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EA Won't Bow To Pressure Over Taliban In Medal Of Honor

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Posted August 26, 2010 - By Stephen Johnson





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Gamescom 2010: Medal of Honor Hands-On Impressions

The upcoming war game Medal of Honor is gaining a lot of attention, but perhaps not the kind of attention Electronic Arts would like. The company has come under fire from a variety of sources for the decision to allow players to inhabit the skins of the Taliban in the game's multiplayer. British Defence Secretary Liam Fox even criticized the game, calling on retailers not to sell Medal Of Honor in order to "show their support for the armed forces."

Specifically, Fox said:

"At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands. It's shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers," he said in a statement. "It's hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product."

EA, however, says it's standing fast on its decision. In an interview with Develop-Online, EA's Games president Frank Gibeau said the decision to allow players to be Taliban is a "creative risk," but he won't allow protests to "compromise our creative vision and what we want to do."

“There’s a lot of furor around games that take creative risks – like games that let you play terrorists in airports mowing down civilians,” Gibeausaid said. “At EA we passionately believe games are an artform, and I don’t know why films and books set in Afghanistan don’t get flack, yet [games] do. Whether it’s Red Badge Of Courage or The Hurt Locker, the media of its time can be a platform for the people who wish to tell their stories. Games are becoming that platform."

The last time this came up was over another war. Konami's Six Days in Fallujah was canceled due to a public outcry over the game's realistic depiction of events of the Iraq War. Although developer Atomic Games says it will eventually see the light of day.

For now, EA is holding steady with it artistic decisions, and we hope to see this game released, unchanged, on October 12, the expected release date. We also hope that the game, like The Red Badge of Courage and The Hurt Locker, is a great work of art that honors the dead, as opposed to a cheap cash-in.

Source: Develop-Online

EA Won't Bow To Pressure Over Taliban In Medal Of Honor
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