Modern Warfare 2 on Fox & Friends

As GamePolitics alerted you to late Tuesday, yesterday’s Fox & Friends morning show aired a segment covering Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The short segment was introduced by host Steve Doocy, who began, “A popular new videogame actually allows you (points at camera) to be a terrorist and kill people.” He asked, “Is this fantasy game just a little too real and is it appropriate?” before kicking off a “fair and balanced” debate on the subject with Jim Steyer of Common Sense Media and John Christensen from

Steyer was concerned about the age of the person playing the game, while a flummoxed Christensen attempted to explain the context of the scene in question.

Doocy followed up with the question, “Is it ever appropriate to simulate killing people?”

Steyer replied, “We live in a world of free speech so you can create these games. The issue for violent videogames is there’s no question that there is a correlation between videogame violence and screen violence and aggression in real life. The American Academy of Pediatrics just came out with a statement about that. The violence is the issue… you need to use common sense in terms of using games like this.”

GP: Of course, other researchers have refuted a suggested link between violent games and aggression. Overall, a less than engaging debate. What do you think?

Thanks KayleL

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. londinio says:

    Need I remind you that the war in Iraq, 9/11, Drug War, World War II and the genocide of 6 million jews, and slavery of the black people were all started by gamers that played violent videogames? 

    It should come as no surprise that we assume that people who train on violent videogames are about to start the next reformation.

    Are you telling me that the carnage of the Vietnam War wasn’t started by a bunch of gamers playing violent videogames? Really? 

    Jesus wasn’t sadistically tortured by a group of nerds playing Mortal Kombat all day? This can’t be!

    Surely someone as mentally distraught as the two million people that bought Modern Warfare 2 had to have caused the death and murder of so many people.

    Oh well why should we complain? Supply and demand right? This is a capitalist society and so long as sex and violence sells, all of Fox News should be happy that companies like Activision are contributing to the American machine and paying enormous taxes to it. I thought capitalism was good and moral? And well, if this game sells more than, "Guitar Praise". I guess that makes videogames about the Bible, immoral. Is that it?




  2. Monte says:

    Are you refering to an ACTUAL terrorist attack being caught on film? cause i have no idea why you would compare the fictional potrayal of such in MW2, to an actual terrorist attack… obvious difference is the fact that actual people die during a real terrorist attack. MW2 is more comparable to movies, where again, all death portrayed is fictional… and i’m sure they have been plenty of mass slaughter in movies.

  3. Hypevosa says:

    2 things piss me off about these debates…

    1. It’s not "fair" to debate when you are debating 2 people – the newscasters should not be interfering in these debates if it’s supposed to be fair. They need to pose a question, and allow BOTH SIDES to answer the question, and not then supplement it with their own answers.

    2. They never seem to pick a good speaker for both sides.  I highly doubt the guy from slashgamer had very much public speaking experience at all – he’s a random guy from a gaming blog for god’s sake!  Get someone from ECA to do the speaking, some other professional organization where they’re used to Q&A.  Putting a blogger against the head of a public organization is about as fair as putting a heavy weight champ against a hobo – it’s simply NOT.

    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." ~Best quote ever, Albert Einstein

  4. cpu64 says:

    If I remember correctly, kids in the middle east who are killing soldiers with AK-47 or strapping bombs to themselves, don’t have video games. I don’t know of any crime in which a game instructed how to kill.

    Normally, in my opinion, the person who is capable, and intends to kill someone had that desire independent of if they play a violent game or not.

    If that were the case, I would be on the top of America’s most wanted list due to the number of violent games I’ve played in my lifetime. Yet I have never been involved in a fight.

    Saying that violent people enjoy violent games, is not the same as violent games making people violent.

    Sorry, people just like to blame the easy target for their incompetence… video-games.

  5. rma2110 says:

    The first thing gamers have to do is have open and honest discussions amongst ourselves, then maybe we can present united front. I love games and have been gaming since commodore 64, but just because I don’t like first person shooters fellow gamers have called me a fraud and a ‘casual’. What?

    Second, we have to make it clear that these games are not meant for kids. The video games industry has acted a lot more reponsibly than any other industry. Parental controls are on every console, just a few clicks and it won’t run M rated games. Adults play video games and it always surprises people that the average gamer in in his 30s.

    We are not losing this battle. GAming is becoming more and more mainstream and big money is behind this industry. Video games are bigger than movies and music. Why do you think the publishers are getting extra greedy?


    The only thing that can kill gaming in my heart is lack of originality. As games become more expansive and harder ro make, less people are willing to take risks. You end up playing the same game over and over again.

  6. Tenmar says:

    I seriously have to wonder why the video game industry would want to KEEP on going on Fox News?

