How Modern Warfare smooths over the horrors of war

Hadir, how old are you?

Enlarge / Hadir, how old are you? (credit: Activision and Infinity Ward)

It’s not that “We need that truck” and “Find a gun” are unusual orders to be given in a video game. Certainly not in a Call of Duty video game. The series has always impelled players forward with extended drills of Sergeant Simon Says (“Man that mortar!” “Plant those charges!” “Take out that sniper!”). So normally, I would hop to it reflexively. I’ve called in airstrikes and breached into rooms of uncounted hostiles just because some grizzled green beret barked at me. It’s not that.

What strikes me when playing the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is that the directives are coming from someone who’s 10 years old, tops. He’s telling his sister (no older) to go kill a couple Russian soldiers and steal their truck.

I’m already familiar with these two as adults in the present, where they’re Hadir and Farah, ultracompetent freedom fighters for the nation of Urzikstan. But this is a flashback to what I’m to understand is their first brush with war, when occupying Russian forces gas their village and kill their father.

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Features – Ars Technica

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