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The following is entirely my opinion and in no way reflects the entirety of Game Informer. Also, my opinion is subject to change based on the temperature and how much cheese I've eaten.
The video game industry is no stranger to controversy. What's more, Infinity Ward is up to its knees in its own private kiddie pool of the stuff. First terrorist-themed footage was leaked, which caused an uproar about whether or not Infinity Ward handled the issue appropriately. Then, just as that fervor diminished, the Modern Warfare 2 team released a video with a questionable acronym. It's a satirical video about the liberal use of grenade abuse, with a fake organization accredited at the end of the video called Fight Against Grenade Spam. You're smart; you can figure out the anti-homosexual slander. The internet picked up the scent immediately and cried foul, but was the aggressive responsive called for?I'll be the first to admit that Infinity Ward's 'joke' was in poor taste. You can ask almost anyone I know -- there isn't a ton of stuff out there that offends me. This term, however, has always been up there on the top of my list of ignorant, belligerent words that I hate. However, I also believe that context goes a long way toward determining how traditionally offensive words are be received. I don't believe that the intention of the video was to offend anyone's sexual orientation, but given Infinity Ward's stature, it should have known better. When you're developing a game as high-profile as Modern Warfare 2, every action you perform is magnified.That being said, I don't believe the word used in the context of the video is glaringly homophobic or anti-gay. Robert Bowling asserts that the use of the term was a "social commentary joke," picking out the ridiculousness tied to the online gamer "stereotype." I'm willing to believe Bowling here, and don't believe that Infinity Ward was out to gay bash, but more out to mock "Xbox Live Kids."I do believe that Infinity Ward should have tread more carefully. They slipped up. I believe that everyone should be treated equally and fairly regarding sexuality, but raising a s---storm every time a bad word is used, regardless of who uses it, doesn't solve anything. Infinity Ward may have pulled the video, but that will never change that fact that it was made, or help anyone dissect why they think this language was offensive in that particular context. It's just a perpetuation of censorship.In an industry forced to fight censorship tooth and nail every step of the way, what good are we doing by complaining so earnestly about a stupid joke at the end of a viral video for new video game? Is this really where everyone's energy should be directed? Truly malicious things are said on Xbox Live on a regular basis which are written off as "just being the internet." Perhaps the persecutors of Infinity Ward could save their stones for the source of the problem.
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