Politics

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
liam fox, medal of honor, uk

Companies:
ea



UK Defense Secretary Calls For Retailers To Ban Upcoming Medal Of Honor Game

from the free-advertising-in-the-uk dept

You would think that UK Defense Secretary, Liam Fox, would have more important things to concern himself with than an upcoming video game release, but apparently he's calling for retailers not to sell the upcoming release in EA's Medal of Honor video game series. His complaint is that, in multiplayer mode, some players can play the role of Taliban soldiers. The game seeks to recreate the ongoing war in Afghanistan in a realistic manner. It's difficult to see how you could create a realistic game that doesn't include Taliban soldiers. It's not as if kids are going to play this game and suddenly think that it makes sense to join the Taliban...

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  • icon
    PeteProdge (profile), 24 Aug 2010 @ 1:30am

    So, the message is...

    Actually killing people in real life = okay.
    Ficticiously killing imaginary people = bad.

    Thanks Liam!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Xanius, 24 Aug 2010 @ 2:05am

    Political Grandstanding at it's finest.

    The real message is that it's an election year for the UK and the US and the politicians have to make some grand political show that means absolutely nothing.

    In the US they're up in arms to try and appear sympathetic. In the UK they just had the election in May so they have to make a show of being different than the old guys.

    Nobody cared about MW2 when it came out and you play as Russians and who I am assuming to be the Taliban since you are a terrorist from Afghanistan.

    After the release date, as long as EA doesn't back down this entire thing will blow over until some douchebag lawyer tries to bring it in to defense of an asshole that shoots a serviceman/woman.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 24 Aug 2010 @ 2:13am

    This won't go very far

    I wonder how Dr Fox views his own soldiers' training war-games - I'll bet anything you like that some of the participants are "playing Taliban".

    But then again

    "The government said Dr Fox was expressing a "personal view"."

    So I suspect this won't go far.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 24 Aug 2010 @ 2:17am

    "they have to make a show of being different than the old guys"

    For most things they've done, I'd agree, but this is just the same old crap again. This sort of thing happens for every major release that gets noticed by the mainstream (as per Manhunt 2, Modern Warfare 2, GTA4, etc. before it) and almost never becomes anything other than grandstanding.

    It will blow over, just as every manufactured controversy over movies, TV, "video nasties", etc. eventually did. I'm sure EA will be glad of the free publicity in the meantime.

    "Nobody cared about MW2 when it came out"

    Heh, didn't read the UK tabloids, did you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tom Landry (profile), 24 Aug 2010 @ 2:47am

    as EA says, if you play Cops & Robbers, someone has to play the robber. Not sure why this is so hard to understand.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Simon Chamberlain, 24 Aug 2010 @ 2:57am

    I used to play Panzer General all the time (as the Germans, obviously). Surprisingly enough, it hasn't turned me into a Nazi.

    Suspect PaulT is right that it will blow over in a few weeks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2010 @ 11:38am

      Re:

      I used to play as the Russians in the Civilization games. Oddly enough, I never picked up a love for snow, vodka, or caviar.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Doe, 24 Aug 2010 @ 4:09am

    I use to do that same thing

    I use to play a PC based game called Secrets of the Luftwaffe and I would fly the German jet and shoot down B-17 bombers. I never once felt like becoming a Nazi.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2010 @ 4:42am

    Something to think about it.

    Grandstanding is only possible because a great number of people believe in it, this may or may not be a failure of a large group of people that enable that type of behavior.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pete Austin, 24 Aug 2010 @ 5:20am

    It's sometimes a politician's job to say stupid things

    Personally I think this game will be played by a lot of Nato soldiers, and getting another perspective on the tactics of the opposition will save British lives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      HuwOS, 24 Aug 2010 @ 6:12am

      Re: It's sometimes a politician's job to say stupid things

      Maybe he is worried that the Taliban with their known love of western style entertainment, will play the game and learn from a game the methods and capabilities of the western forces lots of info that they don't have from taking them on in real life.

      Does no one, seriously, have any issues with making a game of an actual current conflict.
      When kids are playing cowboys and indians they aren't relating the game to actual people.
      When we play games with Nazis or Soviets as the enemy, well they aren't actually around anymore, there isn't a real conflict now.
      This is a real thing, really happening, to hell with the fact that you can play the opposing side is it not wrong to be making a game out of this in the first place.
      Is it not at the very least distasteful, disrespectful of people's lives and tacky in the extreme.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 24 Aug 2010 @ 5:35pm

        Re: Re: It's sometimes a politician's job to say stupid things

        So... games aren't allowed to use current events as source material? There has to be some kind of time gap before they're allowed to use it? Do you apply the same restrictions to books, movies and TV as well? At that point, why not just put in blanket censorship on all current events? Or are you just hypocritical?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NullOp, 24 Aug 2010 @ 6:06am

    Wargame

    Maybe we need MORE realistic war games and hope eventually humanity will get the message that war is never a game!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2010 @ 12:31pm

      Re: Wargame

      Indeed. Will they get to do play honor killings, nose removals, chop hands, etc. too? Can girls play as the Taliban without a male relative supervising them? The more realism the better I say!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Freak, 24 Aug 2010 @ 6:11am

    Of course, if this is really a realistic game about the war in Afgahnistan, then, like the real life soldiers, you're probably going to spend most of your time killing innocent civilians no matter whose side you're on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2010 @ 6:48am

    I'd rather see a game where I have to kick St Peters ass to get out of heaven. Lets see that game. Heaven with it's walls and gates sounds like a prison. Lets play that. Kicking the shit out of Angels. Yea. Or maybe a game like Left Behind. Of course outright censorship is not allowed in old socialist Britain so the politicians are never happy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2010 @ 7:00am

    id say the game is a reflection of current gamer culture. the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been going on for quite a few years now and young people will have grown up with that. Not only that but the US military and to some extent the UK military regularly try to coax young gamers into the army through the use of both games (America's Army game) and through adverts on sites that gamers use.
    With news media's coverage of the conflict as being war porn at best with ever more gory images appearing on TV screens at earlier times of the day, with all the above points is it really a wonder why there would be a demand for such a game that a company would want to satiate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Derp, 24 Aug 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Mass Effect 1

    This one Time EA released mass effect 1..


    oh wait

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 24 Aug 2010 @ 5:48pm

    As people have mentioned, when you play cops and robbers, someone has to be the robber. The option available here would be to use the Americas Army trick, where no matter which side of the multi-player game you were playing, you were an American soldier, fighting against terrorists. The people you were playing against saw themselves as American soldiers too, but you saw them as terrorists. However I think most people saw this for what it was, propaganda. Which is fine, as the game was developed for and by the American armed forces. Games have for a long time let people play as "the bad guy". Usually playing as the bad guy is harder, but not always, especially in multi-player situations where you want to have 2 people competing in an even and fair manner.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ferridder (profile), 25 Aug 2010 @ 12:44am

    Shoe on the other foot

    On Sunday, Dr Fox said that it was "shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the British soldiers against the Afghan people".

    "At the hands of the British, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands," he said.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scottM (profile), 27 Aug 2010 @ 1:43am

    For gamers, whatever is the setting of the latest game, it doesn't matter, as long as its better than the previous release. Every gamer loves something new when it comes to online gaming. The popular video game series “Medal of Honor” has become a target of derision because of the latest installment. Previous entries in the video gaming series took place in World War II. The newest version is set in the present war in Afghanistan. In multi-player mode, gamers can be either coalition forces (United States of America, U.K., etc.) or the Taliban in “Medal of Honor 2010.” The British Secretary of Defense thinks the game should be banned.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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