Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Video games foreshadow US Russian tensions?

It may seem odd that two popular third person shooter video games Modern Warfare 3 released in 2011 and Ghost Recon Future Soldier released in 2012, appear to have foreshadowed the current tensions and fears between Russia and United States. It also foretold protesters and government overthrow experienced by Ukraine. G.R. Future Soldier, originally based on novels written by the legendary counter terrorism espionage author Tom Clancy, imagines a world war between the United States and Russia in the near future featuring special forces intervening in major conflicts around the world to counter the Russian military. The most telling level in the game is titled ironically, "Invisible Bear" nicknamed for the Russian bear symbol. Invisible Bear features an eerily similar scenario to the events in Kiev and Ukraine in which a massive hundred thousand strong protesters demand the overthrow of the Russian government under the fictional President Volodin whose government is equally threatened by a rogue rebel forces advancing on the Russian capital Moscow. Meanwhile American special forces land in the rooftops above the crowd first shooting Russian snipers crisscrossing the roofs before landing into the middle of the tense atmosphere of Moscow's protests battling the Russian military. The level ends predictably enough, the country's future is left in the hands of protesters and the American special forces' hand in aiding protesters is quickly overlooked. The media commentary on Democracy promotion in Russia is uncanny. Popular culture often tends to mimicking reality determined by the artists and authors' creativity.

Ghost Recon Future Soldier Level "Invisible Bear" sees American special forces battling Russian troops in a middle of a large Moscow protest demanding the fall of Russian government

Ghosts rescue Russian President Volodin from a military president in the level, "Gallant Thief"

In the hugely popular video game Modern Warfare 3 part of the Call of Duty franchise, the story follows similar themes of Future Soldier with the exception that the Russian President Boris Vorshevsky is a neutral character while th Russian military and antagonistic Makarov are the main threat to humanity. Both Makarov and the Russian military are painted as soulless and the personification of evil capable of detonating nuclear weapons playing on the old Cold War fears of nuclear holocaust. Throughout the story, a team of Delta force members crisscross Europe racing to stop the Russian Army controlled by ultra nationalist who had overthrown the liberal Vorshevsky and his government from destroying the world quite literally with nuclear weapons. At the same time Delta team must rescue the President and his daughter Alena taken hostage by the ultra nationalist military. The MW2 its predecessor became notorious for its infamous opening scene "No Russian" level where the player takes control of Makarov and his terrorist group who open fire on a crowd of hundreds of innocent people at Moscow's main international airport. The scene was banned in Russia and stirred up controversy in the US and Europe given the strong subject matter.

No Russian level Modern Warfare 2

Yuri and Makarov's story in MW3 explaining Makarov's life work on raining destruction upon the world

Battlefield 3 another game in which Iran is linked up as equally threatening to world security as much as Russia. Here Russians aid in helping to halt possible nuclear war carried out by an inept lone wolf terrorist named Solomon like Makarov who is bent on bring the world to the bring of destruction.

Battlefield 3 Paris scene gameplay. 

The opening conversation sets the town for the rest of level

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