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Modern Warfare 3 and the art of violence

Modern Warfare 3 and the art of violence

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 on Al Jazeera

Apparently, it’s such a big deal, that international media is discussing it. Tonight I got to go on the air live to talk about the launch of MW3 for Al Jazeera English. Here’s the broadcast:

The time delays were brutal; my apologies to the reporter for interrupting her.

The art of war

To further clarify my point that I make in this interview: Yes, Modern Warfare 3 is a violent video game. It’s about war. It’s extremely realistic. However, violent video games have just as much a place in the world of artistic expression as any other form of media. Playwrights and poets have been sharing violence with us for as long as the human condition has included these themes. Paintings, songs, and movies have all explored themes of violence, war, fear, and terror.

The reporter asked me why I felt people were drawn to these themes in video gaming; while it’s true that video gaming is a particular engaging and compelling form of art, people are still drawn to these themes when they’re executed professionally in other mediums as well. There have been some extremely acclaimed war movies, for example. Sun Tzu wrote a book about war that you may have heard of. War is a basic part of human existence; sadly, to be sure, but undeniably.

Video games about war bring this theme to a generation of people that prefer to engage with and experience their art in an interactive format. Extremely realistic war games such as Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty allow consumers to experience these things in new ways—but more importantly they allow artists to express themselves in new ways. This expression, in turn, further advances human understanding of these themes.

In the launch trailer, they show a man getting shot in the head. While the media likes to fix on this image as one of extreme violence, what they’re not talking about is the fact that the feelings that the player experiences during these types of scenes are truly personal and subjective.

Which, after all, is the goal of any form of art.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is available tomorrow on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

Comments

  1. Cory Russell Really great job on the interview. You handled yourself well
  2. Winfrey
    Winfrey Al Jazeera had a lack of total douchebag "expert" who actually was a worthless waste of time as the counterpoint.

    CLEARLY NOT FAIR AND BALANCED

    Good job as usual Brian.
  3. TheLostSwede
    TheLostSwede Very well done Brian!
  4. timuchan
    timuchan Grats man! Glad to see you on a high quality news program like this!! ^_^
  5. Shauna Nicholson Nice work, as usual, Brian. How awesome is it you're bringing Detroit to the world by discussing something you love?

    Hell yes.
  6. jared
    jared Bravo Brian, bravo.
  7. Thrax
    Thrax Maybe this is your calling.
  8. Starman
    Starman I didn't know the news could be good. Well done, Brian!
  9. ardichoke
    ardichoke primesuspect - official unofficial pundit for the video game culture.

    I have to ask though, why was your top button buttoned when you weren't wearing a tie? It's my understanding that doing so is a fashion no-no (also, IMO, it just plain looks silly).
  10. Butters
    Butters
    ardichoke wrote:
    I have to ask though, why was your top button buttoned when you weren't wearing a tie? It's my understanding that doing so is a fashion no-no (also, IMO, it just plain looks silly).

    I agree. Brian maybe pro when it comes to the violence of art and video games in education but a n00b when it comes to fashion.
  11. Basil
    Basil You should change your user title to "As seen on TV" :p
  12. SpencerForHire
    SpencerForHire So much happier with this video... however I am concerned... It seems we are completely avoiding one very important topic: Ping Pong. Is ping pong too violent?
  13. AlexDeGruven
    AlexDeGruven Great job on this one. It was nice to see real questions, rather than loaded "Have you stopped beating your wife?" types like you got on Fox.

    As to the topic addressed, I think there are really two draws to games like this (and by games like this, I mean high-quality, high production-value, well thought-out games like MW(n), the Battlefield series, etc): 1. It's cathartic. Like you said in the interview; there's so much going on in the world, it gives people a chance to experience (however limited) some of it. 2. People appreciate well-produced art. Games like this work very hard to give an immersive, realistic, and downright cinematic experience.

    I hope other news organizations start realizing that people like you (and this community) have opinions worth hearing. Plus it's great to be able to say "I know that guy".
  14. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster I want to commission an official Primesuspect action figure with bullshit deflector action!

    Nicely done.
  15. primesuspect
    primesuspect
    I want to commission an official Primesuspect action figure with bullshit deflector action!

    Nicely done.

