17 Aug

We previously reported on a growing controversy within the media at large at one of EA and Danger Close Studio’s multiplayer features in the upcoming Medal of Honor. The ability to play as members of the Al Qaeda terriorist organization hasn’t been popular in some circles since word first got to mainstream media outlets (follow the jump for some related program segments), but the drama has only escalated when Karen Meredith; mother of 1LT Ken Ballard, who was accidentally killed in the line of duty; spoke out against the game and its publishers.

“War is not a game, period,” said Meredith, “Families who are 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.”

Electronic Arts has since released an official statement via senior Public Relations manager Amanda Taggart which states, “Medal of Honor is set in today’s war putting players in the boots of today’s soldiers… we give gamers the opportunity to play both sides. Most of us have been doing this since we were seven… if someone’s the cop, someone’s got to be the robber, someone’s got to be the pirate and someone’s got to be the alien. In Medal of Honor multiplayer, someone’s gotta be the Taliban.”

“I just find this unrealistic, to compare cops and robbers to the Taliban and U.S. soldiers,” Meredith later responded. “My son didn’t get to start over when he was killed. His life is over, and I have to deal with this every day… it’s just not a game.”

Where do the E-Gs stand on this issue? Give us your responses to these news segments, and the issue at large, in the comments section below!

2 thoughts on “Medal of Honor Taliban Controversy Escalates”

  1. The criticism is valid, but again I think that such topics are necessary to ensure that video games earn greater respect.

    After all, there are movies that have examined Iraq and other wars while they are still going on. Let’s see: The Green Zone, Redacted, Lambs and Lions, and plenty of others.

    Cynically, it could also be said that this is EA’s attempt to bring greater sales to Medal of Honor, especially since the Infinity Ward debacle with Activision. Business is still business.

  2. Wow, the first thing I can sorta agree with FOX; The point I am agreeing with is, “Why can’t these individuals choose what games to play for themselves.”

    I can understand her point of view, but woman, games are not real so no one actually dies from playing the game (unless they starve themselves or whatever other natural cause you can say). Your son’s death is an unfortunate part of war, but if wars were fought in video games then there would be no actual deaths (and could potentially last forever, but no actual deaths on either side).

    I don’t see why games get to be the scapegoat and why movies got off scott-free. Heck in every war movie someone has to “play the bad guy” so I don’t see what the problem is. Rational individuals can come to the conclusion that the game is not reality and killing someone in the game does not kill someone in the real world or make someone kill others in the real world (unless the person is mentally disturbed).

    I applaud EA for actually publishing this game as it is based on the current war in Afghanistan, but it is telling a fictional story. Also, the game is single player and multiplayer, so the only problem she has with the game is the multiplayer portion of the game. Six Days in Fallujah was unfortunate since it was based on real people and their stories, but at least it was the soldiers that wanted to tell their stories about what happened and not letting a company just run with it.

    Now I wonder if Homefront will have a multiplayer portion and let us play as the North Koreans, and I wonder if there will be a controversy over that. It is nice to see a company stand up for its title and I hope more people can distinguish between the real world and the game world. Lastly; why is is always FOX that picks up these stories, I know they are super conservative, but man is it getting played out.

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