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Does a Pro-War Game Like Modern Warfare 3 Belong in the 2023 Political Landscape?

With the current wars around the world, do games like Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 have a place?


  • Real world wars at large, controversial political movements and more get brought up with every big FPS release. Should they be treated purely as entertainment?
  • Can games, like films and books, be used as a catalyst for change?
  • A divisive issue for sure, with fans on both sides of the argument thinking they're right.

Modern Warfare 3 begins to reach the hands of players who enter the campaign full of military tactical combat missions, and this can be a little uncomfortable for those tuned in to the world’s news.

Last year, the invasion of Ukraine implemented by Russian troops already influenced the launches and strategies of companies in the gaming industry, and now, the Israel-Hamas war influences this and other issues across the planet in the same way. We do not want to diminish the importance of the human lives involved in the conflict, just discuss how something as small as a video game can be influenced by political movements like these.

The Political Conflicts of 2023 Influence the Reception of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, But Should a Game About War Be Released in Today’s Times?

Modern Warfare 3
What does the release of MW3 show us about gaming’s relationship with global politics?

When important events like these conflicts shake the world, portrayals of wars and the like can seem insensitive and even partial depending on the content. With that, the recently released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 arrives with a campaign that inevitably brings these same themes and can easily sound like a disconcerting anachronism.

By dealing with sensitive subjects like this in a way that merely entertains the player and does not wisely discuss such ethically charged topics, Activision and other products find themselves in a complicated situation.

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The game developers are not to blame for making a game that pleases its buyers through entertainment, after all, that is the ultimate goal of any video game. But it must also be considered that when dealing with issues such as political-military conflicts, history should look at where it is going and discuss it seriously and ethically. If it is done in any way as just another product, there is a risk of it becoming a completely tasteless work that will displease many of its potential consumers.

What Does Each Type Of Player Think About Shooting Games During Times Of War?

Modern Warfare 3
There are a variety of opinions on this subject, what is yours?

But what matters to Activision with Modern Warfare 3 and other companies with their similarly themed media products is how much the public can shy away from war entertainment when the world is like this. Those who are more aware of the news and sensitive to the terrible events they witness on the news tend not to prefer to consume something about this subject as entertainment since it would cause discomfort when reminded.

It turns out that not all consumers are like this, some, and unfortunately, perhaps the majority, are alienated or choose to ignore the news of the current world, whether this is justified for the benefit of each person’s mental health or just because they prefer ignorance. So, these people may not bother with a war game during war times and will go after having fun with a classic and comfortable first-person shooter game.


Even more unfortunate examples are on the other side of the spectrum with players who for some sadistic reason worship acts of war, both in the real world and on the virtual battlefields where they vent their deranged-minded rage. But leaving these terrible examples aside, how could the Call of Duty franchise and other shooting games continue to release and at the same time avoid comparisons with such troubled topics?

How Call Of Duty And Other Series Can Behave In These Moments?

Modern Warfare 3
What can companies do to resolve this misunderstanding?

Before Modern Warfare 3, the Call of Duty franchise was already set in futuristic and historical scenarios, which are ways of distancing itself from current affairs but which were already used yesterday and may sound repetitive if they return as the next titles in the series.

Perhaps the best path is this, completely change your themes and gameplay, wait a while for everything to cool down, and launch something new or face the issue head-on with careful reflection.

By going back or forward in time with historical or hypothetical wars, the franchise could deal with relevant discussions or completely avoid current themes. Using robots or aliens, for example, may or may not address sensitive issues such as real-world conflicts. It also doesn’t mean that Call of Duty could benefit, at least for a while, from a different style, which is still a first-person shooter like a spy or police scenario, for example.

Doing this or waiting some time until a future release would be interesting strategies due to the criticized repetitiveness of the franchise with its titles, even if they have already tried to vary their temporal settings. Finally, a last possible strategy would be to comment on problematic issues sensitively, taking care of possible bias and compassion for the victims of real events.

What’s Different from Modern Warfare 3 From Real Conflicts and Is It Possible to Differentiate Them?

Modern Warfare 3
Are games really that similar to reality?

Modern Warfare 3 brings the player’s vision to a cast of international super soldiers who form Task Force 141, a team armed from head to toe with the latest technologies. Night vision goggles, grapnels, and rifles with thermal filters take the accessories to a more fictional level in this already cinematic-stylized campaign. And even as the name suggests, the game’s scenarios don’t exactly resemble the ones we currently see every day in the news.

Call of Duty has always remained behind the scenes using fictional locations, a Hollywood style, and a focus on battle technologies, more similar to spy films like James Bond, Mission: Impossible, and others. The story of Modern Warfare 3 begins with a prison escape and, as always, it doesn’t tell such a deep narrative, but it entertains those who like it with its classic action sequences in different scenarios

From a frozen landscape to a missile base in the hills, to a luxury skyscraper, Modern Warfare 3 and its counterparts bring great action set pieces. But as much as it may seem, fidelity remains in appearance because delving into the details of a real war, in addition to bringing discomfort with today’s political scenario, loses the cinematic value of the campaign of a game like this.

How Can Call Of Duty Comment On Current Affairs In The Right Way?

Modern Warfare 3
Call of Duty should comment on real-world issues.

Often, games and other media products, rather than avoiding sensitive topics, can confront the issue head-on and discuss important issues in a way that puts the spotlight on the people who deserve the public’s attention. Just as director George Lucas did (and admitted) with the Star Wars saga, the films serve as a reflection of the Vietnam War, where the Imperials represent the American army.


In this way, Call of Duty could, not in Modern Warfare 3 which is being released now and was developed even earlier, approach its war narrative with fictional mirrors that are not necessarily partial but that debate current events in a way that is important to the public. and that avoids the embarrassment of launching a war game at the same time as a real conflict takes place.

In conclusion, a future approach to Call of Duty aimed at integrating reflections on current events may be the most transparent solution to this embarrassing mess.

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Written by Martin

Martin Forte is a gaming author. He is always interacting with something from pop culture, especially if it involves comics, and writing on the keyboard or in his head, from news and lists to scripts and stories. He's an old-fashioned nerd born in modern times, but also far from a conservative.