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Amid Controversy, EA Pulls Taliban From Medal of Honor Multiplayer

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the pr-departments-do-not-develop-games dept.

The Military 495

Last month we discussed news that upcoming shooter Medal of Honor would allow players to take the role of Taliban forces in multiplayer games, causing no small amount of consternation among political groups and military supporters. Now, Electronic Arts and developer Danger Close have bowed to pressure and announced that the Taliban side would simply be referred to as "opposing force." Quoting executive producer Greg Goodrich: "The majority of this feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. For this, the Medal of Honor team is deeply appreciative. However, we have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion of our game. This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team. This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. ... While this change should not directly affect gamers, as it does not fundamentally alter the gameplay, we are making this change for the men and women serving in the military and for the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice — this franchise will never willfully disrespect, intentionally or otherwise, your memory and service."

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Well that's stupid. (5, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759472)

My grandfather died in WW2, could you please remove the Germans from all your future WW2 games as well? The Japanese, too.

Re:Well that's stupid. (2, Insightful)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759600)

WW2 has long since ended. A major part of the controversy here is that the war is still happening; there are still soldiers in harm's way or dying. This is why AAFES chose not to stock this game, in an effort to reduce the number of reminders that bring undue stress into the lives of families waiting for their loved ones to return.

Re:Well that's stupid. (4, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759736)

in an effort to reduce the number of reminders that bring undue stress into the lives of families waiting for their loved ones to return.

Huh? None of these whiners were going to buy this game to begin with so how are they being put under undue stress because someone else is playing a game where you can play people labeled as the Taliban? These whiners need to get over themselves. Secondly, how does this reduce the reminders when pretty much everyone who is going to play this game is going to know that this white-washed "opposing force" IS really the Taliban since all the models, weapons, etc are all the same.

Re:Well that's stupid. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759748)

So instead of "think of the children!" we get "think of the soldiers' wives!".

If they don't want to play the game they don't have to. Meanwhile, the rest of us [should be able to] make the decision for ourselves, like grownups.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759914)

Agreed. As I've said before, EA is, like a "grownup," making the decision to avoid offending people.

Re:Well that's stupid. (5, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759754)

So your position is that getting shot at in a video game by a bunch of guys in turbans isn't going to remind them of Afghanistan or cause stress unless they're named "Taliban"?

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759942)

It's not my position. It's the position of EA and AAFES.

Re:Well that's stupid. (2, Insightful)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759756)

Then you would think, in a free society, that would be enough; not stocking it at the military version of Walmart. But, no, that's not enough. In an actual free society we would have been given the choice to either purchase the game or not, then play as the Taliban or not. The choice, the free choice, is now taken from us by whiny douchebags. Period.

BREAKING NEWS: George Lucas has now decided to recall all Lucas Arts Star Wars themed games to patch them so you cannot play as the Empire.

Same thing. If you don't like them, don't play as them, or buy the game you frickin sheeple!

Re:Well that's stupid. (3, Insightful)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759876)

Nobody is forcing EA to take this out; they are simply choosing not to offend the people who have expressed their concerns.

Re:Well that's stupid. (3, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759930)

Nobody is forcing EA to take this out;

You mean except for how that general was going to get the game banned from all EA game stores on military bases? Saying that is not trying to force them into taking out the name is like saying that being held up at knife point isn't forcing someone to do something they don't want.

they are simply choosing not to offend the people who have expressed their concerns.

You mean people who were never the target audience of the game and weren't going to be buying or playing it? Yes, it's great that they are bowing to a bunch of whiners at the expense of the actual customers.

Re:Well that's stupid. (4, Funny)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759958)

In other news, the teams in counter strike will no longer be known as the terrorists and the counter-terrorists. Instead, the weapons have been removed and replaced with paint ball guns, and the teams will be known as "accounting department" and "marketing department".

Animations of soldiers dieing and hitting the ground will be replaced with characters raising their marker and walking off the field.

-Steve

Re:Well that's stupid. (5, Insightful)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759762)

Isn't the Freedom to put 'whatever characters you want in a video game' exactly what the 'soldiers in harms' way are trying to defend?