    Overall the video game industry takes a conservative bent(and I’m a republican), however whenever they appear on the conservative network they are demonized and rejected.  This is the third time we have had representatives from the video game industry appear on Fox News and not one, ONE, has ended well for the video game industry or the video game consumer.

    We have to start fighting smart people because we are losing this battle.  When a person asks us a question like "Is it ever appropriate to simulate killing people?" We need to firmly answer yes and explain the actual disconnect between reality and a simulation.  There is a famous painting titled "This is not a pipe", show that and ask people like Fox News after you show them the painting "What is this?". Chances are they are going to say, "That is a pipe".  From that point you know you have the higher intellectual ground because you can prove to them that video game violence is not actual violence by destroying the painting because the painting was never a pipe and video game violence will always be different from actual violence.

    The studies and the moral ground is on our side, however we need to stop being defensive and start being aggressive.  Don’t address their points, make your own and don’t just tell them, show them.  We are always at our best when we can use props.

  7. Andrew Eisen says:

    Well, the ECA was solicited, not GamePolitics.  That said, the ECA’s PR director did respond asking for more details but Fox never answered back.


    Andrew Eisen

  8. TBoneTony says:

    I am quite good and confident about public speaking, and I had allot of practice with it in school and college classes,


    the only thing that would fail me is my deep voice and accent that might be hard for other people to understand if I try to talk fast, plus when I talk calmly and slowly, people will interupt me before I have a chance to fully develop my topic I am trying to talk about.


    So in any case, I myself my not be able to talk if people are always interupting me.

  9. TBoneTony says:

    Simple answer, if people did not bother to watch Fox news in the first place since the Mass Effect Smear and other notable cases, would we be talking about this now?


  10. DarkSaber says:

    "Everyone save ofr peopel who want the publicity tend to wise up to Fox."

    In that case I’m amazed Hal Halpin didn’t step up for the interview.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  11. hellfire7885 says:

    Likely because if Fox elaborated they would have refused anyway. Everyone save ofr peopel who want the publicity tend to wise up to Fox.

  12. dsparil says:

    Y’know, I think that faux deliberately called in John on short notice so he’d have a harder time defending our hobby.

  13. Nitherean says:

    @1:18, the guy is asking just how many kids will play this game, and THEN, mention video game violence, almost in the same breath.  It’s always nice to listen to conservative commentary, and lack of knowledge on the part of the pseudo-journalist (the guy that introduced the audience to the game).

    A good journalist would mention the game is rated ‘M’ for maturity (meaning 18+ age group) by the ERSB. 

    So if this guy from ‘common sense media’ really had a clue, he would have asked the next most logical question.  If the game is rated ‘M’, and its for the mature audience only.  Why are kids playing the game?  Where are the parents or legal guardians, to regulate, and enforce the rules?  If the kids are getting violent, from playing a game, then go out, and do something violent…..why are we not holding the parents accountable?  Because its easier to scape goat a game, then a person.

  14. DarkSaber says:

    "No offense, but couldn’t we have gotten a more eloquent speaker for the gamer side?"



    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  15. DarkSaber says:

    I played Kaboom!. Modern Warfare 2’s (the only MW2 is MechWarrior 2 thank you very much) scene is pussy-footing chicken-shit interpretation by comparison. And considerably more boring.

    Also "I don’t think a terrorist attack has ever been captured on film or TV in its entirety, has it?"

    GP, what the FUCK have you been watching while ANY given series of 24 was on?


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  16. Bigman-K says:

     "The issue for violent videogames is there’s no question that there is a correlation between videogame violence and screen violence and aggression in real life."

    While this maybe true there are two problems. First as has been said a million and one times before "Correlation does not equal causation". Secondly the term "Aggression" is very vague and overtly broad and can cover everything from "violence with intent to harm another person" down to "more assertiveness and likelyhood to stand up to authority". Aggression isn’t always a negative thing either. It can be neutral or even in many circumstances a positive thing.

     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  17. hellfire7885 says:

    As was stated above, he was called at short notice, and at around three AM his time, so he wasn’t as well rested as he could have been and easily thrown off his game. Fox has a bad habit of setting up their "debates" like that.

  18. gamepolitics says:

    For me, what makes the scene different is that you get to witness "first hand" (and participate in if you want to) a terrorist attack. It’s the context, not the actual gameplay.

    I don’t think a terrorist attack has ever been captured on film or TV in its entirety, has it? 9/11 yes, but that was surreal, nothing like the ground-based incident portrayed in MW2. That’s what made it odd for me to watch, and later play, this is something I had never witnessed before.

    Kyle at Crispy Gamer gives a nice play by play on the whole scene if you are interested. Lots of spoilers there obviously.

