Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a soft reboot of the fan-favorite Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The game launched last week, and has since received praise for both its campaign and multiplayer components. However, an apparent “rewriting” of a major historical event has resulted in an uproar within the community.
Highway of Death
One of the missions of Modern Warfare’s campaign takes players to the infamous “Highway of Death”. During the Persian Gulf War of 1991, a series of roads between Kuwait and Iraq earned themselves the title due to the haunting events that occurred. During the war, the roads officially known as Highway 80 and Highway 8 were bombed by US military forces.
Although most of Call of Duty Modern Warfare’s campaign takes place in a fictional country, some of the events are direct references to real events. Normally, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. However, the 11th mission in Modern Warfare’s campaign seemingly blames Russia for US’s actions.
During the mission, one of the main characters says, “The Russians bombed it during the invasion, killing the people trying to escape.” In the real life version, it wasn’t the Russians responsible for the bombing, but rather the United States.
Players who noticed this discrepancy say they feel “disgusted” about Modern Warfare’s “lies”. The discovery sparked a debate on several forums, where players argue the morality of developer Infinity Ward’s controversial decision.
On one hand, players argue that “it’s just a game”, and that everything shown in the campaign falls under fictional events. Others, however, believe that it’s unethical to alter facts when heavily referencing a real life conflict, even if it is a video game.
Such moral grey areas of the campaign have led Russian gamers to boycott the “offensive” campaign of Modern Warfare. In addition to the game not being available on the Russian PlayStation Store, the “anti-Russian” campaign has undoubtedly upset a good chunk of Russian players.