‘Talibans’ renamed in ‘Medal of Honor’ video game
"Taliban" fighters in Medal of Honor video game are replaced by "Opposing Force." This move was decided Friday by Game publisher Electronic Arts in response to military officials’ reaction and harsh criticism on the video game.
"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 resiided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team." Executive producer Greg Goodrich said in a written statement.
The game is set to be released October 12 and is expected to be one of the top video game rollouts of the year.
Earlier news said British Defense Secretary Liam Fox called for retail stores ban the game to show support for the military and their families. "It is shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban," Fox told the newspaper. "At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands."
The U.S. military’s Army & Air Force Exchange Service had asked stores not to stock "Medal of Honor." Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella the service’s commanding officer said, "Out of respect to those we serve, we will not be stocking this game. We regret any inconvenience this may cause authorized shoppers, but are optimistic that they will understand the sensitivity to the life and death scenarios this product presents as entertainment."
EA spokesman Jeff Brown said the controversy surprised the game publisher. He said it was surprising that everyone has to be reminded that the dynamics of video games is good vs bad. He also mentioned that there are consumers, including military and retired military personnel, who expressed their support in writing to the company’s right to produce the game in its orginial form.
Goodrich said that removing the "Taliban" name does not fundamentally change the gameplay.
Meanwhile, other war games are allowed to play as historical US enemies like Nazis and others like "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II" have "Taliban-like forces" set-up.
As the war against the Taliban is not over, some can understand how sensitive others can be in this issue. EA’s decision to use an indirect name would be beneficial to their business as well as to the sensitive public.