The Future is Here: Injectable Foam for the Battlefield

woundfoamGiven the advances in medical technology, it is quite surprising when it comes to gunshot wounds and battlefield injuries, old-world methods are still be used. For example, if a soldier is wounded in an extremity such as the the arm of leg, bandages and/or tourniquets should suffice. But for wounds that occur center mass, or at the junction of an extremity (neck, groin, or shoulder), stopping the flow of blood usually involves simply packing the wound with gauze.

However, in recent months, new and improved solutions have been developed. The first was the XStat, a new type of syringe that contains hundreds of injectable sponges that was developed by a former Special Ops medic and his Oregon-based startup, RevMedX. Similarly, former military and trauma surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital have been working on Wound Stasis Technology, an injectable foam that is fed into the stomach to stop internal bleeding.

xstat-combat-injury-treatment-injectable-spongesAnd now, a group of students from Johns Hopkins University are working on a hardening foam that can be injected directly into flesh wounds to stop the bleeding. Combining the best of both worlds, the concept involves using a plastic syringe that contains two liquids – polyol and a diisocyanatein – that form a polyurethane foam that expands to fill the wound cavity and then hardens.

This hardened foam not only seals the wound shut, but applies pressure to stop the bleeding. Additionally, while still in its liquid state, the foam is able to run deep and thoroughly into the cavity. This is important, as it’s often difficult to find the sources of blood loss in such injuries, and then apply clotting agents to them. And once the soldier is evacuated to a hospital, the foam is easily removed.

https://i2.wp.com/images.gizmag.com/gallery_lrg/woundfoam-1.jpgAs Sydney Rooney, the student team leader of the John Hopkins research team, said in an interview with Gizmag:

Since the wound will have to be debrided extensively anyway [have its damaged tissue removed], we are not anticipating any issue in that regard. We are still testing it so we don’t know the final answer, but our physicians aren’t anticipating for it to be a problem. Ideally, most of the block will be removed in one chunk.

When addressing the army’s Wound Stasis Technology, which is currently being developed with the help of DARPA, Rooney claimed that there system is different. Whereas the DARPA system is designed for internal bleeding, applying the same methodology to surface wounds would be impractical. Hence their particular brand of injectable foam, which expands to a degree to stop “junctional bleeds”.

DARPA-FoamOr as he explained it:

Their foam expands to a way larger size and more aggressively than many a junctional bleed permits. Since the stomach expands, their foam expands by 30 times and it doesn’t matter, whereas if you put it in, say, a junctional neck wound, it could apply too much pressure.

The Johns Hopkins device has so far been tested on flesh-simulating gel containing artificial blood vessels, with animal trials planned to take place next. By the time it comes to market, it will be well positioned alongside DARPA’s WST foam for treating battlefield wounds. It may come up against the XStat for treating flesh wounds, but room certainly exists from similar products given the sheer number of wounds on the battlefield.

And given the amount of gun-related violence in the United States and around the world, these inventions will certainly be welcomed by trauma surgeons and police forces once they trickle down to the civilian market. And in the meantime, be sure to check out this cool video from John Hopkins University, where Rooney and her team present their new invention:

Sources: gizmag.com, releases.jhu.edu

Zombie Warrior: Primary Weapons!

zombiegun3Welcome back prospective zombie-hunters. Today, we shall talk about outfitting your character with weapons! Sure, you’ve already had a gander at hand-to-hand items, but what about the heavy-hitting stuff? What about the main weapon in your arsenal that you specifically chose because it can splatter a zombie’s brain pan at over 500 meters? That’s the stuff of today’s selection, ranging from assault to shotguns, composite bows to sniper rifles, and machine guns to crossbows. You only get one, so choose wisely!

Assault Rifles/Heavy Guns:
AK-47:

AK-47Pros: As the most popular assault weapon the world, the AK-47 and its associated parts proved easily obtainable after the zombie apocalypse. In addition to having a good deal of stopping power and a good rate of fire, the extended mag affords the user a good 30 to 42 rounds of ammo. What’s more, this assault rifle is renowned for being easy to operate, strip down, and can be put through the ringer and still remain operational.

