Infinity Ward, developer of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone, has removed an in-game gesture that has been culturally associated with white supremacy.
The OK gesture, made by forming the pointer finger and thumb into a circle, has been replaced with a new one called Crush during the game’s latest mid-season patch. Although not specifically mentioned in the patch notes, players quickly discovered the change (spotted by Eurogamer) given that the gesture has been widely used for humiliating opponents unfortunate enough to be the final kills in multiplayer matches.
The gesture was originally co-opted in an attempt to fool the public over its importance as a hate symbol. Since then, however, the gesture has had its meaning warped, so much so that the Anti-Defamation League now recognizes it as an “expression of white supremacy.” Just after removing this gesture, the game also renamed the controversial “Border War” skin.
The symbol and its hateful message has seen a resurgence in the wake of recent Black Lives Matter protests–a movement which Infinity Ward and Activision have publicly supported. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare featured an in-game message drawing players’ attention to the movement, while its developer vowed to take stricter action against racist players and community members.
GameSpot has reached out to Activision for comment.
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