Politicians enter Medal of Honor fray
Liam Fox, the UK Secretary of Defense, is encouraging retailers not to stock the new Medal of Honor title, a game in which you can kill UK Soldiers while playing as a member of the Taliban.
I’ve gotta say I’m surprised it has taken this long for some politician somewhere to start a bandwagon. After all the gaming industry has seen through the years – especially in the US – as far as politicians or Bullying mobs of angry parents drinking too much Hot Coffee go , there is finally a game that warrants an outcry from public officials. If you read Fox’s comments, you will probably come to the conclusion that his outrage does not stem from the fact that British soldiers can be killed, but rather the sensitive nature of this game taking place in modern times.
Not that modern military tactics haven’t been incorporated into games before. Battlefield and Call of Duty are both at the top of the list for recreating modern, urban warfare scenarios based on real life armies, places, people, and enemies. It stands to reason that the sole reason this Medal of Honor game is being singled out, is not because of the recreation of modern urban warfare, but that the game takes place in Afghanistan. I only wish a politician like Fox might cite recent Wikileaks leak as a reason to condemn the game. Within the Wikileaks documents, we have learned that squads like this special ops squad portrayed in Medal of Honor can be a walking death squad. It might have sounded cool before all the disturbing cover ups were exposed and when it was all hush hush…but now that it is out in the open, EA’s “creative risk” is not a “creative” risk at all, and is instead a risk perpetrating blatant human rights violations, as well as the debauchery in Afghanistan.
I highly doubt this game will aim to teach players ins and outs of the cover ups, the war crimes, or any illegal war activities. Politicians like Fox though, are in a bind. No politician in the UK or US government would dare make any link whatsoever between Medal of Honor and the information ousted in Wikileaks. To do so would be to give validity to the documents and publicly admit the wrongdoings within are true. This might seem like a crazy thing to say or even well above “obvious,” but both governments have lambasted Wikileaks for the document release as wrongful, leaking sensitive information, or putting the lives of coalition forces at risk.
The way I see it, EA is throwing in the towel as far as the Medal of Honor franchise goes. It has reached the end of the line. The name was built on the back of World War II stories and now that everyone has gotten bored shooting Nazis, well, they’ve moved on. EA could have done the honorable thing and let the franchise fade gracefully into the sunset. Instead it seems to me EA is grasping on threads trying to make an irrelevant franchise relevant by doing none other than jumping the shark.