Columnists Rips Canadian Defence Minister for MOH Comments

September 9, 2010 -

In response to Canadian Defence Minster Peter MacKay’s (pictured) disapproving comments about the Electronic Arts game Medal of Honor, an Ottawa Citizen columnist took to his pulpit in order to offer a spirited defense (defence) of videogames.

Referring to the ability to play as the Taliban in the game, MacKay had said that, “I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.”

In his column, Dan Gardner replied, “No one ever accused Peter MacKay of being Her Majesty's most cerebral minister…”

MacKay had also lamented that children might take on the role of insurgents in the game, a point which Gardner addressed:

The game is not for children. It is a graphic, frighteningly realistic "first-person shooter" -- meaning the player sees the battlefield from the perspective of an individual soldier -- stuffed with blood, gore, and death, and any child whose parent allows him to play such a game should worry more about the quality of his supervision than the effects of playing violent video games.

As for adults, the columnist noted that it’s hard to be concerned about grown ups playing as Taliban members because, as a fan of Call of Duty: World at War, “I occasionally spend my free time playing Nazi.”

About his time spent as a Nazi, Gardner wrote:

I can't say this experience has made me noticeably more sympathetic to Nazis; indeed, I find nothing so relaxing before bedtime as shooting a few.

Gardner then referenced the WikiLeaks video released earlier this year, in which American forces in Iraq were seen wiping out a whole contingent of what was thought to be insurgents. At least a few members of the group killed were later identified as Reuters journalists.

Using this incident to paint MacKay’s view of the war in Afghanistan as “warped,” Gardner wrote that MacKay’s view of the conflict in a “fanstasy” light isn’t much different than how he guesses the war will be portrayed in the game, as “a boy's own adventure of courage and derring-do.”

Comments

Re: Columnists Rips Canadian Defence Minister for MOH ...

The line "a man who seems to think Red Dawn was a documentary" is also spot-on.  Although in his defense, Mackay isn't quite as dumb as the proverbial bag of rocks.  That honour goes to Stockwell Day, who believes that The Flintstones serves as proof of man coexisting with dinosaurs.

Also, the analogy to the leaked helicopter video made me think of a point that I don't think has been raised yet: on any decent multiplayer server, going against the rules (engaging intentionally in friendly fire, for instance) gets you banned.  If games are so bad, how come they're maintained better than wars?

 

---
Fangamer

Re: Columnists Rips Canadian Defence Minister for MOH ...

Obviously they didn't check to see if the reticle turned red first.

A terrible joke, to be sure [and I apologize for any offense], but if there's a point to be made, it's that we don't focus on the kill when we play games: we just play a game. The violence affects very few gamers because gamers don't see it as real violence, the way overly-sensitive parents and uninformed politicians assume we do.

Key factor: they assume. Way too much, if you ask me. I think every concerned parent and politician in the world needs a week-long time out to play a massive game of Battlefield or CoD. If they play it they way we do and still come back from a marathon session with concerns, only then would I take the time to address them on equal ground.

Until that time, I find their opinions on games about as worthwhile as they would think mine on any given political system: sophomoric.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Whose next half decade of superhero films are you most looking forward to?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
E. Zachary KnightHere is some food for thought for gamergaters who want politics out of games journalism. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141026/06425828942/journalists-need-point-view-if-they-want-to-stay-relevant.shtml10/30/2014 - 7:18am
quiknkoldI didnt say all games are like that, Conster. Princess Peach was....different. though I had fun with it.10/30/2014 - 7:00am
james_fudgehttp://www.somethingawful.com/news/gamergate-with-cats/10/30/2014 - 5:20am
MechaTama31AE: Japan's doujin scene illustrates an interesting potential solution to that problem. Let people play around with the characters, and keep an eye on things to see what people are buying.10/30/2014 - 12:07am
ConsterI bought, played and liked the game (unlike Smash Basketball *shakes fist*), but that felt iffy to me.10/29/2014 - 10:52pm
Consterquiknkold: if Super Princess Peach had been Super Prince Peach instead, do you think emotions would've been a mechanic?10/29/2014 - 10:51pm
quiknkoldcore meaning Colossus, Storm, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldMatthew, those core x-men were together for almost 2 decades, until one would always be dead so they couldnt have them all together.10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldmore of an unknown. background characters mostly, who had a book but it was mostly a waste. they bring in this powderkeg of diversity and boom. now they could do the same thing and with the right artist and writer and mystique to it...10/29/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsondoes it though? they always seem to return to the original cast in a year or two.10/29/2014 - 8:49pm
quiknkoldWhen I think of the perfect catalyst of a melting pot hero team, I think of the All New All Different X-Men. A Russian, A African goddess, A Canadian Berzerker, a German elf, and Cyclops. and all have withstood the test of time mostly cause the x-men were10/29/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOne reason is because the money people are often afraid it won't sell. "A new IP AND the protagonist is gay?! That'll never work!" Showing that diverse characters can work in popular IP is simply a place to start. The indie scene is another.10/29/2014 - 8:47pm
Matthew Wilsonisnt that the point? why not just make new heroes that are different races, sexual orientations, and genders to start with?10/29/2014 - 8:46pm
Andrew EisenYep, progress is a lot slower than it should be (especially for something that shouldn't have been a problem in the first place).10/29/2014 - 8:45pm
quiknkoldrelevent. Hazmat and X-23. while Reptile, Mettle, Rockslide, Anole, Hellion, Dust, Mercury are all relegated to background characters with zero character enhancement. or they are dead10/29/2014 - 8:45pm
quiknkoldThat has a chance of happening. But its a cosmic scale gamble. They cant all end up like Captain Marvel, once a sidekick and now queen badass. but with Marvel? Look at New X-Men and Avengers Academy. a plethora of new characters, and only 2 are still10/29/2014 - 8:44pm
Andrew EisenIt is a gimmick, albeit one with some good intentions. Plus, it can potentially lead the way to the things you want to see such as new characters.10/29/2014 - 8:41pm
quiknkoldcomes in as a gimmick.10/29/2014 - 8:38pm
quiknkoldI really dont care that Thor is a woman now because they way theyve written it is that Thor will regain his hammer, and the female thor will either fade away or get a new name and eventually writers are going to forget about her like everybody else that10/29/2014 - 8:38pm
quiknkoldother things are a target. Comics are another big one. Genderswapping and race swapping and sexual pref swap characters is happening alot. I'd rather just have all new characters that are female and whatever.10/29/2014 - 8:37pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician