Flamebait Friday Debate – Did The Medal Of Honor "Taliban" Controversy Work?

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If you have been following the news, you would know that the new Medal of Honor caused a ton of controversy when they announced that in multiplayer, you could play as the Taliban.

Americans freaked the hell out, Gamestop said they refuse to stock the game on military bases and people in general just lost their minds. In response to the backlash, EA announced that they had changed the name from Taliban to Opposing Forces, but did they really have to and did it only give the game even more exposure?

Let’s think about this from a US perspective, using games like Call of Duty and Battlefield as a reference.

Is violence OK? Yes. Is it OK to shoot a virtual U.S soldier in the face? Sure, why not. Is it OK to depict America being invaded and cities being destroyed? No problems there. Is it OK to play as a bunch of Russian terrorists mowing down an airport full of innocents? Well, it was kind of frowned upon but in the end it made some sort of statement about something, so it wasn’t so bad, right? It is just a game in the end, isn’t it?

Is it OK to shoot a virtual U.S soldier in the face if you on a virtual multiplayer gaming team of Middle-Eastern soldiers called the Taliban rather than Opposing Forces? Apparently the answer is “Hell no!“.

Why is it fine to shoot U.S soldiers in games with all sorts of other baddies? I don’t know about you guys, but if someone was shooting at me, I would be less worried about who he was and more worried about the pieces of lead flying towards my nostrils.

The developers knew that this would cause controversy when the news was released and they also knew it would give their game a lot of extra exposure. Do you think it worked for them or against them in the end?

Let us know what you think about all of the madness.

Last Updated: October 15, 2010

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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