Wednesday, August 25, 2010

War is Not a Game- Medal of Honor version

Electronics Arts will be releasing a new version of their video game Medal of Honor in October. By all accounts Medal of Honor is a pretty popular game.  According to Wikipedia, Medal of Honor was first developed by DreamWorks Interactive and published by Electronic Arts in 1999. The series, originally based on WWII, was created by filmmaker, Steven Spielberg.

The newest reboot of the game, set in current day Afghanistan, allows a player to take the role of the Taliban and shoot US soldiers in the multi-player part of the game.  No problem, says EA's Amanda Taggart "Medal of Honor is set in today's war, putting players in the boots of today's solder. We give gamers the opportunity to play both sides. Most of having been doing this since we were seven. If someone's the cop, someone gotta be the robber, someone's gotta be the pirate and someone's gotta be the alien. In Medal of Honor multiplayer, someone's gotta be the Taliban." The game is a problem to me; my only child, 1Lt Ken Ballard was killed in combat in Iraq in 2004..

Last week, when I heard about the details of this game and the ability to be the Taliban and shoot US soldiers, I was shocked at the insensitivity to releasing this game as our members of the military fight and die in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This game trivializes the training and the service of members of the military.  Not surprisingly, a quick review of the executives at EA reveals none have served in the military. Most important, the release of the newest version of Medal of Honor at this time shows how far removed EA and the other 99% of our country is from the 1%, the military and their families who carry the heavy burdens of these wars. We, who have been affected by the war think about the war every day versus those who never (have to) give the war a thought.

Although I am not advocating for a ban of this game, First Amendment and all, I would be satisfied if MOH is pulled.  This is not without precedence.  In 2004, Sony pulled a game called "Shock and Awe", apologizing and calling it "an exercise of regrettable bad judgment."  In 2009, Konami Games pulled their support of a game being developed by Atomic Games, called "Six Days in Fallujah", based on the one of the bloodiest battles in Iraq for both Americans and Iraqi civilians.  If my speaking out causes people to think about the war, I'm okay with that.  If my speaking out causes people to question the intentions of these type of games or to question their values in playing such games, I'm okay with that, too.

Gamers are a surly lot when they feel threatened about their choice of video games. They feel entitled to graphically and vocally express their opinion, although my opposing opinion has frequently been called ignorant, just talking crazy, stupid, and disgusting and worse; the testosterone is palpable.  I have also been instructed to "shoot myself in the head over and over", "Kill myself" and "If she doesn't like the game she should not play it".  To be fair there are a few enlightened and empathetic voices, but they are the minority. It makes you wonder who plays these first person shooter games.

The hate and nasty name calling that has been directed at me is interesting and disturbing at the same time.  I might remind the gamers that I have already had the worst day of my life, so these sticks and stones cannot and do not hurt me. It just validates the level of and lack of maturity.

Let's lay out some facts, so that if anyone feels inclined to dismiss my opinion, they won't need to use these as their argument.
  • My son, 1Lt Ken Ballard did volunteer to serve his country in the Army and did so with honor
  • I will never get over his death
  • My son was killed in Iraq, not Afghanistan
  • I do not play video games, especially those that involve killing- anyone.  
  • I will not be buying or playing Medal of Honor or any game that involves killing- anyone.
  • I believe in the First Amendment, the Freedom of Speech
  • I do not want Medal of Honor banned
  • I have watched the trailer for MOH
The gaming industry is trying to put their medium on the same level of books and movies and with the same respect. From the EA web site one day “software worthy of the minds who use it” would be more important than traditional media like films and television. They suggest that all mediums are for entertainment, but I would argue that books and movies can be informational, and not entertainment. Books and movies have a finite ending, the same characters die at the same time, the same happy or sad ending occurs, regardless of the number of times you view or read.  Video games offer different endings depending on how the game is played. A player can pause the game, they can start over and replay, replay and replay, all of which are not available in the harsh reality of war.

My message to the executives of Electronic Arts is not a request to ban the game.  It is a request to understand and acknowledge the controversy and hurt they have caused to the many families of the fallen.  The cavalier responses from their PR staff are patronizing and arrogant, not in line with their stated values of  "Think of Consumers First" and listening and responding.  The values page on Electronics Arts website also asks “What must we do to be our best?”  If Medal of Honor is EA’s best, then they have failed.  EPIC fail!



 I have respectfully requested a meeting with Electronic Arts.  Although I am not hopeful for a response, just in case, I'll let you know.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

I watched your clip on Faux News. You may be a Gold Star Mom, but I'm a veteran of the war in Iraq. You've got a lot of nerve to say that games based on World War 2 aren't based on real people simply because of the timeline involved. The Nazis were the scourge of the 20th Century. They are responsible for the Holocaust as well as 50 million other deaths attributed to war.

Is it more acceptable to you that people take on the role of Nazis since the Nazis killed Jews? You seem to give game companies a pass for this, but take issue with them creating a game that tells the story of American soldiers and happens to have a component that places players into the role of the Taliban.

Are you trying to tell me that the Taliban are worse than the Nazis? The Nazis conquered nearly all of Europe and were on track to conquer the world. They caused 50 MILLION deaths. They turned genocide into an art form and nearly succeeded in exterminating the Jews. Is it okay for players to portray Nazis? If so, why?

You're completely erratic in your criticism of EA. They made a game based on what in 10 years will hopefully be a historical conflict. Just like other companies made games about WW2 that are based on a historical conflict. The only difference I see here is that you're angry because people will play as Arabs. But you don't get angry about people playing as Nazis? Double standard?

Gold Star Mom Speaks Out said...

Thanks for stopping by, Anonymous. Thanks for your service. I'm not sure why people don't sign their names if they really believe what they say, maybe you can answer that.

Apparently you didn't read my blog- "I will not be buying or playing Medal of Honor or any game that involves killing- anyone." It doesn't matter who is killing or being killed in these games.

I hope you didn't lose anyone in Iraq. It's a damn shame that these wars have gone on for so long with so much.

Another point that you apparently missed on my blog "I was shocked at the insensitivity to releasing this game as our members of the military fight and die in Iraq and Afghanistan. This game trivializes the training and the service of members of the military." I know that many members of the military enjoy playing FSP games, but I don't.

You are entitled to your opinion, as am I.

EchoFiveFox said...

>"I do not want Medal of Honor banned."

I would argue that is a FALSE Assertion on your part to as a cover for your greater advocacy. This is why (examples):

>"This game trivializes the training and the service of members of the military."

False. The Game was made using technical input from those with said training, say, with the kind of Artificial Intelligence necessary so your game controlled comrades do not do something stupid, like run into the Enemy Field of Fire.

Those in the Multi-Play Matches of course may not always have that kind of training and sense. These are real people from all walks of life just trying their hand on something created using military input. Just like those who play sports games are not always athletes in Real Life, a MoH Player might do something foolish, like not check a blind corner for an lurking enemy.

