Evening Reading

By Garnett Lee, Jan 25, 2011 5:00pm PST On Monday a bombing at Moscow's busiest airport took 35 lives and injured 110 more sending shockwaves through the international community. Listening to BBC World Services on the ride to work this morning I heard Russian President Dmitry Medvedev blasting security at the airport as "chaos" and blaming the tragedy on that.

But as proof I guess of how westernized Russia has become, the government financed Russia Today has pointed the finger at video games (seen on The New York Times). If you played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 you probably know where this is headed. In it, the infamous 'No Russian' level depicted terrorists walking through an airport terminal wantonly gunning down everyone in sight.

Forget the fact that it's fiction and the implication blaming this particular sort of fiction would create for the six seasons of 24 alone. The part that disturbs me the most is how these tragic, gut-wrenching events get sensationalized like this for the sake of generating news. It essentially turns the awful events into entertainment as if they were nothing more than the plot of a TV show, movie, or game. But they aren't. Real people lost their lives; real families were torn apart.

We're long past the grace period for pulling this sort of nonsense. Stop exploiting these situations to create news drama. Much as we might want to rationalize things and have them fit into our perceptions of what makes sense, the raw truth of it has to be faced. Bad people did bad things. And they didn't train with video games. They trained with real guns and bombs.

And now, highlights from today's video game news on the Shack:

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  • For as long as I can recall I've studied Russian history and since 2008 I have been reading foreign news sources about the Russian Federation including those state and privately owned within the country itself. Echoing President Medvedev's comments at the World Economic Forum sometimes I get the "itch" as well to respond to reports about Russia and Russian institutions that cast the country in a poor and often inappropriate light. Unlike President Medvedev, however, I am not restrained by my official status to respond. What has transpired at Domodedovo is regrettable, but the comments made by RT are typical of its provocative and anti-western style of reporting. RT is only one of a network of state owned media including RIA Novosti and ITAR-TASS both of which are known for their neutrality and moderation. The comments made by RT, despite its state owned status, do not reflect the Russian Federation's policies or opinions, it exists only to create controversy and drive viewership.