Selling just over 14 million copies worldwide since its release in 2007 and having picked up countless awards within its field, the Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is now picking up the unlikeliest attention; acting as whipping boy for MPs who are bidding to gain more freedom in banning violent videogames. This comes afer Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik admits to using Modern Warfare as a way to “develop target acquisition” using “holographic” technology.

Their reasoning, I assume, is that Modern Warfare has a degree of realism and an underlying ability to incite horrific acts of terror such as those committed by Breivik on 22 July 2011, in which 77 people were killed. Long-standing critic of the videogames industry Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, is leading the bid, with the Breivik case a substantial piece of 'evidence' in Vaz's offensive. He's calling for the government to “provide for closer scrutiny of aggressive first-person shooter videogames” and reports that parliament “is concerned that PEGI as a classification system can only provide an age rating and not restrict ultra-violent content.”

Of course, this isn't the first time videogames have been somewhat of a scapegoat for the media, looking to blame something for a sizeable portion of society's ills. In 2004, Rockstar's questionable violent videogame Manhunt was linked to the murder of 14-year old Stefan Pakeerah, with murderer Warren Leblanc labelled as “obsessed” with the videogame by the victim's mother. More recently however, Valve's Counter-Strike was blamed for the race shootings in Malmö, Sweden by, again, Keith Vaz.

Breivik's mainfesto also describes how he'd often play World of Warcraft and Call of Duty to help him relax and for “training simulation”. On his use of holographic sights, Breivik explains how “If you are familiar with a holographic sight, it's built up in such a way that you could have given it to your grandmother and she would have been a super marksman.”

Richard Birkett

Source: The Telegraph

I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.