Friday, October 1, 2010

Taliban Changed to Opposing Forces in EA’s Medal of Honor

Following the controversy surrounding the use of the name Taliban in publisher EA and developer Danger Close’s upcoming first-person shooter, Medal of Honor, Executive Producer Greg Goodrich posted on the Medal of Honor blog about an upcoming change to the game’s multiplayer component.

“...we have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion of our game. This is a very important voice to the
Medal of Honor team. This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force.”

So after only a month of EA defending the decisions to include Taliban in the game’s multiplayer, saying that when kids play cops and robbers, someone has to be the cop, and someone has to be the robber, EA decidedly buckled to the pressures and renamed it to Opposing Forces. This doesn’t change anything in terms of gameplay, players will still be able to play as each side in multiplayer and the game will still look the same.

In early September, it was reported that the commanding General of the Army and Air Force Exchange Services decided to have Medal of Honor pulled from GameStops on US military bases worldwide, due to “well-documented reports of depictions of Taliban fighters engaging American troops,” in the game. It is currently unknown if this decision will remain or not, due to opposing force change being implemented.

I’m a little disappointed in EA. I was glad that they were sticking with their guns and going using the name Taliban despite who or what groups may be offended. I don’t want to call into question our freedom do whatever we want, or say whatever we ant, but it seems ironic for a game to effectively censor itself when the game’s essence is about fighting for freedom.

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