10 September 2010

Military Bans Video Game

The post is here:

Allow me to summarize: The new Medal of Honor game allows you to play as the Taliban in multiplayer, so that there is an American vs Taliban match going on when playing other actual people online. For some reason, this has offended the bigwigs in the military, who have banned it from on-base PXs, BXs, and NEXs (sort of like an all-in-one electronics store, clothes store and liquor store, like a giant gas station or miniature walmart). Allow me to have a quick quote:
We regret any inconvenience this may cause authorized shoppers, but are optimistic that they will understand the sensitivity to the life-and-death scenarios this product presents as entertainment," said Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, who commands the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, which oversees more than 180 base exchange shops.
That's right, they're sensitive to life and death scenarios that a video game presents. They're afraid that people might get mad that you can kill Americans in a video game, because that's never happened in every other Medal of Honor game, or Call of Duty, or Battlefield 1 or 2, or any other game. This might be the dumbest story I've read this week, because, after all:

1) This is nothing new. Games that let you play as two opposite sides in a war and kill each other is older than 3-D graphics, older than graphics in general. Nobody banned wargames on military bases for fear that one side would play Americans and one would play the Vietnamese. Think of the horror!

2) The absolute most unreasonable opinions are held by people who are afraid somebody else will be offended. News flash- if they're that easy to offend, then it doesn't matter. I'm reminded of that flap about that Danish cartoonist, who made a cartoon about Allah, with the point being that Muslims are easy to offend. They responded, appropriately, by threatening to kill him and burn down his house. For drawing a cartoon. Saying how easy it is to offend them.

3) Seriously, now, how offensive is it to portray that there's another side to the world? These people seem to think that to even hint that to a segment of the world's population, the American flag represents hatred, greed, and cruelty. It's like this subject is taboo. Now, before you say anything, I'm a Navy reservist and I like this country. But that doesn't mean that I agree with everything that's been done. Leaving my politics out of this, I'll say simply that showing that the other side has an opinion doesn't make you a traitor, and it doesn't make you seditious. Nazi Germany was full of regular dudes just doing what they were told, like you and me. Saddam likes cheetos, you know? Everybody's a human being, just doing what they think is best in the world. For the exact same reason that some jackoff is allowed to like My Chemical Romance and I prefer something with balls (like, say, Lamb of God), I'm allowed to think that America is basically good and the military is an ok job to have, and some dude in Iraq is allowed to think that America is the Great Satan and that the American military is full of murderers, rapists, and heathens. You know what, that's cool. Just don't make me shoot you.

4) And that's what gets me. Sure, we're fighting the bastards, but does that mean that we can't ever talk about them? It's kind of what they do, is fight Americans, and there's no reason that in a FANTASY GAME like Medal of Honor, we can't have one side say, "You're the Taliban, try and kill us" for the sake of a game. This reminds me of the famous Jack Chick pamphlet, which was based entirely around not understanding that everybody involved knew it was make-believe except for Jack Chick, who apparently overheard the world's creepiest roleplayers. He thought they were getting way too into it, and they were just having fun. Similarly with Medal of Honor. Nobody's getting randomly placed on the Taliban team and going "Finally, I can act out my anti-American fantasies!", especially when the main audience for this game is American teenagers and up.

I mean, c'mon, military! Show a little backbone. Stop wasting our time with this nonsense. Why don't you pay attention to this fucked-up thing in Afganistan instead of worrying about retarded gun-porn video games?


  1. This is why I just play video games like Dawn of War or Mass Effect 2, etc. I like to really escape with my escapism.

    Being able to play the Taliban is in poor taste in my opinion, but it is the right of the game designers to make their game the way they want to, just like it is the right of a pastor to have Burn a Koran Day. It doesn't have to make sense, but if people can do something, regardless of whether they should or not, they will.

  2. I don't really see what the big fuss is, I guess. People have been able to play as Nazis, Viet Cong, Iraqis, Koreans, the British, ad nauseum since the beginning of gaming. Playing as the current bad guy isn't worse taste in my eyes. Especially since a Half-Life 2 mod, Insurgency, has let you play as Iraqi Insurgents for the last, what, four years? And yet, not one peep about that, or about how it's offensive or morally wrong or whatever.

    BTW, I totally agree about Dawn of War and Mass Effect- when I escape, I like to escape into the past or the future, not into a different part of this here world. Give me minotaurs and sea serpents or aliens and spaceships any day.