If it's not a "trivilization" (read: insult) to a Professional Athlete (i.e. real people, royalties paid and all) when his game persona is "misused" in play, then why assert otherwise when it comes to fictional (i.e. not based on any particular, identifiable servicemember) soldiers portrayed in a game?

Personally I only play video games which, in the case of sports, I do play "offline", or in the case of military-inspired games, reflect scenarios and events in which I had, or I wish/consider/might/ponder had, taken part in while I was in the military.

>"I do not play video games, especially those that involve killing - anyone."

Lady, if you don't play video games, period, then asserting which ones you not play "especially" is hardly necessary. You just made a false dichotomy, which undermines your credibility.
If you HAD played SOME video games of ANY sort, then stating your distaste for OTHER sorts of games would be appropriate.
Basically you're saying that you really have no idea of the Subject (technically, substantially, ideologically) against which you speak out.

(Continued)

EchoFiveFox said...

(Cont'd.)

>"I would be satisfied if MOH is pulled. This is not without precedence."

Yes, that is your ultimate aim, isn't it? The your entire posting reeks of it, even when you insert this "disclaimer" of sorts, "It is a request to understand and acknowledge the controversy and hurt they have caused to the many families of the fallen."

That "acknowledgment" on their part would still not change what the game is. Really, the only thing that would placate you, technical-wise, is if EA re-wrote the game top-to-bottom so that no historical enemy would be playable, no soldier ever gets killed, and no actual theater of war is ever portrayed.

That is not EA MoH. That would be America's Army, Training Missions 1-to-whatever, not by EA. They shoot with MILES gear, nobody dies and there are debriefs afterwards.

Pardon the pun, but that's been done to death. The only thing that hasn't been portrayed are the troops packing-up their bags to come to and leave from Ft. Irwin or Ft. Polk. That process would be as boring and unentertaining as a game as it is in Real Life. But, would that sort of creation satisfy you?

>"I have watched the trailer for MOH."

Which one? There are several now, including the ones featuring the still-serving Tier One Operators who were advisers for the game. Did you hear what they had to say too? Or did you start dismissing the game wholesale after the initial Teaser Trailer?

And finally, if "War is not a Game", then the inverse is also true, "A Game is not War".

That is the crux of the matter. You're conflating a fictional game with a real war.

If gaming companies were to heed all of your concerns, then either no more MoH games would be created [which would be an outrage to this playing generation], or their releases would be set so far into the future [as to be irrelevant to that playing generation].

By your calculus this sort of thing would need a gap of at least of a century, in order to not offend anyone related to the events upon which the game is based. And that, madam, goes beyond merely "stating your opinion". That is planting the seeds of Civil Strife, between the Wants and the Wants Not.

EchoFiveFox said...

(Cont'd.)

>"I would be satisfied if MOH is pulled. This is not without precedence."

Yes, that is your ultimate aim, isn't it? The your entire posting reeks of it, even when you insert this "disclaimer" of sorts, "It is a request to understand and acknowledge the controversy and hurt they have caused to the many families of the fallen."

That "acknowledgment" on their part would still not change what the game is. Really, the only thing that would placate you, technical-wise, is if EA re-wrote the game top-to-bottom so that no historical enemy would be playable, no soldier ever gets killed, and no actual theater of war is ever portrayed.

That is not EA MoH. That would be America's Army, Training Missions 1-to-whatever, not by EA. They shoot with MILES gear, nobody dies and there are debriefs afterwards.

Pardon the pun, but that's been done to death. The only thing that hasn't been portrayed are the troops packing-up their bags to come to and leave from Ft. Irwin or Ft. Polk. That process would be as boring and unentertaining as a game as it is in Real Life. But, would that sort of creation satisfy you?

>"I have watched the trailer for MOH."

Which one? There are several now, including the ones featuring the still-serving Tier One Operators who were advisers for the game. Did you hear what they had to say too? Or did you start dismissing the game wholesale after the initial Teaser Trailer?

And finally, if "War is not a Game", then the inverse is also true, "A Game is not War".

That is the crux of the matter. You're conflating a fictional game with a real war.

If gaming companies were to heed all of your concerns, then either no more MoH games would be created [which would be an outrage to this playing generation], or their releases would be set so far into the future [as to be irrelevant to that playing generation].

By your calculus this sort of thing would need a gap of at least of a century, in order to not offend anyone related to the events upon which the game is based. And that, madam, goes beyond merely "stating your opinion". That is planting the seeds of Civil Strife, between the Wants and the Wants Not.

Anonymous said...

In the words of gamers, you just got 'pwnd' by EchoFiveFox. With your actions, getting AAFES to not shelve nor sell the game on 'any' military base you have gone against one of the main reasons soldiers fight in wars.. freedom. You're actions causing the game to be removed, removes our freedom to purchase this game. You have gone against your son.. good job. And, if you don't play games. Then please, stay the hell away.

There is far more drastic matters you can 'fight' against than to 'ban' a video game.

darkpower said...

First off, this is not out of any disrespect to your son.

However, with that being said, I think you have the whole complexion of the idea of what this game is about completely backwards. This is set in a particular time frame, during a particular event, and as such, should reflect how things were and are. This is what gamers have known to be able to receive for ages. Also, there are ALWAYS two side to every war or confrontation.

Which brings me to my main point: your acting somewhat ignorant and self-righteous. You're saying that because YOU'RE not happy with the game, no one else is allowed to be. Your son served so we could have the right to be able to play a game like MoH. It's not a real right if someone is saying "you can use that freedom our troops fought for, but only in the way WE tell you to). So, wouldn't the honorable thing be to allow us the opportunity to be able to use the freedom that your son bravely fought for by buying the game? Are you against the proposed Park 51 Community Center, too? What about your stance on the 14th Amendment? These are hot button issues that could be argued in a similar fashion.

You tell us that you don't want to have the game banned, just pulled. What is the difference between the two?

And to that point, the last line, "I have respectfully requested a meeting with Electronic Arts. Although I am not hopeful for a response, just in case, I'll let you know." That makes no sense. Are you wanting EA to respond to you yet you don't think they will, or did you request something, but you hope they won't respond so you can continue on your brigade? I don't understand that at all.

Which brings me to a question I have. What would you want EA to do in order to make you happy? You talk all of this stuff about how the memories of fallen American soldiers would be tarnished by MoH, yet you don't offer any solutions as to how EA could tackle this so you would be happy while us gamers will be able to play the game in the way it was intended to be. You also talk as though it was EA's intention to offend the memories of the soldiers. I would love to know what your requests are as it comes to EA to what you would like to see done to the game, because you've yet to offer any sort of solution to the problem other than "pull it off of shelves", which is just making everyone angry at you because you're not being reasonable, being closed-minded, and are talking in a way that seems as though you know that was what EA was trying to do, and you hope you get the chance to promote that opinion.

Anonymous said...

I have read you post, and while your entitled to your opinion I don't believe you should impose your beliefs on others who might see things different. How do you think EA got the information from the war, or for that matter the different weapons sounds; they received that information from active duty military members themselves, they same people you feel your trying to defend.

