Rupert Murdoch's US news agency Fox News has become the first to openly explore the morality involved in allowing users to play as the Taliban in EA's modern war shooter Medal of Honor.
Speaking on Fox & Friends, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq six years ago claimed that the decision is disrespectful”.
When asked why Medal of Honor is any different to cops and robbers where, as the anchor puts it, someone has to play the bad guys, Karen Meredith responded: War is not a game, period.
They've already done games about WWI but that's far enough removed. People aren't dying in WWII anymore. It's not based on real people. Right now we're going into a really bad time in Afghanistan, we've just come off of the worst month of causalities in the whole war.
This game is going to be released in October, so families who are burying their children are going to be seeing and playing this game. I just don't see how a video game based on a current war makes any sense at all.”
EA's response to the show was as follows:
Medel of Honor is set in today's war putting players in boots of today's soldier. We give gamers the opportunity to play both sides, most of us having been doing this since we were seven. If someone's the cop, someone's gotta be the robber. In Medal of Honor multiplayer someone's gotta be the Taliban.”
Meredith also cites the (possible?) cancellation of Iraq themed FPS Six Days in Fallujah, which was dropped by Konami in April 2009 following a strongly negative response by the media and public.