People are up in arms about the use of a video game character graphic in a serious news story about a failed military operation.
On Sunday, the UK paper The Sunday Times ran a piece called “Hostage tragedy of ‘mission impossible.'” Inside that article, the main graphic showed a soldier in full gear – but not a soldier involved in the mission. Not even an actual human soldier for that matter.
Instead, the soldier portrayed in the graphic was none other than John “Soap” MacTavish, one of our favorite protagonists from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare video game series. Even though plenty of gamers might have gotten attached to Soap over the course of multiple Modern Warfare campaigns, we can assure you that he is not, in fact, a real soldier.
But to be fair, they did black-bar his eyes to protect his identity…
The story concerned a very real military operation involving a failed hostage rescue attempt in Nigeria. Two engineers, Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara, were captured by Islamist militants, according to the BBC. UK special forces were unable to save the them after a rescue attempt went sour and the militants executed them. The operation itself has been criticized by some, but Defense chiefs in the UK have defended the mission as the “best chance” the two had for survival.
The Sunday Times has a circulation of around 1 million. It was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News International in 1981.
It’s unclear whether someone at The Sunday Times was merely confused, or this was just an odd decision. The former is probably less likely. COD: MW graphic design just isn’t that great.[The Media Blog via RegHardware]