Modern Warfare 2 brings high sales and controversy

About 4.7 million copies of the game have sold since its Tuesday release.

Jerimiah Oetting

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which was released on Tuesday, might be the most anticipated video game of all time, but its realistic violence has some people concerned. Estimated sales for the first day reached approximately 4.7 million copies , based on the gameâÄôs publisher ActivisionâÄôs internal estimates. The game sparked controversy even before its release, after a video was leaked online that highlighted one of its harsher scenes in which an elevator opens into an airport and the player witnesses a group of four characters opening fire on a large crowd of unarmed civilians. Jerome Paul, an employee of Flip A Game on Washington Avenue, said the scene was necessary for the storyline. âÄúI would say that maybe it was a little bit vicious,âÄù he said. âÄúBut then youâÄôve got to think âĦ itâÄôs just a video game. It played a part in the story.âÄù Cody Allen , an employee at the Block E GameStop store , has already played through the game twice. He agrees that certain parts are controversial. âÄúI think itâÄôs right that there is controversy, but I donâÄôt think it takes away from the game at all,âÄù he said. While Allen maintains that all he can say about the game is âÄúawesome,âÄù others arenâÄôt as excited about it. âÄúIt just increases the risk of aggressive behavior in the real world,âÄù said Michael Potegal, assistant professor of pediatric neurology . âÄúThe more realistic the experience, the more of an impact it has.âÄù Potegal said many people justify playing violent video games as a release for pent up aggression. He said research shows that having successful aggressive experiences leads to increased aggression. âÄúThe results of years and years of research are extremely clear, and thereâÄôs no controversy,âÄù he said. âÄúViewing and participating in violent and aggressive material and games increases tendencies for aggression and decreases tendencies for empathy.âÄù Nora Paul, the director of the Institute for New Media Studies at the University of Minnesota, says the idea of shooter games spurring violence in people is âÄúconventional wisdom.âÄù âÄúIâÄôm not particularly a believer in that much of a one-to-one kind of correlation,âÄù she said. âÄúThereâÄôs also certainly evidence that thereâÄôs no correlation at all.âÄù She said the issue arises from current âÄúhyper-vigilanceâÄù of terrorism. âÄúThe thing thatâÄôs distasteful is taking these kinds of incidents that happen in real life and putting them in the context of âÄòisnâÄôt this fun,âÄôâÄù she said. Nora Paul said she is mostly concerned with violent games being played by younger audiences. âÄúKids are already exposed to so many scenes of violence,âÄù she said. âÄúItâÄôs disturbing to me as a person and as a mother.âÄù Allen said he believes that the game is meant for an older audience, and he supports GameStopâÄôs sales policy. âÄúID is required to get it,âÄù he said. âÄúI donâÄôt care if they come in with somebody they found off the street. I ask if theyâÄôre their parent and if not, we donâÄôt provide them the game.âÄù Jerome Paul also agreed with the age limit on the game. âÄúI donâÄôt think anyone under 17 should play these kinds of games,âÄù he said. âÄúIf youâÄôre under 17 or just canâÄôt handle it, donâÄôt play.âÄù He said that video games provide a relaxing form of entertainment. âÄúIt lets me step aside of the school work and the book work and just be able to have a fun experience,âÄù he said.