EA: New Medal of Honor Won't Be "Propaganda Piece"

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EA: New Medal of Honor Won't Be "Propaganda Piece"

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In case you were worried that the new Medal of Honor would be a flag-waving "Go Team U.S.A!" propaganda game, then worry no more - that really isn't what the team is going for at all.

Being an American, it's sometimes perplexing to read about these supposed "other countries" in the world getting "irritated" at the way our "foreign policy" is reflected in modern "videogames" (air quotes mine, of course): What could possibly be wrong about reliving our glory days from World War II where we ran all the way to Berlin to put a foot up Der Führer's ass? That's totally how it happened, right?

But while it's absolutely ridiculous to suggest that these hypothetical foreign-living-people might take umbrage at games showing badass red-blooded U.S. troops stomping all over villainous third-world countries in the name of football and apple pie, sometimes it does actually happen, I guess. Which is why if you're one of these people worrying that the upcoming Medal of Honor: Bearded Justice reboot would be a flag-waving jingoistic propaganda piece, you might be happy to hear that EA Los Angeles isn't going for something like that at all.

Speaking with IncGamers, EA LA's Sean Decker compared the new Medal of Honor to acclaimed war movie The Hurt Locker, pointing out that a piece about soldiers and war didn't necessarily have to be picking sides or involved in politics at all.

"There's been a lot of really good movies - the Gotham Awards just came out and Hurt Locker was the top one," said Decker. "It has nothing to do with the war in Iraq and why it started, or anything else - it's just about the men on the ground, what they go through on a day-to-day basis, and their emotions."

Like the film, Decker said that Medal of Honor wouldn't address the reasons behind the controversial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, since the focus was to be on the soldiers themselves. "It's not going to be a big propaganda piece where we wave the flag, or anything like that. It's literally about the people that're on the ground," he emphasized.

Medal of Honor: Awesomest Beard Ever is out on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC this fall. And I have a sinking feeling that people are going to completely miss the sarcastic tone in the first two or so paragraphs.

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Sweet. I was like of god-damn "GO AMERICA!" in games. An I'm an American, and a Republican.

Do you know what's going to happen now? The same thing that happened to 6 days in Fallujah. (which looked shite, so no big loss, but still)

Because it actually gives a balanced and rational view of the war, it's going to be shut down and protested against for somehow being 'disrespectful' to the soldiers who died in the war.

Don't quote me on this, but it's sadly a plausible outcome.

John Funk:
And I have a sinking feeling that people are going to completely miss the sarcastic tone in the first two or so paragraphs.

The internet is a wonderful place.

I'm quite glad. I have to give it to World at War for bringing it back to reality somewhat. The Americans didn't win the war single handedly, the best they did was storm a castle. The Russians pwned Germany like nothing else. It was nice to see a somewhat more open view on the war for a change. Hopefully with this one they'll follow suit and treat the enemy as more than waves of faceless enemies. Give it some actual weight.

Where Modern Warfare 2 went Hollywood, Medal of Honor needs to go arthouse.

Well, i'll believe it when i see it. I have played other medal of honour games, and teh propaganda and patriotism is so think you could cut it with a butter knife.

This is Medal of Honours oppurtunity to grab back support from the disappointing Modern Warfare 2, though I have a funny feeling that it will turn into anohter forgettable FPS.
Prove me wrong EA, but I just dont think you have it in you to make somthing above "Good"

Soushi:
Well, i'll believe it when i see it. I have played other medal of honour games, and teh propaganda and patriotism is so think you could cut it with a butter knife.

I only played Airborne, but I could smell the propaganda steaming off it.

I want to say there was a game that pulled Modern Warfare's "musical chair protagonist" gimmick, but switched you between different sides of the same conflict. If there wasn't, there should be. Something that plays with the fact that no one is a villain in their own eyes.

Patriotism is an odd beast. I'm a Canadian and I honestly feel that I live in the greatest country on earth. Our health care system has saved the lives of people close to me, our education system is definitely adequate and violence, while not unheard of in any part of the nation, is very uncommon. Our low crime rate, the strict laws regarding gun ownership, humane prisons, the blocking of fundamentalist involvement in government, the list goes on and on. That said, getting a huge chant of "Go Canada!" or getting people to proudly sing the national anthem at the drop of a hat, that kind of pride doesn't run as deep with out country, we know full well the short-comings of our nation.