In response to you movie and book views as being informational; I tend to disagree. Books and movies are both informational and entertainment, they create emotional responses to both the viewer and reader, just as video games do.

Understand like it or not times have changed since back in the day, and theres nothing wrong with your beliefs, yet that doesn't mean you should feel entitled to impose your opinions on others. We are not apart of your family, so you should not try to press your views on others outside your household.

I served 7 yrs in the Army and was deployed to Bosnia, also I did 2 yrs in Kuwait as a contractor, all military bases have game centers with xbox 360 and ps3 console playing first person shooter war games to provide tension release for soldiers as the stress they experience in the war zone needs an avenue for release.

Hope this provides a new outlook for you to venture fourth.

Anonymous said...

I am a Vet. I am so so truly sorry for your loss.

There is no honor in being in the military since WWII I am sorry to say. We are fighting the war in Iraq because of Bush not because they were the 9-11 attackers! That war is in Afghanistan.

To have the MOH game pulled from the PX is not a win for you it is a loss of our right to FREEDOM all you did was sensor something you did not like and you took out your anger on a object of others affection because of your loss.

I love video games and there entertainment value. I collect and own many systems and software. MOH is nothing compared to other games out on the market NOW and in the PAST.

I feel and I know you do too because of your loss you needed something to help you fill that empty hole in your heart thinking that this fight you started will fill your emptiness by banning MOH to the masses but all you are really doing is taking the anger you have for the loss of your son and showing us that you are unhappy with the out come of your son going to fight a war in Iraq and dieing for no reason is really former President Bush's fault but you can't blame him so you need this.

I am so sorry and I know you are sad inside but you need to let this go and fight the real fight and that is to bring the Bush Administration up on charges for War Crimes. The Bush Admin is the reason your son is no longer with us, not a video game remember that!

I will never ever forget our fallen soldiers and the ones in the field today.

Respectfully,

Mike

Louis said...

Perhaps the game will serve to educate people about the horrors of war rather than to promote it. Just like any form of art, different emotions will be evoked by different people.

I am sorry for your loss and I can see how this game may be viewed as insensitive, but I cannot see the problem with simply ignoring it; if you consider it be below your level of morality then why not shrug it off and move on as one might do if being bullied?
The only reason I can think of as to why you might not let it go is that you believe your viewpoint to be correct and more just than everybody else's. If so then you may be missing the point of art and its subjectivity in nature; there is no right opinion.

I like to think of this comment as more of a discussion, instead of an attack as many gamers are writing. However I can understand their frustration with censorship and bias against videogames when films and books seem to be given a free pass on the subject. Some of the best films and books are incredibly controversial and dangerous as it were, yet similar games are immediately destroyed by the media.

I hope you are well though, and not letting the stress of angry gamer messages getting to you!

Louis

Dustin Kochensparger said...

I would just like to add that it seems odd to me that you are (understandably)angry about the release of a game that allows players to control a (specifically) Taliban character model, when one of the most popular military games at this time, Modern Warfare 2, assigns online players unnamed or unspecific, but obviously terrorist-like operative character models. Is this not the same as what Medal of Honor is trying to achieve with their multi-player component, with the only difference being the specific revelation that the characters are indeed true Taliban fighters. The only reason I even bring this up, is the fact that there was never any public outcry regarding this feature, but which now has become the center of a huge controversy because of a simple name association.

Anonymous said...

The guy above me just owned you. I'm sorry for your loss mam' but getting this game pulled will not bring back your son and any other lives lost in these great struggles. What I am particularly mad is that you don't care about WW2 games. Like the first poster if you truly care so much about this cause and how people dieing in real conflicts are reflected in games then you should also go after WW2 games. There are so many things i could comment on and contradict but the poster about me got most of them. One last thing you can replay movies and reread books how are video games any different? Your generation is genuinely annoying me with the whole video games are worse for you than tv or movies. You have no facts to back that up and you blatantly bash it up anyways. You need to learn more on this subject matter before ignorantly posting such things.

PS- getting this game pulled will NOT bring back your son. I am sorry but pushing the empathy card is not a healthy way to vent these emotions. I don't and hopefully will not fully understand the pain you are in but it's time to move on.

PPS- i'm posting as anonymous simply because i don't want to hassle with creating an account on here or getting emails or whatever.

Tipa Tyler B said...

I am not big on responding to blogs, or jumping on a on a controversy bandwagon. That being said, your actions as of the past few weeks have ignited a need to share my opinion with you, as you have so eloquently shared yours with the world. I have a brother currently in active duty in the US Army. I also work in retail, selling video games.

First issue that I have with your current crusade is the fact that you don't even play video games.
What makes you think that you have even the slightest room to talk about something that you know absolutely nothing about? You honestly think it's ok for you to fight to make changes to something your not even going to take part in. How in your brain is that ok? You claim that your just sating your opinion, but in reality your no better than a book burner.

Second issue I have is the ideal of the game itself. If you had ever played any of the previous Medal of Honor games (which, uh YOU HAVN'T) you would see that the game itself is a celebration of America. A celebration and recognition of everything we stand for and the hardships that our heroes have seen us through. You have taken something that was meant to be a tribute to our nations heroes, and you have spat on it. What you have done is the equivalent of a child making an "I Love Mommy" card, only to have Mommy slap the childs face because she didn't like the color. Not to mention that fact that Mommy doesn't even read cards. If you don't see the similarities there, your beyond reason.

The third (but defiantly not last), issue I have with this parade, is your claimed support of the First Amendment. You say you support free speech and then try to remove someones free speech from the world. Freedom of speech unless it offends you right? The worst part is, that in your mind you think that what your doing is ok. The Taliban thinks what they are doing is ok too. They don't agree with our American freedoms, so they want to pull us off the shelf in the same manor. Don't you see that when you stifle another groups freedom to artistic expression your destroying the vary thing that our heroes, my brother, and our nation is fighting for?

The truly sad part is that you actually think what your doing is right, so much so, that this message isn't going to sway you on your mission. Well good luck with your struggle to rip up the constitution. I mean that. I on the other hand will be at my store, handing out copies of MOH, to the hundreds of troops who will be in to buy it, with a message "Thank you for giving your life, for our freedoms."

Tipa Tyler B said...

I am not big on responding to blogs, or jumping on a on a controversy bandwagon. That being said, your actions as of the past few weeks have ignited a need to share my opinion with you, as you have so eloquently shared yours with the world. I have a brother currently in active duty in the US Army. I also work in retail, selling video games.

First issue that I have with your current crusade is the fact that you don't even play video games.
What makes you think that you have even the slightest room to talk about something that you know absolutely nothing about? You honestly think it's ok for you to fight to make changes to something your not even going to take part in. How in your brain is that ok? You claim that your just sating your opinion, but in reality your no better than a book burner.

