EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

August 25, 2010 -

Electronic Arts is not backing down from criticism over letting gamers don the role of the Taliban in Medal of Honor multiplayer. In a recent interview with Develop, EA Games President Frank Gibeau, used "The Red Badge of Courage" and "The Hurt Locker" as examples of art imitating life - something the company contends it is doing with its new Medal of Honor game.

"At EA we passionately believe games are an artform, and I don't know why films and books set in Afghanistan don't get flack, yet [games] do," EA Games President Frank Gibeau told Develop Online. "Whether it's 'Red Badge of Courage' or 'The Hurt Locker,' the media of its time can be a platform for the people who wish to tell their stories. Games are becoming that platform."

Critics have taken issue with EA letting gamers play as the Taliban, the real enemy that NATO forces are dealing with on a daily basis in Afghanistan. Gibeau acknowledged that allowing gamers to play as a Taliban solider is a bit of a "creative risk," but he said that EA won't give in to the media outcry that wants to "compromise our creative vision and what we want to do."

Gibeau also points out that setting the game in Afghanistan is a normal and natural move for the company because the Medal of Honor games are always set in real "war zones."

"That's always been a Medal of Honor concept--we put you in the boots of a solider, whether it's in the Pacific, Europe, Afghanistan; it's always been the story of the solider," he told Develop Online.

Ultimately EA wants to stand up for the game because it is an important and popular franchise, and because it doesn't want its game to end up like Atomic Games' and Konami's Six Days in Fallujah, which ended up being cancelled due to public pressure.

Medal of Honor is scheduled to launch on October 12 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Source: C|Net

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Comments

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

Their original defense of "it's just a game" makes this new "we believe in games as an art form" defense seem a little ridiculous to be honest. Not that I disagree, but I really believe EA is handling this very poorly.

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

I would have to agree to a point. Games purely exist for entertainment whilst films and books don't have to be entertaining, for instance I wouldn't exactly call Schindler's List entertaining.

Whilst I don't have a problem with MOH, I wouldn't call it "art".

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

So, you ever played Go? Steel Panthers? ArmA?

Saying that a game is "purely to entertain" it is to offend lots of people that believe in the "homo ludens" theory and use game as teaching tool, including all the armies around the world, the army of brazil for example bought some tank simulators and modded them heavily, and I must say: Yes, I had fun playing them, but yes, I had to learn how to behave in a real tank and learn real team work (to pilot a tank you need 4 people).

Or some places that are accepting training in Microsoft Flight Simulator as "real" (even if valued less hours) flight.

And go tell the authors of "flower" that their game cannot be art.

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--- MaurĂ­cio Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

Doesn't the fact that you're referring to them as "simulators" tell you something? Just because something shows a virtual reality doesn't make it a game. People can have fun at school or work and learn but it doesn't mean it's a game. Enjoyment does not equate to a game.

I haven't heard EA refer to MOH as a war simulator.

Also so what if I offend people? Tough, people don't have a right not to be offended (even if there wasn't anything offensive in the first place, you've just decided to take offence).

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

The people complaining about this are probably the same that complain about kids having toy guns.  I never heard anyone complain when one team was Nazis in all of those WWII games.  

Pwnage of Empires

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

Good for EA and, frankly, kudos to those who aren't comfortable with the Taliban being a playable option.  As far as I've seen, none of them are attempting to infringe on my rights to play this game as the developers intended.

EDIT: After some thought, I'm going to amend my above comment.  Suggesting retailers don't stock a game would limit my access to it if they followed such a suggestion.  That I can't abide.  Fox would have done better to recommend that like-thinking folks show EA what for by refusing to buy the game.  That puts the decision exactly where it belongs: in the hands of the consumers.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

As I pointed out when I wrote an article relating to this, no one complained about the ability to play as various terrorist forces in Counter-Strike, nor the ability to play as the OpFor (Opposing Force) in CoD4... which happened to be middle-eastern appearing terrorist.

Though it was rather blunt in their previous statement, "someone's gotta be the cop, and someone's gotta be the robber".



----
Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

----
Papa Midnight

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

Don't recall anyone griping about COD4 but I do remember complaints over the ability to play as terrorists in Counter-Strike.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

I believe the difference is that they are relating to the Taliban as "The Taliban" rather than "insurgency" or "terrorists". Plus remember that this is based off of a real conflict rather than fictional conflicts that have been depicted before.

Re: EA Unflinching in its Support of Medal of Honor

"I believe the difference is that they are relating to the Taliban as "The Taliban" rather than "insurgency" or "terrorists"."

Yes, that would be a difference.  What's your point?  I was merely pointing out that there have been complaints (several, in fact) over the fact that you can play as terrorists, albeit, generic ones, in Counter-Strike.

"Plus remember that this is based off of a real conflict rather than fictional conflicts that have been depicted before."

Was there something in my post that made you think I didn't realize that?  And again, I'm not catching your point.  There have been other games that have come under fire for their depictions of actual events, locations, and peoples and games that escape controversy even when doing the same thing.

One similarity I'm noticing is that the games that cover current events tend to reap the most heated controversy.  Seems like the more time that passes, the more acceptable it is to portray real life happenings.  Perhaps its one of those "too soon" things.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
Krono@EZK So you see nothing wrong with one journalist pressuring a journalist from a different organization to not only not run a story, but to censor a civil discussion already taking place?09/19/2014 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightI write for a number of blogs and talk to people who write similar blogs all the time for tips and advice. I see nothing wrong with that.09/19/2014 - 11:50pm
E. Zachary KnightI read that comment now and frankly, I think that guy is reading too much into this. The press talk to each other. It happens. There is nothing that can be done to stop it from happening.09/19/2014 - 11:49pm
KronoUnfortunately it seems unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.09/19/2014 - 11:45pm
Krono@EZK No that's not the comment. As for wanting nothing do with any of it, that's perfectly understandable.09/19/2014 - 11:44pm
 

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