Moscow Airport Attack like Call of Duty?

Last week a suicide bomber slipped into a crowd waiting for international passengers arriving at Moscow’s newest and busiest airport, setting off a huge blast that killed 35 people and highlighted another weak spot in security for global air travelers.  This attack was one of the most tragic events to happen to Russia in recent history and their president, Putin has vowed revenge when they find out who was behind the attack.  The blast also wounded 180 other people and was aimed at killing foreigners.

The scary part about all of this is that video games put us in these types of situations every day.  Every time we play a first person shooter we are entering into a reality where things like this are normal.  Most gamers know that reality and a video game are completely different but there are surfacing reports that are aimed at blaming video games for this attack.  I find this pretty outrageous, clearly this was a terrorist attack and I highly doubt they were inspired by the likes of Call of Duty.  However, the claims do offer a bit of a debate.  In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, players are put into a mission that includes the killing of civilians as an objective.  In the mission “No Russian” the player goes on a terrorist rampage, helping to massacre civilians in a fictitious Moscow airport.

While I don’t personally believe that this is enough to connect the attack that happened at the airport to the game scene that is depicted in Call of Duty it is interesting point out the differences.  Obviously in the game play you are using a gun and not a suicide bomber which I believe is a clear difference.  If the terrorist had planned on emulating the game he would have attacked in ways reminiscent of those used in the game.  The game scene has long been controversial as such a popular game has included an act of terrorism as part of the plot.  However, people should realize that video games are not to blame here.  This was a planned terrorist attack by a terrorist group and the hunt should be on to find the group and bring them to justice.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Merz
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 23:44:43

    I agree with your viewpoint here, video games cannot be a source of blame for terrorist attacks, that would just be placing the blame on an object instead of finding a group or reason behind it. However, in question of the video games, is it really necessary for Call of Duty to go so far as to have you kill civilians, even though it is just a game, are there certain unsaid lines that should not be crossed for entertainment purposes?
    Just some food for thought.


  2. DavidBraid
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 11:25:01

    I agree with you 100%. Also, after hearing the guest speaker today these are exactly the types of games that would help prepare us for real-life scenarios.


  3. Alex Rich
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 20:38:39

    I think this is a very touchy subject and do believe that there is some legitimacy in blaming Call of Duty for the attack. First and foremost, I remember playing this level for the first time and being shocked. In the level you, and a group of other terrorist, march through a Russian airport with AK-47’s and hand grenades and are instructed to kill all civilians in sight. Regardless of whether or not this level inspired terrorist to go detonate a bomb in a Russian airport I believe this level crossed the line and promotes dark thoughts. I am all for first person shooter games and taking on the roles of various characters but why would you ever want to take on the roll of a terrorist murdering civilians? Moreover, what kind of good does giving gamers the opportunity to take on this role achieve? In terms of linking the attacks in the airport to the game I believe that Call Of Duty is somewhat responsible. Although both attacks were carried out in a different manner both attacks are aimed at murdering civilians and demonstrate that an airport would be an ideal setting for an attack (in terms of maximizing casualties). Moreover, it is common knowledge that video games are a means for gamers to express their emotions and are often credited with giving gamers ideas for activities that they carry out in real life. I know it may be a bit of a stretch, but what if the attacker from the recent attacks in Russia was a angry radical citizen who was looking for a channel to express his emotions and got the idea of attacking an airport from the game. Regardless, my point is that I do not think levels like “No Russian”, even if they are not the motivation behind an attack, are good for society and I would be all for removing them from first person shooter games.

    Word Count: 322


  4. caramol
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 22:09:04

    Everyone wants a scape-goat when things like this happen. The same thing happened during the times of Columbine and also with the recent shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. When something terrible and tragic happens, people always point to a scape-goat whether it’s the democrats, republicans, videogames, MTV, rap, or whatever. It’s a disservice to the victims and to society in general. Tragedies like this are the fault of the perpetrators and the perpetrators alone.


  5. barryfishman
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 07:06:40

    Full disclosure: I have not played this game. But I read earlier about this attack scene, and that it presents the user with a dilemma: you are working undercover to infiltrate the terrorist group, and if you choose not to participate in the attack, you risk revealing yourself, and possibly being unable to stop even worse attacks in the future. It’s a moral (and very real-world) and policy dilemma. Do you participate in or allow one evil act in order to stop more and bigger evil acts? (I can’t say whether the way I’ve described this is really what transpires in the game… can anyone else?)

    For the record – my own stance is that videogames/movies/tv/books/music don’t *cause* violence in society, they reflect it.


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