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.”