Infinity Ward Have No Balls.

Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -

 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.
#1 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -

 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.
#2 Posted by animateria (3253 posts) -

It's okay... 
 
Infinity Ward doesn't even have a head anymore.

#3 Posted by Hailinel (24974 posts) -

What's wrong with giving people the option to skip that particular section?  The way it plays out, you're never in any real danger anyway.  It's basically just a cutscene that you have the option to skip.

Online
#4 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4540 posts) -
@Hailinel said:
" What's wrong with giving people the option to skip that particular section?  The way it plays out, you're never in any real danger anyway.  It's basically just a cutscene that you have the option to skip. "
Thiiiiiiiiiis. I personally didn't even care for the level as I feel it didn't add anything important to the game. Sure as hell didn't add anything to the story because, let's face it, the story was garbage.
#5 Posted by blueduck (964 posts) -
@PrimeSynergy said:
" @Hailinel said:
" What's wrong with giving people the option to skip that particular section?  The way it plays out, you're never in any real danger anyway.  It's basically just a cutscene that you have the option to skip. "
Thiiiiiiiiiis. I personally didn't even care for the level as I feel it didn't add anything important to the game. Sure as hell didn't add anything to the story because, let's face it, the story was garbage. "
Yeah who really cares when the story was a joke.
#6 Edited by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

Giving someone the option to skip No Russian is nothing to bitch about. Films don't force anyone to sit through graphic scenes, thanks to the FAST FORWARD button. 
 
You also have the option to walk out of the cinema.

#7 Posted by SammydesinasNL (840 posts) -

Problem is that the if you skip the level you don't get anything explaining what happens. Basically all you hear is 
'Good luck on this undercover mission'
'O noez! After what happened at the airport we are now at war! Go find the arms dealer!' 
 
Seriously, that makes no sense.
#8 Posted by shivermetimbers (774 posts) -
@Hailinel said:
" What's wrong with giving people the option to skip that particular section?  The way it plays out, you're never in any real danger anyway.  It's basically just a cutscene that you have the option to skip. "
I guess shooting those police with guns and riot shields isn't considered gameplay.
#9 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -
@Axxol: Go to your local cinema and show me the fast forward button.
#10 Posted by teh_pwnzorer (1482 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist said:
" @Axxol: Go to your local cinema and show me the fast forward button. "
You can go to the lobby and get yourself a treat. 
 
  
#11 Posted by DeeGee (2128 posts) -

Films don't make you kill all the innocents.
 
I have no problem with the no Russian thing at all, but your argument is just fundementally flawed.

#12 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist said:
" @Axxol: Go to your local cinema and show me the fast forward button. "  
Even at cinemas, you have the option to leave. No one is forcing you to watch it.
#13 Posted by Jethuty (1023 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist: At a Cinema, you can just walk out if you dont want to see a paticular scene or movie (or dont go altogether).  You could even just do something as simple as closing your eyes? In a Movie, YOU are not participating in said acts, and you are not interacting with anything or setting anything in motion. You are vicariously watching the movie and story unfold, where as in the game, you have to inciate the process, in order to progress the story any further. you have to actively participate in the story, to watch it unfold. Thats why there is a skip button, (or just because if you are replaying it, you dont want to replay that exact sequence again, because it takes forever and you have already gotten your fill of if) 
 
 
This topic is hella stupid....
#14 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5834 posts) -

They still included the scene so I don't really see your point.

#15 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -

Putting that section in the game in the first place was a ballsy move. Here are some reasons why I'm going to back it up: 
 

  • Video games don't get the degrees of freedom films do. There are a lot of people out there that don't understand what games are capable of and they write them off as distractions for kids and people who are too lazy to get real jobs. When a game approaches something controversial, there is always a huge outcry, and usually the video game company backs down. Good on Activision and IW for sticking to there guns on this one. EA and Konami sure didn't. (Remember the Taliban in MOH and 6 Days in Fallujah?) 
  • Kids play Call of Duty. And it's not just kids that might not want to see that part, some adults might feel uncomfortable witnessing a simulation of airport mass-murder, whether real or not. This is by far the darkest part of the game, and it shouldn't stand in the way of some people who just want to run around shooting bad guys. 
  • Being able to skip it is something unique to video games, and maybe DVD releases. Allowing you to skip parts you don't like, such as parts that make you uncomfortable or parts that are boring are something you can't do in a theatre. Why not have the censored and uncensored version of a story on one disc? Some people might not like the things you do. It's good to offer both. After all, you can't please everybody, but you can try to please most of them. 
#16 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -
@Axxol: You can leave, but they don't give you the option to recut the film
 
@DeeGee: Oh, because other games don't give you missions like that?  
#17 Edited by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -
@extremeradical: No filmmaker would agree to what you're asking. None. At all. Why should game designers? Also, games on the whole DO NOT allow you to skip parts levels you don't like. I can only think of Alone in the Dark that does. 
 
Furthermore, making the kids argument is insulting and pathetic. These are not games meant for children. There is an 18 on the box or M rating if you're in the States.
  • . After all, you can't please everybody, but you can try to please most of them. "
Literally, what the fuck? What artist with any degree of self-respect says 'I'm going to try and please as many people as possible'? Do you want everyone to be fucking Michael Bay?? 
#18 Edited by CornBREDX (5383 posts) -

I think your looking at this wrong. Video Games are an interactive medium. As such, developers have the ability to allow players to skip something if they feel its too much. While I prefer to see the narrative as a whole, someone with a higher moral horse may feel they need to skip it for some reason. 
 
Giving players this option does not make IW less of a developer. It's IW understanding someone may not like it and would rather skip it. IMO it can also be a slap in the face of someone as they are saying "Go ahead, skip it, miss some of the story you've been playing."
 
Giving people choice doesn't make you less controversial in your choices for the story. Video Games are not movies. They contain a narrative that is driven by the player so if the player chooses to they can skip something they may find hard to watch.  I appreciate that even though I would prefer not to skip it, someone else might. I personally cant play the past 2 Modern Warfare games because of personal psychological reasons pertaining to real war. My reaction to it would not be like yours (I could possibly even burst out crying for no particular reason other than from the thoughts more "realistic" [in quotes means its really more cartoony in MW but there are aspects to it that are based on reality] shooters bring back into my memory).
 
Even with the option to skip I still couldn't play the game, so I know I wont. Others may have different reactions to it just because of personal morals. Granted it begs the question why they are playing at all but to each his own hypocrisy. 
 
Just my thoughts on it, I've never played the game. As I said- I have personal reasons why I cant.

#19 Posted by CandleJakk (766 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist said:
"  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.(1) 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 (2) 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? (3) 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. (4) 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 (5), game designers need to have the strength of their convictions to stand behind the content of their game.  That's my take, anyway. "
1: How Is that different to skipping content? Except for skipping the entire conclusion of the film entirely. 
2: A Clockwork Orange was removed from British cinema entirely, for several years, at Kubrik's request. And the audience could choose. They chose not to see the film. 
3: This has happened for years, hence Director's Cuts being implemented in the first place. It's not difficult to release a film twice, with some scenes removed, and a full version. If anything it makes sense too, as the creators would get more money. 
4: They did both. The full level was playable, if you chose to skip it, it's completely removed. The cutscenes, etc explain what happened (for the most part) anyway (IIRC). 
5: Please, please don't start this conversation, it's only just gone away. 
 
It made brilliant business sense for IW to include the option to skip it. It meant that they got slightly less hate after the games initial release, as they appeared to be 'acting responsibly' where parents can't be arsed to, especially after the shitstorm before it's release from uneducated morons.  
 
The big argument between games and TV is that with games you are in control of the action, to a certain extent, far more than you are television and film, and idiots think it has an adverse affect on everyone, not just the mentally unbalanced and poorly-parented. (Stereotyping to an extent, I know). Couple this with how video games have come about in leaps and bounds despite still being a relatively young medium, older generations are reacting the same way our great grandparents would do to television - it ruins, corrupts and destroys people, crippling their emotions and mental faculties.  
 
I can see where you're coming from, completely, but I have to disagree.  
More importantly, this ship has sailed, why are we digging it up again? 
#20 Posted by fwylo (3556 posts) -

I had nothing against the level.. It's just a game.  I was constantly yelling things like "DIE RUSSIAN BITCHES" and "COMMIE MOTHER FUCKERS" and "SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND".  It's fun to lose yourself in something that totally doesn't matter because it's fictional some time. 
 
But obviously just because Infinity Ward decided to give people the option to skip the level doesn't mean they have no balls.  It could be a disturbing scene for people who are uneasy about things like and they understand that.  They still put the level in there.  It could have just been a damn moving loading screen thing they do if they wanted to.  Just say "Hey by the way this thing happened and here's why it this war started".  But they didn't, they put the level in there because when you play that level though, and get to the end, 
 

 
So yes they ahve balls.  And yes they are nice people for trying to appeal to a larger crowd instead of the select people like myself that don't give a fuck what I'm shooting.  Next time I hope it's in a damn Animal Hospital so I can shoot some fucking chihuahuas or something.
#21 Edited by Skald (4367 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist said:

" @extremeradical: No filmmaker would agree to what you're asking. None. At all. Why should game designers? Also, games on the whole DO NOT allow you to skip parts levels you don't like. I can only think of Alone in the Dark that does.  @extremeradical said:

  • . After all, you can't please everybody, but you can try to please most of them. "
Literally, what the fuck? What artist with any degree of self-respect says 'I'm going to try and please as many people as possible'? Do you want everyone to be fucking Michael Bay?? "
What do you think this game is? The Mona Lisa? Sure, this game can have some integrity. No Russian was a huge deal, and most games would shy away from that stuff, and this was how IW and Activision wanted to approach something that's a really big deal. Do you think the people who designed this level wanted it to be skippable? Maybe, I don't know. The reality is that people don't understand video games, and they are not films, and people don't treat them the same. Has anyone ever called Taxi Driver a murder simulator? Has anyone lobbied against a movie and pulled it from store shelves because it had some sexual content in it? Not recently, no. That's all happened to video games though. In the last ten years no less.
 
And yes, if you want to make one of the most popular games of all time, you are going to have please a hell of a lot of people. By your analogy, this is the Michael Bay movie of games. Also, you seem to misconstrue what I'm saying. I don't think video games should be treated like they can be murder simulators, but we live in a time where a lot of people think they are, and game designers have to deal with that until people can understand that video games can convey a message the same way movies and books can. 
 
Because in the end, it's all about money anyway, and this kind of controversy usually isn't good for a company's bottom-line.
#22 Posted by DeeGee (2128 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist:  How could you read my post wrong when it's only two sentences?
#23 Posted by Potter9156 (942 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist said:
" 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. "
 
They do. It's called the skip chapter button or fast forward or the "hide your face in a pillow" option. You can't do any of those things with a game.
 
 
Your argument has no foundation. 
Online
#24 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -
@CandleJakk: 
 
1. As I mentioned previously, although the audience can skip parts of a movie they do not have the option of actually re-editing it to suit their tastes. 
2. Not exactly. He removed the film because he received death threats, and because he was worried about reported copycat killings. He still chose the content that went into it. Kubrick still made the damn film. Audiences actually chose to go see the film in large numbers, the DVD has sold incredibly well. Of course, this isn't include the thousands of bootleg copies that have existed in the UK over the years. Furthermore an edited version was theatrically released in the US, but the uncut version was the one eventually released on DVD.
3. Director's Cuts are just that, they are the Director's Cut. It is not the audience's cut. No artist with any level of dignity would let the audience decide what went in the film. 
4. That's beside the point. They censored the story of their own game. Say what you like about the GTA games, but Rockstar would never let that slide. 
5. I'm finishing up a thesis on morality in games and this is a case study. I thought it was relevant so I decided to blog about it. 
#25 Posted by MayorFeedback (674 posts) -

Hey, wow, people are still talking about this.

#26 Posted by Jimbo (9820 posts) -

Your first mistake is comparing a mindless popcorn action game like MW2 with a work of art like Taxi Driver.  
 
Your second mistake is your misuse of 'self-censorship'.  It would have been self-censorship if they had ditched the level entirely for fear of causing offence.  Self-censorship is when the creator censors their own work, not when the consumer chooses to 'censor' (poor use of the word in this case but let's roll with it) the work on their own behalf.  The latter isn't any form of censorship at all, it's simply choosing how to consume something.  There's usually very little the creator can do to prevent a consumer 'censoring' the work for themselves - they can always close their eyes during a scary part of a movie, skip a chapter in a book, skip a song on an album, whatever.  Giving the consumer the option to skip something isn't censorship.
 
I agree that it doesn't reflect particularly well on an artist to suggest you might want to skip a part of their work, but it still isn't censorship.  It's also questionable whether IW were even trying to create art in the first place.

#27 Posted by SSully (4199 posts) -
@PrimeSynergy said:
" @Hailinel said:
" What's wrong with giving people the option to skip that particular section?  The way it plays out, you're never in any real danger anyway.  It's basically just a cutscene that you have the option to skip. "
Thiiiiiiiiiis. I personally didn't even care for the level as I feel it didn't add anything important to the game. Sure as hell didn't add anything to the story because, let's face it, the story was garbage. "
Although I agree the story was shit, the whole story in the game basically ignited because of the No Russian mission. You obviously were not paying attention. 
#28 Posted by omgmetalgear (141 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist:  uhh little late to bring up this topic. Years late.
#29 Posted by Giraffeking (26 posts) -

I imagine one of the reasons they did that was if the censors made them take it out (which I believe some countries did), It would be easier to remove it with a minimal amount of work

#30 Posted by Toms115 (2316 posts) -

you should definitely always stand by your intentions, but we don't know the full circumstances. for all we know it could have been activision that shoehorned the skip in. 

#31 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -
@PrimeSynergy said:
" @Hailinel said:
" What's wrong with giving people the option to skip that particular section?  The way it plays out, you're never in any real danger anyway.  It's basically just a cutscene that you have the option to skip. "
Thiiiiiiiiiis. I personally didn't even care for the level as I feel it didn't add anything important to the game. Sure as hell didn't add anything to the story because, let's face it, the story was garbage. "
It doesn't matter if the story was bad, the mission was an important piece of the story.
#32 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4540 posts) -
@SSully said:
" @PrimeSynergy said:
" @Hailinel said:
" What's wrong with giving people the option to skip that particular section?  The way it plays out, you're never in any real danger anyway.  It's basically just a cutscene that you have the option to skip. "
Thiiiiiiiiiis. I personally didn't even care for the level as I feel it didn't add anything important to the game. Sure as hell didn't add anything to the story because, let's face it, the story was garbage. "
Although I agree the story was shit, the whole story in the game basically ignited because of the No Russian mission. You obviously were not paying attention.  "
@CL60 said:
" @PrimeSynergy said:
" @Hailinel said:
" What's wrong with giving people the option to skip that particular section?  The way it plays out, you're never in any real danger anyway.  It's basically just a cutscene that you have the option to skip. "
Thiiiiiiiiiis. I personally didn't even care for the level as I feel it didn't add anything important to the game. Sure as hell didn't add anything to the story because, let's face it, the story was garbage. "
It doesn't matter if the story was bad, the mission was an important piece of the story. "
And the game would've felt exactly the same if they had just shoehorned into a cutscene. I'm well aware of went on in the game. I'm saying the act of playing that mission added nothing whatsoever to the game. At the end of the day, no one can argue that you needed to play that level for the story to move forward.
#33 Posted by RobotHamster (4172 posts) -

But what if there were children?

#34 Edited by Andheez (584 posts) -

I am going to agree.  The reason is because it does not force you to actively participate in the slaughter of innocents.  If you want to remain horrified and treat it as a cut-scene you can opt not to shoot anyone until they shoot at you, just like the thousands of other people you gun down.

#35 Posted by RYNO9881 (625 posts) -

Okay saying MW2 story was garbage is crazy talk. The story was insane and awesome. Don't know what game you people played.

#36 Posted by LackLuster (725 posts) -

Comparing games to film is pretty much ridiculous at this point in time

#37 Posted by sopranosfan (1935 posts) -

 I don't see how giving someone the opiton to skip what is basically an  interactive cutscene is a bad thing.  I have skipped dozen of cutscenes, although not this one because I had to know about the contreversey.  Second there is no telling how many contreversial scenes have been removed without us ever knowing and as stated by a few others leaving it in in any aspect showed pretty good commitment to their beliefs.  Finally to anybody that thinks MW2 had a good story I respectfully disagree.

#38 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

Wasn't that put in because of the major outcry from soccer moms all over the world about how violent the game was?

#39 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1855 posts) -
@animateria said:
" It's okay...  Infinity Ward doesn't even have a head anymore. "
The thread was over here, I'm not sure why anybody even bothered posting after this.
#40 Posted by Gamer_152 (14081 posts) -

They allowed people who might be easily offended to skip what was essentially a cutscene. What would there have been to gain from keeping it in? The fact you can skip it doesn't disadvantage any players, were IW supposed to leave it there so that they could turn around and say "We're big manly tough guys because we make people play upsetting levels"?

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