Russian media pins blame for suicide bombing on Call of Duty game

In what is becoming International Blame Videogames For Everything Day, sections of the Russian media have linked Monday’s terrorist attack at Domodedovo airport in Moscow to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The 2009 shooter famously featured a stage in which the player could gun down civilians in a Russian airport. The ‘No Russian’ level (video below) wasn’t the smartest thing Infinity Ward ever did with the Call of Duty franchise, but to idly pin the blame on a videogame is yet another example of lazy mainstream journalism where games are concerned.

Russia Today, a government-financed satellite channel, has featured a report that combines footage of the Domodedovo attack with scenes from Modern Warfare 2. According to the New York Times, the report was keen to emphasize that the game was developed by Americans, and included an interview with Fox News favourite and so-called terrorist expert Walid Phares. Here are his pearls of wisdom:

“I think those who have been radicalized already — let’s suppose in this case jihadists, Al Qaeda or [some] other kind — they look at the games and say these games will serve them to train.”

Yeah, right, as opposed to all the world’s openly available shooting ranges featuring real guns. So far, so monumentally stupid, but then the report tries to claim the real-life suicide bombing “mirrors” the video game’s scenario.

Watch the video of the game below, and it’s plain this is a complete fabrication. Whereas the game portrays a commando raid, witness reports from Domodedovo suggest something far different. The only coincidence here is that the videogame also features a Russian airport – an incredibly tenuous ‘link’.

[Via New York Times]