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EA’s Medal of Honor – Play as the Taliban

25 August 2010 5 Comments
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Medal of Honor - Taliban

EA’s Medal of Honor – Play as the Taliban

EA’s Medal of Honor is one of the most successful and well known first-person shooters available. In October 12, the latest rendition is due to be released but with a twist – it takes place in Afghanistan and in multiplayer mode, you are allowed to play as the Taliban.

  • Wait, what kind of video game allows you to play as the Taliban and shoot U.S. Soldiers?
  • Don’t we still have soldiers still in Afghanistan?
Medal of Honor Taliban Controversy

Hope I Don't get a Mask Tan..

Playing as the Enemy in Video Games

Playing as the enemy is nothing new in video games. Playing as part of the mob, or in games like grand theft auto – playing as criminals killing cops and innocent civilians. Playing as the enemy in war games is also nothing new.

Point of Contention – It’s an On-going Conflict

The point of contention with this game is that it is being released while US Soldiers are still in Afghanistan. It is an on-going conflict with many families who have loved ones still still serving overseas. No one argues against games placed in WWII or other long passed wars, but the fact that this game takes place in a current war, has stirred quite a bit of controversy.

Question: Bad Form or Fair Game?

  • Is EA in bad form to try to take advantage of current history to sell games or do you feel it is completely fair game (pun intended)?

A Gold Star Mother Meredith came on Fox & Friends to express how she and many other people have with this title. She
how it is disrespectful especially to families who are losing their children in the war. Meredith herself lost her son in Afghanistan.

“We’ve just come off of the worst month of causalties in the whole war… and this game is going to be released in October. So families who are going to be burying their children are going to be seeing this… I just don’t see that a video game based on a current war makes any sense at all. It’s disrespectful.”

Even the British Defense Secretary Liam Fox had a lot to add to this controversy.

“[It is] shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers.”

“At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands.”

“It’s hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product.”

[Note that no British Soldiers are actually explicitly in the game. Dr Fox is alluding to attacking ISAF troops in the area of central Helmand where British troops are operating”]

Current Conflicts vs. Old Conflicts

I still remember vividly the tragedy of 9/11. I still remember how horrible and painful it felt to witness such an horrific event. I also remember in a moment of random thought how long it would be before people started to pump out movies on this matter. Movies on WWII are abundant but they all came out years after the wars have long passed. The images from “Saving Private Ryan” or even movies like “Pearl Harbor” would have been excruciating for anyone remotely connected to the war or those who were in it. No one would dare make a movie on 9/11 right away, but how can you know when it is ok? Several movies came out later depicting the conflict but since some time of healing had passed no one flinched.

So the question again is..

  • Is EA in bad form to try to take advantage of current history to sell games or do you feel it is completely fair game (pun again! gag me,)?

What are your thoughts on this matter?
Please do not just say “it’s just a game” or “so and so is a retard” or “if you don’t like it don’t play it”. These are not arguments, it’s a bit of a cop-out and often demeaning.

The question is whether the timing of this game (clearly for the sake of profit) is in bad form or if it’s legit.

An even deeper question if you dare:

  • Why is it that we aren’t all that offended at video games in which the purpose is to go around shooting down other human beings?
  • What does our desensitization to violence and games such as these, speak about our culture?

I think the answer to these questions are more disturbing than any of the debate over this game.

EA: Shame or Fair Game?

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5 Comments »

  • James said:

    I am 18 year old living in Britain. I have seen and read on news, newspaper what have been going on in middle east and I feel it is a terrible shame that are boys have been killed. But isn’t that in real life not in video game. By playing this game would it turn me a extremist? NO is the answer. But reading Quiran would it make me a extremist NO it will only make me Muslim(not sure). But my point is that there is lots of info and media out there that can manipulate my (juvenile – “LOL”) mind. Why haven’t they been banned Why?????? main example would be this movie called “Four Loyins” British movie about four Muslim suicide bombing London marathon-it is a black comedy. Why is this movie have not been looked down upon instead harmless game company have been pointed at by all directions. I am sure the campaign on this game is not about Taliban’s its about American army or the British army fighting against Taliban’s. But in only in multi player you can play as an Taliban soldier because you cant have to fight against another faction and by a chance the game is set in middle east. “Oh yeah lets make this game fight against aliens or robots” it font work mate. I like to say I am proud of the British force and American force if I had a gun and a bullet-and a Taliban was next to me I will make sure I shoot him that’s the game have been thought me since cod 4, cod 6. This games made me want to join the army not support this Taliban extremist packi’s. Now why arent they complaining about this games making me hate talibans cos they’re vein and tidios after all you have to be handicapped to me an MP. Thank you!

  • Jamie Vere said:

    The whole idea of playing as the Taliban is visually sound as far as I’m concerned. “It’s hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game.” is a rather unintelligent statement to make. There’s nothing we’d love more than to be able to kill Americans in a game, it’s a privilege we’ve never had before. To suggest that a game where you kill Americans should be banned sounds very un-democratic, even for this government. It serves only to perpetuate the idea that all American soldiers are saints, and have never done anything wrong, though they have killed many British soldiers in their time in Afghanistan. One last thing, do you ever see any Germans or Japanese or Afghan people complaining about Call of Duty or Medal of Honour? No.

  • Jasper said:

    So shooting US or UK soldiers in a video game is evil, But killing Iraqi’s, Afghans, Russians, Germans, Chinese, Koreans etc. was o.k.?

    Does that mean we wanted to teach our kids its o.k to shoot them because they all terrorists and evil nazi’s anyways? I thought it was just a video game, but now I’m starting to feel guilty about all those fraq grenates I threw around in counter strike…

  • Full Metal said:

    EA are a ruthless company that i personally HATE. No i REALLY hate EA, i want to make that clear, but i can’t fault them for releasing a game. Playing as the taliban is a loose statment. It means nothing more than your player looks like a typical stereotypical taliban soldier, nothing more. The game will be balanced so both teams are even. Like i said, the only difference is the player model you control. They could easily have made you look like panda bears, or space robots etc…No one should find this ‘disturbing’ or ‘controversial’. Some other valid points have already been raised, i have ruthlessly slaughtered Germans, Iraqis, Russians, Japanease and many many others in countless video games, and you only complain when its the British’s turn?!
    There is nothing wrong with this, or indeed any other video game-period.

  • Confused said:

    I don’t like any of these games where you kill other people at all. It’s sad on every aspect. What happened to people playing games where you just kill monsters, aliens, zombies, mutant creatures? People keep wanting more and more, nothing is innocent anymore. One thing is for sure, I think even though video games aren’t responsible for peoples behavior, it certainly doesn’t help. I feel however, the author who responds to the comments on the posts is oblivious to many things. Being affiliated with the military myself, let me make one thing clear to you: YOU ARE NOT TRAINED ON SIMULATIONS TO KILL. We are not indoctrinated and brainwashed to kill humans without remorse. We do not use video games to train people to kill. I have never experienced anything of the sort and I am currently in a combat MOS. Where are you getting your information from, author? I am sure from a ridiculous source only trying to make the military look ruthless and evil. The majority of us are not, and those who are it certainly has nothing to do with video games. That does not mean that there aren’t immature teenagers fresh out of high school who enlist so they can “kill”, I have heard it all before but one thing is guaranteed: once they go to a combat zone and get sent back home from deployment, their attitude about human life changes for the better (yes that excludes the wackos out there who do not belong in the military in the first place). It’s not about killing. Get your facts straight.

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