November 10, 2009
by Lindsay Brown
Modern Warfare 2, a realistic violent video game whose trailer features rapper Eminem, American flags, and blood splats, is selling off the shelves in Edinburgh’s shops. The game’s release today marks one day before Armistice Day, which commerates all the people who have lost their lives in wars since World War 1. Four hundred copies of the Infinity Ward-developed game hit shelves at ASDA’s Chesser location at midnight and sold out by 3 AM.
ASDA is carding people who wish to buy the game due to its rating of 18.
Claire Black was working night shift there when the Modern Warfare enthusiasts began to arrive.
“A couple hundred people were queueing. They looked to be anywhere between 18 and 50 years old, all types of people. I’d say about half of them were Christmas shoppers.”
The British Board of Film Classification rates video games using an age-rated system. Games with mature content are rated at either 15 or 18. It is now voluntary to employ this rating system in the UK.
Under the Video Recordings Act 1984, Parliament had designated the BBFC as the authority to classify video game ratings. Games not classified and bearing the BBFC label were prohibited from being sold in the UK, rendering the sale of most international video games illegal. As of August 2009, this unenforceable Act has been suspended until further notice from the government. So, it is currently legal to sell and supply unclassified video games in the UK.
USA, Canada, and countries around the globe are utilising the ESRB, a self-regulatory organisation that assigns age and content ratings to video games. Europe uses the Pan European Game Information rating system, which also is not reinforced by law.
Activision Blizzard, Modern Warfare 2’s developer and publisher based out of California, USA, volunteered to have it rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. The board assigned it an “M,” for Mature content.
In the United States, legislation is pending for the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act, which would require an ID check for M- and Adult Only-rated game purchases.
Modern Warfare 2 is a first-person shooter game with fictional miniature plots containing blood-splattered fighting in the Middle East, Russia, Brazil, and the US. Activision is predicted to pull in “at least half a billion dollars on the game in the first week,” according to an AP report. Activision and developer Infinity Ward, are expecting that the title “could easily be the largest entertainment launch of the year.”
In addition to Playstation, the game has also been released for Xbox, another popular gaming console, but Xbox copies are currently sold out at all ASDA locations in Edinburgh. The shipment for the Playstation units arrived behind schedule at the Chesser store today, but they are already selling quickly. ASDA’s Leith location has just 3 left as of this afternoon.