Think about it. However infuriating it may be to the soldiers, families, friends and pundits to include Taliban in the game, like it or not, that's freedom.

Re:Well that's stupid. (4, Insightful)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759840)

I agree with you completely, I'm simply pointing out the reasoning behind this. EA is not dismissing their freedom to put what they want in this game; there has been no government interference here. They are simply choosing to avoid offending people, which is also their right.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759976)

there has been no government interference here.

The AAFES refusing to stock it is kind of government interference.

Re:Well that's stupid. (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759908)

They're also free to complain, and EA are free to take action if this negative PR is causing shops not to stock their latest game.

Think about it. However infuriating it may be to you that you can't authentically pretend to be terrorists who hate your country, EA wants to make money.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759986)

However infuriating it may be to you that you can't authentically pretend to be terrorists who hate your country

How does this white-washing of the name stop anyone from still doing this? Everyone who is going to buy and play this game are still going to know that if they play the "opposing force" that it's really the Taliban. It's not as if by changing this name that no one is still going to know who those characters really are which is why this change is so asinine.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760030)

Yes, they are indeed free to complain. However, when those baseless complaints ruin or degrade the experience for other people, it becomes a problem.

Re:Well that's stupid. (5, Insightful)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760004)

The soldiers are fighting for your freedoms? That's funny; those who are trying to take your freedom live in the US, not Afghanistan.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759780)

"that the war is still happening"

Who cares? If they don't want the game, simply don't buy it. Don't ruin it for everyone who does. There is absolutely no excuse for this blatant censorship, and quite frankly, I'm tired of these oversensitive, weak-minded idiots who can't handle imaginary content for absolutely no reason.

Also, I'm sure there still exists families who had loved ones die in World War 2, or at least know someone who did. Or another war. But, hey, since they're not in the majority (and that particular content doesn't both me, because I only care about what I want), who cares?

Re:Well that's stupid. (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759946)

The game is now "ruined" for you because it says "opposing force" instead of "Taliban"?

That sounds a little over-sensitive and weak minded to me.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759992)

No, it's not. I wasn't even going to buy it in the first place, but this blatant censorship is what is annoying. People whining because they're offended by content that they don't even need to view/play got it banned for people who did want it.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759806)

Perhaps those wanting to reduce the reminders should also remove the "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers and every other reminder they voluntarily put up. In fact, aren't the families of those soldiers currently at war responsible for 99% of the reminders that exist? If they started there, they could eliminate almost all of the problem without ever having to go near the game.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

Radtoo (1646729) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759808)

And who decided it was "undue"? Please prohibit all TV shows that feature weapons, aggressive behaviour, army staff or bearded men, 'cause it is not only the label "Taliban" that may remember people of the war. Besides, SOME of us had their beloved ones murdered, raped, killed in accidents etc. recently...

Re:Well that's stupid. (0)

dissy (172727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759844)

WW2 has long since ended. A major part of the controversy here is that the war is still happening

Well the war on terror is still going strong and has no end in sight.
So we can still demand they remove anything that terrifies us.

Things that terrify me that I would like removed from the game are: everything

I sure hope they don't end up being hypocrites and not remove 'everything' from their games.

That would make them go out of business you say? Well don't blame me, I'm not the one that chose this path they wanted to go down.

Re:Well that's stupid. (3, Interesting)

tsj5j (1159013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759906)

You know what will get those soldiers out of harm's way? QUITTING THE WAR!

Seriously, instead of pressuring EA to remove Taliban, these groups should divert their efforts to lobbying for a withdrawal.
They're doing nothing but deceiving themselves by hiding/masking the truth...

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

memojuez (910304) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759910)

On that same token, let's disable death by friendly fire. Wouldn't want to cause undue stress of Military Families who lost their loved ones that way or remind football fans of Pat Tillman of that great travisty either. At this rate, we should rewrite all war games to make opposing sides throw soft, fluffy snowballs at each other then finish the game with both sides drinking hot chocolate and singing "We Are the World" together.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759938)

I find throwing away the liberties our soldiers have fought and died for to be far more offensive than having a side called "taliban".