Second issue I have is the ideal of the game itself. If you had ever played any of the previous Medal of Honor games (which, uh YOU HAVN'T) you would see that the game itself is a celebration of America. A celebration and recognition of everything we stand for and the hardships that our heroes have seen us through. You have taken something that was meant to be a tribute to our nations heroes, and you have spat on it. What you have done is the equivalent of a child making an "I Love Mommy" card, only to have Mommy slap the childs face because she didn't like the color. Not to mention that fact that Mommy doesn't even read cards. If you don't see the similarities there, your beyond reason.

Tipa Tyler B said...

The third (but defiantly not last), issue I have with this parade, is your claimed support of the First Amendment. You say you support free speech and then try to remove someones free speech from the world. Freedom of speech unless it offends you right? The worst part is, that in your mind you think that what your doing is ok. The Taliban thinks what they are doing is ok too. They don't agree with our American freedoms, so they want to pull us off the shelf in the same manor. Don't you see that when you stifle another groups freedom to artistic expression your destroying the vary thing that our heroes, my brother, and our nation is fighting for?

The truly sad part is that you actually think what your doing is right, so much so, that this message isn't going to sway you on your mission. Well good luck with your struggle to rip up the constitution. I mean that. I on the other hand will be at my store, handing out copies of MOH, to the hundreds of troops who will be in to buy it, with a message "Thank you for giving your life, for our freedoms."

libhom said...

I should point out that these games are used to promote military recruitment, despite the fact that they trivialize war and military service. Our military is so desperate for people to fight the crazy and illegal wars, they will sink to almost any depths.

Glad to see you posting again.

Anonymous said...

I've seen your clips on TV, I read this blog post, and I read your comments on this blog post. So now I have to ask. Are you doing this because you're upset about losing your son and have nothing to blame it on? You say you don't play video games, you don't buy video games (at least the ones involving killing, but I doubt you buy any at all), and you know the military enjoys their FPS gamers, correct? Well have you though about the troops over their instead of just thinking of yourself and what happen to you? War is not fun, but one way the troops actually get to have some fun is playing FPS because that is what they enjoy. Why would you try to take their fun away when they are serving are great country the same as your son did?

You didn't serve this country, and neither did I, or tons of other people. So why should we, as people, tell the people serving our country what is disrespectful and what isn't? Let the people serving our country decide that, not you, not me, or anyone else. They are risking their lives just the same as your son did, if they want to have some fun playing a video game you think is disrespectful then by all means let them play.

This is from your blog, and I quote

Although I am not advocating for a ban of this game, First Amendment and all, I would be satisfied if MOH is pulled.

Then what are you trying to do? The game is rated M for mature, meaning only people the ages of 17 and older can purchases it. If you're old enough to purchase the game, you're old enough and mature enough to understand the reasoning behind it.

I can guarantee you the game will not be banned, or even taken off the shelves of Gamestop, or any other major gaming retailer. Same as GTA was never taken away when everyone was on the news complaining about it, and the same as when Jack Thompson tried to ban the game period. It's not going to happen and never will, its a form of entertainment that is aimed at the adult audience. At the end of all this, all you're going to have done is take away from the troops instead of giving back to them, even if it's a form of entertainment.

I just don't understand why one person something to be taken away from other people, or even be happy about it. Taking this game away from the troops makes you happy, but how do you think it makes the troops feel, or feel about what you have done. What are you gaining by getting something taken away from grown men and women, that are protecting you and everyone else in this country. They are risking their lives for you, and you're happy about having something taken away from them that they have no control over? If anyone or anything is being disrespectful, its you.

Sorry if I come off a bit harsh, but that's how I feel, and I think this whole thing is just absurd.

Gamer Daddy said...

You probably heard this many times before, but I truly think you should hear it again - I don't agree with you.
I am a war veteran myself. I've been a tank driver in the Israeli military in the Second Lebanon War. While there were no casualties in the tank I drove (though it did get hit by several missiles and was damaged beyond repair), my platoon did suffer losses and my direct commander, along with one of his crew members, got killed.
I don't agree with you over two points. First, there is the point of the game itself being illegitimate. Second, there's the disrespect to people who didn't serve in the military. Why did I have to write about my military experience? because your writing makes me feel like you don't listen to people who did not serve in the military. You were utterly disrespectful toward EA executives because they didn't serve in the military. Well, military service should grant you certain privileges, but freedom of speech is not one of them - that should be granted to everyone.
As for the game itself, I don't understand why this game disturbs you the way it does. Sure, you've heard the "playing Nazis" argument before, but I still didn't hear any explanation from you as to why playing as a Nazi is OK while playing as Taliban is not. You may say that you don't play any video games, but you didn't make a fuss about any previous video game. Not ones which allow you to play Nazis during WWII and not ones which allow you to play terrorists fighting against US and UK military in modern day warfare (Such as Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1 and 2).

I would be glad to hear you opinion on both points.

Anonymous said...

War should ONLY be a game... How about we work on ending the real war and leave the fighting to 16 yr old's playing Medal Of Honor in their mothers basements. Do you really think waging war against these video game designers is going to accomplish anything ? Let's pick our battles and spend our time wisely....

Anonymous said...

you make me sick, first of all why are you going so deep into this just let people play a game people worked very hard its their living to make a game that ppl want to play so if the game gets banned they lose out on their living and dont give me that bull that you dont want it banned thats complete b.s. yes were all sorry to hear your son died it is tragic but this is just insane so if i play medal of honor rising sun or any call of duty game or any past war game at all is that discriminating against the fallen of those wars? if so then why speak out now? and this game has been public for the longest time why didnt you complain earlier your extremely stupid and dont deserve to have an opinion if your going to have one this outrageous and stupid and btw stop hiding behind your son, ea being uncapable of fighting a war has nothing to do with this, how about seeing you fight in the goddamn war hypocrite, some people dont choose the path your son did and i wonder why, because theyd rather experience life and not fight and die for a bullshit reason so instead they chose to entertain people but you have to come along and try to ruin it your the worst kind of person bye

Anonymous said...

oh and another thing, if you dont play games then you wouldnt play this or even hear about it so why the fuck does it bother you just dont go near it and it wont "disgrace" you, its like it didnt exist to you but no you have to be nosy and arrogant

Midnightmare said...

Do i really have to point out the sdtupidity of comments froma woman who dosent play games were you kill people.

And on the same time you have a son going to war, were you really kill people.

people die in wars, dont wanna die dont go to war.

and how about the families of the iraqian people that died in war i dont hear them bitching cuz they have been shoot in every game for last 10 years.
or the germans for the last 15 years.

wonder why peoplestart disliking americans more and more.

your part of a bigger scale problem a hole your digging for many moreamerican people with your narrowminded way of thinking.

and i think Karen Meredith should be ashamed of yourself.
and your very very selfish thoughts this is just about you and your loss.

but how many people did your son kill ?

how many people have a person in a computer game ever killed?

Anonymous said...

So you have no problem shooting other people's sons in video games? Because that's exactly the type of hypocrite you sound like.

