For allowing players to skip the 'No Russian' level in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Infinity Ward have shown that they do not have the backbone to stand behind the choices for their game. In short, they have no balls.
Let me explain. If you haven't played MW2 or are not aware of the 'No Russian' level, here's an excerpt:
In Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, the audience watch as Robert De Niro's character Travis Bickle guns down the occupants of a New York brothel. In Gasper Noe's Irreversible, the film forces its viewers to withstand a nine-minute rape scene. Other films, both indie and mainstream, have shown questionably offensive acts onscreen to audiences. In some cases this is why the audiences goes to see these films: To experience something they would never do in real life. If the audience doesn't like it, they can leave. In the majority of cases, filmmakers are unwilling to change the content of their film to suit audience tastes surrounding offensiveness.
In the case of Modern Warfare 2, Infinity Ward included the 'No Russian' level into their narrative, where the player is instructed to gun down a whole airport's worth of Russian civilians. This scenario is not unique to games: In 24 we repeatedly see scenes of terrorist attacks killing hundreds of people. Unlike 24, Infinity Ward give their audience the option to skip the possibly offensive section entirely.
What would films be like if they had this option? Would A Clockwork Orange have been as effective if the audience could choose to skip the Alex's ultra-violence? Would Antichrist have had the visceral impact without the scenes of mutilation? What if these films had the option to be seen without the offensive content? Filmmakers and cinephiles worldwide would be outraged at such blatant self-censorship. They would see those behind the decisions as having 'sold out' to the establishment in favour of not offending anyone.
No matter where you stand in relation to the content of the 'No Russian' level, giving the player the option to skip content they don't morally agree sets a worrying precedent not only for games, but for mainstream media as a whole. Infinity Ward have shown that they do not have the strength of their convictions to say to the player 'this is a level in our game. You must complete it in order to proceed.' If future games have this option (Black Ops does, but I am unsure as to what content it removes), what does it mean for storytelling and narrative in interactive media? Will game designers be unwilling to explore the morally grey if the audience can simply skip over this content? Why would they spend time on a section that they don't think people will play?
Infinity Ward should have either included the level properly or removed it altogether. Giving the audience the option devalues not only MW 2's story but also games as a platform. If games are ever going to be taken seriously as an art form, game designers need to have the strength of their convictions to stand behind the content of their game.
That's my take, anyway.