Re:Well that's stupid. (4, Funny)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759792)

My grandfather died in WW2, could you please remove the Germans from all your future WW2 games as well? The Japanese, too.

I think we should keep the Germans in the WW2 games, and my grandfather died in a concentration camp! He fell out of a guard tower.

Re:Well that's stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759980)

This should really have been posted AC...

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759800)

This is very much a "Too Soon" situation. In another 30 years(assuming the conflicts end soon) it'll probably be fine. Even in another 10 years. Time does heal all wounds, even if some wounds never fully heal.

For a lot of people however this is much much too soon. There are people still burying dead from these conflicts. Out of respect for those people, I agree with this decision.

On another note, personally, I don't really have a problem with the Taliban being left in, and a lot of younger folks, and a lot of kids that will be playing this game won't think anything of it. Its just another game. The biggest concern will likely be "Are the guns really cool?"

Now put yourselves in the shoes of a mother who recently lost a son, or a nephew or something overseas and finds her other son playing as the "Taliban" in some game online because to him, it doesn't actually mean anything, he's just playing for fun. Words mean a lot to some people, and just to avoid that situation I think this is a good call.

Heck, I heard of a similar situation happening a few years back with a WW2 game, the womans father had died in the war and she was quite upset. Multiply that by a factor of "We just buried him less than a year ago" and then tell me what you think the reaction would have been?

Re:Well that's stupid. (2, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759848)

There are people still burying dead from these conflicts.

There are people buring dead on both sides, and innocents as well, yet they didn't feel the need to remove the Americans.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759852)

"For a lot of people however this is much much too soon."

Too bad for them. Luckily, they have a few options:

1) Don't buy the game.
2) Stop being such oversensitive, weak-minded idiots.

Stop ruining it for the rest of us who do want the content.

"Now put yourselves in the shoes of a mother who recently lost a son"

The game that she doesn't even need to buy killed her son? Oh, no! Actually, it's because other content that offends other people doesn't matter to these selfish idiots. All they care about is what offends them, and to hell with anyone who is offended by something they're not offended by, or people who wanted the content.

Re:Well that's stupid. (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759880)

For a lot of people however this is much much too soon.

Then they neither have to buy or play the game. Why should the actual consumers of this product have to suffer through some stupid censorship because of a bunch of oversensitive babies? It is absolutely hilarious that people will use the military service of their dead love ones as a way to impose censorship on people.

Re:Well that's stupid. (5, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759936)

It's a bullshit argument to begin with. PTSD is nasty because it's not the expected triggers that cause trouble, it's the non-obvious ones that do. And in cases like this it's largely pointless. Pretty much the entire game is one big trigger.

Bullshit controversies like this just do more to make things tough for returning veterans as it carries the wrong message about the hardships coming back. It's not a two bit computer game that results in the suicides, it's everything, the lack of connection, the feelings about what one was involved in, both good and bad, and the difficulty of reintegrating.

One video game is hardly going to be a make it or break it case for many vets. Perhaps if the people claiming to care about veterans affairs would actually put their energy into something useful, all that might change.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759816)

If you can generate enough support around the cause I'm sure they will. Not really sure why people are so upset about this. It's the free market. Obviously EA decided it would cost them more money in potential loss of sales (either in sales of this game, or people boycotting the company in general) than they would make with it. Nobody held a gun to there head to remove it.

Re:Well that's stupid. (2, Funny)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759822)

They did. Its called "Enemy Territory: Quake Wars".

Killing virtual Nazi's and Taliban are bad apparently but its OK to gib innocent aliens and monsters...

Personally (as a Canadian) I loved the fact that in Counter Strike you could play the FLQ terrorist. I mean I don't care about the FLQ, but simply the fact that Canada is mentioned at all in a video game, and you can play that side, and the map is supposed to be in Canada, I thought was pretty cool.

