Greg Goodrich, the executive producer of the game, released a statement today that said that he has "received feedback from all over the world regarding the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor." And while he goes on to say that most of it was positive, he still made the call to take the word "Taliban" out of the game. The question that stands now is, what does one word mean to people? Read more after the break.
I understand the feelings that people have towards the war that we're engaged in Afghanistan right now, I really do but what I don't understand is what one word will change for people. Now that we've taken that out we're all supposed to forget what it has been for the past year or so in production? I applauded EA for having the guts to stand behind this statement for the sake of their game and their vision for what they wanted and it's almost disheartening to hear that they had to change it for fear of the game.
My question to people who opposed this now is, what are you going to do now? Are you going to prop your feet up and stretch out knowing that you accomplished something? Jeff Brown, a spokesperson for EA came out and was quoted as saying today, "The game takes place in Afghanistan, it's pretty clear who is fighting who." If this rule can get changed I am going to petition the government that every book and TV show and movie and live news coverage from here on out now calls the Taliban the "Opposing Force" because it is offensive to the soldiers over there. Let's just say it's a good thing that the Supreme Court is going to start hearing cases on extending free speech rights to video games like print and TV enjoy now.
I think the root of the problem here can be traced back to the Vietnam war, when broadcasting capabilities were just evolving enough to where we could see the war as it was happening. There was a public outcry because we now had access to watching soldiers die in our living rooms. This is the next step in pushing those boundaries. We can now not only watch the war as it happens but we can control it, play it out as if we were there, and I don't think that most people are ready for it. It's unfortunate that video games have to suffer because society hasn't yet accepted that it can be used for someone's artistic vision.
Let's hope that down the road video games will be allowed to make a statement and be able to stand behind that statement without having to fear backlash from the community that they serve.