Crispy Gamer

Electronic Arts about face, change name of Taliban in Medal of Honor

 

     Yesterday, Electronic Arts announced that they are removing the Taliban from their soon to be released Medal of Honor game, but only as playable characters.  Executive producer Greg Goodrich had this to say:

     "In the past few months, we have received feedback from all over the world regarding the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor.  We've received notes from gamers, active military, and friends and family of servicemen and women currently deployed overseas.  The majority of this feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  For this, the Medal of Honor team is deeply appreciative."

     Oh?  Well, awesome!  People support the game "overwhelmingly," so what's the problem?

     "However, we have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion of our game.  This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team.  This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to.  It is a voice that we care deeply about.  Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for the American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force."

     …Oh.

     I'm not going to start chastising Electronic Arts for making the change; they were receiving flak for the inclusion of Taliban in multiplayer, fine.  There's nothing wrong with adjusting your product to make it more marketable to larger audiences, in fact, it's intelligent.  I'm glad that they didn't take some arbitrary high road and stick it to concerned soldiers and families.

     What I am curious about, however, is why the name of the opposing force matters.  Whether they are called the Taliban or the Opposing Force doesn't change the fact that players can kill Allied soldiers in multiplayer.  Shouldn't that be their concern?  It seems strange to me that the only thing these concerned parties are worried about is the name of the people killing their troops, rather than the fact that their troops are dying.  Additionally, the name change affects only multiplayer; the Taliban will be present in the single-player campaign... presumably killing American and Allied troops.

     I'm scratching my head so hard I'm hitting skull.

Comments

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Yeah it's just another example of why those "offended" people should be dismissed outright. It's also why I put "offended" in quotes. Some people (and religions) make their entire living off of being "offended".

That's not what I'm scratching about.  Choreographed?  You bet your ass it is... on EA's part.

I'm confused about those "concerned parties" that are absolutely horrified about the prospect that children can play the role of the Taliban to kill our troops, but are placated when children can instead play the role of the "Opposing Forces" to ...kill our troops.  

Scratch no further, Alex. It's called marketing. Medal of Honor is trying desperately to compete with Modern Warfare and the best way to do that is with A) purposefully creating "drama" by deliberately naming the bad guys Taliban, and going one step further, letting you have fun playing as them by putting down IEDs and the like then B) purposefully creating MORE "drama" by making a big hoopla in announcing that you are changing the name.

Both of these things keep your game's name in the news (not just game new, mainstream news as well). I'm not usually a cynic, but this one was so choreographed, even I couldn't help but roll my eyes. The only thing I am kind of tickled by is that "offending people" has become the latest marketing tool. I'm all for using idiots who get "offended" by things as a way of making more money. So while it is all staged, kudos to Activision for not REALLY giving a shit about people being "offended" (and yes, the quotes around "offended" are very intensional).

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