Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Know Thy Enemy
The new Medal of Honor lets you fight the Taliban—or become them.
Video games have a long history of controversy. Mortal Kombat had moms nationwide hyperventilating over its graphic violence. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had that super-secret mini-game where you could give your girlfriend the business. And who could forget the hidden screen in Super Mario Bros. 3 where Luigi pistol-whipped a hobo?
Add to that list the new Medal of Honor, which takes place during the still on-going War in Afghanistan—and lets you fight as part of the Taliban. Ditching its former WWII settings, this reboot of the Medal of Honor franchise joins U.S. Special Forces during Operation Anaconda, which took place in March 2002 in Afghanistan’s rugged Shahi-Kot Valley. In the game’s single-player mode, all is sweet and non-controversial as users do their best to hammer the bloody hell out of the entrenched Afghani forces. The controversy comes with the online multiplayer mode, which allows teams to battle each other. That means one group ends up as the Taliban, trying their best to kill American forces.
What? Too soon?
In response to an initial political outcry, Electronic Arts has already announced that the game’s multiplayer mode will no longer refer to the Taliban as the Taliban. Instead the insurgents will be labeled simply the “Opposing Force.”
Of course, what you call them as you’re blowing them to pieces is totally up to you.