And while not extensively well-travelled, I know that there are things other countries do better than us. Denmark, for instance, is far more politically active, and as I understand it, that level or participation is found to varying degrees throughout Europe. And in other nations, were people are getting the economy back on its feet, a lot of nations offer free university education to citizens, now THAT's a progressive idea. So yes, I assume that I could come up with dozens if not hundreds of things other countries do better than us. I think most Canadians are acutely aware of that.

So how DOES a media, any media, anywhere in the world, successfully create a propaganda piece in the 20th century? If Hollywood continues to make back to back movies where in the first part Americans single-handedly wing the Second World War and in the sequel they fight the "Evil" Russians (how's that for revisionists' history?) how can they make money? I mean, sure it's a nice lie, but its pretty blatant manipulation and World War II is perhaps the most prevalant topic on the internet (after the porn). Anybody with so much as a dial-up connection already inherently knows that that's not how it happens. And I don't mean to pick on the Americans. At least free enterprise is responsible for most of its propaganda, which marginally superior to the state-sponsored propaganda found in the more unfortunate parts of the world.

OT edit: Game looks fine, but most shooters bore the heck out of me, especially the realistic ones. Real War is not a fantastic, or exceptional, or some experience I really crave. It's a by-the-numbers affair that is horrible for all involved. Presenting anything else is a just standard old militaristic fetishism.

I remember when I first played CoD 4 and I started off playing as a British S.A.S. soldier. I was like "Wait, England? But we're never the main characters!"

Does it have blood filled fleshy polygons for me to shoot at? Them I'm down, I miss it when shooters were really all that simple. Not everything needs a message or hidden agenda.

And EALA still doesn't realize that people won't care what they say until they admit that dissolving Westwood was a fucking retarded idea?

John Funk:

Medal of Honor: Awesomest Beard Ever

I think gentleman like say...

image
This guy.

...might disagree on the whole "awesomest beard ever" thing. I mean come on, he's shaped part of it into a little bicycle! How cool is that?

I don't think I really mind overly American characters within games, because if I hate them, I can just watch them wander into enemy fire and laugh.

John Funk:
And I have a sinking feeling that people are going to completely miss the sarcastic tone in the first two or so paragraphs.

BLARGH! We gave you your language you know! /rantrantrant

Asehujiko:
And EALA still doesn't realize that people won't care what they say until they admit that dissolving Westwood was a fucking retarded idea?

What does Westwood have to do with the new Medal of Honor?

Anyway, more moral ambiguity is nice for us grown ups, so let's hope it comes across in a believable fashion...

What would be wrong with that? Everything seems to get torn into if it's not a liberal propaganda piece (you fucking know I'm right, don't bullshit me), so what's so unacceptable about something a tad more patriotic?

Oh wow!!!
An entertainment piece about war that's also a deep social critique? Wow, totally new and edgy there.

It'll be even worse because they try to be 'serious' like MW. Come on. Make it like Duke Nukem so the shooting is mindless fun. Any other attempt at a serious story line from developers like these will just make them the ass of jokes for years.

Americans like America? Wut?

Seriously though, this is the Hollywood effect happening in videogames. Games that are made in Japan are going to highlight Japan, will probably put Japan as a focal point, and would probably not demonize their own country in the process... which is probably why they don't make WWII games.

While the place that I call home is at times more screwy than an obsessive-compulsive in the small hardware section at Home Depot, I won't fault it for making games that highlight itself as the protagonist... sure it's been done to death, but so has everything else. I'd love to see a war based FPS with a sort of "Team America" (as in Trey Parker/Matt Stone) style humor to it... I'd buy that inevitable sh*tty console to PC port in a second.

American developers shouldn't be "required" to demonize or politicize their country in order to appease the rest of the world, no more than the UK should be required to put out a game about the American Revolutionary War and show themselves as the bad guy. As long as a game tells a story, be it fiction or non, in an entertaining fashion, I'm fine with it. I don't mind fictionalizing history or perspective... as long as it's a GOOD GAME.