    I didn’t shoot any of the civilians if you were wondering.


  19. Chaplain99 says:

    No offense, but couldn’t we have gotten a more eloquent speaker for the gamer side?  It seemed more like a Nixon vs. Kennedy debate to me, rather than a "fair-and-balanced" discussion…

    I would have held to the idea that the game gives you a choice: when I played it, I never shot civilians.  I only shot those who were shooting at me.  That was my choice, and I stood by it.  It’s not so much that you’re a CIA operative, it’s that the game puts you in a situation where you choose to do something.  You don’t have to kill any civilians to keep your cover.

    Then again, he may have been focusing on the whole "This game makes you act like a terrorist" bit.  Just not my style, I guess…

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  20. Awol says:

    Have a question regarding this level in MW2. I don’t have the game and no interest in getting it but trying to understand what is the deal with this level. When I first heard about it I didn’t understand why gamers were getting in an uproar. I mean hell the whole game has you killing people as a US soldier but one level where you are the "Bad guy" and people get upset? So it makes a difference since the "enemy doesn’t have guys and are hiding or on the floor whatever. Whats the different between this and GTA? Why the uproar now? This isn’t the first game that let gamers shoot innocent people.

    Personally I have no problem with this being in the game cause its just a GAME!

  21. Andrew Eisen says:

    While the ECA ownes GP, the two are not the same entity.  Regardless, my point was the ECA did not shy away from Fox’s request.  Fox just never followed through.


    Andrew Eisen

  22. Quarantine says:

    That’s an understatement. LoL


    "Because this town is under the stranglehold of a few tight eyed Tree Huggers who would rather play Hacky Sack than lock up the homeless" — Birch Barlow

  23. DarkSaber says:

    "The ECA, which operates GamePolitics"


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  24. DarkSaber says:

    They tried Gamepoltics a considerably longer time before they contacted this nobody.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  25. DarkSaber says:



    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  26. KayleL says:

    I don’t have anything against him, it just he is not well trained for television. Which is why I would suggest Adam Sessler or Geoff Keighley (I thought a good job defending Mass Effect, if only he had more screen time). Those two have much more television experence. Adam had at least 10 years of experience.

  27. hellfire7885 says:

    That’s likely why Fox called him up at the time they did. Not very rested, little time to prepare, they set it all up to make him and game defenders i ngeneral look bad.

  28. Chuma says:

    Ofcourse the flipside to that arguement is that if he isn’t up to the task then he shouldn’t have agreed to appear on the segment, especially knowing of the agenda-filled reporting that is Fox News.

  29. gamepolitics says:

    Interesting link thanks. That’s why I tried to use a nicer word to describe his appearance.

    Jon definitely did the best he could. He probably felt overwhelmed… it was basically two versus one and he was repping the whole videogame industry and players.

  30. Moriarty70 says:

    I don’t fault him, I fault the other groups who had been asked the day before and have staff with media training who could have given a proper defence to the topic. They would know the talking points the opposition would take and be prepared. But they were too scared of being railroaded on Fox News to make the effort.

  31. nightwng2000 says:

    This is why, probably among other reasons, I couldn’t have done it.  I’m terrible at oral communication.  I get frustrated that I can’t get the thoughts out.  Then I get angry because I get frustrated.  Then I get frustrated that I get angry that I get frustrated.  It falls apart from there.

    I’ve always been this way, ever since I was a child.  And I’m an old guy now.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  32. sharpshooterbabe says:

    I agree w/you. Hell Ive never been on tv before & i would get fidgety too! But I’m glad he stood up for my rights as a gamer! Kudos to Jon.



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  33. sirdarkat says:

     Touche … you would think being a fan of Orwell I would remember the name of the organization Ministry of Truth … yet it was changing history.  What is sad is his work was a work of fiction and yet has so much real world implications. 

  34. Father Time says:

    "What is sad is his work was a work of fiction and yet has so much real world implications. "

    That’s not sad, IMO it can make a book great.


    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.

  35. Arell says:

    It’s actually a badge of honor to be criticised by the Left.  Then they can use it in their segments to pretend that they’re being assulted for telling the "truth."  Just look at that whole thing with the Obama press secretary making a single statement that Fox News was "the research and communication wing of the Republican party."  Fox News turned that into a "War" on thier network.

  36. Arell says:

    Let’s face it, a lot of us could defend the gaming industry quite admirably from behind a keyboard and monitor.  But I have no doubt most of us would do worse than this guy.  It requires media experience, good debating skills, and confidence to go on television and hold your own while you’re tag-teamed by two people of the opposing agenda.  In a fair debate, the host would be guiding the debate so that each side could bring to bear their best arguements.  At Fox News, the host sides with one of them and makes the other as uncomfortable as possible.

