News is a bit old, but it doesn't hurt to have more topics. The Minister of Defence, Liam Fox, has called for a ban on the upcoming Medal of Honor game, citing it allowing one to play as the Taliban in the game.
In an interview with the Times (I'm having issues linking to the article), Mr. Fox deplored the game for allowing one to play as a Taliban militant, saying that it is insensitive to soldiers and their families, with the British role in Afghanistan as it. He asks retailers to show support and ban the game.
"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."
Fox is referring to a game trailer for Medal of Honor's online component which showed a map based on the Helmand province. It will have players going into two teams, Army Rangers or Taliban. EA pointed out first that the game will not feature British soldiers.
"In multi-player, teams assume the identities of combatants on both sides of the conflict.
"Many popular video games allow players to assume the identity of enemies, including Nazis and terrorists. In the multi-player levels of Medal of Honor, teams will assume the identity of both US forces and the Taliban."
Fox however seems to be resolute in his statement and other parts of the government is distancing themselves from him.
No! I'm Spamacus!
17th June 2003
I believe it is a nonissue. There is a difference between assuming a visual representation of someone and having their beliefs and ideologies. I'm not sure what group he would rather have targeting a collection of pixels that (wrongly) depict the British military. Would he be more comfortable with Americans shooting British in a game?
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
Un-British? Did he miss the part of history where we raped the world for hundreds of years? Has he actually lived on one of the more iffy estates? Has he even been into a drug dealer's house? What a load of horse shit, he just wants to paint Britain in the colors of upper middle class twats.
People pull respect, sensitivity and so on like a gun these days, whenever they want something, and in doing so reduce them to empty standards. If it's showing disrespect, using the context that typically defines that, then so be it. I find it quite beyond myself to care.
Fox's angle on this last week
A bit arbitrary to condemn this game and ignore all others.
He may have a point that it isn't very nice to reduce an ongoing conflict to entertainment, but this is what happens all the time in movies, books and even the news. Why should videogames be treated differently?
However, it is not as if the videogame industry couldn't raise its standards a bit. Most modern games are about as indepth as a Michael Bay movie. A pitty since there is the potential to make much more interesting games that might even have a bit of an educational value.
I think EA paid the minister to speak out against it as part of a viral marketing plan. Or they should have. Controversy will make people more interested in what looks to me like a rather unexceptional fps.
Either way, I don't give a shit about it. As soon as it gets out, I'm going to try it, whether there are Taliban or not. Who the fuck gives some shit about virtual characters ? Seriously, the media, the governments are really out of control lately.
What also kills me is this:
"Mr. Fox deplored the game for allowing one to play as a Taliban militant, saying that it is insensitive to soldiers and their families, with the British role in Afghanistan as it"
1. Like the Taliban doesn't have a life. Everybody has a reason to do something. The Taliban want the coalition out of their country. So much hypocrisy...
2. What the heck are your soldiers doing over there? It was Blair's idiotic idea to follow the US into Afghanistan, despite the warnings of the security agencies and such. You should've pulled your soldiers out of there long time ago...
3. So, it's fine to play as a US soldier killing people-slash-taliban, but it's too much when you play the Taliban? Wtf ?
People nowadays... seriously.
EA's argument about someone having to play the Taliban is wrong though. Anyone who has ever played America's Army knows there's an easy fix for that.
Professor Dr. Scientist;5383732EA's argument about someone having to play the Taliban is wrong though. Anyone who has ever played America's Army knows there's an easy fix for that.
True, but I'm sure AA would be a much more popular game if there was realistic gameplay for the opposing forces. But since it is mostly advertisement and payed for with tax dollars the army has to be more careful with the public opinion. EA can add a bit of controversy to their games and sell more copies, just like Activion did with their airport-massacre level in Modern Warfare 2.
The reason they brought up robbers and cops and having to play the bad guys is probably that they are trying to find an argument so simple that it will be plausible to people who have never played a videogame.