I wasn't even really interested in this game before, now I'm definitely going to buy it. I guess EA should thank you for all the free publicity.

I can't wait to play as the Taliban.

Anonymous said...

I'm a veteran of 13 years and I play video games. I play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1 and 2. Where's the outrage about these games that take place in Afghanistan and other Middle East locations that let let you play as the bad guys? There is none because it's a game, it's fiction. It doesn't glorify being a bad guy (terrorist) but does show what our guys do in fictional settings and does glorify their service. I also know other veterans who have served in the Middle East and they have nothing but praise for this game and are looking forward to its release. The AAFES CG has done a disservice to our military members all over the world by pulling this game. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Another game won't be made.

Anonymous said...

Good Day Ma'am,
I am a Marine so I will not be as disrespectful as some of the comments made here. Apparently some do not actually understand your pain while they pretend that they do. I am so sorry for your loss. Many family members have suffered the same pain and with that I will make my point.

I saw your interview on Fox and I must admit I was kind of hurt on two counts. One was the WWII comment. Many grandparents have died during WWII and I had uncles that fought in Vietnam. One of them inspired me to be a Marine. But according to you they don't matter cause it's in the past. That was a very insensitive comment to make ma'am. The second was the cops and robbers comment. I'm sorry to say ma'am but there are many families that suffer from the death of a loved one who died in the line of duty as police officer so to say that's not real is also a very insensitive comment to make.

While this game may seem insensitive it is no different than a movie star pretending to be a soldier and gets paid 4 to 5 million dollars to do it. Look at the movie "The Hurt Locker" where the actor pretends to have a troubled marriage due to all the deployments and he's risking his life as a bomb disposal technician. None of that is true. The movie is completely fake and he gets paid 5 million dollars to do it. Once he is done filming he gets to go home in his million dollar home, driving his Ferrari and then he gets a nomination for best actor. So I guess he was so good the world actually believes he played the role of a deployed soldier? What does he really know about being a deployed solider in combat disarming IEDs? He doesn't know anything. So why do we allow it? Cause it's entertainment ma'am. It's completely protected by the First Amendment ma'am.

The Constitution is the most beautiful document in the world but there are times when it's really inconvenient. Whether it the National Rifle Association having the right to hold their convention weeks after the Columbine incident or Muslims having the right to build a Mosque near ground zero, our constitution must stand despite the times of it being inconvenient.

You have the right to protest. You have the right to ask people to boycott. But no establishment has the right to censor.

I doubt this will change your mind but at the very least show a bit more sensitivity to past service members who fought past wars. I'm sure you would be pretty upset if someone said those same remarks 20 years from now about your son.

Anonymous said...

Good Day Ma'am, (Part 1)
I am a Marine so I will not be as disrespectful as some of the comments made here. Apparently some do not actually understand your pain while they pretend that they do. I am so sorry for your loss. Many family members have suffered the same pain and with that I will make my point.

I saw your interview on Fox and I must admit I was kind of hurt on two counts. One was the WWII comment. Many grandparents have died during WWII and I had uncles that fought in Vietnam. One of them inspired me to be a Marine. But according to you they don't matter cause it's in the past. That was a very insensitive comment to make ma'am. The second was the cops and robbers comment. I'm sorry to say ma'am but there are many families that suffer from the death of a loved one who died in the line of duty as police officer so to say that's not real is also a very insensitive comment to make.

While this game may seem insensitive it is no different than a movie star pretending to be a soldier and gets paid 4 to 5 million dollars to do it. Look at the movie "The Hurt Locker" where the actor pretends to have a troubled marriage due to all the deployments and he's risking his life as a bomb disposal technician. None of that is true. The movie is completely fake and he gets paid 5 million dollars to do it. Once he is done filming he gets to go home in his million dollar home, driving his Ferrari and then he gets a nomination for best actor. So I guess he was so good the world actually believes he played the role of a deployed soldier? What does he really know about being a deployed solider in combat disarming IEDs? He doesn't know anything. So why do we allow it? Cause it's entertainment ma'am. It's completely protected by the First Amendment ma'am.

Anonymous said...

Good Day Ma'am (part 2)
The Constitution is the most beautiful document in the world but there are times when it's really inconvenient. Whether it the National Rifle Association having the right to hold their convention weeks after the Columbine incident or Muslims having the right to build a Mosque near ground zero, our constitution must stand despite the times of it being inconvenient.

You have the right to protest. You have the right to ask people to boycott. But no establishment has the right to censor.

I doubt this will change your mind but at the very least show a bit more sensitivity to past service members who fought past wars. I'm sure you would be pretty upset if someone said those same remarks 20 years from now about your son.

Anonymous said...

You should be more concerned with your weight problem.

libhom said...

Wow, the corporate PR trolls are really getting busy about this blog posting. I've seen something similar on my blog when I've criticized British Petroleum.

Anonymous said...

why do you pick on gamers. There are many films with more information and detail in to the army and taliban.Films that have won awards for what you call a disgrace.
IF you were to take the time and patience to hear what members of the army think then you would find out that you are wrong. A game called sherlock holmes vs jack the ripper was published about a serious true matter of what happened in 1888 to prostitues. sure the story might not be as detailed as medal of honour but its still about a ture story. no family of related to a prostitue killed by jack the ripper got pissed off about that.
Another example is second world war games. these are made in detail to what happened during world war two.Yet you are not having a tantrum about that.
Gaming is such a popular thing and your trying to give it a bad rep. Medal of honour is and always will be a popular game. and ur trying to give it a bad name. but why are u trying to give it a bad name, cos it represents truth. and what else represents truth, a documentary. Documentary show more detail and in some show a reconstruction. That is exactly what this game is doing. it is reconstructing a war. so why do u have to have a tantrum about games and not documentarys.because u havent thought about what your doing.

Anonymous said...

I just find the comment about video games not having the ability to be informational rather humorous.

My first exposure to a video game was when I was quite young and in school... we played several games that were meant to teach about various aspects of history, English (grammar), and of course, mathematics. This was, in fact, my full exposure to video games until I was much older and discovered the more entertainment based games that were obviously created for a different demographic.

But video games cannot be informational. And God forbid they try to show multiple points of view the way movies and literature have been doing since their respective creation.

Clayton Weaver said...

I'm not in the service, was told my health prevented it. My father was though and served (army) in the Vietnam War, but thankfully came home to us. Sadly, we lost him to a guy robbing the gas station he worked at. My father-in-law is retired Marine. I'm sorry for your loss, a parent should never have to bury their child.

I showed my father-in-law your point of view and his reply was simply, "If she doesn't like it, don't play it."

I'm a game programmer, or trying to be and your points seem scewed considerably. You have an issue with MoH because it puts players in the role of Taliban (terrorists) shooting at American soldiers. Let me see, Call of Duty puts you in control of Spetnaz, Marines, SAS(British Special Forces), and OpFor(terrorists) yet you didn't fight the release of CoD, or MW2. You are fine with the fact that the previous MoHs put you in the role of a soldier shooting Nazis and such but now that the player can play the bad guy you have an issue.

