A Ban Too Far?


And it hasn’t even been released yet.

Sales of ‘Medal of Honor’ video game blocked on U.S. military bases

Small victory,” was all it said on the subject line of Karen Meredith’s e-mail.

But for the Silicon Valley military mom, who lost her son in the Iraq war, the decision this week by U.S. military base exchanges not to carry the controversial “Medal of Honor” video game was still great news.

“I’m thrilled,” said Meredith, whose son, Lt. Ken Ballard, perished in 2004. She has set off a storm of protest against Redwood City-based Electronic Arts and its “first-person shooter” game, which allows players to pretend they’re Taliban fighters killing American soldiers in Afghanistan. She applauded Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, commander of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, or AAFES, for the decision to keep the game out of its stores worldwide.

“I’ve heard from people all over the world, many of them upset about this game, so at least this has started a conversation,” she said. “And this country needs to have a conversation about the place of violent video games in our society, especially a game based on an ongoing war.”

Due out Oct. 12, “Medal of Honor” has drawn accolades from gamers and has been defended even by some U.S. soldiers. But it has unleashed howls of protest from families who have lost loved ones and even from Great Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox, who urged retailers to “ban this tasteless product.”

Electronic Arts spokesman Jeff Brown on Friday issued a statement that said in part: “The criticism of ‘Medal of Honor’ is disappointing because I can’t think of another interactive game that has gone to such lengths to convey respect for soldiers. From the very first day of development, the ‘Medal of Honor’ development team has been dedicated to creating an homage to the soldiers who fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

Saying EA feels “a deep sympathy and respect for the soldiers and people with family members killed or wounded in Afghanistan,” Brown wrote that “we don’t see a distinction between a film like ‘Hurt Locker’ and a game like ‘Medal of Honor.’ We don’t agree that it’s OK to depict the war in films and books, but not in games. We don’t see a moral difference.”

See also:
Taliban-Themed Multiplayer Gets EA’s “Medal of Honor” Banned on U.S. Military Bases
Military Exchanges Refuse to Stock New ‘Medal of Honor’ Video Game
Medal of Honor pulled from US military stores
Medal Of Honor Banned On US Military Bases
Medal of Honor not to be sold on US military bases
Medal Of Honor Pre-Orders Banned From Military Stores
Playing as the Enemy

I can understand the sensitivity but, in the end, it’s just a game. If you don’t like it, you don’t need to buy or play it.

/if you outlaw video games, only outlaws will have video games

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