Cons: In terms of range and accuracy, the AK-47 is good, but not great. It’s effective range is roughly 400 meters, but it can only provide accuracy for the first 100 or so, making it a poor choice for long range sniping and precision fire. What’s more, the recoil can be a bit of a bugger, which is part the reason its accuracy is not the best.

M4A1 Carbine:
M4A1_2Pros:
The scaled-down model of the venerable M16, the M4 is favorite amongst servicemen because of its balance of accuracy, power, range. It’s 30 round mag provides a good supply of ammo, and it can be used to snipe targets at long range (500 meters) as easily as mow them down up close. What’s more, its shortened stock makes it far more portable than most assault rifles.

Cons: While the M4 is easier to use than its predecessor, it still suffers from some of the problems that plagued it. It’s complex design can be difficult to maintain in rough and dirty conditions, which zombie-hunters can routinely expect. It’s power is also somewhat limited, compared to heavier, larger caliber weapons. The key is to keep it clean, and all should be well.

MP5:
MP5Pros: Designed with law enforcement and special forces in mind, the MP5 is a very balanced weapon, combining a high-caliber 9mm bullet, good ammo capacity (30 rounds), and an effective range in a light, compact package. It’s rate of fire, which can be switched from semi-auto to full, also makes it a good weapon for both precision fire and moving at close range.

Cons: The most obvious drawback of this weapon, compared to other rifles, is its range. Given the small jacket size of the bullet and limited muzzle length, it can hit targets at 100 meters away with accuracy, a fraction of what a high-powered assault rifle can do. This also means its stopping power is confined to close range, and cannot be relied on to snipe at anything in the far distance.

SAW:
M249_SAWPros:
The Squad Automatic Weapon was designed with fire-power and mobility in mind. With a rate of fire commensurate with most heavy machine-guns, a fifty round drum, and a relatively light frame, the SAW boasts a lot of killing power without being too tricky to get around. And though a zombie-hunter would be tempted to let loose at close range with one of these, it also has an effective range of 800 meter for precision fire and a total range of 3,600 meters, making it a good long-range weapon as well.

Cons: Naturally, all of this comes with its share of downsides. Though it it light for a machine gun, its overall weight is a bit of an issue, not to mention the weight of carrying additional drum mags. And combined with the recoil provided by a high rate of fire (a good 775 rounds a minute), this makes for a weapon that should only be carried by the “big man” of the group.

SCAR-L:
scar_l-1Pro:
Known as the Spec Ops Forces Combat Assault Rifle, this weapon was designed with versatility and reliability in mind. The standard model boasts a set of optical sights, a stock handle, and comes with either a 20 or 30 round magazine. It is highly stable, accurate, and has an effective range of 600 meters. The 20 round SCAR-H is a sniper variant, with increased accuracy and a 7.62mm round, while the SCAR-L is a 5.56mm assault rifle with an increased rate of fire.

Cons: As a special operations design, the SCAR is not common or easily procured. Those who have them will therefore have a hard time finding replacement parts when compared to the M4 or AK-47. And given the complexity of the design, maintenance can once again be a bit of a problem, especially for those not trained in their use and upkeep.

Shotguns:
KSG:
kel_techPros: A cutting-edge design, boasting duel feed magazines and compact dimensions, this weapon is well suited for anti-zombie defense! In total, it holds 14 rounds, as is operated by pump action. It’s two handles also ensure a relative degree of accuracy, making head shots a real possibility.

Cons: Unfortunately, the weapon has two distinct drawbacks. Though it holds a highly respectable 14 shots between its two magazines, the pump action slows it down somewhat. In addition, it must be reloaded manually, and between its two tubes, that can take some time. This demands that the user find cover after exhausting their supply of ammo, or spend only part of it before taking time to reload.