Movies and books are entertainment and can be informative? Yes those are called documentaries and non-fiction and informative books. Movies and novels are designed for entertainment. Games were started as entertainment. Hell, it is funny that you have this problem because Simulations (games) are used by a lot of military branches now to train soldiers in scenarios.

Look, it is the parents job to control what their children play. Most gamers know that the game is based of real events but they also know that it isn't the real war. We aren't playing your son when we play, we are creating a persona of ourselves to act out what we can't do in real life. I would serve if I had the health to do it, but these games just give me the ability to feel like a soldier in my mind. Like you said, War is not a game and like someone else said Game is not War. Soldiers are going to be getting killed and hurt whether MoH is released or not. MoH doesn't control what really happens in the war.

You pointed out that you don't play those kind of games and won't play that kind of game. So why waste your time imposing your will on the rights of the company that made it?

Games are becoming equal to movies because they cost millions to make now. You also have actors being recorded to make the animations look real and be realistic. Don't know about novels though, I'm writing one myself and so far it hasn't cost me a thing.

I'm greatful that your son fought for our freedom. I am thankful that there are Americans like him who have and are fighting to keep our rights and freedom. You can fight to have them pulled, but if you look at if from the company view you are asking it to be banned. If you get it pulled they don't sell the ones pulled and lose money.Pulling and banning have the same effect. If people want this game, they will find ways to get it regardless of what you and military people think.

Lastly, if you don't play them, then why are you fighting to pull them? That is like fighting to have Twilight pulled just cause you don't like vampire movies and don't watch them.

Anonymous said...

Games have nothing to do with disrespect to our country or troops. They are just games, made to entertain people, just as movies do. Are you going to try and get those banned as well? Why don't you just try and ban everything that you disagree with?

It's unfortunate you're blind to see that you're trying to take our liberties/freedom away. You have stirred a hornets nest up for NO GOOD reason. I don't agree with a lot of things in this life but I understand that we can either have freedom or we can have safety/censorship but we cannot have both. You're very naive to this and it angers me more than ever.

I'm disappointed in you and the people like you for being a terrible American. You're not helping our country, your hurting it.

At this point my comments have nothing to do with gaming. Are you smart enough to even understand what is at work here? I hope you get what you deserve. A swift kick in the ass. You're a terrible person bent on forcing your opinion.

CTSG said...

Kenneth, I just read an article about your protests at one of Polish gaming websites and I decided to find your blog. I understand your pain after losing your son, but I have to tell you what I think. Your son went to Irak knowing, that maybe he will have to kill other people. It's something every soldier knows. And for that reason, I got no respect for soldiers. They are killers who fight with other killers or with innocent people. Every military movement is disrespect to humanity. Especially US Army, who don't protect their land, but attack others. In the light of that, nothing of what you've said about Medal of Honor makes no sense. I suggest you spend more time with your family, trying to actually pay some respect to your son. Sorry for my broken English. I hope you'll get the right meaning of my words, as I only try to open your eyes for some facts. I hope you'll find a peace of mind soon.

Dante said...

I find it interesting that many arguing against Karen here need to make this a personal attack. Perhaps this is the problem--people becoming detached from humanity to the point that they feel entitled to insult Karen rather than argue on the merits. To those that do argue here on the merits of the debate, good for you, it's a great country that we can discuss this. But anonymous slander is really getting too common place and shows real intellectual cowardice.
My only question is, how would people feel if we made a game where you could hijack planes and fly them into the world trade center? is anything sacred or does our constant need to entertain ourselves trump all? How appropriate, then, that people who feel they need to entertain themselves by role playing the Taliban also feel entitled to trash Karen for making a simple statement about her feelings concerning a video game. It's more evidence to me that these games are not breeding class into the next generation.

Kb said...

I have only one question. Why are you not responding to any of these comments, save 1? Sure, some comments are downright insulting and i condemn them but some really good arguments are put forward here by former marines, war veterans and the like. If you really care abt people, and their 'enlightenment', you will comment

David B said...

This is another series that has players facing off as taliban/arabs.

http://topnews.us/content/28587-activision-retail-sales-call-duty-franchise-have-crossed-3-billion

Not only does the vidoegame industry provide entertainment to millions, maybe even billions of people, its also provides jobs for hundreds of thousands of people. Their children get fed because of what they do. Not only have you struck EA, you have struck the families of the employees. People that are on the Medal of Honor project will get laidoff because the projected sales have now been reduced by over 50%.

Here is the wikipedia page for first person shooters. This is not news at all, first person shooters have been made since the early 1970's. And as everybody who has every been born on this planet knows, war has been going on since anybody can remember, before records were kept, or before writing has been invented.
There will always be war going on, since the First Person shooter was invented, war has almost gone on non stop.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-person_shooter

Here is an incomplete list of first person shooter games, this list doesnt even include games made prior to the 1990's.

Billions of dollars have been made because of first person shooters. Microsoft uses money that they make off, say, their successful Halo series, to better their highly popular Microsoft Office, Probably what you used to email Fox News. (Microsoft Outlook)
If you really feel that these games shouldn't have realistic multiplayer, nobody would want to buy their games, they would make less money, and the world would suffer all because of what YOU have to say. Im sorry for your loss, but is starving children, declining economy and crappy future products that benefit every buisness in America really what you want, all because of a game that offends you.

Should everyone get to go on the news because they are offended of something. Im offended that my Financial Aid won't cover me to go to school to become a Commercial Pilot. How does That make any sense. I guess I dont get a good education. Am I emailing Fox news telling them this, no, I suck it up get another job and buckle down to pay the tuition.

Finally your son, sorry for loss, probably played these kinds of games, maybe not with you but as EA has stated, most of us have been playing these game since we were seven.

I probably won't troll this blog for a response from you, because truly I dont care, this is not a personal attack on me or you, your simply depriving children of clothes, or thoose new sneakers they wanted for christmas. An estimated 500 million dollars will be lost from this, "15 minutes of fame", stunt. If you can cover that, then by all means complain, and make others suffer.

Anonymous said...

Let me start this comment by saying that I'm really sorry for your loss. I can't think of something worse than to lose a child. 1LT Ken Ballard gave the ultimate sacrifice to this nation.
Like others have said on this blog, I don't think you are doing anybody a favor, especially deployed troops. I should know, because I am currently deployed. Entertainment is a luxury here, and me and my buddys were looking forward to getting this game here on base. I don't know if your campaign had anything to do with AAFES not carrying the game, but I suspect as much. Regardless of what is depicted on this game, is just that, A GAME! Why you think that your opinion is so important that the game should be pulled from the shelves is beyond me. You and your little campaign is doing nothing more than to make this age of political correctness even worse. If one person doesn't like something, then NOBODY can enjoy it. I guess thats what you want, and to hell what others want. Using your freedom of speech would be just saying that you don't like the game. Actually trying to get the game banned, is forcing YOUR VIEWS on others. I wish I could give the people at AAFES that made this decision a piece of my mind, but that will get my in trouble being in the military. I will be getting this game anyway, because I don't want you making decisions for me.

