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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Call of Duty and Hillary Clinton: Russophobia Abounds?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I think it's a cause→effect relationship here. And it's intellectually lazy and boring.

I always thought Call of Duty games released on Tuesdays in November, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (not to be confused with 2007's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered from 2016) released last Friday. It is a new game with, according to developer Infinity Ward's hype, an ambitious story.

You may remember that in 2013 for Call of Duty Ghosts and in 2014 for Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, KoopaTV had gimmick articles reacting to all of the cutscenes in those games. They didn't make for an engaging or memorable story, though that 2014 article did result in the “Hold X to Pay Respects” meme becoming popular throughout the Internet among console gamers. ...It's just PC gamers held F and outnumbered everyone.

But, yeah, a meme was all anyone got out of Call of Duty story before. How'd Infinity Ward do this time?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Metacritic user reviews PlayStation 4 PS4 Russia Russians
Well... they pissed off a lot of Russian bots.
But, hey, at least it's the #1 most discussed PS4 Game of 2019!
A swarm of Russians (be they real or robotic), many of whom are like this fellow and have never reviewed anything else on Metacritic in their history, have gone to 0-bomb Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for alleged Russophobia.

A bit of background is in order.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare largely takes place in the fictional country of Urzikstan, but features non-fictional things like the Central Intelligence Agency, the Arabic language, Islamic terrorist organisations beginning with “Al-”, and the Russian army (who are the main antagonists of the story, beyond the incident I'm about to describe).

The game's terrorist group, Al-Qatala (not to be confused with Al-Qaeda), is doing some nasty stuff in the cities. The player's group wants to run them out and chase them to the mountains, because that's where terrorists hang out when they're not in dead-end tunnels under their desert compounds. However, it's noted by Farah, a rebel leader who knows the area that the protagonist allies with, that there's only one road to the mountains. And here's she said:
“If they try to escape to the mountains, there is only one road—Tariq Almawt' the highway of death. The Russians bombed it during the invasion, killing the people trying to escape.”
Call of Duty Modern Warfare Farah highway of death Russians bombed it
Hey, no one's considering that Farah might just be an unreliable narrator.
You can't trust those rebel groups in the Middle East.

Then Farah goes back to discussing the mission instead of going more into the lore.

There is a historical non-fiction event back in the Gulf War called the Highway of Death (which in Arabic is also called tariq almawt, translating to Death Path) where the Americans (and Canadians, French, British) blew up a bunch of retreating Iraqi soldiers leaving Kuwait. It's generally considered...well, ethically questionable. The Russian review brigade appears to believe that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, in its fictional world, is referring to this historical event of the same name and general scenario (though I'll specify that in non-fiction, Highway of Death is a proper noun referring to a specific thing, while Farah's speech is written in lowercase) but blaming the Russians for it. The Russians (then known as the Soviets) weren't even involved in this incident in non-fiction until afterwards to help mediate the treaty, so they accuse Infinity Ward (and publisher Activision) of rewriting history with a “Russians are bad.” narrative while clearing America of wrongdoing.

Well, I certainly understand why the Russians (the non-fiction ones) would be upset. I'm sure they're used to being portrayed as videogame villains. It should be a point of national pride for them. Koopa Kingdom is certainly used to it, and I rather enthusiastically signed up for Team Villains when that was a Splatfest. But they might not be used to being portrayed as videogame villains being blamed for bad events that are legitimately not their fault.

I don't really think that it's a good reason to review-bomb the game. I mean, I'd give it a bad score too, though a little bit higher than a zero. At least the game functions. ...Sometimes.

I also don't think Infinity Ward was purposefully being malicious to Russians. Just very incompetent, as well as uninspired. The game takes place in a fictional country. Why does it deal with Russia? Shouldn't the role of Russia be another fictional country? They can look and talk just like Russians, but with another name. You know, look at Battalion Wars. Fictional countries, but it's obvious what the Tundran Territories are based off of. But they have fun with the stereotypes.

Infinity Ward should either choose between no fiction or all fiction, but doing this hybrid approach is the worst of every world.

Of course, I'm also the guy that published the videogame Soviet Missile Run, which portrays fictional events but with the Soviet Union (non-fiction country) as the antagonist. ...But I obviously did something right, because there's no swarm of upset Russians saying I portrayed them horrendously wrong. It's also a better game than Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

This begs this question: Where do you think Infinity Ward got the idea that they should have another “Russians are evil even to a fictional country” plot? Well, probably current events.

Which brings me to the second part of this article (no, it's not long enough) about presidential candidate has-been Hillary Clinton, who accused a female Democrat running for president of being a Russian agent, along with Green Party candidate Jill Stein in 2016.

Take your pick for whom Hillary Clinton could have possibly been talking about among: Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Marianne Williamson, or Tulsi Gabbard. ...Well, if you have been reading KoopaTV's coverage of the 2020 Democrat presidential primary debates so far, it's quite obvious Hillary is referring to Tulsi Gabbard, the anti-war candidate that also endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016 back when she was a rising star. (And to any Democrats reading this who think that Hillary Clinton was talking about one of the other female candidates, please tell me whom and why she'd be talking about them.)

Hillary Clinton says everyone she doesn't like is a Russian asset. Jill Stein. Tulsi Gabbard. President Donald John Trump. They're all Russians, all in cahoots to prevent her from having been president.

She probably thinks KoopaTV is an asset of the Russians, too. We certainly did our part to prevent Hillary from becoming president, including reminding the gaming community about how she tried to destroy the industry.

Of course, she offered no evidence for her claims regarding Tulsi Gabbard (a sitting member of Congress and American military veteran) being a Russian asset. She's just been saying the same stupidity for the past three years—CONSTANTLY and she won't ever shut up and go away—blaming Russia in a paranoid manner for her personal failure as a candidate. But almost all of the Democrat Party, except Tulsi Gabbard, has joined in over the past several years and repeated this Russophobic gibberish.

So, yes, I can totally see where Infinity Ward in the very Democrat-friendly videogame industry may have been inspired to portray Russia as the bad guy in their latest videogame. The highway of death part was totally on them, though. ...But I can also see where Infinity Ward would be inspired to make baseless and false accusations blaming the Russians for problems that warmongering Americans caused!

Ludwig obviously doesn't think it's okay that Infinity Ward is incompetent at story-telling or figures out their view of the world from listening to the likes of Hillary Clinton or the overwhelmingly-deranged Democrat Party. But it's also likely not a well-thought conspiracy against Russia. To clarify that last sentence, Hillary Clinton didn't cause the Gulf War, but she did cause the problem of her own loss in the presidential election and then has been falsely blaming Russia ever since. Similarly, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is falsely blaming Russia (in a non-fiction sense—in the canon storyline, who knows the truth?) for a problem caused by America and allies over the highway of death.

When you take this article and the article about Activision Blizzard not being as pro-China as they initially appear and wonder what Ludwig's up to, know that he enjoys being optimistic for the sake of being contrarian, and doesn't have a pro-Activision agenda.
Ludwig uses Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as an example of lazy settings in games.
Years later, many American politicians still want World War III with Russia.


  1. Joseph Welch must be rolling over in his grave knowing that the Red Scare has returned to claim more victims. Russia-gate is today's McCarthyism just with a different name.

    1. I disagree. Some of McCarthy's named people actually were legitimate, dangerous communists with a subversive relationship to the Soviet Union.

      By comparison, so far, nothing Hillary has said is true.


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