UK Defense Secretary Still "Disgusted" With Medal of Honor

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UK Defense Secretary Still "Disgusted" With Medal of Honor

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Liam Fox is sticking to his guns and is still condemning the new Medal of Honor for making the Taliban a playable faction.

Earlier this week, Great Britain's Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox skewered EA's upcoming Medal of Honor, claiming he was disgusted with the game because it allowed players to take on the role of Taliban soldiers as they fought British troops. Even though the man's impression of the game is only partly correct, he's still standing by his opinion.

"At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands. It's shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers," Fox said on Sunday. "It's hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product."

Electronic Arts responded to the claims by stating that Fox was portraying the game inaccurately. A spokesman for the publisher said the game, "does not allow players to kill British soldiers." Not only that, but, "no British troops feature in the game."

In response to this point, a spokesperson for Fox stated that the man "stood by" his earlier comments. "The point remains that part of this game allows you to play the part of the Taliban attacking [International Security Assistance Force] troops in the area of central Helmand where British troops are operating," they said.

While it's true that players can take on the role of Taliban soldiers in Helmand Valley, this seems to be only for the multiplayer section of the game.

The decision to make members of the Taliban playable has sparked controversy and complaints on both sides of the Atlantic, but one of the more surprising supporters of the content came from Hank Keirsey, a retired soldier who works as a consultant for the Call of Duty games. According to Keirsey, "From a soldier perspective, I gotta admire certain qualities in [Taliban soldiers]. They're not fighting for Al-Qaeda. Maybe one or two of them is. Most of them are fighting 'cos they've always fought. They've got what someone told them is a foreigner in town. They're gonna come down from the mountains with their little AKs and rally with other guys and try to beat the foreigner out of there. You gotta get into your enemy's mind set. There's courage on both sides."

Meanwhile, the Department of Culture Media and Sport has distanced itself from the Fox's comments: "Dr. Fox was expressing a personal view and we understand why some people might find the subject matter of the game offensive. There is a ratings system in place which exists to categorise games appropriately. In this case, the game in question is rated 18 so should only be sold to, and played by, adults. There is a clear choice for consumers which they can exercise when making decisions about purchasing videogames."

While Fox is allowed to voice his personal opinion, his position as the head of Britain's Ministry of Defence might cause people to think that his comments are an official government stance. As a result, I understand why the DCMS is distancing itself from Fox over this issue. What I don't understand is how allowing gamers to play as Taliban soldiers is any different from other FPS games that allow you to play as German or Japanese soldiers in WW2, since many British soldiers lost their lives against both groups during the conflict. It seems like a bit of a double-standard.

Source: BBC and Eurogamer

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Again... he's stupid...

He sounds like one of those old people who hate games just like people used to hate films, tv and whatever else for no good reason.

If he knew anything about gaming he'd realise he's making an idiot of himself in front of the entire gaming community...

Is this going to be a daily update? Like a twitter on his current opinion of it?

"I am Disgusted at it.

Still disgusted.

Yet Again, it provokes my digusting feature of my brain. Wait that came out wrong! Which one is delete?

Seriously, guys, this sucks! I can only type once a day, where is Delete!"

Calumon: I could think of something to say... but Unskippable is lets playing!

He has no idea what he's talking about does he. Ugh, idiot!

I dread to think what other (far more important) decisions this guy pulls out of his arse when he's doing his actual job.

Jack and Calumon:
Is this going to be a daily update? Like a twitter on his current opinion of it?

"I am Disgusted at it.

Still disgusted.

Yet Again, it provokes my digusting feature of my brain. Wait that came out wrong! Which one is delete?

Seriously, guys, this sucks! I can only type once a day, where is Delete!"

Calumon: I could think of something to say... but Unskippable is lets playing!

Probably not. Here's how our coverage has worked: he came out against the game. The government distanced itself from him. Even though it was explained that his facts aren't entirely correct, he's still just as pissed.

