it!
Uzesgelen_Goo  +   2277d ago
from MW2
my favorite scene is Airport fight and Ending mission (^^)
Kajaah117  +   2277d ago
I agree wholeheartedly, 100%. I appreciate what that scene was trying to do, though it didn't have the impact I was hoping it would, but it's still a big step in progressing videogames into a more thought-provoking, mature art form.

And as much as I'd love Sessler to defend the game on Fox news, it wouldn't help at all. After Geoff Keighley was on there defending Mass Effect, it's clear that the people on that station are incurably ignorant and won't let you speak when you're actually trying to make a valid point.

I'd still be curious to see if Adam could get through to them, but it's very, very unlikely.
Ares84PS3  +   2277d ago
Adam is the only person... video game journalism that I respect!! He is the only one who actually knows what he talks about!!

Massive respect for Adam!!!!
Alcohog  +   2277d ago
It was boring and pretty pointless from a game play standpoint.
N2NOther  +   2277d ago
I'm finding it hard to buy into this moral crap when people play the GTA games.
Dmitry Orlov  +   2277d ago
Sessler? Is that a joke, right?
Russian MIA is offended by this scene. It got so bad one of the biggest publishers had to literally cut it out of the game in the Xbox version (and maybe PC too; dunno about PS3 though).
qwertyuiopasdfghjkl  +   2277d ago
I have preached gaming as an art form for quite some time, probably before Sessy realized how much he loves video games.

Which brings me to my final post about this Airport issue... After playing it, I feel they should have never made this a gameplay moment. Making the scene playable just created a long winded "woe is me" set piece. If they wanted emotion and let tearducks flow, it would have worked best by taking a page out BioShock's book... with the Andrew Ryan Unplayable "Would you kindly scene"...

It presented a player with a twist, took the control away from them, and forced him to do something wrong. The airport scene would have definitely worked better this way, in more than one way...

1. Unplayable makes it uncontroversial. Forcing the player to watch the scene keeps their mind on the subject matter, not the trigger.

2. Excluding the scene as a mission, with a more cutscene of sorts would have decreased the amount of viewing time, while separating drama and action at the same time. Remember shorter is sometimes better... especially in this case. Small doses would have kept this scene from being silly.

3. The scene as it stands will not hold up well against time. With years to come, this mission will be viewed as a cheesy example to gain dramatic response.

I'll finish my rant with a few words against Adam, don't get me wrong, he's a very intelligent fellow when it comes to gaming and the medium that surrounds it...

I just find it funny his only complaint is the animations... What man, you want twice the realism and grieving?

SIDENOTE... WTF is with Kevin Pereira's quote against hoodies? Hoodies are the new overalls? Really? ...ESAD
Rhezin  +   2277d ago
I thought that scene was very offensive
At first I couldn't believe they were actually showing it, let alone actually shooting innocent people that are trying to get away. See this is the type of sh!t that turns little kids into psychos, playing through parts like that. Rest of the game was cool, but I just hate to think some 8 yr old kid playing through that game. That sh!t is really unnecessary. Shoulda done my essay on video games sh!t, I REALLY would have had a good argument there.
xtremeimport  +   2277d ago
adam sessler is probably the best person in the gaming industry for giving his opinion. I've always respected his opinion and they way he put it, i agree with him.

on another is up with that turret behind him...why are their no hands on the gun when its moving aroun? ^_-
helrazor343  +   2277d ago
SPOILER!!! (as if the article hadn't already)
I have to say I was a little shocked about the scene, but I guess in the context of how the thing played out for me the scene made sense in the story. When the elevator doors opened I was a little disoriented, because what I was seeing (no obvious hostiles), and then the people you're with just open fire. I just never got the urge to pull the trigger, so I kinda hung back followed the group observed the carnage, I started to take fire, so then I shot back. When the scene concluded, my actions seemed to fit the story (my failure to take part in the carnage outed me, therefore when the US is framed it makes sense). I can however, see how from some of the comments, why some say the scene makes little sense (especially when you take part in the slaughter), but in my playthrough I got it.

Besides, for me it was the rest of the game's story that seemed a bit of a stretch, the first MW seemed to have a bit more thought put into it. A lot of this game story-wise just seemed as though the execution could have been better (just didn't feel very grounded).
lonestarmt  +   2277d ago
I agree that the media freaks out too much on video games, and video games should be looked upon as an artform like movies and music. They are already lots of games that are good examples, but lets not kid ourselves, call of duty isn't. IMO the opening of the first modern warfare did a much better job of setting the tone of just how bad the bad guys are. This one is just a gimmick to me.

Killing innocents isn't art. There is a thin line for something being deep and dark as art, and being just too much and vulgar. You can't just do whatever you want, and call it art. GTA is a fun game going around causing havok, but you can't call it "art", its mindless fun.There is such a thing as bad taste.
Unicron  +   2276d ago
"Killing innocents isn't art. There is a thin line for something being deep and dark as art, and being just too much and vulgar. You can't just do whatever you want, and call it art. GTA is a fun game going around causing havok, but you can't call it "art", its mindless fun.There is such a thing as bad taste."

But Neo-DaDaism is? A toilet bowl propped on its side IS art? Art will always be in the eye of the beholder, and taste is subjective. This isn't killing innocents, this is a game. It's not real. I don't get why it's okay for people to laugh, cheer, and enjoy someone like John McClane slaughtering hundreds of people, but the moment you slap the modifier of "civilian" on a fake character, it becomes some travesty. I just find that silly, how hypocritical we are in our entertainment.
lonestarmt  +   2276d ago
Hey, I'm not that big into contemporary art either, and for the most part art is in the eye of the beholder, but you can't use that for everything. Watch art school confidential or untitled to see what I mean.

There is no hypocrisy, especially with your example. In Die Hard, Mclaine was going around killing terrorist, trying to save the civilians. They cheer him because he is doing something, using any means against the BAD GUYS. IF you kill a BAD guy its a little diferent than killing someone who hasn't done anything wrong.

Also all because something isn't real doesn't make it ok. There are games where you can rape Moms and daughters. Is that ok? Can sex and nudity be ok or a form of art? ok thats an opinion. Is rape art? Hell no. So there is a line. That COD MW2 stage comes pretty close, thats all I'm saying and if you enjoy things where all they do is enjoy killing for no reason or commiting rape, then maybe you need to look at yourself and ask why.
N2NOther  +   2276d ago
They weren't terrorists in Die Hard. They were thieves. Just sayin'.
Tins23  +   2276d ago
hey guys correct if i'm wrong here...but you're shot at then end of the scene. Makarov knew you were an operative. Youre then left for dead so the russian police/military to find you. Making them think it was an american attack. He pulled a terrorist attack on his own country only to make it look like someone else to get a war started. This is terrorism to highest degree. so there is a plot there, it's just not so obvious to everybody.

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