Sections

MoH: Taliban name change imposes “nationalism on entertainment,” says US Marine

Tuesday, 12th October 2010 10:45 GMT By Johnny Cullen

moh

Following the release of Medal of Honor in America today, an Iraq War vet has said EA’s decision to take the word “Taliban” out of multiplayer amounts to “nationalism on entertainment.”

Infantry officer Benjamin Busch, who served two tours Iraq, told NPR that, despite being fiction, “it equates the war with the leisure of games.”

“We know children are immersed in digital interactivity now, and the soldier of today has grown up on video games. It is becoming a new literacy of sorts. Playing and risking your life are different things. In the video war, there may be some manipulation of anxiety, some adrenaline to the heart, but absolutely nothing is at stake,” Busch said.

“I honestly don’t like that Medal of Honor depicts the war in Afghanistan right now, because — even as fiction — it equates the war with the leisure of games. Changing the name of the enemy doesn’t change who it is.”

Busch added that EA’s decision to change the name from the Taliban to OPFOR in the game imposes “nationalism on entertainment.”

“What nation or military has the right to govern fiction? Banning the representation of an enemy is imposing nationalism on entertainment,” he said.

“The game cannot train its players to be actual skilled special operations soldiers, nor is it likely to lure anyone into Islamic fundamentalism. It can grant neither heroism nor martyrdom. What it does do is make modern war into participatory cinema. That is its business.”

Developer Danger Close has defended its decisions with the game, saying gamers should play it first before judging the studio.

Medal of Honor launches in the US today for PS3, 360 and PC, with a UK release on Friday.

Reviews go live at 2pm BST. Launch trailer is here.

Latest

10 Comments

Sign in to post a comment.

  1. KAP

    Talk about: people not being able to think for themselfs. Damn

    #1 4 years ago
  2. JL

    For a moment I thought that said he had “served two hours in Iraq”, and that we were looking at another scandal of Darkfall proportions.

    Also, respect to EA Danger Close for saying people aren’t in a position to make a moral assessment on the game unless they pay up $60 to play it :D

    #2 4 years ago
  3. polygem

    ea must be so thankful for all that top notch free promo they get these days…

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DSB

    I’m pretty sure most soldiers wouldn’t want Medal of Honor to restrict itself, but I fail to see how it has anything to do with censorship or nationalism, even remotely.

    Maybe at Fox News, I’m sure they’d love to subvert several amendments, but ultimately the only people who deserve to be heard are the ones it truly concerns, and that’s people actively participating in the war that’s depicted.

    I don’t think you’re doing anyone any favors by going into extreme and unsupported arguments, for either side.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. endgame

    “What nation or military has the right to govern fiction? Banning the representation of an enemy is imposing nationalism on entertainment,” well said Mr. Benjamin Busch!

    #5 4 years ago
  6. DSB

    @5 Except no one is governing fiction or banning representations of enemies, nor would they be allowed to under the US constitution.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Quiiick

    “I honestly don’t like that Medal of Honor depicts the war in Afghanistan right now, because — even as fiction — it equates the war with the leisure of games.”

    Well said, Benjamin Busch!
    Sadly, this is exactly what most juvenile gamers don’t (want) to understand.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Gekidami

    Whilst i understand what he’s saying, to my knowledge, no nation or military actually forced EA to change the name. Though you could argue that the decision itself, meaning EA, is being ‘nationalist’.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Moonwalker1982

    Ah right, so it’s not right to have afghanistan in a videogame. But it IS right to have all those other countries from COD and MOH games in it? Laughable really, sigh.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. DSB

    @9 That’s not exactly the point, given that we aren’t at war with any of those countries. Modern Warfare 2 has scenes from Afghanistan, but they’re deliberately placed in an alternate reality.

    The Opfor in Afghanistan as well as the Karachi multiplayer level are speaking arabic, which could only be enterpreted as Al Qaeda (Since the local populations don’t speak arabic) were it not for the fact that some of their fighters don’t have beards, and would thus be in violation of sharia law.

    As such, that game is completely severed from reality on every level, except for the fact that Taskforce 141 (actually 121) was used as one of the temporary callsigns for the SFOD-D/22nd SAS/SBS anti-insurgency quick reaction force in Iraq for a while.

    It’s all war porn and it all plays on reality, but so does every action movie. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a difference between a made-up conflict and a very real, ongoing one.

    #10 4 years ago