Despite Homefront, THQ VP Critical of Taliban in Medal of Honor

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Despite Homefront, THQ VP Critical of Taliban in Medal of Honor

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If it were up to THQ's Danny Bilson, the Taliban would never have been included in EA's Medal of Honor reboot, but North Korea is still up for grabs.

EA and Danger Close's Medal of Honor reboot caused a storm of controversy over its inclusion of the Taliban as a playable multiplayer faction that saw the likes of Jack Thompson get involved, and the game was even banned by the U.S. military. Eventually, EA gave in and renamed the Taliban. THQ's VP of core games Danny Bilson calls EA's use of the Taliban at all a mistake, in a seemingly hypocritical statement considering THQ's use of North Korea in the upcoming Homefront.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Bilson said: "I wouldn't have put [the Taliban in Medal of Honor] in the first place." He separates Medal of Honor from Homefront by pointing out that Medal of Honor is based on a real, ongoing conflict, while Homefront, whose storyline follows a North Korean invasion of the U.S., is "speculative fiction."

"When you get into reality - and that's real, that's not speculative science-fiction like ours," he added. "I don't want to play as the Taliban, particularly."

Bilson wouldn't even want to play as the Germans from World War II. He said the "heroes and villains" from real world conflicts are in his "psyche," and they play into his personal sensitivity when making games, though not necessarily THQ's in a broader sense.

Homefront uses real-world imagery and politics to display a future where a North Korean invasion of the U.S. puts a death grip on its citizens. The latest trailer shows U.S. soldiers killed in brutal ways. To Bilson, this is apparently different than Medal of Honor's use of the Taliban, because "if people are dying in the real world that becomes sensitive."

Is there really a difference? Homefront and Medal of Honor both deal with the toll that war takes from humanity, and both display it in a realistic manner. Homefront might be an even harsher view, albeit one based in an alternate reality. Just because it doesn't take place in the "real world," is Homefront somehow different from Medal of Honor in regards to what it depicts? I'm not so sure.

Source: Eurogamer

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So... he doesn't want to see things from the perspective of the other side of a conflict because it clashes with his "they're completely bad, we're completely good" views?

*sigh*

North Korea....invading US?

Who the f#%$ writes this shit?

What do South Koreans think of it?

I don't see how he's being hypocritical, yes maybe in what he depicts, butt hat's not what he says. He claims he doesn't want to play as the Taliban, and that he feels depicting a real world, current situation to be offensive. He doesn't claim that creating a realistic, war based shooter is a bad concept, nor does he claim that EA were wrong for making a game like that, he merely claims the fact a current war situation was used was a poor choice.

That's not hypocritical...

In an interview with Eurogamer, Bilson said: "I wouldn't have put [the Taliban in Medal of Honor] in the first place." He separates Medal of Honor from Homefront by pointing out that Medal of Honor is based on a real, ongoing conflict, while Homefront, whose storyline follows a North Korean invasion of the U.S., is "speculative fiction."

Speculative fiction? Those idiots cannot even feed their own damn population. How in the world are they going to invade the American continent? Say what you will about MoH, at least it portrayed a real war. This is a meth induced hallucination of a tiny-penis-compensating gun toting, right wing extremists with a vertical family tree.

Bilson wouldn't even want to play as the Germans from World War II. He said the "heroes and villains" from real world conflicts are in his "psyche," and they play into his personal sensitivity when making games, though not necessarily THQ's in a broader sense.

How is a soldier, regardless of nationality, either a hero or a villain? They're nothing but mindless tools, who carry out the orders of their superiors (at least in the grand scheme of things). There is no fundamental difference between playing an allied or a german (note: not nazi and/or SS) soldier in ww2, except for the inevitably hilarious accent in which the orders are given. This guy's an idiot..

Yes, it's theoretical. Silly, even, the concept that North Korea could physically invade the US and WIN is kind of like England deciding that they wanted their land back, then taking it.

However, it still deals with a *possibility*, one that may appear in the very near future. So they can't exactly take the high road of "it's all just for fun, anyways".

The problem lies in the question of why they picked North Korea by name. Yes, they're violent, but they could have used a nameless country to fight against, or placed it in the future where new boarders have been drawn to make a new country in the same general area.

But no, they wanted to tie it to modern-day politics in the same way that Medal of Honor did. Thus, they can't talk.

Of course, it helps that the game is set in a place where there *isn't* an active war going on.

It's okay because the USA isn't losing in the Korean peninsula atm.

What I'm wondering is how the heck "Renaming the taliban" somehow stopped the supposed training terrorists could've used it for. Did they really think that the conversation went on like this.

Terrorist #1: Hey! Dude get over here!

Terrorist #2: What is it?

Terrorist #1: I just found out those American Infidels are making a videogame... AND WE'RE IN IT! We're stars!