SPAS-12:
SPAS12Pros: Originally designed for sport shooting, this automatic shotgun has become a mainstay amongst police and military forces everywhere. Able to shoot in either the pump action or semi-automatic firing modes, it is renowned for versatility, reliability, and firepower. It’s eight round capacity is also highly respectable as ammo capacities go.

Cons: The only drawbacks, compared to other weapons in this category, is its limited ammo supply. Though accurate and not prone to mechanical problems, which can happen in automatic designs, the SPAS 12 can deplete its ammo quicker and then takes time to reload.

Striker:
StrikerPros: Manufactured in South Africa, the Striker Protecta was specifically designed to be a counter-insurgency, high capacity weapon with a hell of a lot of punch. It’s size and shape make it compact and portable, and its 12 round magazine give it enough capacity for a prolonged firefight.

Cons: In terms of drawbacks, the Strikers has a few. Though it has a good capacity, it has to be reloaded manually, which can take some time. In addition, even though its compact, the drum magazine can make it bulky and awkward to carry. However, it can make up for this since it doesn’t require additional magazines, just a simple ammo belt, in order to be reloaded.

USAS-12:
USAS-12Pros: Combining the familiar profile of an assault rifle with the concept of a shotgun, the USAS-12 also manages to combine a high capacity with a lot of firepower! The standard box magazine can hold 10 shots, but the drum magazine gives it a robust twenty. However, this is balanced by the fact that the ten can be reloaded by simply slamming a new box into place, whereas the twenty must be reloaded manually.

Cons: The only potential drawback of this weapon is its rate of fire. In addition to being semi-automatic, the gunner does not need to pull the trigger multiple times to get multiple shots off. This can cause have a saturation effect, but can also waist ammo. Remember, zombies hunt in packs, so saturation is only useful in real close quarters.

Sniper Rifles:
Barrett M82:

barrett_82a1_1Pros: Where to begin? An effective range of 1800 meters, a ten round detachable magazine, and semi-automatic fire. And did I forget to mention a .50 cal slug? Yes, the M82 is a highly effective zombie-killer, and not just because a single shot will take a zombie’s head clean off. It’s long range, built-in sights, and high-capacity, semi-automatic fire make it an all around effective zombie-killer. Aim for one and watch three more behind it fall with a single shot!

Cons: Right off the bat, there’s the issue of recoil. This rifle packs a hell of a punch and repeated fire can be a bit inaccurate because of it. What’s more, the high muzzle velocity and size of the slug makes for a loud bang, so a single shot will give your positions away and attract attention.

Dragunov:
dragunov-sniper-rifle-11886796

Pros: There’s something to be said for a weapon that merges several good aspects of an assault rifle with the accuracy and stability of a sniper rifle. A ten box mag, high stability, an effective range of 800 meters, semi-automatic fire and portability make the Dragunov a fitting weapon for the sniper in your zombie-hunting team. And like the AK-47 on which it’s design is based, its also rugged and reliable in the field.

Cons: Unfortunately, this weapon also marries some of the lesser aspects of the AK-47 to its design. Compared to other sniper rifles, this weapon is somewhat lacking in accuracy, due in large part to the relative recoil of the weapon. Repeated shots on target can be a challenge because of this.

M40:
m40Pros: When it comes to accuracy and stability, the M40 is virtually unbeatable, hence why the US Marines continue to use the design to outfit their snipers. With an effective range of 900 meters, a ten round capacity, simplicity of design and pinpoint accuracy, it’s a faithful and reliable weapon to have in the field.

Cons: As a bolt action, this rifle is slow where repeat-fire comes into play. After each shot, the firer must go then make four moves in order to chamber another round, which be a hassle when dealing with approaching hordes.

