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October 1, 2010 2:06 PM   Subscribe

EA bows to pressure, removes Taliban from Medal of Honor multiplayer game

Previously
posted by modernnomad (40 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tali-ban?
posted by multivalent at 2:08 PM on October 1, 2010


General Giap smiles as he remembers what Americans have forgotten.
posted by orthogonality at 2:10 PM on October 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Seems like a pretty straightforward business decision. EA makes good with the extremist element in America. Gamers will forget this soon enough and still buy EA's games, regardless.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:14 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I posted about this on my Twitter this morning, and basically, this has gone as far as necessary. EA has gotten the publicity and the talk and now they can appear to have heard the opinions and cut it. Call my cynical on this. It would've been pretty bold to leave the content in there, but MoH fights for market share with CoD and other shooters, and you can't say there wasn't attention paid on account of this.

The bottom line wins out once more.
posted by cmgonzalez at 2:18 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


This was probably a commercial decision, not a political one.

If you have the Taliban in a game, the game will just drag on for years and years and nobody will win - unless all the other sides packing up & leaving the Taliban as the last side standing counts as a type of victory.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:19 PM on October 1, 2010 [18 favorites]


Surely, this means the terrorists have lost.
posted by Eideteker at 2:20 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


WE'VE GOT 'EM ON THE RUN, BOYS
posted by chinston at 2:21 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


As anyone who's played an FPS knows, multiplayer deathmatch is a comical depiction of war. A story-free series of explosions and resurrections doesn't inspire profound insights about the horrors of conflict. While EA had every right to treat the ongoing conflict so lightly, others equally had a right to get pissed off about it, and money talks.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:21 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Luckily, mods don't suffer from the same commercial consequences. I recommend the excellent mod The Insurgency for HL2.
posted by heathkit at 2:25 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


So much for video games desensitizing people to violence.
posted by anti social order at 2:26 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a bit ridiculous, considering I've certainly blown away more than my fair share of Allied troops in games like Battlefield or Wolfenstein, but it's not like this game was going to do anything interesting with the concept like Six Days in Fallujah anyway, so I'm not about to shed a tear over it.

Also, note to self: start following cmgonzalez's Twitter stream.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:27 PM on October 1, 2010


yeah, I heard this story the other day I think they are replacing them with zombies or something
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:27 PM on October 1, 2010


yeah, I heard this story the other day I think they are replacing them with zombies or something

Call of Duty:Black Ops is the one that has zombies, since the zombie extra was so successful with fans of World at War. There's even an iApp that is just the World at War content.
posted by cmgonzalez at 2:36 PM on October 1, 2010


Some game studio really ought to make a realistic FPS depiction of war. Complete with the player-soldier's loss of personal identity and free will, the meaningless slaughter of innocent civilians, simulated PTSD effects, and only a single try with no retries and no extra lives allowed. Whether you play as either the "good guys" or the "bad guys," the game experience is the same: Catch a bullet and die; run away and get court-martialed; get captured and tortured by the enemy; or go gradually insane the longer you survive. The only reward for completing the game is a little piece of metal attached to your character model's jacket.

Nobody'd want to play, but that would be the biggest statement a war game could ever make.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:44 PM on October 1, 2010 [14 favorites]


Terrorists win.
posted by Nelson at 2:47 PM on October 1, 2010


Some game studio really ought to make a realistic FPS depiction of war. Complete with the player-soldier's loss of personal identity and free will, the meaningless slaughter of innocent civilians, simulated PTSD effects, and only a single try with no retries and no extra lives allowed. Whether you play as either the "good guys" or the "bad guys," the game experience is the same: Catch a bullet and die; run away and get court-martialed; get captured and tortured by the enemy; or go gradually insane the longer you survive. The only reward for completing the game is a little piece of metal attached to your character model's jacket.

Nobody'd want to play, but ...


You underestimate the Japanese.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:53 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


They got their money's worth of promotion out of the controversy.
posted by kafziel at 2:59 PM on October 1, 2010


Long stretches of boredom interrupted by short snatches of terror, they say.

So, a game that does nothing for nine hours and then sets your house on fire.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:59 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


What a bunch of PR bullshit.

Thanks EA for using Metafilter twice to promote your shitty CoD clone! Excellent work PR team! Too bad your jobs are tied directly to Metacritic score and Medal of Honor is headed directly toward mediocrity (judging by beta feedback I've seen).
posted by graventy at 3:37 PM on October 1, 2010


Does this mean they are going to go back and take the Nazis out of BF 1942.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 3:45 PM on October 1, 2010


?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 3:45 PM on October 1, 2010


Medal of Honor is headed directly toward mediocrity

It could be the second coming of Counter-strike and it still wouldn't matter. As I said last time, it's being released one month after the new Halo and one month before the new CoD. They're going to get crushed.
posted by hamida2242 at 3:49 PM on October 1, 2010


Medal of Honor has become nothing but a Call of Duty knockoff, just like Battlefield. Which is fine, they can be fun, too; but they're still just big, dumb action games. Anyone who said MoH was going to be making any kind of statement had to be joking.
posted by Sibrax at 3:55 PM on October 1, 2010


Some game studio really ought to make a realistic FPS depiction of war.