Terrorist #2: Wow! Really? This is awesome, maybe we can use this to train some new recruits, we should go tell the great leader immediately!

Terrorist #1: W-wait a second, apparently there's a controversy about it going on in the U.S.

Terrorist #2: What's happening?

Terrorist #1: Wait for it... OH CURSE THOSE INFIDELS! They just changed the name from the Taliban to "Opposing Force"

Terrorist #2: OUR PLANS ARE FOILED! NOOOOOOOOOOO! Now we can't use it to train somehow!

Seriously, even if you change the name, it doesn't make much of a difference, and honestly, do you really think Terrorists would buy a ton of Medal of Honor games JUST because their name is in it, and how will that teach them everything they need to know? Plus, what's to stop them from playing Call of Duty or something, just because of the fact they'd be playing as russians and that would somehow stop them from "using it to train"?

I still think they were weak for caving to pressure. I say let Jack Thompson and his ilk shout as loud as they want because despite changing the name it's still implied that they are the Taliban. They're still the same character models in the same setting as when they were called the Taliban. It's more "okay" to portray current events by dancing around the idea of who we're fighting?

The only way we're ever going to get them to shut up is if we simply start ignoring them, by caving on this they now believe they have power over the industry. Hell I think Jack Thompson even took credit as the cause for the name change.

If we ever want the industry to gain respect they're going to have to show people that they won't cave at the first sign of controversy.

Witty Name Here:
What I'm wondering is how the heck "Renaming the taliban" somehow stopped the supposed training terrorists could've used it for.

It was the fact that you could play as the Taliban and "kill American soldiers". And, as those of us with a sense of logic (unlike Fox News) say, "and Americans killing Americans is any better?". Apparently if you make a generic stereotypical terrorist group from the country of Middle-Eastern-stan, it is perfectly ok, but not if you use real world names.

I swear if I ever see a game that comes up with some sort of conflict like Six Days in Fallujah or Medal of Honor again, and they stand their ground and publish the game anyway, I'll buy it just to support them for doing so.

Biased article is biased.

Witty Name Here:
What I'm wondering is how the heck "Renaming the taliban" somehow stopped the supposed training terrorists could've used it for. Did they really think that the conversation went on like this.

Terrorist #1: Hey! Dude get over here!

Terrorist #2: What is it?

Terrorist #1: I just found out those American Infidels are making a videogame... AND WE'RE IN IT! We're stars!

Terrorist #2: Wow! Really? This is awesome, maybe we can use this to train some new recruits, we should go tell the great leader immediately!

Terrorist #1: W-wait a second, apparently there's a controversy about it going on in the U.S.

Terrorist #2: What's happening?

Terrorist #1: Wait for it... OH CURSE THOSE INFIDELS! They just changed the name from the Taliban to "Opposing Force"

Terrorist #2: OUR PLANS ARE FOILED! NOOOOOOOOOOO! Now we can't use it to train somehow!

Seriously, even if you change the name, it doesn't make much of a difference, and honestly, do you really think Terrorists would buy a ton of Medal of Honor games JUST because their name is in it, and how will that teach them everything they need to know? Plus, what's to stop them from playing Call of Duty or something, just because of the fact they'd be playing as russians and that would somehow stop them from "using it to train"?

*shrugs* I guess the Taliban could have sued for royalties or something. You know, with their crack team of cave lawyers

Irridium:
So... he doesn't want to see things from the perspective of the other side of a conflict because it clashes with his "they're completely bad, we're completely good" views?

*sigh*

THEY BAD! AMERICANS GOOD! WE CANUCKS NEED STRONG AMERICA TO PROTECT US!

See, the system works fine. We all play along so that we don't have to deal with these morons.

Dectilon:
What do South Koreans think of it?

I thought you'd never ask.

Plot is bullshit and never happening but at least it makes a good game right?

I agree with the man, this would never happen whereas fighting the Taliban is quite real and that was the fuss. But that does not mean I suppourt the change, I merely understand where they are coming from.

So just to be clear on this.

Making a game about a war your country is currently involved in is insensitive.

Making a game that antagonizes a nation your country is on the verge of warring against isn't.

IT WAS ONLY IN THE FUCKING MULTIPLAYER. You do the exact same things as the American side too, only the team name was different and so were the character skins.

One could easily argue that speculating on a North Korean invasion (although that'd never happen) of America is insensitive to the current hostilities between America and South Korea versus the North. You could even argue that making it is allowing the North to see it as propaganda against them.

But then, we don't say that because we're not fucking morons.

Danny Bilson is a hypocrite.

I think that creating a fictional war with real nations is infinetely worse than making a game about a real conflict, especially if those nations aren't on the best terms to begin with.

