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Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Question About Decisions and Rules

Just to practice what I'd learned in CRR (Communication: Rhetoric and Reasoning) this semester. I went across this gaming article entitled "Uniform Are Relics: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2", written by G. Christopher Williams, most based on the game's 3rd mission, "No Russian".  Ms. Nat should read this xD

Link to the article:

Do feel free to comment, but only with CONSTRUCTIVE messages. 

This is what he wrote about the mission: 

The Makarov mission, however, begins to challenge rules and boundaries with its content and much of that challenge lies in the mission briefings description of the events surrounding the mission.  It explains that in the current global political situation “Uniforms are relics.  The war rages everywhere, and there will be casualties.”  This reference to uniforms certainly informs about Makarov’s nature as an apolitical animal that is not affiliated with, not marked by the uniform of a citizen loyal to a particular national interest, but it also alludes to the situation that the player is about to experience, one that violates the “rules” and “boundaries” of a typical military FPS.
Spoiler of the mission begins here.

"No Russian" is a mission where you control the role of PRC Joseph Allen of the US Rangers, who went CIA undercover on Makarov under the name Alexei Borodin. He had to follow Makarov and his men to cause chaos in the Zarkhaev International Airport (fictional). Here, in this mission, you will (or may) have to either join in the "fun" killing hundreds of computer generated civilians for around 2 minutes before you enter the next phase of the game where you deal against real military force. Later on, after reaching to a transport, Makarov suddenly shoots you, letting the world to believe that the Americans initiated the massacre.

When I was playing that mission, as Makarov and his men began firing at the civilians, it made think twice on either to kill them, or just let the others kill them.

I know this situation is just a game, but would you be killing them in real life? I agree that this mission is disturbing as you're witnessing a massacre being reconstructed CGI style, though it won't impact you much when compared to a situation WHEN you're witnessing it in real life.

I later went on to Youtube and watch the videos on how others played the game. NOT ALL players kill the civilians, and everyone's discussing about the massacre issue.

And at the end of the game, you got shot by Makarov, as he knew that you are an undercover when you're following them for an inside job that makes Russia to attack the US. Well, as Christopher suggested, you blindly follow the rules just to know that you got killed at the end. The uniforms made you feel bounded by the rules by the people you're affiliated.

Yeah, to this extent I agree with Christopher. Gamers tend to follow rules as we (I'm as a gamer as well)  just blindly follow them without knowing the outcome. But, it's time to do a little bit of reasoning and logics and not ignorance and arrogance to argue on such a topic.

It also reminded me of a study between rules and boundaries by Stanley Milgram, or the Milgram experiment (link), as Milgram wants to examine the willingness of people to obey if things don't seem to go right, for example, if you are to torture a man when you're kind hearted. 

If at any time the subject indicated his desire to halt the experiment, he was given a succession of verbal prods by the experimenter, in this order:[1]
  1. Please continue.
  2. The experiment requires that you continue.
  3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.
  4. You have no other choice, you must go on.
In this case, you're HAVE to witness and joining in the gore and violence, and at the same time, being undercover to FOLLOW Makarov and his men. 

Now, let's go on to real life. 

It seems like most of us are living under a system that has its own rules and boundaries and everyone of us just accepts and proclaims that this world is what it is right now. 

Of course, like it or not, you must follow the rules, study, get a job, earn your income, pay your taxes, consume more and don't question authorities. 

As long there's money and politics, we can't afford to be ethical, for there's corruption and greed for profits. People want more. 

And thus, all of us, regardless employees, employers and students, are forced into a rat race, running in the midst of scarcity, without knowing what is the truth. When you open your TV, you'll be hearing advertisements and news full of tragedies that may catch your attention. When you're eating outside, you don't know what food is really healthy, as long you care for what is tasty. When there's election, you just blindly vote for a stranger whom you do not know, and you have to judge his affiliates in order to trust him better. When there's crisis, you just complain with vulgarities. Some even march on the streets, waiting to be arrested and get beaten up by the riot police. 

This is life. Being bounded by an environment, created by people above the hierarchical pyramid. 

As I am learning Journalism and Communication right now, I begin to get exposed into the issues of censorship and fabrication, the "lies, damned lies, and statistics" issue, mainstream and alternative sources, etc. Well, journalism + public relations + advertising = LIES and PROPAGANDA. They're all meant for effective persuasion. 

I won't be criticizing too much as I tend to write lesser here. But, I hope you guys have an idea what the "No Russian" mission is really trying to say. Christopher is of course sharing his perspective of the mission. So, what's yours? 

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