On Tuesday, the team behind the new game Modern Warfare finally released the story trailer which has raised quite a few questions. The game is a Military story in which we will get to see British and American forces teaming up with a Middle Eastern militant group to take down a dangerous terrorist organization.
Along with this “Original” narrative, the developer company Infinity Ward has also added a new character in the midst of Call of Duty universe named Farah Karim. She is the same woman who survives a chemical attack on her village at the start of the game. And the same woman who watches her father getting murdered by a Russian soldier in her own home.
Now she is the face of an army and leads in retaliation of the terrorist group to avenge her village and her family. The sad but powerful reality of her character is that she shares the same country as the terrorist organization the brits and yanks are trying to take down.
Except that the country is not real and it’s a make-believe place called Urzikstan.
This incident with CoD also reminds me of the Medal of Honor franchise. Remember that installation where the battle takes place in Afghanistan? I am sure you do because that title was a cult hit back in its time. We are talking about the 2010 release of the game.
Anyhow, just before the launch phase, EA declared that the opposing faction’s name was ‘Taliban’. This infuriated not only a lot of MOHA fans, but also people in the White House, the Army and other communities. EA realised their mistake and changed the name to a generic term: ‘Opposing Faction’. However, it didn’t take long for the game’s sales to take a huge dip.
There were some other factors too that led to MOHA’s slow death, but EA did Eff up on that one in 2010. This is one of the main reasons why CoD Modern Warfare is setup in a fictional world – that’s real, but not actually “real”.
Using made-up names to protect the sentiments of the affected communities has been a common strategy for a lot of films and television for a while now. This is the reason why a lot of world war action movies have enemy combatants turned into very unflattering caricatures so that at no point in the story the viewers feel any kind of emotions for them.
But modern warfare wants to do things a little bit different with their new game. At E3 this year, the team behind the game made it clear that they actually want their gamers to have empathy for combatants on both sides of the battle line.
This will make the players get a real sense of the narrative from both sides of the aisle and see the world through the eyes of the people actually involved in the conflict and not through stories. And yet the narrative team chose to maintain the status quo on a single point where they separated the enemy by denying them a real country.
We are obviously talking about the brits and yanks teaming up to fight the terrorist organization present in Farah’s country, but when it came to naming the said country, the team went with a fictional title. So, while the western powers get to fight with a flag of their country on their shoulders, the Middle Eastern players aren’t provided the same extravagance.
Well, this question was stressed upon by reports at E3 while talking to the team of Modern warfare who had a complex explanation at hand.
They made it clear that the Americans and the British had been recognized in their game because they are the most sought out countries to attack when it comes to terrorism, so there wasn’t an issue to name them accordingly “as always”.
But the Middle Eastern conflict is spread over such a long list of countries, that as artists, they weren’t quite at liberty to name the country they had focused the story on, because without knowing the full history and politics of the country, they didn’t want to invoke any criticism that some previous games had received regarding the Taliban.
When they were asked that why they are trying to change the status quo and want people to feel empathy for both sides of the battlefield, they said that it was a time that we realized that the people of the middle east had suffered from these terrorist organizations the most. And while the western civilization fears these terrorists, the people living under their terrorist regime are suffering from that very terrorism every single day.
And that’s where the character of Farah comes in, to make the gamers understand the resident aspect of that country and how much have the people suffered from these terrorists for so long which has to stop.