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EA Sticks to it’s guns in MOH Taliban Row

August 24, 2010

There is a storm in a tea-cup row breaking out in the UK about the fact that player’s can play as the Taliban in the forthcoming Medal of Honor game:

Publishing empire EA says it will not surrender its creative vision to the furore surrounding the upcoming Medal of Honor game.

EA Games president Frank Gibeau told Develop the game is a “creative risk”. He said he anticipated controversy, and he asked why films are immune to the denigration games routinely are subjected to.

The publisher is under fire from both MPs and the wider media for allowing players to assume the role of the Islamist political group the Taliban in the rebooted Medal Of Honor title, set for UK release October 15.

On Sunday Defence Secretary Liam Fox urged retailers to ban EA’s upcoming game, having expressed “anger and disgust” by its content.

But Gibeau tells Develop that the game will not be altered at the behest of politicians and media groups.

“We respect the media’s views,” he said, “but at the same time [these reports] don’t compromise our creative vision and what we want to do.”

I agree – real war is messy, ugly, brutal and I’d hate to be involved in one.  Creative endeavours can and do represent the complexities of war.  While most creative endeavours tend to be more sympathetic (if not totally so) the the parent culture of the creators (or funders!) some explore a little further.  The first two Conflict games did not allow the player to play as the Iraqi forces.  So a films like Cross of Iron or Downfall portrays some of the German forces in a positive light.  Others deal with the issue via proxy, so MW2 had you playing a terrorist (but as an infiltrator).

IMHO politicians need to spend a little more time on issues such as poverty, diplomacy, more international development and supporting democratic values rather than taking cheap shots as game developers.

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