I have just finished Modern Warfare 2. I cannot even cope with how fucking amazing this game is.
Infinity Ward has not only revolutionized gameplay, but has more effectively humanized war than any film I've seen in recent memory.
Fast paced episodic storytelling, an epic and intricate plot, emotional punches you weren't expecting, and examination of the morality of...
...war as well as the psychology of war mongers make this game a step forward even beyond that of COD4.
I love this game. The storyline, gameplay, characters, sound, graphics, voice acting- top to bottom, the game is astounding. It is riveting and exciting. Love it. Infinity Ward deserves their accolades. And then you get to the online play, the thing that made COD4 one of the best selling, most replayed, and least discounted games of ever. They have also improved upon this, now with seemingly endless unlockable titles; emblems; customizable perks; your own accolades at the end of every round; and the ingenious host-forwarding, so when your game goes wonky, it pauses and resumes it for you on a most stable host. Brilliant.
But they eliminated party chat from all small team games.
At first, I was merely disappointed, and only slightly. So, if I wanted to play with friends in regular team deathmatch or domination, we'd have to endure the endless, reedy cries of "I'm gonna rape you, you fag" from the occasional hyper-active twelve year old, or withstand the awful crackly droning from the guy who's playing hip hop way too loudly in the background. I could manage these. You can mute individual microphones, so, fine. No party chat. I don't even use my mic unless I'm playing with pals, anyway.
And then I actually started to play. PATRIOT15, fellow NYU alum and faithful COD buddy, accompanied me into a realm I had not visited for eight months or more- that of the Game Chat. And at first, it was fine. The occasional, "Dude, you know you sound like a girl" which is easily enough replied to with "Actually, I am one," followed by the "Oh, cool", and then that's the end of it. Some then feel to need to make extremely juvenile, mostly-giggled out sexist comments and ask offensive questions, but it peters out fairly quickly.
Until this douche bag rolled on up into our lobby. About two seconds into the game, when I commented to Drew that I loved the 'Companion Crate' id tag, since it's a play on another one of my very favorite games, Portal. It goes unremarked upon. A little later into the game, douchebag (who sounds about 15), makes a comment about shooting a 'n--ger', to which the black guy in the room does not take kindly. Douchey replies he can say whatever the hell he wants. I say "Maybe so, but that's really unnecessary."
Well, forget the blacks, because now he has a vagina to lash out at. He's probably had more contact with black people in whatever whitebread farming community he lives in than he has female genitalia. I know this, because he immediately questions me:
"Are you a dyke? Do you like to lick things?" And persisted with (watered down for our sensitive reading audience): "I bet you're all loose down there. Except you don't take dick so you're probably not," and "Women shouldn't be allowed to vote. [Five second pause] Women shouldn't be allowed to vote. Women shouldn't be allowed to buy Xbox games. Women shouldn't allowed to vote. I'm just saying the truth."
Stupidly, I fired back a few good insults of my own. I say this was stupid because he did not understand any of them. My subtle returns and rebuttals, which are usually highly effective in undermining and shutting up the sophomoric idiots on Xbox Live who can at least appreciate a girl who can talk as much trash as they can, and can sometimes even respect that I am a hell of a lot smarter than them, were wasted on this particular piece of juvenile, misogynistic, rapist-in-training trash. I reported him in the middle of the game for sexual harassment and abusive language- please understand that this went on for a good seven or ten minutes, and I have written only the most bland and vanilla of it here, and that it was non stop, barely a pause for breath, once he realized there was a girl in the room- as did PATRIOT15. I told Patriot, not having realized he was busy doing the same thing I was, that I just "Reported my first complaint! That's so exciting!"
Surly and somber, douchey began proclaiming, "I can make complaints too, dyke. That you're tampering with the game. Cheating dyke." etc, and so on. I encouraged him to do so, seeing as there was absolutely no evidence I had tampered with or cheated during the round, and in fact had been killed twice as many times as I myself had scored since I'd stood still in the middle of an active game like a fish in a barrel while I'd posted my report.
I then muted him, and his guffawing lackey who would snicker and repeat "dyke" like a drunk and mentally challenged parrot, and continued on in the game. But this instance opened my eyes to what is, officially for me, now, a problem.
So now, an open letter.
Dear Infinity Ward:
Please release a patch or fix that will allow users to utilize party chat in all modes of online gameplay, if only for the sake of your female fans. We shelled out the money for the game, we stayed up all night and missed half a day of work playing it, we write and read reviews and buy MW2 caps for our avatars on the XBox Live marketplace.
Out of respect for us, since, sadly, the majority of the people who play your game online have none, give us back party chat so we can enjoy the wonderful evolution of the online play without being told how unwelcome, ugly, stupid, and useless for anything other than degrading sexual acts we are. Please give us back party chat so we can have tactical conversation with the friends we're playing with, without having to hear how we have no right to be there, no right to play; so we don't have to hear, out of the mouths of sexist, bitter virgins who have clocked months worth of their lives in game time that we are socially defunct and sexually wrong, somehow, for playing.
I would really appreciate it.
P.S. To all the gentlemen bloggers who use words like 'cunt' and 'whore' when taking shots at women in business or the media, there is a reason we don't respond well to that and chastise you for it. It's because, frequently, we know you're not limpdick misogynistic trash. But when you resort to those words for female targets, it makes you sound like you are.