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Tue Nov 19, 2019, 02:44 AM

Call of Duty Accused of Promoting Anti-Russian Propaganda

Controversy over so-called "anti-Russian" propaganda in the popular video game reflects our current fake news society and a growing confusion over right paths, truth and accuracy.

Call of Duty is one of the most successful franchises in video game history, but there are currently calls to boycott its latest release due to the game’s depiction of military conflict. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019), released in October, accrued more than $600m in its opening weekend, more than double that of the record-breaking weekend had by the movie Joker. It has received backlash due to giving players the chance to use white phosphorus, a chemical weapon, and for its mishandling of global politics, especially its questionable depiction of Russia.

The controversy surrounds a scenario in the game called “Highway of Death”. The player, as an embedded CIA operative overlooking a Middle Eastern desert highway, is told how “The Russians bombed it … killing the people trying to escape”. The scenario resembles an incident in the 1990-1 Gulf War, also called the “Highway of Death”, when the United States and its allies attacked a large retreating Iraqi convoy on Highway 80 that resulted in mass casualties, and later, accusations against the American military for undue force.

But the game crucially places Russians, rather than Americans, as responsible for the killing. This allusion to a Russian-made atrocity has led to accusations against Activision, the game’s production company, for blatant Russophobia. In a predictable clash between an American developer and the Russian media, the game has been denounced by Russian journalists and gamers as pure US propaganda.

This is not the first time the Call of Duty series has provoked controversy. In 2009, an earlier version of the game featured a level called “No Russian” in which the player takes on the role of a CIA undercover agent, actively assisting a terrorist cell in a massacre of civilians at a Russian airport. Controversy does little to negatively impact sales, with avid gamers undeterred by the bad press.


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Reply Call of Duty Accused of Promoting Anti-Russian Propaganda (Original post)
JonLP24 Nov 2019 OP
stonecutter357 Nov 2019 #1
rownesheck Nov 2019 #2
JonLP24 Nov 2019 #4
JesterCS Dec 2019 #5
NeoGreen Nov 2019 #3
LessAspin Aug 2020 #6

Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Tue Nov 19, 2019, 06:28 AM

1. fuck putin and trump ...

Anti-Russian Propaganda

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Tue Nov 19, 2019, 08:16 AM

2. If it's anti Russian,

it's good enough for me.

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Response to rownesheck (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 20, 2019, 03:01 AM

4. The problem isn't Russia

It was the US that committed the Highway of Death. I believe information should be accurate especially the way production in games are.

As a veteran I think the US should own up to their own atrocities. Finally I don't have a problem with Russian people as they are not living under a Democracy.

Highway of Death

The Highway of Death (Arabic: طريق الموت‎ ṭarīq al-mawt) is a six-lane highway between Kuwait and Iraq, officially known as Highway 80. It runs from Kuwait City to the border town of Safwan in Iraq and then on to the Iraqi city of Basra. The road was used by Iraqi armored divisions for the 1990 Invasion of Kuwait. It was repaired after the Persian Gulf War and used by U.S. and British forces in the initial stages of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[5]

During the American led coalition offensive in the Persian Gulf War, American, Canadian, British and French aircraft and ground forces attacked retreating Iraqi military personnel attempting to leave Kuwait on the night of February 26–27, 1991, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of vehicles and the deaths of many of their occupants. Between 1,400 and 2,000 vehicles were hit or abandoned on the main Highway 80 north of Al Jahra.

The scenes of devastation on the road are some of the most recognizable images of the war, and it has been suggested that they were a factor in President George H. W. Bush's decision to declare a cessation of hostilities the next day.[6] Many Iraqi forces, however, successfully escaped across the Euphrates river, and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency estimated that upwards of 70,000 to 80,000 troops from defeated divisions in Kuwait might have fled into Basra, evading capture.[7]


I'd like to see a war game own up to the reality of war.

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 08:28 PM

5. In the end, it's a game

It's fiction. It has no requirement to be factually accurate

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Tue Nov 19, 2019, 10:59 AM

3. It is more Anti-Oligarch and/or Anti-Corruption, and therefore...

...Anti-Putin. It is not Anti-Russian.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2020, 09:16 PM

6. Ronald Reagan sends you to do war crimes...

The trailer features a discussion of codename “Perseus,” a supposed KGB spy (based on real-life Cold War events) that new character Russell Adler says “will shift the balance of the Cold War” if they don’t do something to stop the plot. But when discussion of the legality of the mission arises, that’s when we get into murky territory. “Every mission we go on is illegal,” protests fan-favorite Black Ops character Frank Woods, who says a lot of innocent people will perish if they don’t stop Perseus.

Thankfully, this is when the president shows up to give the final word. “We’re talking about preventing an attack on the free men and women of the world. Give Mr. Adler whatever he wants,” says Reagan upon entering the room and commenting that it was him, in fact, that approved the Black Ops crew’s prior missions. “Gentleman, you’ve been given a great task: protecting our very way of life from a great evil. There is no higher duty, there is no higher honor, and while few people will know of your struggles, rest assured the entire free world will benefit. I know you won’t fail us.”

It’s a good thing Reagan is here to reassure us, the players, that what we’re doing is in fact Good, or else Call of Duty fans everywhere might get the wrong impression about America’s role in geopolitical conflicts around the globe. Can’t have that happening!


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