Afghan war video game stirs anger - Macleans.ca
 

Afghan war video game stirs anger

“Medal of Honor” allows players to pose as Taliban attacking allies


 

UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox is urging retailers not to stock the video game “Medal of Honor,” which permits players to assume the positions of Taliban insurgents attacking NATO forces in Afghanistan. “At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands,” Fox said. “I am disgusted and angry. It’s hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game.” EA, the game’s creator, says it merely reflects that “every conflict has two sides.” But this is enough of a departure from standard computerized games—which typically use made-up settings in unidentified countries—that it has the attention of the Muslim and Arab world. Al Jazeera has been running a video report showing in-game footage of a Taliban soldier using a cellphone to detonate a bomb.

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Afghan war video game stirs anger

  1. What a bunch of hogwash.
    If this angers people then all historical war games are in the same boat.
    If you don't like this you don't have to buy it!

  2. I have played two Medal of Honor games. One dealt with the European campaign in the Second World War; the other, the Pacific campaign. In both games, you "played" the role of a US army private in a variety of missions.

    Apparently this ability to "play" a member of the Taliban takes place in the "online" version of the game, in which you play with many others using game servers. I've not played games in that mode, so I don't know if you could play a Third Reich or Japanese soldier in those modes.

    The argument from players has been that in the online mode, you're playing "cops and robbers", where someone needs to be a "cop" and someone a "robber."

    I'm not in favor of banning video games. Or much else. If people find it offensive they should not play it.

    • My Son has played the online version of Medal of Honour, European Campaign and told me he was not aware of being able to be an ''Enemy'' player. Out of curiosity I asked him and his buddy's what they thought of this new game? Response was, that if they had to play the part of the Taliban, they would not play it…..Same opinion applied for the other war games….as one fellow put it…'' Thats just tooo twisted''., It won't fly…..!

      • How old is your son? It's possible that he doesn't know that the "Third Reich" means "Nazi Germany", and so very well could have been the "enemy" player. I'm not suggesting he's dumb, so please don't take it that way.

        Being a bit of a gamer myself, I've played a number of war games where both sides of the war were playable, and I don't think its at any dishonour to anyone. Just because I was able to play as a Nazi soldier during WWII doesn't mean that I enjoy what happened in the concentration camps, nor did those atrocities ever show up in the game, and there was no attempt to romanticise Nazi Germany in any way whatsoever.

        • My son just turned 30 and his gamer chums are mid to late twenties. I asked him to read your post and give me his opinion….He said he wouldn't play the part of the enemy, (Third Reich, or Taliban etc,etc ) out of Respect for his two Grandpa's who were in WWII. and his cousin who is enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces….. Well I have to tell you, I really, really, did not expect that type of response, I guess all those times I thought he was bored with Grampas war stories he was actually listening…….

          • That's fair enough. I can't contest those reasons, as I have no known relatives who have served in any military, so I have no idea what that's like.

            In terms of the multiplayer options, its often not a concious choice to play as the Nazis, Japanese, or (I would imagine in the Medal of Honour case) the Taliban. It merely assigns a player to one of two opposing armies (American or Nazi, American or Japanese, American or Taliban) and then the game mechanics are identical no matter which army you're playing for.

            I do however agree that it seems a little soon to release a war game that attempts to accurately depict a war that is still ongoing (considering that all the facts are not known about the war), but that likely won't stop me from playing it if given the chance.

          • Agree.. My son said he would play it also as long as he can play the good guy..all of his buddies agreed ,except one,,he got slapped in the ear..now they all agree…. See..Good guys always win ! I also agree that it is too soon to release this game…especially since we still have NATO forces in Afghanistan……

      • The same is true for Japanese soldiers in the Pacific theatre. While I don't believe any actual historical battles are playable from the "enemy/non-American" perspective, multiplayer and online multiplayer matches include the "enemy" armies, simply because it offers a distinction between teams, if a team game is occurring. Just as Mr. Ledrew pointed out above, someone has to be the cop and someone has to be the robber.

        My wager is that in 30 years this War on "Terror" will be such old news that no one would think to question the option of playing a Taliban militant.

  3. I think it's appalling how people "play" war. In my opinion, it is inexcusably disrespectful of the soldiers that fought for our freedom.
    I'm not in favour of banning video games either, but I see no reason why this type of "entertainment" should exist in the first place.

    • These types of games are entertaining for the same reason that action or war movies like black hawk down or saving private ryan are entertaining. People (mostly males) find the portrayal of war and guns and explosions a form of entertainment. So they flock to the latest action war movie to satisfy their need of it. Wouldn’t it be great if these action seeking people could be in these war scenarios themselves but without the actual hardships of war? That’s what video games like medal of honor or call of duty are for.

      And last time I checked, I’ve never seen a veteran petitioning to ban WWII games…

      • "Wouldn't it be great if these action seeking people could be in these war scenarios themselves but without the actual hardships of war?"
        Really? I guess that maybe I just don't get it. I don't see any bennefit… all I see is a sick form of entertainment. I can only imagine that this type of 'play' would desensitize the players to something that IMHO should hold a lot more honour and reverance.

    • The most effective way to understand what those soldiers went through is to experience it. Other than actual war, I don't think that there is a substitute for the visceral experience that you get from a movie like Saving Private Ryan, or the beach landing in a Metal of Honor game.

      Believe me, both of those gave me new respect for the sacrifice and bravery of our veterans.

      • If you really want to " understand what those soldiers went through ", maybe you should go to your local nursing home and chat with some veterans. Put a real face to "sacrifice and bravery". But it's not about understanding war, really, is it? It's about entertainment.
        Look, I understand that maybe as a woman, I just don't get the whole play-killing thing. And maybe you're right about gaining a new respect for our veterans through your entertainment choices. It just doesn't sit well with me, personally. I think that there is a huge emotional divide between real life experiences and playing at killing.

        Movies are different, I think, in that the viewers don't play an active role. I'm sure you won't be suprised to know that I covered my eyes a lot during Saving Private Ryan.

  4. Funny, I Didn't hear much fuss when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 came out with a level where you play a Russian terrorist and blatantly kill hundreds of innocent civilians in an airport. Playing that was quite disturbing, and I normally don't get upset over games.
    This sounds pretty controversial too, but at least it is war, in a war game.

    • At issue with ''this" game is that you get to play Taliban fighters attacking and killing NATO Forces in Afghanistan, which we happen to be at war with….Poor timing to release a game like this, well, unless of course your on the Taliban side.. and if you are….well thats a different blog .