X said...

"The gaming industry is trying to put their medium on the same level of books and movies and with the same respect. From the EA web site one day “software worthy of the minds who use it” would be more important than traditional media like films and television. They suggest that all mediums are for entertainment, but I would argue that books and movies can be informational, and not entertainment. Books and movies have a finite ending, the same characters die at the same time, the same happy or sad ending occurs, regardless of the number of times you view or read. Video games offer different endings depending on how the game is played. A player can pause the game, they can start over and replay, replay and replay, all of which are not available in the harsh reality of war."

I hate you because you are a hypocrite and you need to know it. I don't care about anything else in your blog really but this because here you just lose all focus in what you're protesting and make yourself look more foolish.

First of all, thanks for admitting that you don't feel like video games can be a respected medium as books or movies. Especially with the movies bit, seeing as that was also considered a form of "low art" and really still is. You say books and movies can be informational and not just entertainment? Seeing as you don't play video games, how the FUCK would you know? Did you know that the Call of Duty games based in World War II actually use footage from the era and that each level is based on the actual campaigns of allies? Of course you don't, so please stop talking like you're some kind of expert when you don't even play the games you criticize.

Also, what you described in terms of "games not having finite endings" is really what some developers want ideally. But seeing as we aren't there yet, nearly EVERY video game in existence either has a finite ending or no ending at all especially games based off real world occurrences. World War II games always end with the Allies winning. But I guess I'm getting off track because my real point is How the FUCK would you know what games offer and what they don't? And don't tell me you read about it or googled it because I'm telling you that you are wrong so by that logic you have to side with my point of view instantly as well.

Also, are you saying that people can't pause a movie or book? Or re-watch or re-read it and somehow that makes video games an inferior medium for portraying war as those two? I don't even know what you are talking about anymore.

X said...

Especially considering that we are talking about the mutliplayer mode in the game, you know this. There is no pause, there is no emotional impact on the same level in this mode, I have no idea what any of what you said has to do with the multiplayer mode of the game which from my understanding is the only time you would get to "play" as Taliban character models. Would having both sides be American character models work as a compromise? Would you rather have Americans fighting Americans? Probably not, but in a game where the Taliban is probably marked as "the bad guy team" I don't see the problem here.

I also fail to see why the multiplayer mode of the game warrants the game being pulled. From my understanding, the game's single player only lets you play as "the good guys" and that's where all the real deep emotional stuff is. Is this really about the game letting players fight eachother with character models representing two sides of a war, or is this really about something else. You say it's distasteful but you don't play games and those of us that do don't find it distasteful. I have yet to see a World War II game that hasn't said many inspiring things about how brave the Ally soldiers were even though those games have multiplayer modes that you let you play on the German and Japanese side of the war.

So really, get over it. Stop making a big public spectacle around what should have been the WORST day of your life. Stop capitalizing on it, stop exploiting it, stop dishonoring the memory of your son by purposefully spouting off ignorance and causing people to hate you.

Gold Star Mom Speaks Out said...

"Hate" is an awfully strong word when we are talking about a game. You kind of lose your audience when you stoop to that level.

Kossak said...

Thanks "MoM" for talking about MoH - it just gets more attention in the world and thus more buys, which i like personally, because the game is awesome (I preordered it).

MoH isn't even the first game in which you can play as a terrorist and kill other people. So why not talking to all gaming companies, that produces games in which you can kill sombeody? Why only MoH? I'm sorry for your son but he wasn't better than for example WW2 victims, so why not banning all games in which you can play Nazi?

This is bullshit for me, cause all the games are only for pleasere and have nothing to do with real life. You don't like MoH - don't play it, i'm gonna enjoy it a lot and i don't care who i'm gonna play as, cause it's only a game. You should better focus on something more real than digital entertainment.

DeafAtheist said...

I lost my best friend last year who was serving a tour in Afghanistan. He was killed by an IED while he and another soldier in his unit were traveling in a vehicle. He was 1 month away from coming home when he was killed.

Your very public outcry about the MOH game does a grave disservice to the men and women who serve in our military who are risking and in many cases giving up their lives for the Constitutional rights we enjoy as citizens which includes the 1st Amendment. You say you support the 1st Amendment but at the same time you say you'd be okay with the game being pulled even if that's not your intended goal. A true patriot would NOT want the game pulled at all despite finding it insensitive or offensive, why? Because as form of media it enjoys equal protection under the 1st Amendment of the very Constitution your son and my best friend gave their lives in service of and a banning of the game at all chips away at the very Constitution that our friends and family who gave their lives to protect.

You have the right to feel offended by the game. You have the right to speak out about it, but at the same time you should withdraw any support you have of a ban on it because as Voltaire is often quoted as saying, "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.".

THAT would be the patriotic thing to do.

L Smith said...

"Dr. Craig Anderson, professor of Psychology at Iowa State University, analyzed studies of 130,000 people from the U.S. Europe and Japan. The new research found that playing violent video games was associated with aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, desensitization, and lack of empathy and "pro-social behavior."From the nastiness of most of these posts, I would say his research base has just been widened...

Anonymous said...

The game is for entertainment. I have a brother that is a veteran of both wars but it's still just a game for entertainment. There was never an intention to hurt anyone who's lost someone to the wars but you do seem to be sweeping the 50 million who died during WWII under the rug because it's not happening now. Why not rage at CNN, Fox, MSNBC or any other news channel that uses the war for the purpose of entertainment instead of just a video game. I am sorry that you lost your son because he was killed defending our freedom but the very thing he fought to protect, you are trying to take from people. Doesn't make sense.

Victor said...

@Gold Star Mom Speaks Out,
I feel for you. To be this old and still think like a child must be sad.

corey said...

i say booo to you!!!!! your son died fighting for my rights ive did my time in iraq and you know what we did when we were not on mission we played video games MOH its a great game good way to kill time and to destress and you want to take that away from us wow lady who do you think you are

LightningGrey said...

Hi, My name's Chris, I'm 17, I live in the UK and I'm a gamer, I have been since I was a tot, I've always loved the thrill of opening a new game, the excitement I feel when I start to play it, that warm buzz when you know you're in control of another reality.

First off I would like to say I'm sorry to hear about your loss, I know it's tragic, not that I have lost any family in the war, although I do have family members who are fighting in the service, and younger family members who aspire to be part of it, I don't agree with it at all.

Growing up, my parents refused to buy me 18 rated games, although, I always found comfort in knowing that if I really wanted one I could turn to my friends or older siblings. I've grown up jumping from genre to genre of games, ranging from Sports to RPGs (Role Playing Games) to First Person Shooters. Now, I live in a part of the UK called Liverpool, you may have heard of it. Furthermore, I live in one of the poorest parts of Liverpool where gun crime, knife crime, etc. is common, now I've lost friends, and known people who have died here, around the corner from my house, up the street. I recognise that these killings may have been influenced by the media, although, I wouldn't take it as far as arguing the case because a game such as Medal of Honor using the Taliban as playable characters.
(Carrying on in another message.)