With the scenario of North Korea invading the US and portraying them as baby-eating-100%-evil monsters you are harming "real" international relationships.
By making a game about an on-going conflict you at least can't do more damage than what's already been done, but creating a new enemy-image is far, far worse.
(although it being "new" is debatable, as the American media is also doing its best to establish this)

I really don't want to know how many people will go "Yup, that's North Korea for you" when they play this game.
It is fiction, yes, but will everyone see it as such?

Oh, and by the way, calling it "speculative fiction" like there's even a shred of a chance of this ever happening... F*ck off.

So... North Korea wasn't a real-life american enemy? Cause... they were... and kinda sorta are. North Korean soldiers killed American soldiers. So have the Taliban. Besides, I found Medal of Honor to be extremely respectful to those fighting against the Taliban. One of the best ways to do that is to show those playing it what those fighting the war go through on a daily basis. It certainly did that.

Hmm, I just had an idea that could please everyone. Tell me what you guys think. How about in the multiplayer, only the NATO side is playable, having the Taliban side be AI that auto adjust difficulty based on the skill level of those on the NATO side? Having some realistic situations as modes. If you want to go against other people instead of AI, how about a mode where it's a training scenario for NATO, one side is NATO, one side is a pretend Taliban.

How about that? Would that work or is that stupid and we should just go with both sides being playable?

Edit: I was against renaming the Taliban. I noticed after rereading my post I noticed that I came off like I was sounding like I was completely against playing as the Taliban in the multiplayer. I'm not. Just wondering whether my random idea was good.

Dectilon:
What do South Koreans think of it?

Don't be silly, they're not real people like us. They are a speculative science-fiction race. South Korea, indeed... pshaw!

Irridium:
So... he doesn't want to see things from the perspective of the other side of a conflict because it clashes with his "they're completely bad, we're completely good" views?

*sigh*

That and his idea of an "alternate" future is apparently better because 2027 hasn't happened yet. Its like someone making a game during the 1920s about us killing the Germans because they started slaughtering Jewish people.

Guy needs to get off his horse.

Bilson wouldn't even want to play as the Germans from World War II. He said the "heroes and villains" from real world conflicts are in his "psyche," and they play into his personal sensitivity when making game.

Doesn't THQ publish Company of Heroes, where there are 2 campaigns where you play as the Germans in World War 2 (in the expansions)?

Just sayin'

Fuck you Bilson.

So it's perfectly fine to portray Russians, Germans, Chinese, North Koreans, and even fellow Americans as baby raping mini-Hitlers, but the second you get some ragheads into the mix, it's being "Insensitive"? Give me a break.

Mass murdering innocent civilians[1], brutally torturing your opponents and killing them in an even more violent fashion[2], hell, even a game where the point is to do nothing more than murder others in as violent ways as possible[3], are not only allowed, but after the initial controversy, jack shit actually happens! They sell well, are met with critical praise, some even have sequels!

Never ceases to amaze me.

Grinnbarr:

Bilson wouldn't even want to play as the Germans from World War II. He said the "heroes and villains" from real world conflicts are in his "psyche," and they play into his personal sensitivity when making game.

Doesn't THQ publish Company of Heroes, where there are 2 campaigns where you play as the Germans in World War 2 (in the expansions)?

Just sayin'

Oh, but in THQ's own words,

It's okay because they're reluctant fighters who are defending the Fatherland and aren't really Nazis.

Bunch of fucking hypocrites.

[1] Modern Warfare 2
[2] Black Ops
[3] Madworld, Manhunt, Bulletstorm

thethingthatlurks:
How is a soldier, regardless of nationality, either a hero or a villain? They're nothing but mindless tools, who carry out the orders of their superiors (at least in the grand scheme of things). There is no fundamental difference between playing an allied or a german (note: not nazi and/or SS) soldier in ww2, except for the inevitably hilarious accent in which the orders are given. This guy's an idiot..

They may be mindless tools, but then you're still serving those superiors, so winning a game as the Nazis means you're prolonging the Holocaust. In a fictional video game where none of this matters, of course, but there still is a distinction between the sides. You just have to be one of those people who forgets the "game" part of video game to care, I guess. Kinda sad that an video game company executive thinks that way, but then I doubt he even plays games.

Irridium:
So... he doesn't want to see things from the perspective of the other side of a conflict because it clashes with his "they're completely bad, we're completely good" views?

*sigh*

How does shallow detail-less multiplayer let you see conflict from the perspective of the other side? I'm sure once a deep experience that actually does let you see the other side comes out people like him will still disapprove, but come on, neither Medal of Honor nor any WWII shooter explores that in any way. Kinda like the above quote says.

Because if I didn't make money from it, its insensitive and should be banned.

CezarIgnat:
North Korea....invading US?

Who the f#%$ writes this shit?

The US, obviously.