Unless anything significant comes about after this, I'm pretty sure there won't be much more coverage.

vansau:
What I don't understand is how allowing gamers to play as Taliban soldiers is any different from other FPS games that allow you to play as German or Japanese soldiers in WW2, since many British soldiers lost their lives against both groups during the conflict. It seems like a bit of a double-standard.

That's because the World War II happened more than 60 years ago, while the 'war on terror' is pretty much still going on. The pain inflicted by Taliban soldiers is still very fresh in many people's minds.

Liam Fox is a prick. Always has been. Everyone who buys the game should post him their receipts.

Still not looking up what he is talking about I see.

Just a case of an asshole not backing down when he's wrong. Idiots with any modicum of power are notorious for this, they think they'll lose face by being human and erring on a single topic.

Oh noes! the Tories are, no wait, a politician is fucking retarded! whatever should we do?!

I just love people like this. They're just so ignorant, yet they don't see it. This kind of thing happened to them when they were kids too most likely, but they still ignore it. In U.S. history this thing has happened forever. 1920, if you wore a skirt that didn't cover your ankles and drank it was the devil that was behind it. Same with if you listened to Jazz music. Then it was Rock music. Then it was television. Now the target of choice is video games. It's so stupid. I hate that human nature is to hate something that you don't understand. It's a stupid defense mechanism that we have that seems to usually bring nothing but pain and hate. I wish people would just stop and listen to themselves once in a while and reflect upon their actions and realize how hypocritical they're being. It's really dumb and ridiculous that people have knee-jerk behavior but, like I said, it's human nature.

Well, if he's going to say:
"At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands. It's shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers"
the only response to that is:
"At the hands of the British soldiers, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands. It's shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the British soldiers against the taliban."
DISCLAIMER:
I am not a member of the taliban, or a troop supporter (I can hear the hatemail notifications as I write) I just hate the war in Iraq/Afghanistan/Russia or wherever and any games about it, as they'll all just be a copy of COD (which I also hate. more hatemail...)

Thanks :)

Isn't the main point of outrage that the taliban are responsible for the deaths of women and children? Because there have been a number of reported incidents of coalition forces causing mass civillian deaths too, moreover it only gets to the press because of botched coverups and the occasional leak.

I'd like to see a war game in which you have to play as an unarmed civillian, and the goal is to stay alive ina contested territory while trigger happy nutjobs blow the crap out of your home.

well, maybe the Taliban are into gaming too.
EA wants to tap into this potential market.

Mr. Fox should know there are always at least 2 sides to a conflict, and thus 2 different stories.

I hope EA releases a new mission to assassinate Great Britain's Secretary of State for Defence, uh ... in the game ofcourse.

"What I don't understand is how allowing gamers to play as Taliban soldiers is any different from other FPS games that allow you to play as German or Japanese soldiers in WW2, since many British soldiers lost their lives against both groups during the conflict."

The difference is about 70 years. The Germans and Japanese were defeated. The Taliban is still an open chapter. International soldiers are still operating in Afghanistan. I can understand why he's a bit touchy on the subject.

I like the veteran's comments, he sounds like someone I'd like.
Anyway, this is silly.

This is a weak move compared to the controversy the stupid airport mission got.

Try harder next time EA, such a poor attempt at sparking up controversy.

Jack and Calumon:

Calumon: I could think of something to say... but Unskippable is lets playing!

For some reason I find you annoyingly adorable now. Whyyyyyyy?!

OT: I suppose he has a reason to critisize it since it might be awkward for British troops, but the man should stick to carving the Army like a stick-thin Christmas turkey.

The retired soldier has a point. There's a reason for both sides. The line of "good" and "evil" depends on the person. Both have lost family members due to the other "evil" side. Both have there own tactics. It's a rare thing for a soldier to have respect for the enemey on the battlefield.

Is the next headline "UK Games community still disgusted with Defense Secretary".

vansau:
What I don't understand is how allowing gamers to play as Taliban soldiers is any different from other FPS games that allow you to play as German or Japanese soldiers in WW2, since many British soldiers lost their lives against both groups during the conflict. It seems like a bit of a double-standard.