Soushi:
Well, i'll believe it when i see it. I have played other medal of honour games, and teh propaganda and patriotism is so think you could cut it with a butter knife.

Seriously.

I would like for them for once to concentrate on the other countries who fought.

Granted, you had underground but that was years and years ago!

Del-Toro:
What would be wrong with that? Everything seems to get torn into if it's not a liberal propaganda piece (you fucking know I'm right, don't bullshit me), so what's so unacceptable about something a tad more patriotic?

Because, and I'm not demonizing Americans here, Americas history is fairly pockmarked with wars. War is not a nice thing, and the majority of reasonable people are against glorifying it.

The problem being, is that games made for Americans tend to emphasise Americas victory in WW2 without focusing on any of the more negative aspects of Americas military history, such as Vietnam or the Phillipines war, or Panama, and such. It just seems somewhat revisionist. I commend games like Brothers In Arms and Vietcong for showing a more balanced outlook on the war.

I'm not saying that every war game should be a downer, just that it's important to remember that you're dealing with real history here, and the mark of a good historian is to be impartial.

I don't think it's particularly patriotic to glorify war anyway, but that's just my opinion, disregard it if you will.

It wouldn't matter so much, but considering this game is taking the very risky tack of dealing with a war that's currently ongoing (which is very rare in film or games), it really cannot afford to be anything other than totally balanced. Not liberal or conservative, but as fact based as it can be.

And please, no sentimental brass music playing whenever you take a hill. That just puts me off.

" where we ran all the way to Berlin to put a foot up Der Führer's ass"

Actually the US/allies let the Russians get Berlin, so they didn't make an effort to "run" there.
Also, they didn't join the war till it was almost 3 years going...

Just saying...

To be honest, I dpn't believe that for a second. I can't wait for the final boss where you impale Putin, Mao and on an American flag.

Onyx Oblivion:
Sweet. I was like of god-damn "GO AMERICA!" in games. An I'm an American, and a Republican.

oh your one of the XD lol i joke im not even american and im glad too see a game that doesnt have US marines beating there chests screaming "Hoo Raah" constantly.

arent republicans,bigot, war monger,bible bashers (thats what i hear from people) i'd like too hear from one if thats true...no offence XD

I hope to god that the special edition case has a beard on it. I would totally be all over that.

Furburt:
Because, and I'm not demonizing Americans here, Americas history is fairly pockmarked with wars. War is not a nice thing, and the majority of reasonable people are against glorifying it.

The problem being, is that games made for Americans tend to emphasise Americas victory in WW2 without focusing on any of the more negative aspects of Americas military history, such as Vietnam or the Phillipines war, or Panama, and such. It just seems somewhat revisionist. I commend games like Brothers In Arms and Vietcong for showing a more balanced outlook on the war.

I'm not saying that every war game should be a downer, just that it's important to remember that you're dealing with real history here, and the mark of a good historian is to be impartial.

I don't think it's particularly patriotic to glorify war anyway, but that's just my opinion, disregard it if you will.

It wouldn't matter so much, but considering this game is taking the very risky tack of dealing with a war that's currently ongoing (which is very rare in film or games), it really cannot afford to be anything other than totally balanced. Not liberal or conservative, but as fact based as it can be.

And please, no sentimental brass music playing whenever you take a hill. That just puts me off.

As a composer, I LOL'd at the brass music line.

Again I think it comes down to a matter of storytelling... if you can tell a compelling story, it really doesn't matter who it glorifies/demonizes. Make fun of America, glorify it, satirize it, just make it interesting... please.

Stories where people in war are portrayed as heroes can be just as interesting as when they're portrayed as villains. Just put some time and effort in your writing; if you're going to be historical, be historical, if you're going to be fictional, be fictional.

IT'S A FREAKIN' VIDEO GAME.

For X's sake, when did we start taking ourselves so dog gamned seriously?

SavingPrincess:

Again I think it comes down to a matter of storytelling... if you can tell a compelling story, it really doesn't matter who it glorifies/demonizes. Make fun of America, glorify it, satirize it, just make it interesting... please.

Stories where people in war are portrayed as heroes can be just as interesting as when they're portrayed as villains. Just put some time and effort in your writing; if you're going to be historical, be historical, if you're going to be fictional, be fictional.