SG 550:

sg550

Pros: A variation on the Swiss-designed SG 550 assault rifle, the sniper variant has many advantages over other rifles. For one, it is highly ergonomic, featuring a folding stock with a special cheek rest for portability and comfortable firing. The recoil is also reduced, making for greater accuracy, and the twenty round mag and semi-automatic fire give it plenty of punch.

Cons: The downside to this weapon is the range, which gets up to a comparatively meager 400 meters. It’s a good mid or close-range sniper rifle, but ineffective where long distances are concerned.

Special Weapons:
Composite Bow:
Pros:
In times of zombie apocalypse, simple weapons are often the most effective. In the case of a composite bow, a single well placed shot to the head or eye socket will take out a zombie, and the fact that it makes virtually no noise is a plus. And given the power of the composite, most shots are likely to do as much damage as a bullet.

Cons: Naturally, ammo capacity is limited compared to a rifle, as is effective range. While an experienced bower can hit a target at several dozen meters, the time it takes to reload between shots presents a challenge for anyone who is not highly experienced.

Crossbow:
Pros:
Another traditional weapon which is ideally suited to post-apocalyptic zombie-smashing. The crossbow has all the same benefits of the composite bow, but is lighter in weight and easier to aim. Once again, a single shot is as effective as a bullet, and the lack of noise ensures a degree of stealth not afforded with most firearms.

Cons: Again, range and rate of fire are compromised for the sake of simplicity and stealth. Also, reloading takes time and ammo capacity is limited, even if this is offset by the fact that arrows can be retrieved. Once again, a user must pick their engagements and get in close to their targets to be effective.

Are you ready? Pick your weapon, and make sure its a choice you’re prepared to stand behind. Because once that horde comes-a-knocking, there will be no time for swapping and backsies!

COD: Modern Warfare 2

Welcome back to my ongoing series of video game reviews! Today, picking up from where I left off last time, is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Having just completed the entire series, I felt it was time to pay tribute to this series and tackle all that was right and wrong with it.

With COD: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward essentially established a new standard of online gaming and first person shooters. Combining the best in AI’s, graphics, and gaming platforms, this game also had the honor of being the most high-profile “modern” first-person shooter of all time.

Prior to this, all the big name FPSs were either set in WWII or in the future, being either based in historical recreations or science fiction. Hence what was so interesting about this game, it incorporated up-to-date weaponry, tactics, and a storyline that boasted a great deal of socio-political speculation.

And much like the last one, it had its high and low points, which I shall get into now…

Plot Summary:
modern-warfare-russThe game picks up 5 years after the event of the first game (roughly 2016). According to General Shepherd, one the game’s pivotal characters, Russia has fallen to the ultra-nationalists and Imran Zakhaev is now considered a national hero, despite the fact that he very nearly unleashed WWIII on the populace. Meanwhile, a terrorist by the name of Makarov continues to fight Zakhaev’s fight, hoping to trigger another major conflict which will make his nation to force to be reckoned with once more.

The game opens with a Ranger Battalion in Afghanistan, where you are part of an attack (led by General Shepherd) into a contested town controlled by insurgents. After fighting your way across a destroyed bridge, you are required to fight your way to the center of town and clear a school which the insurgents are using as their forwards base. Upon completion, Shepherd alerts your character (PFC Allen) that you are being transferred to the CIA to do an undercover mission.

MW2_afghanistanNote: As I’m sure I’ve mentioned at least twice before, this entire mission was inspired by Generation Kill, specifically the footage of the 1st Recon’s assault on Nasariya and their passage through the town of Muwafaqiyah where Fedayeen were using a school as a fire base.

At the same time, Capt. John “Soap” McTavish has been promoted and is now the leader of the new international anti-terrorism squad known as Task Force 141. No mention is given as to the whereabouts of Captain Price, and given what happened in the last game, it appears as though he might be dead.

MW2_siberiaYour character for this portion of the campaign is Garry “Roach” Sanderon, another FNG with a delightfully absurd call sign. While the Marines are in Afghanistan, you and Captain Price are busy breaking into a Russian airbase in Siberia hoping to obtain the Attack Characterization System (ACS) module from a downed American satellite. After retrieving it, you and McTavish are forced to beat a hasty retreat using snowmobiles.

