More Controversy for Modern Warfare 2

The missteps following Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 continue as a video posted online Friday night raised the ire of both journalists and fans of the series.

Starring Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, the video was designed to highlight the problem of grenade spam within the Call of Duty series, but an unfortunate acronym pushed the video from funny to offensive reports Destructoid. The mock public service announcement was provided by an organization called Fight Against Grenade Spam (F.A.G.S.) and had Hamels proclaiming that random grenades “are for pussies.”

Game Informer’s Philip Kollar Tweeted that video was “stupid and makes me reconsider my purchase more than any other controversy surrounding the game thus far,” while freelance writer Mitch Dyer wrote that “The problem is that it was so poorly handled/executed that it looks derogatory.”

Infinity Ward Community Manager Robert Bowling responded on Twitter that “the core gag is great, the end is a bit too far from the intent of the joke & can appreciate the concerns,” and pulled the video.

Update: Several copies of the video are still on YouTube for those who haven’t seen it.

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  1. sharpshooterbabe says:

    I think it’s funny! You and I don’t know if it was intentional w/Infinity Ward, but this game shouldn’t get anymore fire on it. Hamels shouldn’t of said what he said about regular grenades for (yeah you know what he said). That part I think he was trying to make a point, whether it was directed at anyone is anyone’s guess.

  2. Shahab says:

    The FAGS thing was way out of line. The fact that most people weren’t bothered just shows how deeply ingrained homophobia is in the gaming community.

  3. Snipzor says:

    Hold on, let me update the list of websites that has a user that used the excuse of "But Team America/GTA did it". It seems as if the majority of websites (All but one) I’ve gone to have had some dumbass make that defense. It doesn’t work. Especially when one does not have a reputation of being a satire on culture, while the other has zero social commentary in it other than to be a riveting action piece.

    I myself found the video about as entertaining as today’s family guy. It was in no way funny, and by the time the end came about, I already made peace with it because this piece of shit excuse of a comedic PSA was not worth my outrage over.

  4. Namaps says:

     I don’t really think it’s a big deal. They’re poking fun at the online communities that these games have, which include profanity like this. I’m a bisexual male and not offended, for what it’s worth.

  5. SpaceGhost2K says:

    Stick and stones (and grenades) can break my bones,

    But words will never hurt me.


    Gosh, does anyone remember THOSE days?


    I can’t believe that dumb marketing can get people reaching for the torches and pitchforks.

  6. Monte says:

    heh, those videos make me want to go spam some grenades… ah explosions are fun… good times, good times…

  7. SithLibrarian says:

    Citizens United Negating Technology For Life And People’s Safety?

    Something like that, lol 😛

    D’oh, this was supposed to be a reply to finaleve’s comment. D’oh.

  8. Father Time says:

    I’ll dredge it up from the internet if you wish but my favorite was an alternate system for the ESRB



    Children and



    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  9. Positive_Gamer says:

    The Text F.A.G.S isn’t in the video, just the whole phrase at the very end for a few seconds. 


  10. cppcrusader says:

    That tweet was part of a series of consecutive tweets that explained what he thought about it.  His view on it was about how the ad was making it seem like that arm of the community, the dregs of Live, and their behavior should be embraced instead of shunned.  That is what that specific tweet was refering to.

    That said I realize my last post was a bit on the low blow trolling side, for that I apologize.  I’d edit it but we seem to have lost that ability again.  I posted that before having my coffee and I was still a bit sore from seeing a friend get undeservedly raked over the coals by communities.

  11. cppcrusader says:

    Good job on quoting Phil out of context.  Maybe you should read the rest of the twitter exchange.


    I’m definitely missing Dennis right about now.

  12. SeanB says:

    I did some research hoping that Infinity Ward was based in a country in which "FAG" wasn’t used in that context, but sadly they are from California.

  13. gamegod25 says:

    What pisses me off are the AI enemies in SP who are all pro quaterbacks, as in they can all throw grenades directly at your feet from a mile away >:(

  14. finaleve says:

    I can never remember what the meaning of it was.  I can remember C.R.A.P. but…never C.U.N.T.F.L.A.P.S.

    but then the PSP version never was that great.  Fun but nothing amazing.

  15. Parallax Abstraction says:

    Dear Activision:

    Rockstar has mastered this concept of creating clever and intentional controversies in order to drive brand awareness.  They are good at it, you aren’t.  Stop trying to imitate them and just for once, come up with your own methods rather than just copying a successful competitor.

    Parallax Abstraction
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  16. Neeneko says:

    I think the problem is that it could be argued that the context does have something to do with homosexuality.

    Homosexuality is unmanly (they are less then twue men) and gerenade spamming is less then manly, thus grenade spamming is something for homosexuals.

    Given how it dovetails with ‘gay’ (which is still directly attached to homosexuals) is an insult for being wrong or girly in such games, yeah, it does associate to the people.

    And while true a word has only as much power as you give it, when people mean something behind the insult THAT has its own power, and in a lot of these cases ‘gay’ and ‘fag’ have specific meaning behind them.  It is a way to tell people that they are out group, that they are wrong, that they are bad, that they are not real men. etc.

  17. deathvanquished says:

    A word only has as much power as you give it.  Also, durogotory remarks have to be made in a durogotory manner.  The context had nothing against homosexuality.  It would be like calling  smokers a nigger.  It wouldn’t make sense but it wouldn’t be racist.  The thing is that unlike Nigger, homosexuals have practically destroyed the power that Faggot had over them.  They parody the word, they mock it.  To most homosexuals, the word means nothing, like it should, like other racial or sexual orientation slurs should.

    LGBT members drove a FagBug around the country in order to fight biggotry, but at the same time they were destroying the word’s power over them. 

    If a person wants to say a word, let them.  If there is no malice towards homosexuality when you say it then it is not hate speech.  It is just a word.  Lines and curves shaped into words.  Ink and pixels displayed.  They are not some powerful hand of God.  They are just words and as long as the context is not hatefilled, it is fine to use them, because the only way to take away the word’s power over you is to no longer fear it.

    A word only has as much power as you give it.

  18. Nocturne says:

    "I can’t believe the acronym FAGS was intentional"

    I can’t see how it was anything but intentional, at the very least whoever wrote the script for the video would have known about it, and Robert Bowling’s comments before the video was pulled also included:

    I think it was more of a social commentary joke of that stereotype than it was a fist-bump of acceptance to it.

    which would indicate that the joke was there intentionally, not something that they all just missed.

    I don’t think they should have pulled it though, yes the joke was offensive to some but if the only result is a bit of moral outrage then so what, sometimes it’s ok to be offensive and being offended by something isn’t going to hurt a person. They should either have decided the video was not in tone with the image they wanted to have before it was posted and never put it up, or left if out there.

    I am reminded of the following:

  19. Magic says:

    I’ve read that the text "F.A.G.S" is actually displayed during the video so I imagine it was intentional, a bad way of making a joke … then again, is this really different to the Famous Actor’s Guild in Team America? I suppose so, as it (The one in Team America) seemed like more of a parody of poorly thought out abbreviations of organisations rather than a dig at homosexuals.

  20. Kabyk says:

    Well, it IS true that random grenade spamming is for pussies, but I can’t believe the acronym FAGS was intentional. Especially when the game is already on hot controversy embers.

    And I have to say that Game Informer guy is being way too high maintainence about it.

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