Otherwise I will be waiting for the video game of canoeing and collecting beaver pelts etc... which I don't think will be a very good game. That or a historical RTS game of the war of 1812, where inexplicably the USA always seems to win...

Re:Well that's stupid. (1, Flamebait)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759862)

"Freedom" is now amended to mean "Anything you want to do except marry someone of the same sex, have a different skin color than the majority and expect to not be harassed, or play a video game that might be offensive to someone if they are both easily offended and a member/relative of the military."

Re:Well that's stupid. (5, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759972)

My grandfather killed six Germans at Normandy. Unfortunately, this happened in 1967.

Re:Well that's stupid. (1)

British (51765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760040)

It's done to some extent at the toy store. German WW2 planes have the swastika removed. Lego Indiana Jones have characters just called as "enemies". They still do the goose-step though.

Taliban Playable? (1, Insightful)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759480)

Surely not, how would they even think of putting this in a game these days?

Re:Taliban Playable? (5, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759548)

What is so wrong with it? It's a fact. Americans and the Taliban and fighting. Why hide the truth? Are we supposed to just pretend that Americans and the Taliban are "Super Best Friends"? I know, let's just ignore everything.

Re:Taliban Playable? (5, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759612)

No. We are supposed to dehumanize the Taliban and make sure nobody thinks from their perspective, so we can continue to kill them with no twinge of guilt.

Re:Taliban Playable? (5, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759666)

Are the Americans (?) still referred to as such? In the interest of fairness, I think they should be called the "invading force".

Re:Taliban Playable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759760)

Both sides are out to get you. One side via suicide bombers and the other side via friendly fire.

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759764)

Yep, lest we harm the delicate sensibilities of any innocent Afghans that may have lost loved ones in a botched drone strike.

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

Iburnaga (1089755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759874)

Mod Parent up. Strip the name from one, strip the name from all the others.

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759766)

So it'd be better if the game had some missions from their side of things?

Maybe take a technical full of Taliban down to the village, kill the girls going to school there, hang the homosexual man who just moved back from Kandahar and for a bonus, destroy 20 of 20 DVD players and cell phones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban#Ideology [wikipedia.org]

Re:Taliban Playable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759836)

And then maintain your poppy fields. It'd be kind of like Farmville.

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759884)

My favourite CS maps were the ones where I got to play as a terrorist.

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759926)

Good idea, except it would be more realistic to throw acid on the girls instead. And don't forget the side-missions of stalking around town grabbing men's beards to make sure they're long enough.

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760020)

Are you seriously suggesting that Americans don't lynch gay men? I mean seriously? It's not common place, but there's a disturbingly large number of Americans that think that's OK.

Sure that's comparing those that are OK with it with those that do it, but trying to play the moral superiority card over that issue is just asinine. Considering that it's only recently become a hate crime to lynch gays.

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760018)

No. We are supposed to dehumanize the Taliban and make sure nobody thinks from their perspective, so we can continue to kill them with no twinge of guilt.

Oh. For. Fuck's. Sake.

It's exactly that kind of whiny soccer-mom vaginababble that got it removed in the first place. Maybe we should do away with all that uber-violent 'shooting' in FPSs too. We should have more multiplayer games where teams perform laudable tasks, like walking to cure breast cancer, or "battling injustice" - with words of course, none of those nasty phallic guns.

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759712)

Americans, Canadians, Germans, Dutch, French, Afghanis, Pakistanis, British, Mongolians, Australians, New Zealanders, and a host of others are fighting with the Taliban.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Security_Assistance_Force#Contributing_nations [wikipedia.org]

Plus having the Taliban as a faction gives some ammunition to radicals here and abroad that the Afghan War is some sort of money making scheme.

Personally, I think they should have kept the name "Taliban" as the name for OpFor, but it's EA's game, their call.

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760008)

What is so wrong with it? It's a fact. Americans and the Taliban and fighting. Why hide the truth? Are we supposed to just pretend that Americans and the Taliban are "Super Best Friends"? I know, let's just ignore everything.