What follows next is the part of the game that warrants the big advisory at the beginning and which gamers have the option of skipping if they so choose. This inolves part of Allen’s “undercover assignment” where he witnesses first-hand Makarov’s monstrosity as he leads an assault on Moscow’s International Airport, where he and his thugs murder countless civilians with US-made guns.

When that’s over, Makarov shoots Allen (aka. you) and leaves him there for dead, knowing that the thousands of spent shell casings and the body of an American will make it look like the US perpetrated the attack. My advice: skip this mission! It’s gratuitous and frankly creepy. For the life of my I can’t imagine who thought putting this borderline psycho shit in would be entertaining or fun.

Immediately afterwards, Task Force 141 is dispatched to Rio de Janeiro to hunt down the weapons dealer who supplied Makarov. This takes you and your team through the “favella”, Rio’s most notoriously violent neighborhoods, where you are shot at by the local “militia”. Once you have your man, he indicates that he doesn’t know where Makarov is, but that there is one man he hates and fears more than anyone, and who just happens to be languishing in a gulag on the Kamchatka peninsula.

Meanwhile, back in the US, Russian forces get the drop on the Northeastern Seaboard. Having cracked the ACS, they are able to pass into US airspace without Norad noticing, and begin landing paratroopers and armored forces in Virginia, New York, and Washington DC. The second major thread in the game now opens, where you play as Pvt. James Ramirez, an Army Ranger in West Virginia who’s unit is deployed to a suburb to thwart a Russian attack and protect a HVI (high-value individual) who’s chopper was shot down.

After fighting off several waves, your unit is redeployed to Arcadia where you are tasked with retrieving another HVI who turns out to have been killed by Russian special forces. With assaults happening all along the Seaboard, the Russians are getting the upper hand on US forces by capturing key personnel, locations and intelligence.

MW2_gulagOver in Kamchatka, you and Task Force 141 assault the gulag and fight your way through defenders and Soviet-era electrical systems to find prisoner 141, the man who Makarov apparently wants dead. When you arrive at his cell, it turns out to be Captain Price, who is alive after all. He and McTavish have a brief reunion which is cut short as the Navy begins bombarding the gulag early to cover your escape.

Back in the US, you and your Ranger unit are redeployed to Washington DC which has become a smoking ruin. Your mission is to fight your way through the federal buildings on Capitol Hill and retake them from the attacking Russians. The fight takes you from the trenches, through the White House, and finally into the air. After your chopper is shot down, you find yourself cornered and about to be overrun…At the same time, Price makes contact with General Shepherd and proposes a bold plan. With Price alongside, you and Task Force 141 assault a Russian sub base not far from the gulag and seize control of a Russian missile sub. Though the plan is not altogether clear, you and McTavish manage to provide cover for Price long enough for him to get aboard the Russian sub, where he promptly unleashes a nuke bound for Washington DC! The nuke flies into orbit above the city, where it is detonated, taking out the ISS and unleashing a massive EMP.

Inside the city, the EMP knocks every piece of electronic equipment in the area, crippling the Russian assault. You and your unit, which had been cornered seconds before, now must run and find cover as countless jets and choppers come crashing down around you.

Once you resupply, you are tasked with advancing on Whiskey Hotel (aka. WH, for White House) and retake it in one last, desperate assault. Once this is done, you are notified by radio that the USAF is conducting “Hammer Down”, an emergency air assault that will level all capitol buildings that are still in enemy hands. You are then forced to run to the roof and pop green smoke to indicate that the White House is in friendly hands.

MW2_estate2With Washington DC saved, Shepherd is hailed a hero for his foresight in predicting that a war was coming. He is given a “blank check” and declares that he is going to use every cent reigning Makarov in. With this in mind, Task Force 141 splits into two forces, with Price and McTavish checking an aircraft boneyard in Afghanistan while you and the rest are deployed to a safehouse in Kazakhstan.

