Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Medal of Honor Released Despite Controversy

medal of honor released
The highly anticipated game from Electronic Arts, Medal of Honor, was released in stores Tuesday, October 12th. This newest installment in the video game series is set in war-ravaged Afghanistan. Electronic Arts has been releasing Medal of Honor games for eleven years now, and they have never before strayed from their World War II theme, but that has all changed with the newest release.

Greg Goodrich, Medal of Honor’s executive producer, commented on the game earlier in the year. He said, "Medal of Honor is an authentic look into today's war. Inspired by real people and real events, the game puts players in the boots of today's warrior, from the infantry ground pounder to the Tier 1 Operator. "

EA said that the unprecedented access to the U.S. Army did make the game much more realistic, but they also said that they felt the game was almost a little too real for some gamers. Just a few days before the game's release, EA decided to do away with their Taliban option which was included in the multiplayer mode. They instead renamed the Taliban option and gave gamers the opportunity to be either the American forces of the Opposing Force. EA decided to make this change because of some of the reactions across the country. About a month before the game's release, it was banned from 49 different Gamestop locations and all of the Post Exchanges on U.S. military bases around the world because of the Taliban option. This is why the feature was renamed to a much more generic term. Goodrich said in an EA blog post that this change was done out of respect for the American soldiers and their families.

medal of honor releasesEA faced even more criticism for the violent nature of the game. A former lawyer and current video game violence activist, Jack Thompson, attempted to completely block the sale of the game in the United States. Thompson wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates saying that he believed the video game should not be sold, “on the basis that is poses a demonstrable danger to our troops by providing a training tool for those who wish to kill them." This was not the only reason that Thompson felt the game should not be sold though. He stated that school massacres have been linked to military killing simulators such as Medal of Honor, and that he was also concerned that EA was allowing anyone to pre-order the game regardless of their age. He said, "I believe the full weight of the federal government should come down upon Electronic Arts and the video game industry's Entertainment Software Association for their allowing, presently and fraudulently, despite promises to Congress, the widespread pre-sale of this adult game to minors throughout the country and around the world."

Despite all of these criticisms and roadblocks, EA has managed to get the latest installment of Medal of Honor on the shelves of video game retailers. The Afghanistan-based version of the game has been the most pre-ordered of all the Medal of Honor games. The game is now available for Xbox, Playstation 3, and PC for $59.95.

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