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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--- Maurício 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".



----
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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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