  37. Conster says:


    There are a few gaming sites out there bashing Jon for losing his train of thought early in the segment and closing his eyes towards the end as he stood his ground defending simulated violence in video games. I’ve known Jon personally for several years now, and what the asshats who are ridiculing him don’t know is that Fox contacted him that same day with just a few hours notice. In addition to Jon never having been on television before, the segment was filmed at 3:30 AM his time, which meant he wasn’t exactly “well rested” before going on air.

    Those of you that want to point the finger at Jon, calling him an embarrassment to gamers, should take a hard look in the mirror. He made the appearance in an effort to defend the medium we love from those who would rather reinforce the notion that it breeds future terrorists. Who cares if he didn’t have the on-screen composure of the great Tom Brokaw? His intentions were pure and his heart was in the right place. I applaud him for answering the call … of duty, and you should too.

  38. DarkSaber says:

    "no one wants to give the podum to someone who makes no valid points"

    Except Fox, who do on a regular basis.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  39. Touchdown Graves says:

    wow. maybe john would have got to make his point if he didnt stammer like an idiot. no one wants to give the podum to someone who makes no valid points

  40. gamegod25 says:

    And Fox News is called "fair and balanced" yet they couldn’t be any more biased.

    It truly is a topsy turvy world we live in… -_-

  41. sirdarkat says:

     Has anyone else ever noticed that the name of an organization is usually the exact opposite of what they do/are … Common Sense Media yet they have no Common Sense … PETA yet they kill more animals than any other group that has a shelter.


    Do we just live in a world where the rich think its funny to create a group that has a completely ironic name?

  42. DarkSaber says:

    They are by the right-wing for the right-wing. What do thay care what the left-wing (or "not their kind") thinks of them.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  43. dsparil says:

    You’d think that faux noise would be more cautious after the backlash they got from Mass Effect, but what should you expect from a sensationalist, right wing mouth piece?

  44. mentor07825 says:

    Gyah!!! All those childhood years of playing Sonic and Mario, with FPS and RTS games, has now turned me into a mushroom eating, fast sprinting, military strategist gun-ho terrorist!!!

    Must resist the rage…the need of colourful mushrooms…not to jump on people…..order people around and shoot them all to hell….

    Guys….I don’t think I can…the gamer in me wants Bood…


    O o


    "God, is that you?"

    "No! It’s a me, Mario!"

  45. sharpshooterbabe says:

    LMAO! That is funny!



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  46. Mad_Scientist says:

    "there’s no question that there is a correlation between videogame violence and screen violence and aggression in real life"

    Correlation is not the same thing as causation. Without further information, a mere correlation is meaningless. A correlation could mean that screen violence makes people more aggressive, or that aggressive people tend to prefer violent entertainment, or some combination of the 2, or something else entirely. All it tells you is that there is a relationship, not what the relationship is. In some cases, a correlation by itself can lead a person to flawed conclusions if he/she isn’t careful.

  47. sharpshooterbabe says:

    Well I think that since the rep from slashgamer came to talk to them. The rep from slashgamer knows more than the news group or opinion news group he was talking to. The slashgamer knows his job & does his job well. The newsgroup of fox don’t know shit. Hey it’s just another "I want to get rid of this game b/c it’s for the best for everyone." That is BS. If they look at the sales of the game ON THE DAY OF THE RELEASE, the game made more in one day selling 135 million & it only goes upwards from there. That is in the UK too. & the gamers want this game. LIKE I DO! BUT WILL THEY LOOK AT THE GAMING STATISTICS?! NO! B/c they think it’s violent.

    Well hell! When I was watching the video & the guy asked if this is appropriate, I said yes, b/c I can ask the same question in movies: Is violence apprpriate in movies? Yes. But he said no, all 3 of them never came up w/saying anything about violence in movies. It is ridiculous! If they want to ban games on violence or Question them then do the same thing in movies, books, magazines & comics & videos. Shit……’s not all the games that make the violence. I can’t stand people like the Fox news people that are like that!



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  48. sirdarkat says:

     Of course he goes on to claim theirs a correlation between videogame violence and screen violence and aggression in real life.  Granted the word correlation means we have no clue and we are just claiming something … like me proving theres a correlation between shark attacks and software piracy … I can skew the information enough to make such a thing look true but only a complete idiot would try to claim shark attacks cause software piracy. 


    Of course I am such an idiot and I believe in order to stop piracy in the digital world we must declare war on the marine world and take these monsters out =P.

  49. Soldat_Louis says:

    I didn’t expect anything good from this debate, but anyway, kudos to Jim Steyer from saying that "We live in a world of free speech so you can create these games".

Comments are closed.