Actually, I think the reason that the typical war game is in WW2 and has the Americans doing heroic stuff against De German Schweine isn't to do with sales or the developers own political views, just a question of laziness. It's a lot easier to copy paste a generic WW2 story than it is to explore the subject with any sort of complexity. As someone who loves story in videogames, it annoys me. The reason why WW2 is chosen is because it's basically all laid out for you. American won the war, they looked cool doing it, the Nazis are assholes, M1 Garands go 'ping' when they're out of ammo. It requires no imagination. I'm not saying that the standard jingoistic war game plot always means that it's going to be badly written, but rather that if it has a standard war game plot, odds are the story isn't really that developed. Not always the case, but a reasonable assumption.

SavingPrincess:

IT'S A FREAKIN' VIDEO GAME.

For X's sake, when did we start taking ourselves so dog gamned seriously?

When they started being more profitable than movies. Scary thought.

Gildan Bladeborn:

John Funk:

Medal of Honor: Awesomest Beard Ever

I think gentleman like say...

image
This guy.

...might disagree on the whole "awesomest beard ever" thing. I mean come on, he's shaped part of it into a little bicycle! How cool is that?

No, he's going to be in the game as your CO.

Lazarus Long:
Something that plays with the fact that no one is a villain in their own eyes.

Like that US Army online game where the other team always appeared as beardy terrorists?

Daystar Clarion:
I remember when I first played CoD 4 and I started off playing as a British S.A.S. soldier. I was like "Wait, England? But we're never the main characters!"

The very first CoD on consoles was like that. It went from a Russian soldier's missions, to a British soldier's, then to an American's.

Furburt:
Actually, I think the reason that the typical war game is in WW2 and has the Americans doing heroic stuff against De German Schweine isn't to do with sales or the developers own political views, just a question of laziness. It's a lot easier to copy paste a generic WW2 story than it is to explore the subject with any sort of complexity. As someone who loves story in videogames, it annoys me. The reason why WW2 is chosen is because it's basically all laid out for you. American won the war, they looked cool doing it, the Nazis are assholes, M1 Garands go 'ping' when they're out of ammo. It requires no imagination. I'm not saying that the standard jingoistic war game plot always means that it's going to be badly written, but rather that if it has a standard war game plot, odds are the story isn't really that developed. Not always the case, but a reasonable assumption.

Nor was I saying that all current war games are great stories. I hate most of them to be honest...

I was merely pointing out that any compelling story told compellingly could potentially be compelling, even if it DOES involve yay super strong "Amurrikins'" takin' down the evul nazzy's (see: Inglorious Basterds).

I just think we shouldn't pre-judge stories based on setting or time period. Even if you can make arguments for something being a "propganda" piece, that doesn't mean it can't be entertaining if done well (again, see: Inglorious Basterds).

On that note, watch Inglorious Basterds.

SavingPrincess:

On that note, watch Inglorious Basterds.

I have. What an amazing film that was.

Tarantino's back, it would seem.

Furburt:

SavingPrincess:

On that note, watch Inglorious Basterds.

I have. What an amazing film that was.

Tarantino's back, it would seem.

So imagine a WWII shooter based on that style of storytelling? You could argue that Wolfenstein did that to an extent, but that series has gone so far up its own posterior it's threatening to create a hole in the fabric of space/time.

Low Key:

Daystar Clarion:
I remember when I first played CoD 4 and I started off playing as a British S.A.S. soldier. I was like "Wait, England? But we're never the main characters!"

The very first CoD on consoles was like that. It went from a Russian soldier's missions, to a British soldier's, then to an American's.

Ah, I see. I haven't played any CoD games before 4. Still, it's nice to see other countries getting represented in war games for a change.

Kenjitsuka:
" where we ran all the way to Berlin to put a foot up Der Führer's ass"

Actually the US/allies let the Russians get Berlin, so they didn't make an effort to "run" there.
Also, they didn't join the war till it was almost 3 years going...

Just saying...

...I think you missed the sarcasm.

Del-Toro:
What would be wrong with that? Everything seems to get torn into if it's not a liberal propaganda piece (you fucking know I'm right, don't bullshit me), so what's so unacceptable about something a tad more patriotic?

