From all the hysteria about the airport attack scene in Modern Warfare 2, you once again get that strange feeling that you're dealing with people who have never actually seen a game made after the age of Pac Man. I mean we are doing this in the wake of the Grand Theft Auto series and other games in which you basically play a homicidal sociopath. Modern Warfare 2 by contrast is closer to Jack Bauer territory, though it's not really the sort of thing Jack Bauer would do.

Now a big chunk of the controversy was probably deliberate. Walmart and Activision are pushing Modern Warfare 2 in a big way. Leaking controversial footage is a common enough tactic, so common that Rockstar did it disastrously with the Hot Coffee mod to build hype for the XBox release of GTA San Andreas. But it doesn't help that Modern Warfare 2 looks more realistic than the Grand Theft Auto games because each generation of gaming visual realism makes the violence more disturbing, as David Wong pointed out on his old site, before he sold out and went the route.

And each time we hit a new level of visual realism, combined with games targeting an older audience, the controversies will keep on coming.