Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: A real-life threat of violence?
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 -- a "white-knuckle" experience, according to one Activision exec -- has caused some white-knuckle suspense at its release. At a Denver retailer, there were threats of shootings and explosives.
The video game, which is chockablock with shootings and explosions, began "its worldwide invasion at midnight" on Monday, according to the company, at 13,000 retailers around the globe.
At a Denver Best Buy, 31-year-old Lomorin Sar, discovered that the location did not have the game that he said he had pre-ordered. Disappointment apparently turned to rage, with Sar allegedly threatening to gun down employees and blow up the store.
According to the Aurora Sentinel, Sar asked employees when they were leaving work -- so that he could meet them in the parking lot to shoot them.
“Investigating officers issued a criminal summons to a man who threatened to carry out his own version of Modern Warfare at the electronics store. Fortunately, this situation did not end in violence,” said Aurora police spokesman Det. Bob Friel.
Violence is what Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is all about. Its ESRB rating is for mature players because of blood and gore, drug references, intense violence and strong language.
But within that super-violent video-game category, Activision (and co-developers of the game Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games) obviously was going for class. The graphics are slick, and Timothy Olyphant ("I Am Number 4," "Rango," TV's "Justified" and "Damages") is among those who did voice work. In an Activision interview, the actor describes Call of Duty and games of its ilk as "visually stunning, intense and dramatic." He's shown bellowing dialogue: "Hostiles on the roof!"
"Class" isn't always used to describe those waiting in line to join the "invasion."
A Connecticut paper described the scene at a Branford shopping center bluntly: "From puke to pieces of clothing, the Branhaven parking lot was trashed Tuesday morning. The reason: Gamers were waiting outside Game Stop for the release of the latest 'Call of Duty' game."
One store owner said:
"When I got here this morning, I thought I'm going to have a heart attack. It was like, I was shocked. Tons of garbage all the way through the plaza."
Calls to Activision were not immediately returned.
-- Amy Hubbard
Photo: Fans of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 pack a Las Vegas GameStop in the wee hours Monday. Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images