Judging by a leaked gameplay video of the opening to Modern Warfare 2, the game's biggest controversy may be yet to come. (Warning: Spoilers!)
(If the video in question is taken down, follow the links in the post.)
The above video is reportedly the opening scene in Infinity Ward's hugely anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and while it could be a hoax, I'm going to go out on a limb here and venture that this is the real deal. If the two previous warnings haven't convinced you to read further at your own risk, I'm going to do this one last time: Here there be spoilers. You have no one to blame but yourself!
All right, are you still with me? Good.
The above sequence shows the player in control of what is presumably a terrorist figure, attacking an airport and mercilessly killing unarmed civilians en masse. While this might make some gamers uncomfortable, I doubt that there will be any real controversy over this in gamer circles (at least, not on the level of that dedicated servers thing).
But this is exactly the sort of thing that is poised to spark a wave of controversy that makes the "This trailer went too far!" hubbub look like irritated grumbling at worst. Playing as a terrorist, gunning down civilians who are scrambling for their lives? Tell me that this doesn't have "moral outrage" written all over it, particularly in the post-9/11 world (well okay, mainly just the US).
I confess that I'm curious as to how this sequence will play into the game's overall plot. My best guess is that this is a temporary sequence, and the attack will be repelled by a group consisting of the "real" main characters. Okay, that's actually my only guess, but there could be something else going on, right?
The actual controversy might not hit until the actual game does and Joe Q. Public learns about it (being the type who doesn't, say, go to gaming websites all that often), but I can't see this flying under the media radar. In other words - brace for impact, people.
Update: The videos on channels like YouTube keep being taken down, but unless this is one of the best videogame hoaxes ever made - certainly the best I've ever seen - I'm pretty convinced that this is the real deal. Looks like the team in question is ... Russian, actually. There are more videos - with actual sound here, but as always, be spoiled at your own risk.