LightningGrey said...

(Carry on from last post...)
I have played Medal of Honor, I participated in the beta version of the game due to ordered a copy pre-release. I know that the game has a lot of violence in it, but so do many other games, for instance Call of Duty: World at War, this game shows decapitation, removing of body parts, upon Nazi, American, and Russian soldiers, the game always includes a game mode where the players take on a group of survivors hiding in a building killing 'Nazi Zombies' as they come towards the building, furthermore, the next Call of Duty games released after that, Modern Warfare 2, was set around the same time as Medal of Honor (Maybe a little further ahead), but this game allows the player to take on multiple factions online including, in my eyes, a replica 'taliban'. Also, the game holds one of the most controversial levels in any game, yet this game had it's little hussle and bussles, over it, and shops such as Gamestop still stocked it because it was one of the most anticipated games of the year. Sure I bought it, sure I completed it, sure I played the online and killed people as American soldiers, as British soldiers, as Taliban. Now I believe in the freedom of speech, but I also believe in the freedom of being creative and allowing ones mind to roam free, as dangerous as that sounds as long as you stay in control and don't get lost in another reality, that is okay.
Now.. I'm not really writing here to insult you in any way, nor am I intending on putting you down, or in anyway trying to upset you. I'm writing to make a difference. I just believe that you are upsetting an industry, no, a community. We're more like family in the gaming community, we share our view, we laugh, we joke, we even make suggestions and we are heard, we're listening to. We get our own input in what happens. You may not see it, but games, even Medal of Honor... They're all beautiful and unique in there own way, I'm not calling the murder of Soldiers or the killings of innocents in games an art of any kind, what I'm saying is look beyond that, look at the dynamics, the graphics, the way a game is pieced together. Before you start to look at the violent games, stop to look at the psychological thrillers (Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, etc) stop to look at the games which allow you to involve your friends and family (Lips, Buzz!), there's many genres of game, and I know this isn't your vendetta to try and stop a game from being made.

If you want to contact me again, post here and I'll send you an e-mail address you can contact me on, furthermore, I'm sure you could find out other ways.

My name's Chris. I'm a Gamer. And I always will be.

LightningGrey said...

I have played Medal of Honor, I participated in the beta version of the game due to ordered a copy pre-release. I know that the game has a lot of violence in it, but so do many other games, for instance Call of Duty: World at War, this game shows decapitation, removing of body parts, upon Nazi, American, and Russian soldiers, the game always includes a game mode where the players take on a group of survivors hiding in a building killing 'Nazi Zombies' as they come towards the building, furthermore, the next Call of Duty games released after that, Modern Warfare 2, was set around the same time as Medal of Honor (Maybe a little further ahead), but this game allows the player to take on multiple factions online including, in my eyes, a replica 'taliban'. Also, the game holds one of the most controversial levels in any game, yet this game had it's little hussle and bussles, over it, and shops such as Gamestop still stocked it because it was one of the most anticipated games of the year. Sure I bought it, sure I completed it, sure I played the online and killed people as American soldiers, as British soldiers, as Taliban. Now I believe in the freedom of speech, but I also believe in the freedom of being creative and allowing ones mind to roam free, as dangerous as that sounds as long as you stay in control and don't get lost in another reality, that is okay.
Now.. I'm not really writing here to insult you in any way, nor am I intending on putting you down, or in anyway trying to upset you. I'm writing to make a difference. I just believe that you are upsetting an industry, no, a community. We're more like family in the gaming community, we share our view, we laugh, we joke, we even make suggestions and we are heard, we're listening to. We get our own input in what happens. You may not see it, but games, even Medal of Honor... They're all beautiful and unique in there own way, I'm not calling the murder of Soldiers or the killings of innocents in games an art of any kind, what I'm saying is look beyond that, look at the dynamics, the graphics, the way a game is pieced together. Before you start to look at the violent games, stop to look at the psychological thrillers (Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, etc) stop to look at the games which allow you to involve your friends and family (Lips, Buzz!), there's many genres of game, and I know this isn't your vendetta to try and stop a game from being made.

If you want to contact me again, post here and I'll send you an e-mail address you can contact me on, furthermore, I'm sure you could find out other ways.

My name's Chris. I'm a Gamer. And I always will be.

Xander X said...

A lot of what I read in this blog post makes me quite angry and while I have had problems restraining my anger in the past (especially against those who try to stomp on my Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom), I'll try as best I can to be as civil and respectful as I can.

I'm truly sorry for your loss (I myself was unable to serve due to medical restrictions, but I nonetheless have an uncle who fought and was wounded in Vietnam and I have friends, both American and Canadian, who have served in the Afghan War), but you can't say you support the First Amendment while calling for the game to be banned ("pulled" is no different from "banned", nobody is fooled by your play on words). You're going directly against the First Amendment. You can't tell us that we can't have something just because you "don't like it" because it is a direct undermining of the First Amendment. You're either in support of it or you're not. You can't be both.

Just for the record (and with absolutely no intended disrespect), it's your "holier-than-thou" attitude and disrespect for the very freedoms that our troops fight for that are making a lot of people hate you. You're implying that because a person didn't serve in the military or didn't have a family member/acquaintance that served, you're somehow "better" than them which is quite incorrect. You also in a previous blog entry referred to our troops as "little green army men" or something similar, which I found to be quite tasteless and disrespectful to those like your son who have served, are currently serving, and have tragically been lost while serving, a comment which I also believe is helping to make people hate you. Perhaps if you'd like more people to take you seriously, you might want to consider toning down on those things.

Another comment here on this blog entry states that maybe your angry over your son's death and don't know who to blame. I think there's some truth to this and that perhaps you should consider deflecting that anger away from EA and gamers because they didn't kill him.

Finally, congrats to EA and MoH on all the free publicity that they're enjoying on behalf of your crusade against the First Amendment. It's making the game more and more popular as time goes by and millions (including US soldiers) will be playing it come this Tuesday.

Xander X said...

Okay, having played the new Medal of Honor both offline and on, I can say that there doesn't seem to be any choice in what side you're on.

In SP, you play exclusively as a few different US Special Operations soldiers (a Ranger, a SEAL, and an SF), never any Taliban or AQ fighters.

In MP, the only "choosing" you do related to either side is what weapons your character uses. Which ever side you're on in a given round seems to be randomly selected rather than chosen. I played two rounds on the same map, one as a US soldier and the other as a Taliban/AQ fighter, and I was never given any option to choose between either. So no one can "choose" to play as the enemy. Hell, they aren't even called Taliban or Al Qaida, just "OpFor", in MP.

Really, your complaints of "playing as the Taliban" have absolutely no basis whatsoever.