After taking down the house and downloading Makarov’s computer files, you are intercepted by an air rescue, where General Shepherd himself comes out and shoots you! He then shoots Ghost and his men dispatch the rest of your squad, leaving your burning remains in a ditch as he takes the files and flies off.

MW2_safehouseOver in Afghanistan, Price and McTavish get the words that Shepherd has killed the others and realize he’s been playing them all along. With Makarov’s information now in his hands, he’s effectively cleaning house and making sure he doesn’t get caught so the war can proceed.

At the same time, Shepherd’s forces are descending on the boneyard, looking to kill you and Makarov at the same time. After fighting your way the edge, you are rescued by an old friend – McTavish’s Russian contact Nikolai. Price is also able to contact Makarov and obtain the location of Price’s base in Afghanistan.

As McTavish, you and Price now assault Shepherd’s base and take down its defenders. After a lengthy chase, you manage to corner Shepherd and fight it out; unfortunately he gets a hold of your knife and stabs you in the stomach with it. Producing his gun, he explains his motivations.

MW2_shepherd_baseApparently, he was in command of the Marine assault force that was supposed to take down Al-Asad and lost 30,000 men when Zakhaev’s forces detonated the nuke. His bitterness inspired him to start a war in the hopes of shocking America out of its complacency, which he feels he’s now done. As he puts it, “tomorrow there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots.”

Before he can shoot you though, Price tackles Shepherd and the two begin to fight it out. Shepherd eventually gets the upper hand on Price, and you are forced to pull the knife out of your chest and toss into Shepherd’s face, killing him instantly. Nikolai then shows up with a chopper, in defiance of Price’s order that this be a “one way trip”, and he and Price begin to carry you (McTavish) aboard. The game ends with Nikolai warning you that everyone is now out to get you, but that he knows a safe place to put down and get medical help.

Summary:
I don’t imagine I need to say that this installment in the series has some kick-ass gameplay, but screw it, I still want to! It has kick-ass gameplay! In fact, when it comes to shear badassery, this game has got the first one beat. In addition to more and better guns for yourself, there are also some very cool added features. These include more claymores and the use of Stinger Missiles, but also Sentry guns, laser guided heavy weapons fire from armored vehicles, and even Predator drone strikes. This last aspect is especially cool, as you get to do overwatch on a target and then fire Hellfire missiles at targets.

In terms of the weapons you have access to, there are the usual M4’s, SAWs and M16’s that are standard US Army issue, but also SCARs, sniper rifles with thermal sights, FAMAS’, USAS-12 shotguns, and Steyr AUG’s. But in addition, the Russians also boast some new and impressive gear which you can use too. Of these, my favorites are the Tavor assault rifle and the Striker shotgun. There’s nothing like automatic shotgun fire to make you feel like a bad ass mutha!

And of course, all these features extend into the multiplayer realm which is even bigger, badder, and more detailed than the last. But even if you’re not feeling the mulitplayer community, there is the new Special Ops feature where you get the best of both world, the ability to conduct missions and earn points, but still as a single player. And I can attest that most of these missions, though some are hard as hell, are also fun as hell. And in many ways, they preview things which comes up in the third installments (such as Juggernauts).

As for the downsides… Well, in that respect, this game was much like the first. The storyline seems a bit unrealistic, and is kind of confusing in terms of who’s doing what and for whom. For instance, you’ve got Makarov who represents a continuation of Zakhaev’s agenda, but seems to be operating outside the realm of normal politics. Didn’t they say that the Ultra-nationalists took power? Why then is this man killing his own people? Isn’t that what you do when your kind is NOT in power? Or is he really that desperate for a nuclear war to take place?

