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"No Russian" Revisited

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When Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released in 2009, a great deal of scrutiny and controversy was stirred up by the level "No Russian", in which Army Ranger turned CIA-Deep Cover Operative PFC. Joseph Allen is made to participate in Vladimir Makarov's horrific massacre at a Moscow airport. Arguably, the game intends you to kill innocent civilians, and then the law enforcement that tries to restore order afterwards, all leading up to when Makarov kills you, revealing that he knew your identity all along, framing you for being responsible for the massacre.

Pundits were quick to attack the level as sick and depraved, briefly reviving specters of the worst of the 1990s mass hysteria about FPS titles as murder simulators, training one to kill and desensitizing them. This especially happened when Anders Breivik used the Modern Warfare titles as a scapegoat for the horrific massacre he committed in Norway. For their part, Activision and Infinity Ward explained how players had the chance to skip the level (if they don't disable that option during initial setup), and there are no achievements, trophies or points for this level, and that the airport is not a multiplayer or online map. They also stated how it was meant to set the mood for the narrative to follow through the rest of the game. That said, even with the initial fires quickly doused out, there were still criticisms of the level. When Call of Duty titles began to include branching out and alternate methods of progressing through the levels, "No Russian" was faulted for not doing so, offering more ideas than one specific path the level has in mind.

For my part, I disabled the skip option when setting it up, because I feel that the level is vital and important to the experience. By skipping it, it feels quite incomplete. I don't receive any gratification or excitement when I play through the level, because I am still completely aware of what the situation is, and what I have to do. I look at it as something to grind through before getting back to the game proper, but a grinding through that is necessary.

In the aftermath of future tragedies and incredibly horrifying attacks like Paris, Orlando and Las Vegas, how does "No Russian" fare in this context? How has it aged?
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