So you thought Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – a game set in a fictional modern warfare scenario, which takes inspiration from real world conflicts and is told with more than a slight lean towards realism – was political? More fool you, says developer Infinity Ward.
Speaking with Game Informer in the usual wave of pre-release hype, Jacob Minkoff – campaign gameplay director – and Taylor Kurosaki – studio narrative director – claim Modern Warfare is “not a political game,” with Minkoff saying the term “doesn’t mean anything.”
Minkoff almost immediately follows up by saying: “Do we touch topics that bear a resemblance to the geopolitics of the world we live in? Hell yeah, because that’s the subject matter of Modern Warfare.”
But remember kids – it’s not a political game, even if it covers topics related to and inspired by real world geopolitical situations. That’s just inspiration, nothing related to politics at all, no siree.
You can see the interview below, it’s absolutely bewildering, but not in the slightest bit surprising given the audience Activision wants to target with its long-running shoot-the-foreigner-‘em-up.
As contributor Holly Nielsen pointed out in the pages of Wireframe not too long ago – when Ubisoft was making similarly apolitical statements of intent about a game absolutely drenched in politics, The Division 2 – games have always been political. Some more so than others.
At the risk of editorialising, I’d say there needs to be a shift away from catering to this ‘we want politics out of our games’ lot, as it does nothing but harm discourse in and around games. They’re allowed to be political. Just let them be that.
Wireframe's apolitical issue 19 is out now.