The anger towards EA's upcoming modern-day version of war shooter Medal of Honor has erupted much closer to home, with Conservative Defence Secretary Liam Fox urging retailers to boycott the game.
In the title gamers will be given the chance to play as the Taliban in the online multiplayer mode. The fact that the war in Afghanistan is still ongoing makes the game, according to some critics, morally unacceptable.
At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands,” Fox said in a statement. It's shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers.
I am disgusted and angry. It's hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product.”
Publisher EA, however, reiterated its previous stance that for every good guy in a game there must also be a bad guy.
The format of the new Medal of Honor game merely reflects the fact that every conflict has two sides. We give gamers the opportunity to play both sides. Nobody who plays video games is going to be shocked or surprised by this.
Most of us have been doing this since we were seven: someone plays the cop, someone must be robber.”
Last week US news station Fox News broadcast a reasonably balanced story on the subject, in which the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq stated that she couldn't understand how a video game based on a current war makes any sense at all”.