And second, Shepherd’s motivations seem a bit flaccid. I get that he’s pissed about the loss of so many Marines int he first game, though they seem to have padded the body count because by my reckoning, most of the Marines got out. They had plenty of warning, but your own chopper turns back to rescue a downed pilot, hence why you die. Still, even if the body count is 30 or 30,000, risking total war with Russia seems like a bad way to stoke the fires of patriotism. As anybody is well aware, Cold War or not, any large-scale confrontation between the US and Russia would still involve their nuclear arsenals, and nobody would be walking away from that fight in one piece!

And another thing, so was he working with Makarov all along or just taking advantage of the man’s actions? This is never made clear. On the one hand, it was Shepherd who assigned Allen to infiltrate their group, so Shepherd DID give them the American body that they left behind to implicate the US. But at the same time, he is openly trying to track the guy down and have him killed, but quietly so the world won’t know the entire war is based on a lie. So what is it then? A collaboration between enemies, or two equally malevolent forces that just had happened to collide?

I for one would prefer the latter interpretation because it would be a fitting commentary on the “War on Terror”. In fact, throughout the game you have quotes from Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, the ones which are notorious for being stupid or questionable, which flash across the screen when you die. In that war, we saw a neo-conservative agenda colliding with a Salafist agenda, where two mortal enemies were effectively feeding off each other to the point that some openly suggested collusion. Of course there was no real evidence to suggest such a thing, but it was interesting to note just how much George W and Osama Bin Laden benefited from each others presence.

Ah, but the biggest bone of contention with this game comes in the form of its controversy. In fact, this is such a big subtopic that it deserves its own heading…

Controversy:
For obvious reasons, the shoot-up scene involving the Moscow International Airport caused quite a stir in the gaming and consumer community. Why, many asked, was it necessary to include a scene where the player is forced to take part in what can only be described as Columbine-like behavior? I for one could not believe my eyes the first time I played this game and didn’t realize I could skip the whole thing. Who, I wondered, would actually want to play this mission? Was it really such a good idea to include it all, even if the option was there to skip it? Why not say that it happened between missions?

And would it be at all farfetched to think that some psycho person, who just happened to play the mission, might get the idea to shoot up a crowded public space? The scenes are far too visceral and real, which I found disturbing since the game makers would have had to do their homework on something like this, taking into account how crowded areas are death traps once armed men begin firing automatic weapons, how panicked crowds tend to bunch up, and how they become especially vulnerable when they all run into a bottleneck and become easy targets.

See what I mean? It’s disturbing! It’s the kind of sick freak stuff that made me seriously question the sanity of the game makers and the nature of the game itself. Some will naturally argue that it’s just a game and therefore harmless, bad taste notwithstanding. But I’d say that given the numerous mass shootings that have taken place, not just recently, but all over the US in the past decade, that this was in horrible taste and just plain risky!

Others also questioned the mentality of showing Washington DC burning, with its many monuments shown scorched and even the White House itself burning and full of holes. Personally, I didn’t see the big deal here. I mean, if we’re going to penalize this game for displaying this kind of disaster porn that we’ll have to round up Rupert Emmerich and every other movie producer who’s ever destroyed landmarks in their films. There’s a reason people like this stuff, and it’s not because they secretly fantasize about seeing them destroyed.

If anything, it lends some urgency and a sense of emotional involvement to the story by showing them how things they know and love, or at the very least are familiar with, are being overrun and must be saved. Now that’s just me and I could be wrong, but I found this aspect of the game very cool! How many games allow you to fight in realistically-rendered environments of actual places? This was something that they intensified with the third one and I appreciated it there as well!

So that’s Modern Warfare 2, in a nutshell. Great game-play, exciting and intense, but containing some questionable content. It was a good thing that they stayed away from that for the third game, at least for the most part. Granted there was plenty of violence and they still had to issue the content warning for anyone playing it for the first time, but at least there weren’t any mass shootings where you’re the bad guy and are supposed to be taking part in it! Seriously, Infinity Ward, what were you thinking? Bad software developer!