I'm not saying I agree with the decision, but I think you're missing something. The issue isn't hiding/acknowledging the fact that Americans are fighting the Taliban, it's allowing users to play as the Taliban that has people upset. If you could just play as the Americans and the enemies were the Taliban, I don't think anyone would be complaining (except those who would decry this type violence in any video game). I know, it's 'us' vs 'them'. And what if 'they' created a video game 'they' would be the good guys, and it would be horrible to play as 'us'. And yes, the whole, "But you can play as Germans and Japanese in WW2 games; and you can play as the South in Civil War games" argument does hold water. I'm not saying I agree with the move. I'm just saying it's not as simple as recognizing the Taliban or not.

What would you think about a game where you could play as the Ku Klux Klan and the missions were to lynch black people? Would that be okay just because "It's a fact. The KKK lynched black people. Why hide the truth?"

Re:Taliban Playable? (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759948)

That is one kooky-ass website you've got there.

Good. (1, Interesting)

glrotate (300695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759488)

An example of how a corporation can be influenced to act a bit more responsibly through fear of public backlash.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759634)

I think you mean a bad example of a corporation being a pussy in face of a bunch of whiners? The fact of the matter is that you are still playing as the Taliban and all the models are exactly the same. All this is is a white-washing of the name.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759682)

I don't feel that suppressing an artistic representation of a current war because of a fear of public backlash is the right thing to do. True that for the shareholder EA this is certainly the most responsible approach, but with regards to the principle behind the US constitution and the civic liberties in general, I feel that this is totally irresponsible.

Re:Good. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759740)

How is this a good thing, exactly? This is blatant censorship (not forced, but it still is) imposed by idiots who can't handle imaginary content that they didn't even need to buy in the first place. If they can't handle it, it should not be ruined for everyone who can.

DRM? Lobbying for laws that will take away the rights of the average citizen (ACTA, DMCA)? The average person doesn't care enough about that to complain, they only care about things that they actually understand.

Re:Good. (1)

flintmecha (1134937) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759774)

Come off it. All this does is send a message that game publishers can be influenced by a vocal minority of people who have nothing to do with video games.

Re:Good. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760042)

You mean by sanitizing the war, downplaying the portions that aren't popular and preventing people from taking actions in a game which have precisely zero to do with reality?

In what fashion would it have been any more irresponsible than releasing the game in the first place?

This type of censoring is a danger to human rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759494)

Fuck. I really wanted to get this too. I guess there is always the "moral" alternative of piracy.

...In other news, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759496)

Puppet Ackhmed the Terrorist is banned from television appearances due to hate speech.

Re:...In other news, (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759642)

Go Jeff Dunham!

Ugh. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759518)

Ok, look...I understand why there was public and military outcry (similar to the "no russian" level in MW2), but I wonder if there would have been as much controversy had it been for a war that was no longer going on. Beyond that, they are still in the game...they just aren't called 'Taliban'...what's in a name? This makes me think back to the GLA in C&C Generals...

Re:Ugh. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759690)

There would be little controversy for a game that featured a war that is no longer going on. Why? People only care about things that they are personally offended with, and they don't care about anyone else. But, hey, instead of simply not buying the game, let's have it censored and ruin it for everyone who wanted the content to stay!

Re:Ugh. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759944)

Well, in Japan they apparently teach history and play video games in which they win World War 2. This is highly important to them, but is not a war that is currently going on. I suspect that if EA produced a game in which you were a Vietnamese soldier fighting the Americans, the American public would oppose that as well, even though it's a war that's over, but a game in which you were an American beating the Vietnamese, that would be more likely to pass muster.

It's less about whether the war is going on (that's a feeble excuse), it's about imaginary national shame. If a person has that much shame, they should see a p-doc to deal with it, not censor others so that they can avoid ever having to face up to the fact they've serious issues.

Re:Ugh. (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760044)

In fact, there hasn't been any outcry to the numerous games about previous wars. I don't recall hearing any outcry about RTC Wolfenstein when it came out. Noone except the boneheaded German government cared that it had Nazis in it. I am sure some Jews even bought the game to have fun shooting Nazis.