    It will have to be poorly dressed and have a three-mile-stare :p
  16. Jokke
    Jokke Oh my, I've been so racist. I thought Al Jazeera only showed beheadings and other cruel things...
  17. Basil
    Basil On a serious note, Al Jazeera English is actually a pretty good news channel (and free).
  18. TheAlertHusky Nice one dude! I would've completely clammed up and probably wouldn't be able to talk very well eg stumbling over my own words and junk. Plus my Canadian Accent would've reared its head.
    It will have to be poorly dressed and have a three-mile-stare
    Naww dude it's just the camera.
  19. Bandrik
    Bandrik Fantastic interview, Brian. Sure was a refreshing change of atmosphere from HERP DERP PING PONG FOX NEWS.

    You've said it yourself to me that Al Jazeera was a respectable global media network. I now see that to be true. I am impressed.

    I was originally planning on picking up MW3 several months after its release date... but maybe...
  20. Shorty
    Shorty Really good. This is definitely something I could see you doing more of fella! :)
  21. Annes
    Annes How in the hell did so many people think Al Jazeera was not a fantastic media network? It's been that way for over a decade and it's praises are sung all over the internet. It's one of the least-biased, has great international coverage, and reports on things other than the typical "check out this squirrel on a waterski!" fluff.

    Is it the name?
  22. CB
    CB
    Annes wrote:

    Is it the name?

    yes.
  23. primesuspect
    primesuspect Yeah, a lot of people think the name automatically means "TURRIST". Welcome to middle america.
  24. CrazyJoe
    CrazyJoe I would have to put myself in the camp with those who were surprised on how good of an actual news program Al Jazeera English put out there. Definitely alot less biased than most of the US based networks. It was my first time watching Al Jazeera and I was pleasantly surprised.
  25. Ilriyas
    Ilriyas Think you did really well in that interview mate! I can name a number of people (Myself included) that would've broken into a nervous, speechless sweat just being on tv in the first place.

    That said on the topic of the actual game it seems, at least to myself that it hasn't changed since COD4, the story may be worth a rent or something but unless I find something (Or someone can show me something) absolutely ground-breaking in comparison to the other games I don't think CODMW3 will ever appear on my 'to buy' list.
  26. Jokke
    Jokke
    Welcome to middle america.

    Not just 'Merica.
  27. primesuspect
    primesuspect Welcome to Northern Norway?
  28. Jokke
    Jokke Kinda like Texas, but without the sun and the heat.
  29. Bandrik
    Bandrik
    Jokke wrote:
    Kinda like Texas, but without the sun and the heat.

    Don't mess with <strike>Texas</strike> Norway. They'll totally go viking on yer ass.

    Now I want to see a version of Yosemite Sam, but donning a stereotypical viking hat instead of his trademark cowboy hat.

    Tried to google search for it, but found Spartan Sam instead. Oh well.

    Vtgsz.jpg
  30. AlexDeGruven
    AlexDeGruven
    Bandrik wrote:
    Don't mess with <strike>Texas</strike> Norway. They'll totally go viking on yer ass.

    Now I want to see a version of Yosemite Sam, but donning a stereotypical viking hat instead of his trademark cowboy hat.

    Tried to google search for it, but found Spartan Sam instead. Oh well.

    Vtgsz.jpg

    That's because it was Elmer Fudd in "What's Opera, Doc?" with his spear and magic helmet:

    opera_.jpg
  31. primesuspect
    primesuspect Spear and magic helmet?
  32. Ryder
  33. AlexDeGruven
    AlexDeGruven More accurately: Speaw and Magic Hewmet.
  34. Bandrik
    Bandrik I'd love to have a Magic Hewmet...

    Maybe it would protect me from all the intimidating Internet Tough Guys.
  35. Canti
    Canti
    Annes wrote:
    It's one of the least-biased, has great international coverage, and reports on things other than the typical "check out this squirrel on a waterski!" fluff.

    Fixed
  36. Mt_Goat
    Mt_Goat
    Canti wrote:
    Quoting Annes

    It's one of the least-biased, has great international coverage, and reports on things other than the typical "check out this squirrel on a waterski!" fluff.
    Fixed

    At least it wasn't Wisconsin.


    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/QHv04i3ErFw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  37. steve it is nice to see there questions and info on the game that all news does not cover. comparing there income for a week to a nations for a full year is something mass media in America would never cover. it was a well done interview, you made some great points. The case could be made that all types of media that have war and killing are bad including books tv movies and video games.

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