We all love FOX News: they’re one of the best outlets out there to make a drinking game out of. Another biased reporter spewing nonsense? Drink! This time, however, it seems FOX News is defending the correct side of the spectrum in a discussion surrounding Electronic Arts’ upcoming title Medal of Honor.
Medal of Honor is a first-person shooter based around the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The story will revolve around Tier 1 Operators, handpicked warriors who are considered above Spec Ops; and Army Rangers, working directly under the NCA to fight against the new enemy. This game is set to hit stores on October 12th.
Returning to the always-lovable FOX News, they recently conducted an interview with Karen Meredith, a representative from Golden Star Moms hoping to answer the question: “Has gaming gone too far?”
Meredith argues that this game is disrespectful. “We’ve just come off the worst month of casualties in the whole war and this game is going to be released in October. So families who are burying their children are going to be seeing this and playing this game. I just don’t see that a video game based on a current war makes any sense.”
When the reporter questions Meredith on games based on World War II, she goes on to say that because people are no longer dying from this war, it’s far removed from our history: “It’s not based off real people.” I’m not exactly sure what she was implying with this statement: either WWII wasn’t based on real people (which means she’s a great candidate for the next local Veteran’s Day ceremony) or that the characters in WWII shooters aren’t historically real people.
In that case, neither are the soldiers in Medal of Honor. There are interviews that show the MOH development team contacted Tier 1 operatives to help with the making of the game, but that the in-game characters are not based on the individuals themselves.
She goes on to say that she can’t imagine people sitting in their recliners playing this game, getting up to grab a beer, to then return to continue the onslaught. This again proves another point that the FOX reporter later makes: the average gamer is 35 to 39 years old (unless the 7-year-olds in her neighborhood are really partying it up). So why shouldn’t adults be allowed to make their own ruling on what they find entertaining?
We all know there are some children out there playing games like Call of Duty, as we’ve all encountered the annoying pre-pubescent douche that won’t shut up. That problem lies with the parents allowing their kids to play these types of games, not the companies producing them.
It seems her sole argument revolves around her son, who was killed in action in Iraq back in 2004. As disheartening as it is to lose a loved one, especially in military combat, I’m sorry to point out that he knew the risks when he signed up. Everyone does, as the military emphasizes the sacrifice you make once you put on that uniform.
Hell, even I learned of what I would be giving up if I completed my training. Hence why today I’m sitting in my living room and I’m playing the games of the scenario I knew I couldn’t mentally accomplish. I recognized my limits and chose to come back before everything got “realer.” Her son chose to continue doing something he loved/believed in and knew from the beginning he might die doing so (and may you rest in peace Lieutenant; thank you for your service to our country).
However, to look at the situation through this mother’s eyes, it’s understandable to see why she is reacting this way to MOH (regardless of how futile it is). When you’re part of the losing side of the war, as in losing someone dear to you, anything revolving the war will become a touchy subject.
This explains why there are many people out there who are offended by war video games in general, but to me Medal of Honor is no different from the rest of them. Basing the gameplay off a current predicament doesn’t make it any more controversial; I don’t see myself part of the “Taliban team,” I’m just in a “team.”
Something that wasn’t brought up during the interview that I’d love to ask Ms. Meredith is what her thoughts are on the men and women in uniform who play these games? I personally know many soldiers that are into gaming, and a lot of them love ranking up in Modern Warfare 2. Does that make sense to you ma’am?
Furthermore, Meredith is just against players taking on the role of American-killing Taliban troops, which is an aspect of the game that will most likely only apply to multiplayer. But it’s perfectly okay when Americans are the ones doing the killing in other shooters, so I guess that’s where the sympathy runs out.
The option to play as the Taliban is not being added for altercation purposes. It’s simply for the authenticity of an ongoing war. The underlying fact is that there’s always an enemy in a game; the Taliban just fit that prospect for this game. Besides, what would be better, American soldiers going against themselves? Of course not, M. Night Shyamalan is not a part of the development team, so that’s not “Happening.”
This is a very controversial topic, and one that will surround the game up to its release. I for one believe it’s a bit hypocritical to denounce this game solely on it being a current conflict, when there are still soldiers who died in the past wars with loved ones left behind. Although game developers should be cautious on what they cover in the game, the reality is that we’re at war; it’s happening just as I type this. If you don’t want to play the game, don’t buy it. If you want to learn more about what’s going on overseas read military news, watch documentaries, write letters to those fighting for you, show your support.
I’ll end it here with the words of Jonathan Swift: “War! That mad game the world so loves to play.”