I'd go one further: you lock the game to one player, once. When you die - that's it. The game no longer runs. The dynamics would be completely different.
posted by alasdair at 3:59 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Alasdair: Try You Only Live Once by Raitendo.
posted by DNye at 4:14 PM on October 1, 2010


(Not that it's a realistic FPS, mind...)
posted by DNye at 4:15 PM on October 1, 2010


If they were real Americans play would be limited to US soldiers running around the middle east and having friendly fire incidents with British soldiers.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:02 PM on October 1, 2010


Everybody realises this will simply involve taking the word 'Taliban' out of all the multiplayer loading screens and maybe swapping salwar kameezes and turbans for fatigues, right? It's still going to be virtual US soldiers shooting swarthy Middle Eastern types who shout things in comical 'Arabic' accents (like every FPS with a multiplayer component since COD4). They'll just be from Unspecifiedistan instead of Afghanistan.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:19 PM on October 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Isn't it interesting that it's absolutely unacceptable to put yourself in the shoes of your enemies and look at the world from their perspective?
posted by Malor at 10:28 PM on October 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


The word that comes to mind here, a blanket word that encompasses my attitude towards war simulation games, and towards the lame fake bullshit 'controversy' that is deliberately manufactured like clockwork before each new multimillion-dollar warsimgame release, and how there's no such thing as bad publicity, how readily the dumbass paid-off media outlets toe the line and talk the thing up, and how dull people get overexcited about that artificial talking-point shit that was deliberately designed by people smarter than they are, and get worked up and inevitably end up talking about it...

that word is fuck.

The whole goddamn thing was media-managed, for fuck sakes, from the 'this will be in the game' a couple of weeks ago to the 'it won't be in the game' today. I mean, come on, people, are you fucking hypnotized by the marketers, here, into 'debating' their artificial 'issues'? How much more obvious could the strings be?

It's embarrassingly transparent media manipulation, isn't it?

Isn't it?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:04 AM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the idea of a simulation is to weed out the boring stretches, and to allow you to repeat dangerous situations many times more than would be possible in real life.
posted by nervousfritz at 5:12 AM on October 2, 2010


Where was the outrage in 1993 when you could play as either Alan Grant or a Velociraptor?
posted by enfa at 7:10 AM on October 2, 2010


I always played as the raptor. That was way more fun.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:09 AM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't it interesting that it's absolutely unacceptable to put yourself in the shoes of your enemies and look at the world from their perspective?

Harder that way to maintain the dehumanization necessary to inflict war on them. Nothing is allowed to get in the way of war.

But the special outrage here is the depiction of a US soldier's death in combat as an inisgnificant expenditure of cannon fodder. A far too accurate depiction of the American occupation of Unspecifiedistan.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:28 AM on October 2, 2010


I really don't get this. I don't mean I don't agree with it, or I find it politically objectionable, or whatever -- I mean I sincerely don't understand what these people are upset about. I grew up in the sixties, and played tabletop war games; I don't remember anybody ever objecting to the fact that you could play the Nazis. I assume kids in the 40s ran around pointing sticks at one another and yelling "bang bang"; and I assume that, in these games, somebody had to be the Japanese, right?

This seems tangentially related to the Manhattan mosque episode; my first reaction to that was to wonder how anybody could possibly be offended by the notion that somebody several blocks away might be praying to Allah. Not "these people are horrible bigots" -- that's never surprising -- but "how on Earth do the mechanics of getting offended by that work?"

I know we've always had people who devoted large chunks of their time to digging up things to be outraged by; but it seems more and more to be a mainstream activity, rather than something taking place on the political fringes. And it mystifies me.
posted by steambadger at 10:10 AM on October 2, 2010


Can't have people who actually win real wars in any game I play!
posted by telstar at 3:20 PM on October 2, 2010


I grew up in the sixties, and played tabletop war games; I don't remember anybody ever objecting to the fact that you could play the Nazis.

I share your confusion, but might I enquire who played the Viet Cong and NVA during your wargames?
posted by Ritchie at 4:43 AM on October 3, 2010


...might I enquire who played the Viet Cong and NVA during your wargames?

Touche. WWII was a very fresh memory in the sixties; many of my friends' fathers had fought in the war, and there were still plenty of people around who hated "the krauts" and "the japs". But, certainly, the fact that the war is still going on makes a difference.
posted by steambadger at 10:13 AM on October 3, 2010


Further update - All they're doing is renaming the enemy team in multiplayer. The character models will not change and IEDs will remain a weapon option. As noted upthread, this is pure PR generation.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:34 AM on October 4, 2010


Persuasive Games: Free Speech is Not a Marketing Plan
posted by homunculus at 12:39 PM on October 4, 2010


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