Anger over computer game's echoes of London attacks

By Rob Sharp

The game shows scenes of widespread carnage in the London Underground. Photo / Thinkstock
The game shows scenes of widespread carnage in the London Underground. Photo / Thinkstock

British censors have approved a computer game containing scenes of widespread carnage on the London Underground, where users have the option to kill civilian passengers, despite the release receiving vilification this year for its similarity to the 2005 terror attacks on the capital.

The British Board of Film Classification has given Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which goes on sale today, an "18" certificate, partly because of its bloody battles set in familiar London settings, but has refrained from restricting any of its content.

However, the board says the game - which involves chasing armed mercenaries through London Underground train carriages - establishes a context which may be "unsettling" and "upsetting". When news of the game's content leaked it was panned by Mediawatch UK for being in "incredibly poor taste".

Bloggers have already reacted against a teaser trailer released last week by the game's creators, which include gaming publisher Activision, stating it is "heavy-handed" and "gratuitous".

The short film shows a parked truck full of explosives blowing up next to a mother and child.

"It's a somewhat heavy-handed approach to get some shock value out of the game's story," said Pete Davison, contributing editor at gaming website GamePro.com.

Although the organisation says the game's storyline is far removed from real events, one level is set in London in which soldiers chase Russian mercenaries through the Underground.

At one stage it is possible for civilian passengers to be shot.

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