Re:Ugh. (1)

dropzonetoe (1167883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759878)

Take care when you say military outcry. Six years in the Army myself, one tour to Iraq under my belt. I keep in contact with my far flung buddies by playing MW2. My whole friend list is comprised of only military members from across the different branches, and MOS's. From a Marine that was injured in Fallujah, to a National Guardsmen(11B) who lost a highschool buddy to a IED on their deployment one vehicle in front of his, MP's, Medics, Admin, Infantry, even one Ranger. Not one of them has a problem with playing against the taliban(or as them either). From what I had read it was a mother of a fallen officer who wants the game pulled as it offended her... Granted I don't know every member of every branch and their moral outrage at the topic but from every soldier, marines, airmen and sailor I have talked to none have had a problem with it.

Re:Ugh. (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759950)

What gets me is that there's more public outcry over the name of a team in a game than there is over an actual war. If these people their voices heard by the President and their representatives instead of a video game maker, they might actually save some lives.

So now you can play as an American... (5, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759522)

... and for extra realism you get to shoot at British, Canadian, Danish and other "allied" troops. Ultra-realistic!

Re:So now you can play as an American... (1)

Rectal Prolapse (32159) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759978)

Americans sure love their friendly fire! (A bunch of Canadians in Afghanistan were bombed by Americans by mistake)

!Surprising (2, Interesting)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759530)

There have been worse things in video-games. Postal 2 anyone?

If EA had statistical evidence that they would've lost revenue through lawsuits, civil cases, and bad word-of-mouth by releasing the game with "Taliban", then perhaps this was a smart business decision. But if they are simply "bowing" if you will, well, that is lame.

I am not for the Taliban at all, I am just saying bowing to the complainers only reinforces their behavior.

Re:!Surprising (2, Insightful)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759676)

Normally I'd agree with your position but here I think it is a bit tricky. By putting them in the game you are giving the Taliban legitimacy which a large amount of the US population would not approve of. You could also cause problems with the fanatical Muslim population because of the link the Taliban has with Islam. And lets face it the radical Muslims don't fuck around when showing their displeasure. All and all I think it was a good business strategy on EA's part to avoid that whole kettle of fish and come across that the change was inspired respect for the US armed forces. This minor controversy will also help generate hype and knowledge of the game. A win for EA on all fronts.

Well unless the radical Muslims take offense at not being included in the game...

that doesn't make sense (2, Insightful)

Punto (100573) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759556)

I'm sick of people pretending the war has only one side. Where are the families of the dead Taliban soldiers, who are logically just as offended by the ability to play as a US soldier? don't they have a "voice" too? or it it ok to disrespect people as long as you're on the right side?

Re:that doesn't make sense (1, Troll)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760002)

Where are the families of the dead Taliban soldiers

They're in Afghanistan, probably not playing video games.

Delete Wolfenstein franchise entirely (1)

Beetjebrak (545819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759560)

Back in the day I actually enjoyed shooting brown and blue blobs of pixels yelling "Argh, mein Leben!" just before going down. History suggests that the SS wore stylish black uniforms instead of bright blue overalls though.. and yes, I'm European and the Nazi war machine ravaged my country. No problem playing games with Nazi's in them, so why should this be different for Taliban?

In other news... (4, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759564)

The popular children's game has now been renamed to "cops and opposing forces"

Re:In other news... (4, Insightful)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759698)

This PC shit is fer the birds.

Back in my day, if you offended someone, you tell them it wasn't personal and move on. Now we have both extremes.... People going out of their way to personally offend others, and people who are offended by simple shapes.

Know this...

It will never end.

Re:In other news... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760028)

I find that generalization offensive.

really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759570)

I mean.. really, c'mon! We can watch them kill real life soldiers, we can wish death upon them, we can blow them up for real real... but put that in a video game, aimed at adults, and that is incentive and wrong?

Re:really? (1)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759664)

I don't think they object to killing Taliban in the game, but they don't like how players can play as the virtual Taliban in multiplayer and blow up virtual Americans. I'm not saying it's a good argument or that it's even logical, but that's what they're saying.