The difference is that now the Nazis are considered "history", and no-one really cares. The Taliban are considered our enemies now, so given that it is a current conflict I would consider there are differences between playing as Taliban and playing as Nazis.

That's not to say I agree with Mr. Fox, but think, if you will, what would have been the reaction if a WWII game had been released in 1944?

EDIT: Ninja'd, but hey, I stand by my point...

I imagine a game that was made in 1942 that let you play as the Nazis would not only have a few politicians against it, but would also be banned, and demonized as propaganda for the enemy, and the people would have agreed.

I have played the beta for this game, and i have friends serving actively in the middle east. I felt dirty playing as the Taliban simple as that.

Also from most of the responses people seem to think this is an attack on gaming as a whole. It isn't he is stating his opinions on one game. Sometimes even if it is something you like you have to put your own ethics forward.

I love gaming, i love violent gaming. However my own feeling on this matter is that playing as the Taliban in this manner is wrong. You may disagree, and that is fine, because this is one of those situations where there is no clear cut answer. Emotions, and personal feelings will run high discussing this type of thing. Just what EA was hoping for.

Sounds like he is trying to save some face after realiseing how much of a tit he sounded

He can rant and rave as much as he wants, but...you know what, No one is listeneing!

i cant wait until all the people who are in office now get too old and are replaced with younger people who have played video games and have a reference for this type of shit.

Right, I wasn't going to get this, but now I'm feeling forced to buy this so I can get a photo of me with it, thumbs up, all smiles, and send it to this guy.

Actually, I may just rent and put the cover in another game's case. Can't be arsed to actually buy it and he won't know the difference.

this is (pretty much) why i hate politicians

also the retired soldier consultant for CoD sounds like an awesome guy doubtful that many former soldiers would show the same level of respect for an enemy that is trying to kill you.

I didn't realise it was up to Liam Fox to decide what's considered to be "un-British". I find his attitude "un-British". Hell, I think that blue shades of paint are "un-British". It's an utterly vapid phrase, but I suppose I shouldn't expect more from a politician.

I'm sorely tempted to purchase the game simply because he's saying that I shouldn't.

what an annoying man

Still, at least he's not George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer (Money-Chap) to you non-Brits)

Having said that, playing as the entity known as the Taliban is just wrong. Not the concept of playing "the enemy" to today's confict, not the concept of playing the men (and possibly women (though highly unlikely in Afghanistan)) who killed "our boys"

Playing "The Taliban" is wrong because there's so much more to them than shooting Brits and Yanks. They are one of the most backward, pig-headed, religiously abusive and tyrannical ruling forces to have ever graced the planet. They should not get this attention. Play as a lungee-sporting, AK-toting Afghan all you like, but don't call them the Taliban. Don't give them the recognition they don't deserve

One must wonder at this point if EA is paying for this publicity. Not one person will hear the UK Defense Minister's misgivings and choose not to buy it. Multiple kids, however, will hear there is controversy and beg their Mom (or in this case, Mum) to buy it for them. The same thing happened with the terrorist hubbub in COD MW 2. Look what happened...best selling game ever. EA has even been busted in the past doing this for Dante's Inferno when they invented a fake fundamental Christian group to drum up controversy. I'm not seriously asserting that the UK government has been paid off by a video game company, but seriously...he should know that the best way to hurt sales of this game is to shut his mouth, not open it.

On this topic, I was perusing a copy of a 360 magazine, specifically their feature on Medal of Honor. In the article, one of the magazine writers had sat down to sample the game with a serving soldier.

Funnily enough, the only thing that really bothered the soldier about the game was the typical gung ho dialogue spouted by the US soldiers, though this was down to "genre fatigue" as they called it and nothing to do with a lack of realism.

So, it may be getting a politicians back up, but if the concept doesn't appear to be bothering a soldier that is likely to have actually served in the conflict the game depicts, who's opinion would hold more weight? In an ideal world anyway....

Good for him, even if he is being a silly bastard for carrying on with it.

You have an opinion, we GET IT.

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