In light of this weekends tragic events in Norway, the media has once again turned its attentions to violent videogames and their involvement in such atrocities. It's been reported that Anders Behring Breivik, who before dressing up as a police officer and opening fire on a youth camp on the Norwegian island of Utoeya set off a car-bomb in the capital Oslo, was an avid gamer who used Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 for "training-simulation" purposes. However, Infinity Ward have come out in defense of their billion-dollar franchise, claiming they see no connection between MW3's global-strewn war and the rest of the world's conflicts.
"I'm not too worried about it because the conflict that's raging in Modern Warfare 3 is very different from any real life scenario," Infinity Ward's Rob Bowling told MS Xbox World. The studio has already been embroiled in media controversy before for the infamous 'No Russian' level. The scene, where you join a group of terrorists who open fire on an airport full of helpless civilians, was the subject of furious worldwide debate. And with events still unfolding in Norway, MW3's global conflict - encompassing Washington, London, Paris and more - is once again drawn into the equation.
"This is a war," Bowling said, "a full on Russian military invasion of the entire US that started in Modern Warfare 2." Footage so far shows missiles pounding Washington's financial district, buildings falling to the ground in dramatic fashion, echoing America's greatest tragedy of 9/11. According to Bowling, however, MW3's conflict is far more bombastic and obviously fictional.
"This is full on military fighting through the streets, and I think that's going to be very clear once people play it and get hands on to see what kind of conflict it is." I think it's unfair to draw videogames into the Norway tragedy, but the media wouldn't ever miss an opportunity to do so. Whether Breivik played games or not isn't totally relevant. What is relevant is why he decided to blow up a car outside parliamentary buildings, killing half a dozen, before setting off to a secluded island packed to kill almost a hundred children. How it happened, and how it was allowed to happen, is more important than whether Breivik laid hands on Modern Warfare 2. [MS Xbox World]