Who were you during No Russians?

November 20th, 2009

For those of you that have played the Modern Warfare 2 airport mission No Russians, a couple questions. If you haven’t played it, minor spoilers ahead.


After learning the hard way that turning on the other terrorists would end the game, I begrudgingly followed along. Uncomfortable with the idea of gunning down innocents, I pretended to take part, firing into the air, deliberately missing, nonchalantly walking along with the rest of the gunmen… and for all the problems I have with Infinity Ward’s approach to the mission, that particular bit stuck me as kinda fascinating.

I’m sitting on my couch, playing a game where I pretend to be a soldier. The solider I’m pretending to be is himself pretending to be a terrorist, and while pretending to be the soldier who’s pretending to be the terrorist, I’m (the player, not the soldier) pretending to shoot airport passengers.

Why did I do that? Why did I make the choice to pretend to play along? Did I assume that the game would notice, that I’d be chided or disqualified for not sharing in the civilian slaughter? Why not just shoot the civilians then?

Question 1. When you play a game like Call of Duty, are you consciously taking on a role (Hi, I’m Soap MacTavish!), making your decisions based on what you believe he would (or should) do, with a distinct schism between you and the figure on the screen, or is the character you, regardless of the details, with all decision-making based on what you would do?

If your answer is a little bit of both, or it depends, how does character definition affect your approach? How much do you need to know, what has to be presented to you as the player, before the role you are playing is no longer you, but a Mr. Soap MacTavish (or PFC Joseph Allen) instead?

Question 2. When you played No Russians, did you play as the undercover operative, or did you play as you?

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind