Designer Behind ‘CoD: No Russian’ Controversy Surprised by Response
Ivan Petrushinov, the game designer behind the controversial Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 mission “No Russian”, has expressed his surprise at how the level ignited such a strong discussion among gamers around the world.
For the uninitiated, “No Russian” was a mission released as part of the 2009 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 video game. The mission featured a sequence in which the player character, allied with a group of Russian ultranationalists, takes part in a bloody terrorist attack in an airport.
“I was a little surprised by the reaction,” Petrushinov admitted in a recent interview. “I knew I was pushing the boundaries of accepted video game content with this mission, but I honestly didn’t expect the level to become such a topic of conversation.”
The public debate over “No Russian” raged on for months and even led to the game being banned or heavily censored in some countries. People argued over whether the mission was morally acceptable, and gamers were divided over its appropriateness.
Petrushinov admits he was initially taken aback by the controversy, “It’s always odd to have something you created become the center of so much debate and discussion.”
However, he gradually began to appreciate the impact his work was having on society: “Having my work provoke such strong feelings in people made me feel like I was making a difference in the world. It was the kind of impact I had always hoped to have as a game designer.”
Ultimately, despite the controversy, “No Russian” has proven to be one of the most memorable parts of the Modern Warfare 2 game. As such, Petrushinov looks back with no regrets: “The fact that people are still talking about this mission almost a decade later is a testament to its success.”