Of course. I mean, it's not like Six Days in Fallujah, a game based off the accounts of modern-day soldiers involved in the Iraq war, was torn to shreds by people claiming it was anti-American and thus wound up being canceled by the publisher. And because people totally didn't lambast Avatar as being liberal propaganda and anti-American. And because Hurt Locker didn't get any criticism for its line about the addictive potential of war.

...

I'm not saying that you're entirely wrong, but you should at least recognize that it goes both ways. Liberals blast anything that's considered too conservative, and conservatives blast anything that seems too liberal. To make the claim that it's one-sided is naive at best.

Furburt:
Actually, I think the reason that the typical war game is in WW2 and has the Americans doing heroic stuff against De German Schweine isn't to do with sales or the developers own political views, just a question of laziness. It's a lot easier to copy paste a generic WW2 story than it is to explore the subject with any sort of complexity. As someone who loves story in videogames, it annoys me. The reason why WW2 is chosen is because it's basically all laid out for you. American won the war, they looked cool doing it, the Nazis are assholes, M1 Garands go 'ping' when they're out of ammo. It requires no imagination. I'm not saying that the standard jingoistic war game plot always means that it's going to be badly written, but rather that if it has a standard war game plot, odds are the story isn't really that developed. Not always the case, but a reasonable assumption.

I think lazyness may be a reason, but certainly not the only nor most significant reason why there have been so many America-centric WW2 games.

1)It's a war with clear "good guys" (Americans) versus "bad guys" (Nazis) were the good guys clearly win. It's not like Korea which was not exactly a victory for America and the UN, nor was it like Vietnam where it was sometimes a bit unclear who the good guys really were.

2)It is a world war, with varying enviroments and foes. This makes level design more interesting as you can make levels in the African desert, snowy Norway, French farms, tropical jungles, beach landings and and Belgian forests. If you were to make a WW1 shooter, your choices are generally restricted to WW1 trenches, against the Germans. In WW2, you have the Germans, the Japanese, the Italians or even the Vincy French to fight against. Not only do you have a wide choice of enviroments to choose from, but you have quite a few different enemys to fight against.

3)There is a good variety of weapons. In terms of weapons technology, WW2 was on the point between early industrial warfare (where we fight with bolt action rifles and prop-planes) and modern industrial warfare (where we fight with automatic rifles, missiles and jet engine planes) This means that you can combine the two eras together. You can have bolt action rifles, semi-automatic rifles and sub-machine guns, and then throw in the worlds first assult rifle as a unique weapon. Nowadays on the battlefield all the infantry fight with assult rifles, but due to ww2's postion in technological history, you can get a taste of both old industrial warfare and modern industrial warfare. This is especially true in combat flight sims, in Secret Weapons over Normandy you can fly bi-planes, prop-planes and eventually jet aircraft. So not only can get a wide choice of enviroments and enemies, but also a wide selction of weapons and other toys to play with.

4)Finally, America is the worlds most powerful economy. It's own domestic economy can confortably support highly American-centric games like the MOH series or Fallout 3. But on the other hand, non-American games developers, living in a country with lesser economic and cultural power, has to take a more international perspective and make a game that both non-Americans and Americans will be able to relate too. I will be very surprised if i ever came across a British made shooter or a combat flight sim about the Falklands War. However, for the sake of argument lets say the Falklands war involved America, if that was the case then i think we can surely say that there would be a number of American made games out there focused on the Falklands war. The Americans can make games about themselves, the only other nation that can do that is Japan. Other Western nations, like Australia and Canada, or even the economically united Europe can not compete with this, we can not make games specific to ourselves. Here's another exhample affirming Americans cultural dominance, Assasins Creed 2 is a Canadian made game with an American protaganist...why? Why wouldn't the Canadians make a game with a Canadian protaganist? It seems you need an increadibly powerful economy to have the freedom to make games about your own country or culture. America has that ability to make highly America-centric patrotic games, which is why we have seen games like MOH, telling the American story of WW2.

A Medal of Honor game trying to mimic The Hurt Locker? With a cover like that? Oh God, I can't stop laughing.

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