Re:really? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759932)

Well, now that they put it that way... they can simply not buy the game.

They're Just Future Proofing the Game (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759588)

They're just 'future proofing [wikipedia.org] ' the game for when we invade China and Gliese 581g [slashdot.org] . It will even work for our upcoming 'Civil War II: More Civil' planned by Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert.

Re:They're Just Future Proofing the Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759842)

They're just 'future proofing [wikipedia.org]' the game for when we invade China

That reminds me. As a Basement Dweller, I'm offended by the portrayal of China in Fallout 3... :)

Re:They're Just Future Proofing the Game (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760010)

I think perhaps you meant when China invades the US [wikipedia.org]

Power of a word? (4, Insightful)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759618)

It seems to me too many people give too much power to a simple word. Essentially that's what we're doing here right? Gameplay remains unchanged, we're just changing the name of the other team. So is it because we fear the Taliban? Should we start calling them "The opposing force that must not be named"?

Re:Power of a word? (1)

Beetjebrak (545819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759628)

Damn muggles!

Wow (2, Interesting)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759636)

What a bunch of weak-minded idiots. If a few people who can't handle a video game with content that they don't like that they don't even have to buy complain about said content, they remove it. Those people have just ruined it for anyone who actually wanted that content, as it was originally planned to be in the game. But, no, people who wouldn't buy the game anyway get their way. Absolutely pathetic. I'm sick and tired of this blatant censorship (even if it wasn't technically forced on them). I already had zero respect for EA and any company like them, but this is insane. Might as well ban everything that someone takes offense to!

This took a whopping 3 seconds to do. (2, Informative)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759640)

sed s/Taliban/GenericTerrorists/g
So all these politically correct people will be appeased, but nothing of substance will have changed.

Re:This took a whopping 3 seconds to do. (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759860)

sed -e 's/[tT]aliban/Angry Smurgs/g'

There, fixed that for you.

Re:This took a whopping 3 seconds to do. (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759920)

Ok, so I spelled Smurfs wrong. I blame the Taliban for that.

other games (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759734)

Battlefield has the Middle Eastern Coalition and maps based on battles in Iraq. Never heard any complaint about that...

Errr... this is a wargame, folks! (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759750)

  • In real wars, people die. It is expected. All who go into a warzone do so in the knowledge that they may not return. How do you sacrifice that which you have already surrendered for King/Queen/President/Fanatic (delete according to nation) and Country?
  • Should the Americans get their name removed? There will be friends and family of the Taliban too. If this were truly about honoring the fallen, why be selective?
  • Should they retroactively delete the names of nations for World War 2 games? All of those nations had people die too, and friends and family of those fallen are still alive today.

Of course they shouldn't. The reality is that wargames depict a historical context and history doesn't change to suit the likes of one group or another. There is only one history, the events that took place.

Further, we learn from history that it is dangerous to make an enemy faceless. Doing so is the number one cause of wartime atrocities. What these pressure groups have basically said is that it is more important to hide the reality of the situation than it is to keep Americans aware that they are fighting against people with lives and beliefs of their own. This is a dangerous attitude to have.

I cannot blame a company for eventually caving under pressure, especially one as small as this. But frankly this whitewashing of history is disturbing and historically the consequences of such acts have never been good. This is extremely bad juju.

Re:Errr... this is a wargame, folks! (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760026)

"why be selective?" Because EA is not worried about losing Taliban sales. They are, on the other hand, very worried about losing sales to Red Blooded American Patriots Who Hate The Taliban And Will Not Buy Anything Bearing Their Name.

As a U.S. veteran... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759772)

Please remove $10 from the purchase price if you are removing content.

the terrorists have won. (2)

asiansteev (991271) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759882)

And with that, the terrorists have truly won. Luckily the next round starts in 30... 29... 28...

EA = pussies. (3, Insightful)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33759888)

'nuff said.

PC in games is ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33759900)

"Political Correctness" is another phrase for "abolishing freedom".

mod d0wn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760036)

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