In Homefront, you don't fight North Koreans
Their officially referred to as 'geographically challenged Korean peninsular inhabitants of distinct Asian lineage'

They aren't much different, I agree. But the people stupid enough to be offended by the taliban in the first place are too stupid to understand that.

Tom Goldman:
"When you get into reality - and that's real, that's not speculative science-fiction like ours," he added. "I don't want to play as the Taliban, particularly."

Bilson wouldn't even want to play as the Germans from World War II. He said the "heroes and villains" from real world conflicts are in his "psyche," and they play into his personal sensitivity when making games, though not necessarily THQ's in a broader sense.

I find Bilson's reasoning very peculiar. While the allies won the second world war, and while they fought for something most of us now perceive as just and right, there is no guarantee that the actual soldiers you portray in a computer game are heroes, or villains, regardless of the side they fight on.

In a World War II-themed RTS, where you guide the Germans to victory, the player would definitively be portraying most of all of what we see as the "bad" side. However, when playing as a single German/Taliban/your choice of soldier fighting for a villainous nation, it is entirely possible the soldier does not have any insight into the basis of the conflict and is unaware of the atrocious actions of his nation, or is the victim of powerful propaganda, and truly believes that he is giving his life to protect his home, his family, his friends and his people from an aggressive, conquering enemy. While it is debatable if this makes the soldier a hero, it certainly shows that he has the stuff of heroes, and that he is far from a villain.

By the same token, a soldier fighting for the liberating forces of a coalition freeing a country from a dictator might still do it for all the wrong reasons, and kill a few civilians on the side, just for fun. Not my kind of hero.

The stalwart but misled defender of home and family killing the evil-hearted member of the "good" forces in self-defense, or in defense of his kin, have not committed any actions traditionally associated with villainous behaviour, even if this defender fights for a truly destructive and callous nation. Not all members of the side generally deemed to be in the wrong in a conflict have committed villainous acts.

Fighting for a particular side in a war does not necessarily make anyone a hero or villain. Their personality, character, and, most importantly, actions are what define their goodness.

This is just one more reason I won't be touching this game with a ten foot pole. This guy's attitude reeks of self-servitism and quite likely is being used only to try to make people feel good about getting the game.

It is nothing more than publicity. And smells of brainrot.

I don't care about whether or not there's any "difference" between the games.

I think that its important for any cultural expression (i.e. games, literature, movies) to actually express current conflicts and dreams.

Recently I heard of a publisher removing the word "nigger" from his edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. While yes the word was and still is offensive, its presence shows the conflict that existed at the time.

To white-wash culture is to make it false. To remove the word nigger from books or to destroy copies of Mein Kampf is to create a culture that is naive and ignorant of itself.

Danny Bilson, think more carefully about the power of culture.

The merits and demerits of the upcoming game, Homefront, are another topic.

Heeeeeeeeeeeyo! Hypocrite!

CezarIgnat:
North Korea....invading US?

Who the f#%$ writes this shit?

Same person "Who wrote Red Dawn!!!" apparently.

...who?

Staskala:
I think that creating a fictional war with real nations is infinetely worse than making a game about a real conflict, especially if those nations aren't on the best terms to begin with.

With the scenario of North Korea invading the US and portraying them as baby-eating-100%-evil monsters you are harming "real" international relationships.
By making a game about an on-going conflict you at least can't do more damage than what's already been done, but creating a new enemy-image is far, far worse.
(although it being "new" is debatable, as the American media is also doing its best to establish this)

I really don't want to know how many people will go "Yup, that's North Korea for you" when they play this game.
It is fiction, yes, but will everyone see it as such?

Oh, and by the way, calling it "speculative fiction" like there's even a shred of a chance of this ever happening... F*ck off.

They don't have the internet there. They'll never even hear about it.

Tom Goldman:
He said the "heroes and villains" from real world conflicts are in his "psyche," and they play into his personal sensitivity when making games, though not necessarily THQ's in a broader sense.

In other words; he's aware of the de-humanisation thanks to propaganda but just doesn't give a shit about it and would rather keep living in the fantasy world created by said propaganda. Another fine example of cognitive dissonance.

Irridium:
So... he doesn't want to see things from the perspective of the other side of a conflict because it clashes with his "they're completely bad, we're completely good" views?

*sigh*

That's all this is about. Doesn't matter who the hell it is, it's just the fact that you get to play for a side that has ties to RL events and that is given the opportunity to beat the crap out of AMERI-KAY!

Honestly...some of these days someone should just make a videogame that supposes America's imperialism going wild in the future by trying to take over the world and a league of nations has to stop it, with China at the helm. Player gets a chance to play both sides, but either side you play and whoever wins it all because of your actions - the end is always a dark one. China winds up doing the exact same America would only in a slightly different way with more pretense on Communism, but really using the same kinds of imperial strategies.

I'd love to see these 'politically-correct' hypocrites throw one massive shit-fit over a game like that.

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